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StudyUSA Final Deliverable

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StudyUSA Final Deliverable

  3. 3. 1 We opened our doors in 2007 as a student-run strategic communications agency to give Elon University communications students the unique experience partnering with real clients. Since our founding, we have worked with numerous businesses, nonprofits, and organizations providing innovative communications strategies and tactics with a fresh perspective and a fun professional agency atmosphere. With young, vibrant leaders in the communications field driving our agency, we create exceptional campaigns that deliver measurable results. Our capabilities are extensive, ranging from public relations to advertising, video, web design, social media solutions, logo and graphic design, corporate identity, and beyond. COMMUNICATIONS LIVE OAK
  4. 4. Ciara’ Dixon Account Supervisor
 Class of 2016
 Hometown: Atlanta, GA Claire Gibbons Account Executive
 Class of 2016
 Hometown: Wayne, PA Amanda McMahon Account Executive
 Class of 2017
 Hometown: Lake Forest, IL Suraj Minisdram Account Executive
 Class of 2018
 Hometown: Charlotte, NC Sophie Pearson Account Executive
 Class of 2017
 Hometown: Westborough, MA Sarah Collins Account Executive
 Class of 2018
 Hometown: Pittsburgh,PA TEAM STUDYUSA 2
  5. 5. Highlight the cultural, altruistic, and professional development experiences the StudyUSA program provides students GOAL 1: 3 Objective 1: Ensure that all StudyUSA print and online collateral contains at least one element of information that spotlights a student's professional, cultural and/or altruistic experiences by Fall 2017 GOAL 2: Eliminate the perception that StudyUSA is only of Value to students studying in the communications and business schools Objective 1: Ensure content is published that communicates all majors can benefit from StudyUSA experiences by program by Spring 2017 Objective 2: By Fall 2018, increase enrollment in StudyUSA programs by non-business and communication majors by 25% AND OBJECTIVES COMMUNICATION GOALS
  6. 6. Objective 1: Confirm admissions staff is aware of how to communicate the StudyUSA programs to prospective students by Fall 2016 GOAL 3: Better utilize StudyUSA’s socialmedia presence to promote engagement with the target audience Objective 1: By Spring 2017, ensure that the quantity of Study Abroad and StudyUSA program content posted on all Elon Global accounts is equal GOAL 4: Communicate to the Elon community, including but not limited to admissions staff, that StudyUSA is separate from Study abroad, but equal in value AND OBJECTIVES COMMUNICATION GOALS 4
  7. 7. SECONDARY RESEARCH CONSUMER Target Audience StudyUSA’s target audience is comprised of Elon students ages 18-22. Although StudyUSA would benefit from targeting all Elon students, research has revealed that focusing on sophomores and juniors will be beneficial as this is the time students shared they begin engaging with StudyUSA programs. Students in their sophomore and junior year are acclimated with Elon and are actively seeking experiences to fulfill requirements or enhance their degrees. Demographic StudyUSA’s target audience is comprised of students who are looking to engage in a career enhancing domestic study program or who are eager to enhance their Winter Term experience by studying away from Elon. These students are predominantly female, come from upper middle class backgrounds and are professionally and academically inclined. 5
  8. 8. SECONDARY RESEARCH 6 COMPANY StudyUSA is a for-credit, domestic study program that provides Elon students with immersive educational and professional experiences. StudyUSA is housed alongside Elon’s Study Abroad program in the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC). Since its founding, StudyUSA has amassed a total of 14 programs all over the country, 10 of which are offered as topical courses during Winter Term. The StudyUSA program additionally includes “Elon in…” programs in which students can choose to study for a semester or summer in Los Angeles, New York, and the District of Columbia. StudyUSA also offers an Elon in Alaska program over the summer. Research revealed the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC) is associated with a significant amount of negative perceptions. Considering StudyUSA is associated with the GEC, these negative perceptions are important to address in efforts to establish a positive impression of the StudyUSA brand.
