FORUM Fall 2016 - Page 8

SETTING THE PACE The Utah Valley University PRSSA Chapter hosting the first donkey basketball fundraiser. Photos courtesy of UVU PRSSA. Utah Valley University Chapter Puts the FUN in FUNdraising BY BRITNEE BROMLEY NUEHRING UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY Over the past seven years, the Utah Valley University (UVU) PRSSA Chapter has hosted a variety of fundraising campaigns, such as selling graduation chords, LinkedIn headshots and holding etiquette dinners. This year, however, the executive board decided to go in a very different direction by hosting a donkey basketball game. THAT’S RIGHT, A DONKEY BASKETBALL GAME. REAL PEOPLE, RIDING REAL DONKEYS, PLAYING REAL BASKETBALL. The executive board wanted to do something unique that would create buzz and get people talking, which is exactly what happened. We had two main goals we strived to complete during this event. First, we needed to raise funds for our PRSSA Chapter. Second, we wanted to involve the community in and around our university. UVU professors, students, department heads, local business owners, city mayors and high school students were all involved in the donkey basketball fundraiser. It wasn’t easy, but with the help of an eight-man fundraising committee along with as- sistance from volunteers, PRSSA advisers and UVU faculty, it was a success. With such a unique event, it made sense to utilize memorable grassroots marketing techniques to promote the event. Our strategic outreach calendar was detailed, thorough and extremely effective. During the week of the fundraiser, we rented a miniature donkey named Janie to interact with potential attendees. People couldn’t get enough of little Janie walking around campus, high schools and even on our our city’s main street helping to promote the game. We made sure to have signage and PRSSA reps Managing Your Social Media always by her side explaining what the spectacle was all about and encouraging patrons to take selfies with her and posting them on their social media using the hashtag #UVDonkeyBball. Our 10 donkey all-stars were rented from a company called Donkey Sports Inc., based out of Washington. With major assistance from our Faculty Adviser, the game was hosted in the UVU basketball arena, which gave us access to digital screens, scoreboards, sound equipment, the ticketing office and lots of space for our donkeys and their fans. The night consisted of four ten-minute games, engaging dif- ferent riders from various sectors of our community. This event was an incredibly rewarding experience for our Chapter as well as the individuals involved. Our Chapter’s social media following and campus-wide awareness increased significantly throughout the donkey basketball campaign and the weeks following. The unforgettable night consisted of 30 riders and over 550 people in attendance. I would encourage all other PRSSA Chapters to think outside the box this year regarding their fundraising campaigns. Do something memorable and profitable, and put the FUN in FUNdraising. BY ZACH WRIGHT SENIOR MANAGER OF ADVERTISING, SPRINKLR You pick up your phone, open sired effect you want when grow- their check-in will spur some- Through our connection, I was Twitter and scroll through your feed for about 20 seconds. In that time frame you have seen an article, breaking news brief or, let’s be honest, something about the Kardashians. The sheer fact that you’re getting your news and information online in real time is what social media is all about. However, something has been lost in the evolution of social media. Something about it has begun to feel disingenuous, unengaging and, quite frankly, not very social. Why do we find ourselves automating our personal brand? Where has the “social” in social media gone? It’s clear social media has evolved to accept automation as a part of its culture, but what can you do to maintain a semblance of personality? I believe there are three things we can all do better to put the social back in social media and make it fun again. 1 Focus on quality, not quantity. The overwhelming belief is that the more you post and share, the more you will be seen. While that is true, it’s not getting the de- ing or maintaining a personal brand. Rather than putting your focus on the amount of messages you send out, you should be focusing on the quality of the message you’re sending out. It should mean something. Think of it like this: When you’re talking to your boss, do you blurt out things that are not relevant and waste time? No. You speak with a purpose because you want to maintain your reputation. Treat online conversations as you would treat face-toface conversations. 2 Engage, engage, engage. The number one question students will ask me (next to, “Are you hiring?”) is “How do I get people to engage with me?” My answer is simple: Treat others as you would want to be treated. Every time someone puts out an original message, they are asking for other people to judge it, engage with it and to most of all like it (no pun intended). While you’re sitting there with bated breath waiting to see if your joke is a hit, someone is wondering if their heartfelt message has been well-received. Someone else is wondering if 8 WWW.PRSSA.PRSA.ORG/FORUM one’s “OMG so jealous” remark. We are all waiting for a response, which is why we are sharing our thoughts and messages on social media. Engage with others if you want to be engaged with. 3 Open yourself up to meeting new people and having new experiences. This one hits home more than any other. Reason being, in 2007 I branched out and poked (before it was weird, I swear) a beautiful girl on Facebook. A few awkward conversations later we were dating and a few years later we were married. Now we are expecting our first child together. I realize that for every story of success there are 10 more that result in a different, less pleasant result. The same can be said for almost every other social situation. I have had the fortune of meeting three best friends on the internet, my wife and countless other friends and connections. In fact, I am only connected to PRSSA through a simple online connection that blossomed into not only a professional relationship for the next three years, but a friendship. able to speak to the Ohio University PRSSA Chapter, build relationships and have seen countless students receive internships and jobs — all because of a tweet. Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you to go out and start poking random people on Facebook, but I am saying to think twice before you dismiss an opportunity to connect with someone. So what do you say? Let’s put the social back in social media! FALL 2016