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Geocaching: An Innovative Emerging Activity


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The slide pack with notes is a version of the contents of my blog site and the PDF document found here.

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Geocaching: An Innovative Emerging Activity

  1. 1. Geocaching:An Innovative, Emerging Activity <br />
  2. 2. What is geocaching?Participants (a.k.a., “geocachers”) use GPS systems to hide and find “geocaches” almost anywhere in the world. (They can even be found in Antarctica.)Dain Schroeder, “Treasure Hunting with Your  iPhone?<br />
  3. 3. How long has it been around?A full decade. However, it has only recently entered the fields of marketing and education. In fact, start ups have recently emerged to professionally develop geocaching campaigns for businesses.<br />
  4. 4. Example Use in a Class“Teams of students will use GPS units to locate geocaches that their instructor has hidden around their school campus. Students will return to the classroom with the recovered geocaches, examine and discuss the contents of the geocaches, determine a number of possible ways to categorize the contents of each geocache, and then use Excel™ to create spreadsheets and graphs that represent the categorized data. The contents of each geocache can be sorted in two or more ways.”GPS and Geocaching Guide for Educators  by Dr. Alice A. Christie, Arizona State University President’s Professor Emeritus. Sample lessons<br />
  5. 5. Example of a Business UseIn 2007 students used geocaching to promote Coca-Cola for their campaign in the National Student Advertising Competition, a student contest run by the American Advertising Federation. For further information check out  Students Campaign for Coca-Cola. <br />
  6. 6. Example of a Business UseJoshua Noble is the director of tourism for the Kingman, Arizona  Area Chamber of Commerce. His cache superimposes historic photos over the modern-day locations and hopes to use such old photos to draw geocachers to various historic points of interest in and around the city.<br />
  7. 7. Example of a Business UseIn 2001, 14 geocaches were placed with 20th Century Fox to publicize the movie Planet of the Apes. <br />
  8. 8. Example of a Business UseExample of a Business Use A number of state and local parks encourage geocaching to attract visitors. Lincoln City, Oregon had 500 coins made. These coins have an icon and are trackable.<br />
  9. 9. Example of University UsageUC Berkeley, Oxford University and the University of Ottawa have up to 47 geocaches scattered around campus.  Florida State University has 20 caches on or near campus and many people try to “collect” the full set. <br />
  10. 10. What does a cache look like? What am I looking for?<br />
  11. 11. Bottom line- This is a yet generally untapped marketing and communication tool in business or at the higher education level.<br />
  12. 12. How might creative and innovative minds  put geocaching to work to draw in customers or raise awareness of academic programs?  What are the steps?<br />
  13. 13. Marketing and Communication: A 10 Step Plan<br />1. Do your due diligence.<br />Facilitate a meeting with current geochachers within the business or university.  Some universities have student geocaching clubs. Check out Kansas State University, Marshall University, Fort Hays State University There is your gold mine!  Or check this site to determine if there is a local geocaching club nearby.  Contact that organization for support. <br />
  14. 14. Marketing and Communication: A 10 Step Plan<br />2. Go on your own geocaching adventure! <br />Meet together afterwards to discuss as a group. Use the After Action Review (AAR) process- What did you expect to happen? What actually happened? What did you learn?<br />
  15. 15. Marketing and Communication: A 10 Step Plan<br />3. Determine the business case for change.<br />What do you want to raise awareness about?  If a business, what is special about your product or service?  What are you proud of? What’s your elevator speech?  If you represent a university, what makes you a cut above others? What do you do better than the others? What’s your elevator speech? Or is there a particular cause you support, such as the environment.  But stay away from hot political issues! <br />
  16. 16. Marketing and Communication: A 10 Step Plan<br />4. Conduct a Risk Analysis.<br />What might go wrong? What would you do? What might become a barrier? How would this barrier be removed?<br />
  17. 17. Marketing and Communication: A 10 Step Plan<br />5. Review your resources. <br /><ul><li>Consider your human resources. You have a great marketing and communication opportunity to harness your current employees or students (and alumni) to create a “raving fans” campaign based on their creation of geocaching boxes with something you supply and they augment with their own creativity. 
  18. 18. Do you have funds to have a special cachet box made, symbolizing your institution? Do you have funds to put in some “swag” representing your business or college?</li></li></ul><li>Marketing and Communication: A 10 Step Plan<br />6. Items you can put into the “box”<br />Brainstorm. Don’t eliminate any idea. Put them all up on the board. <br />
  19. 19. Marketing and Communication: A 10 Step Plan<br />7. Set a meeting with Senior Leadership to review the business case for change, potential risks and responses, resource issues and high level communication plan. <br />
  20. 20. Marketing and Communication: A 10 Step Plan<br />8. Create a Steering Committee <br />Write a charter including roles and responsibilities of all members and ensure that they have read and agreed to the document.<br />
  21. 21. Marketing and Communication: A 10 Step Plan<br />9. Go to the official global geocaching site,, and register. <br />You can get a basic free membership or pay for one for $30/year.<br />
  22. 22. Marketing and Communication: A 10 Step Plan<br />10. Create a written communication plan on raising awareness, and interest, in your geocaching campaign.<br />