  9. 9. SECONDARY RESEARCH 7 CULTURE According to the Elon University Study Abroad website, more than 72 percent of Elon students have studied abroad. From this information we know a large majority of the target audience is already participating in Elon Study Abroad programs. Research has revealed students primarily participate in Study Abroad programs during their sophomore and junior years, the same years students typically participate in StudyUSA programs. Considering the majority of our target demographic will most likely participate in a Study Abroad program, there is an opportunity to package Study Abroad and StudyUSA together in efforts to both engage with the Elon community and to identify innovative ways to team with Study Abroad in efforts to market StudyUSA as a partner. Additionally, StudyUSA’s target audience is exposed to “personal and social responsibility in domestic and global contexts” during their first year Global Experience course. StudyUSA should take advantage of this exposure to students in efforts to challenge the perception that global opportunities are not available to students within the United States.
  10. 10. SECONDARY RESEARCH 8 By connecting StudyUSA experiences to this global course during students’ first year on campus, StudyUSA could potentially lay the foundation for students to find value in a StudyUSA program later in their college careers.
 StudyUSA’s target audience also relies heavily on social media use. According to a 2013 study from Harvard University, more than 80 percent of young adults ages 19-29 use Facebook regularly. The same study found that more than 40 percent of young adults use Instagram and Twitter on a regular basis. Considering this it can be concluded that the majority of StudyUSA’s target audience frequently uses social media to communicate with their peers. StudyUSA can use social media as an innovative way to team with Study Abroad in order to market StudyUSA as a partner.
  11. 11. SECONDARY RESEARCH 9 Internally, StudyUSA’s biggest competitor is Study Abroad program at Elon. It is well known that students participate in Study Abroad programs at higher rates than StudyUSA programs. As a result, StudyUSA has been tasked with marketing themselves in a way that appeals to students who may be searching diverse, cultural and professional experiences. Externally, StudyUSA must compete with internship experiences outside of the program’s offerings. Students may complete internships in the cities programs are offered in, but may not participate in a StudyUSA program. Students who study in the Love School of Business, the School of Communications, and who complete select majors in the physical and social sciences are required to completed internships to graduate. Internships additionally fulfill one of Elon’s five Experiential Learning Requirements. Considering the aforementioned, it is important to highlight the internship component of StudyUSA’s offerings as the vast majority of the target demographic is required to complete an internship. Targeting students who are required to complete an internship or acknowledging the ELR fulfillment StudyUSA offers can be a tactic used to eliminate the perception that StudyUSA is only of value to students studying in the Communications and Business schools. COMPETITON
  12. 12. SECONDARY RESEARCH 10 StudyUSA communicates with its target audience through email, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts, and through the StudyUSA webpage. The program is generally associated with professional development as the two most well-known programs, Elon in LA and Elon in New York, provide students with internship experiences at some of the most reputable companies in the country. The program’s social media accounts are linked through its webpage, but have not been utilized since September 2015. Even when the pages were active, posts were not consistently updated. This absence works against all of the communication goals simply because the opportunity to engage is not being utilized. These live platforms with no recent posts or traffic may cause members of the target demographic to perceive StudyUSA as a dated and lazy brand. In print collateral, StudyUSA uses the language “you don’t need a passport to have a global experience.” Research revealed obtaining a global experience without leaving the country does not resonate with the target audience. In order to achieve the goal to challenge the perception that students cannot have a global experience in the United States, it is necessary to revisit the language used both when defining the phrase “global experience” and when marketing the StudyUSA program. CHANNEL
  13. 13. SECONDARY RESEARCH Currently, Elon students receive information about StudyUSA programs from the GEC via email, Elon 101 courses, the StudyUSA webpage, program blogs, and friends’ social media accounts. According to a 2015 study completed by the Pew Research Center, more than half of all Instagram users are between 18 and 29 years old. Considering this, one of the most effective ways for StudyUSA to engage with its target demographic is through Instagram. While the @ElonGlobal account experiences significant engagement, research revealed students do not associate StudyUSA with Elon Global and thus would not instinctively go there to interact with the StudyUSA brand. MEDIA CONVERGENCE 11
