Trying to reach 22,000 students is difficult. That’s the biggest obstacle Boise State Student Involvement and Leadership Center (SILC) faces.
“Ya’ll are so busy,” said Kris Sansing, assistant director of student life marketing. Sansing, along with her colleagues in SILC, are attempting to advertise events going on around campus with different types of media.
“It’s the biggest challenge of my job,” Sansing said. “There is no one way to reach everybody. We have to do a lot of different things to reach students.”
One way they are doing this is through different forms of media.
SILC creates well designed media pamphlets, made by both students and professional staff. These are then sent out to different areas of campus where the hope is that students will see them and absorb the information.
The Student Union Building (SUB) houses the most paraphernalia. Giant flat screens and posters adorn almost every wall and advertise the day’s and week’s events, most of which are to occur in the SUB.
Initially, the placement was extremely effective. Back when students had to wait in line to purchase their football and basketball tickets, the advertisements would be seen, thus the placement would be considered effective.
But what about students who don’t venture to the east side of campus?
One way they attempt to solve this problem is by hiring students to pass out fliers on the west side of campus near the Interactive learning Center. However, Yvonne Bennett, a senior studying social sciences, believes this strategy is ineffective.
“I feel like most people avoid the fliers,” she said. “I know I do.”
Sansing also uses bulletin boards across campus and litters them with fliers for upcoming events. However, this also seems to be ineffective.
“The bulletin boards are so cluttered I don’t even look at them,” Bennett said.
One marketing strategy both agree on is sidewalk chalk.
“The sidewalk chalk is extremely effective when the weather permits,” Sansing said.
According to Sansing, the biggest advertising tool is word of mouth.
“I always ask students how they heard about an event and most hear about it from a friend or someone on campus,” she said.
One interesting side note is the use of social media to promote events is not very effective.
While students do spend copious amounts of time on Facebook and Twitter, they aren’t spending that time looking at the advertisements.
How are they combating this issue?
One way the Student Involvement Center is attempting to fix this is by introducing an events calendar (events.boisestate.edu) where all campus events, including sports, lectures, and special events are posted in a one stop shop.
“It is constantly updated. It’s in real time,” Sansing said.
Sansing is also working on producing a mass email program, similar to the emails students receive alerting them of home football and basketball games, which would include the events they are promoting. Students would have the opportunity to “opt out” if they didn’t care to receive such emails.
While the department deserves mass amounts of credit for trying new ways to communicate with students, most avenues are ineffective.
Let’s stick with sidewalk chalk because it’s bright and we can’t miss it.