  14. 14. PRIMARY RESEARCH AGENCY BRAINSTORM An agency brainstorm was conducted with fourteen members of Live Oak Communications. The session was created with the goal to engage with agency members about innovate ways to market StudyUSA as a separate, but equal partner to Study Abroad, under the umbrella of the Global Education Center. Participants were led through three structured brainstorm activities: Word Bank, Pass-It- On and Reversal. 12
  15. 15. PRIMARY RESEARCH 13 AGENCY BRAINSTORM FINDINGS Word Bank Word Bank is a brainstorming technique in which focus group participants are prompted with a word and are told to share the first thoughts that come to their minds. Participants were prompted with the following words: StudyUSA, Abroad, Domestic Travel, Global Experience, Experiential and Global Education Center. When prompted with the word “StudyUSA”, participants immediately mentioned the New York, Los Angeles, DC, and Alaska programs. Respondents additionally agreed that these programs were an “underdog” to Study Abroad and were primarily for professional development. While the majority of participants agreed the programs were very expensive, they collectively contributed that each program had value as a “trial of the real world”. “Abroad” elicited responses that were generally geared towards Europe, travel, and culture. Some participants shared they viewed students who studied abroad as privileged and spoiled. One participant shared “Instagram” as an immediate association to the word “Abroad”. This prompted a brief discussion about how students primarily use Instagram, or blogs to share photos from their abroad experience. Students were all in agreement regarding Study Abroad being an “Elon specialty”. One participant even shared that the strength of the Study Abroad program was the main reason she decided to come to Elon.
  16. 16. PRIMARY RESEARCH Participants highlighted both the negative and positive aspects of “Domestic Travel” when prompted. The responses ranged from lost luggage and flight delays to not having to worry about language barriers or obtaining a passport. Additionally, students shared domestic travel provided them with a sense of security they do not get in other countries after the increased number of terrorist attacks happening around the world. One student shared the term “domestic travel” reminded them of being home. “Global Experience” garnered predominantly negative feedback. Participants shared Elon’s “overuse” of the term made it feel “cliche”. Many participants expressed discontent with the first-year COR course which they believed could better provide students with the understanding of what a global experience is. Students additionally shared that “Global Experience” made them think of diversity themed discussions, cultural events and “typical Elon terms” such as “global engagement” and “global citizenship”. Participants deemed the term “Experiential” an “Elon buzzword”. Students shared they first thought about the required ELR. Some expressed they felt the meaning of experiential was “ambiguous” and another shared the term made them think of being “process oriented’ and “personal”. Finally “Global Education Center” was proposed. One participant shared they didn’t know where the GEC was located, another shared the abundance of emails and automated reminders from the GEC were very confusing, perhaps even “unnecessary”. 14
  17. 17. PRIMARY RESEARCH Other students shared the term reminded them of “very long meetings” and of GEC staff members seeming “frustrated” and “not helpful” when responding to students inquiries. One student additionally shared the GEC “was not advertised as a resource”.
 Pass It On Pass It On is an activity in which brainstorm participants are put in teams, prompted with a question and are asked to write a solution to the question on a sheet of paper. Teams are then asked to pass their sheet of paper to the next group who is then responsible for expanding on their idea. This rotation continues until each team of participants has an opportunity to contribute to each idea. Brainstorm participants were divided into 5 teams and the question posed was, “How would you brand StudyUSA as an individual partner to Study Abroad?” The first team suggested explaining the benefits of the StudyUSA program by using images to highlight places in the United States that are taken for granted. They wrote that StudyUSA should craft messaging as if it were targeting international students who had never seen what the US has to offer. To branch off of this idea, other teams suggested implementing a series of GEC class presentations by students who took advantage of their Study Abroad and StudyUSA experiences. 
  18. 18. PRIMARY RESEARCH The second team suggested an informational event that would act as a centralized conversation about the StudyUSA program outside of class visits. Other teams expanded this idea by proposing the event feature stories about students from particular trips who made the most of their StudyUSA experience and also recommended the event emphasize the benefits of studying inside the United States. The third team focused most on social media, suggesting StudyUSA differentiate itself by adopting its own Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook handles that would communicate StudyUSA’s contrasting experiences through predominantly visual content. Teams following suggested a student social media takeover that would allow program participants to highlight their experiences. A photo contest for students who have completed the program was additionally suggested. Another team elaborated on this tactic by suggesting the creation of StudyUSA specific content like a BuzzFeed style “Best StudyUSA Program for You” quiz to promote engagement with the brand. Both the fourth and fifth teams suggested a video similar to the Elon admissions video that would put a face to the StudyUSA program and create a call to action. Teams following added the tagline “Find beauty in your backyard #StudyUSA” and emphasized the importance of communicating why a student should participate in a program and how it will benefit them. Teams shared emphasizing and sharing the experience of “Studying USA” is most important. 16
  19. 19. PRIMARY RESEARCHReversal In the Reversal portion of the brainstorm, participants were asked to identify assumptions about the StudyUSA program based on their current knowledge. Students were then asked to provide solutions to “reverse” said assumptions. The results are documented below. Assumption Reversal Suggestions You must be a communications fellow to participate in the program • Class visits featuring students not involved in the School of Communications to educate others about the programs People don’t think they can do StudyUSA and Study Abroad • Emphasize the summer program for people who want to Study Abroad for a semester • Provide students with more information about the valuable experiences StudyUSA offers through testimonials and assigned point people • Market StudyUSA and Study Abroad as two separate but equal experiences by presenting them together when addressing students The experiences are major specific • Have student ambassadors to educate students about the various opportunities available in each program 17
  20. 20. PRIMARY RESEARCH Assumption Reversal Suggestions StudyUSA sites are under- appreciated by students and there is a lot of peer pressure to Study Abroad • Make StudyUSA “look cooler” by highlighting students unique experiences • Use more imagery when advertising the program so students can see the cultural experience instead of simply being told about them There isn’t much variety in StudyUSA programming in regards to location • Create a graphic providing a visual reputation of the cities and program offerings • Make it obvious which programs benefit which students It sounds better if you say you studied abroad • Create a better dialogue regarding what the StudyUSA program offers students 18
  21. 21. PRIMARY RESEARCH Survey Over 300 undergraduate students completed a survey designed to gather quantitative and qualitative data from those who have participated in a StudyUSA program and those who have not. The questions were crafted with the mission to understand how students perceive the StudyUSA program in order to frame our tactics to reach our goals. 19 SURVEY As you read this information, please note these responses were collected by students who have completed a StudyUSA program. The vast majority of respondents, 77.22%, were members of the Class of 2016 and 2017 and 83.54% were women. 58.23% Of students surveyed were Elon in New York and Elon in LA participants. A representative from every documented StudyUSA program participated in the survey except for students from the “Mindful America, Mindful Elon” and “On the Border” courses. SURVEY FINDINGS PART A
  22. 22. PRIMARY RESEARCH41.77% Of students surveyed said they learned about their StudyUSA experience through a friend, peer, or colleague. The top two factors that most influenced surveyed students’ decisions to participate were the internship experience and the location. When asked to expand on the factor that pushed them most from considering participating in a StudyUSA program or course to becoming enrolled in StudyUSA program participant, students shared statements like: I knew I needed some more experience in a professional setting, and that having an internship in LA would be that“ 20 I believed the internship I could get in NYC would be better than an internship I could get somewhere else ” The course description really appealed to me and it seemed like there were a lot of opportunities to see some really cool sights; I also liked how I could go somewhere so different and still be in the US; also this program was less expensive than a lot of the other abroad programs
  23. 23. PRIMARY RESEARCH When asked about their candid opinions of the StudyUSA program, many students praised the programs for the opportunity to get acclimated to a new place. Other students shared the workload from their StudyUSA courses hindered them from being able to fully experience their respective locations and focus on their internships. Students additionally gave feedback expressing their discontent with how the programs were structured, two shared the following: “ 21 ” I did not like the program. I thought the class was poorly run (all professional development, unethical research project) and that despite promises by the GEC staff, it was not relevant to me as a Public Health student. I also felt that it was difficult to participate in many extracurricular activities encouraged by the professors etc. because NY is so expensive. The program should be split into subprograms; one for business, one for communications, and one for theater. With only 8 class days there is more than enough to do for each area to use all 8. Also, when visiting different companies and organizations, many of those who were not interested in the field of that company were clearly uninterested and it was not a good look for the school. The program was also run by Bill Webb, head of the theater department, and the program felt extremely biased towards theater topics.
  24. 24. PRIMARY RESEARCHRegardless of some seemingly negative reviews, 84.81% Of respondents expressed they would recommend the StudyUSA program to their peers. Many cited the opportunities to live on your own in a new major city and make connections as reasons why they would encourage their peers to participate. 22 As you read this information, please note these responses were collected by students who have not completed a StudyUSA program. While the majority of survey respondents, 35.11%, were members of the Class of 2018, the other classes were generally equally represented. 82.44% Of respondents were female and 61.83% were students studying in the School of Communications. 29.77% Of respondents study in the College of Arts of Sciences. 
 70.23% Of students who have not participated in a StudyUSA program shared they learned about the programs through a friend, peer, or colleague. All students surveyed shared they heard of at least one of the documented StudyUSA programs. The most recognized StudyUSA offerings were the “Elon in…” programs with the LA, New York, and DC programs garnering first, second, and third most recognized. SURVEY FINDINGS PART B
  25. 25. PRIMARY RESEARCH Of the StudyUSA courses documented, the most recognized were the “Hawaii: Nation or State”, “Elon at Sundance” and “The Science of Happiness at Disney” courses. When students were asked to identify the main reason they have not participated in a StudyUSA program, 48.85% of respondents shared they were focused on studying abroad and 30.53% shared they were planning on participating in a program, but have not yet. When asked to describe other applicable limitations to their participating in a StudyUSA program, some students responded that they did not like the idea of paying for an internship and others shared they believed the programs were too expensive and were discouraged from participating when they were not made aware of how their money was being allocated. 70.99% Of respondents shared they believed the StudyUSA program was beneficial to all majors. Students who expanded upon this question clarified that while they do believe the StudyUSA catalog of offerings provides opportunities for all majors, each program individually does not offer an all encompassing experience beneficial to everyone. 23
  26. 26. PRIMARY RESEARCH When students were asked where they received information about the StudyUSA program, 59.53% of respondents shared means involving word of mouth, including learning about the programs from friends, advisors, and campus tours. In regards to other cities they would like to see a StudyUSA program in, the vast majority of students expressed interest in Chicago. When asked to provide any information they would like to add about the StudyUSA programs, students shared the programs seemed “cool”, but financial obligations only allowed them to do one GEC program, and they chose Study Abroad. Others shared it was difficult to understand program specifics and that the professional staff was not knowledgeable about all students fields of study in regards to providing access to connections for professional development and internship opportunities. 24 Two focus groups were conducted in efforts to compile candid opinions about the StudyUSA program. Focus Group A consisted of students who have participated in a StudyUSA experience and Focus Group B consistent of students who have not completed a program. These focus groups provided the StudyUSA team with an idea of what students know about the program and also their perceptions about how the StudyUSA program markets itself. FOCUSGROUPS
  27. 27. PRIMARY RESEARCH 25 Sense of Community: Focus group participants emphasized the importance of the close-knit communities fostered by their respective StudyUSA semester and summer programs. One participant shared that, because they were experiencing many of the same situations, the students in her program were able to rely on one another in times of need. Another mentioned the ease with which the students in her program were able to relate to one another, as they shared similar goals and expectations. Students also expressed that they feel protective of the communities they fostered. One Elon in New York participant felt so strongly about his program, he shared he would not recommend the program to “just any student,” and explained only hardworking, motivated students should be encouraged to join the Elon in New York network. 
 Atmosphere: Participants spoke about the atmosphere of their respective StudyUSA programs and consistently emphasized the fast- paced working environments in New York and L.A. One participant spoke about the challenges and rewards of working for a boss with high expectations. Another participant shared that she enjoyed the high-intensity work environment because she appreciated being treated like a full-time employee rather than an intern. The participants agreed that their respective experiences in New York and L.A gave them a taste of the real world and provided meaningful professional development opportunities. FOCUS GROUP A FINDINGS
  28. 28. PRIMARY RESEARCH 26 Absence of Marketing: Participants did not remember receiving any materials from the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center about StudyUSA programs prior to participating. Two participants shared that they received more information regarding their Study Abroad programs than their StudyUSA program. Students also noted that Elon places less emphasis on StudyUSA programs as compared to Study Abroad programs. The participants said they sought out information regarding StudyUSA on their own because they had access to limited resources about the programs. FOCUS GROUP B FINDINGS Networking: Participants perceived networking opportunities as the most beneficial part of participating in StudyUSA programs. Students shared they found value in having the opportunity to make connections in cities they are interested in moving to post graduation. One participant even mentioned knowing multiple peers who moved back to their StudyUSA program cities. Other benefits mentioned were the company/agency tours that give students the opportunity to form professional relationships. Participants stated this is a “bonus” opportunity that may not be available to those who solely obtain an internship in a city without enrolling in the program.
  29. 29. PRIMARY RESEARCH 27 Academics: The large majority of participants agreed that communications students benefit most from StudyUSA programs, with Business, Art, Music Theatre, and Music Tech also earning mentions. One participant added that film students go to Los Angeles, and public relations students go to New York. When participants were asked what factors most into a student's decision to StudyUSA, they stated academic pursuits as the predominant reason. Participants outside of the School of Communications and Business shared if they knew exactly how the program would benefit their major (internship, networking, ELR, etc.), they would be more inclined to participate. The majority of the group agreed they “didn’t know what to expect” from courses offered by the StudyUSA program. One student added that in some cases, “Experience matters more than coursework” when considering participating. Marketing: When participants were asked about StudyUSA’s marketing efforts, they stated they heard about the program predominantly through word of mouth. They shared their peers, prospective student tours, and professors as sources for obtaining information about StudyUSA. Additionally, the students shared they sought information about StudyUSA on program blogs, read about it on posters, and found information on the StudyUSA webpage. One participant mentioned that the programs were “pretty well advertised”, and the rest agreed.
  30. 30. PRIMARY RESEARCH 28 The participants recalled interacting with the GEC through emails and in person, and with StudyUSA through emails and social media. One participant recalled watching an in-class presentation about Study Abroad, but not about StudyUSA, and shared StudyUSA presentation should become more frequent.
 When participants were asked how to best communicate that StudyUSA was of-value to all majors, they agreed that StudyUSA should provide a list of exactly what opportunities are available to students within each major the program aims to attract. One participant mentioned specifically that a good way to get the word out to other majors would be to have a fellow major and StudyUSA program alum come into classes and explain specifically how the program would benefit members of said major. A Biology major shared said she would love to see more about the programs on McMichael’s wall with a brief explanation of why science students should participate. StudyUSA vs. Study Abroad: When students were asked about how the StudyUSA and Study Abroad programs were perceived, they shared StudyUSA was for “professional-minded” people, and Study Abroad is about having fun and experiencing new things. Though the group acknowledged the benefits of studying internationally, one student mentioned he wished he had received more out of his Study Abroad experience, specifically so that he could get an internship now that he’s back. It was also shared if someone has participated in an Study Abroad program it would not make sense to also participate in a StudyUSA program.
  31. 31. RESEARCH IMPLICATU+IMPLICATIONS 29 1. Students perceptions of StudyUSA are synonymous with the New York and LA programs
 Our research indicates students believe StudyUSA’s New York and L.A. programs are designed primarily for students interested in film, dance, communications, and business. A focus group participant and second-year biology major shared she would be interested in a StudyUSA program if she knew how it benefited her major. In order to eliminate the perception that the StudyUSA program is only of value to students studying in the Communications and Business schools, StudyUSA must allocate resources to motivate students outside of those majors to participate. Providing students with targeted marketing material surrounding how the StudyUSA program benefits them is the key to garnering engagement from other majors. 2. StudyUSA is not utilizing social media to effectively communicate its brand Currently, the StudyUSA homepage and social media sites are not well managed nor updated regularly. Research from Manifest, a marketing and advertising agency, posits that 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. Considering this, StudyUSA must better maintain its online presence so students, prospective students, families and administration are aware of all information necessary to feel connected to the brand.
  32. 32. RESEARCH IMPLICATU+IMPLICATIONS 30 While @ElonGlobal has better performance in terms of content and engagement than the StudyUSA pages, our research suggests students don’t consider StudyUSA “global” and thus may not instinctively interact with @ElonGlobal to engage with the StudyUSA brand. Although it has been communicated StudyUSA and Study Abroad are combined under the same @ElonGlobal handle, StudyUSA’s accounts are still accessible. If the program’s specific social media outlets are not being utilized, they should be removed because their presence tarnishes the StudyUSA brand especially considering these accounts have not been updated for close to a year. Content on StudyUSA’s homepage further hinders the brand by being inconsistent and ineffectively copyedited. Industry research suggests students are influenced by what they see on social media. Kelly Wallace, CNN journalist, wrote about how social media prompts FOMO, or fear of missing out, amongst teens. In regards to how FOMO and GEC programs relate, students can develop FOMO when viewing Instagram photos and videos of other students’ Study Abroad or StudyUSA experiences. An agency brainstorm participant echoed the sentiments Wallace expressed as when she was prompted with the word “Abroad” she shared her first thought was Instagram. Other students echoed her sentiments sharing they often garnered interest in a trip by seeing their colleagues post about all of the “cool” things they are doing on Instagram. Considering this, StudyUSA is not most effectively capitalizing on this medium’s power to influence its target audience.
  33. 33. RESEARCH IMPLICATU+IMPLICATIONS 31 3. The Global Education Center is negatively perceived by students Our focus group and agency brainstorm revealed a disconnect between the Global Education Center and the student body. In our agency brainstorm, students shared words like “frustrating”, “unhelpful”, and “confusing” when prompted with “Global Education Center”. Students also expressed that required GEC meetings seemed “impersonal” and expressed confusion in the GEC’s communication regarding program participation. While 60% of students surveyed shared they learn most about StudyUSA programs through word of mouth, focus group and agency brainstorm participants shared the volume of emails and class visits were “unnecessary”. This insight suggests that while the GEC has a significant volume of interactions with its target audience, the quality of the interactions should be improved upon so that students feel comfortable engaging with StudyUSA.
  34. 34. RESEARCH IMPLICATU+IMPLICATIONS 32 4. Students believe StudyUSA uniquely offers professional experience for future jobs All facets of our research proved students consider professional development opportunities the most valuable component of the StudyUSA program. Students who had not participated in a StudyUSA program shared if they would have known about the networking opportunities available, they would have been more interested in participating. Considering the aforementioned, it would benefit the program to highlight professional development when promoting its programs. Additionally, surveyed students named internship experience and location the top two factors influencing their decision to participate in a StudyUSA program.
  35. 35. RESEARCH IMPLICATU+IMPLICATIONS 33 5. Students do not associate the Global Education Center with the StudyUSA program, nor do they associate the StudyUSA program with the word “global” Our research suggests students do not associate StudyUSA with the Global Education Center. Students do, however, associate the GEC with Study Abroad. The university prides itself as one of leading programs in Study Abroad with 72% of students taking part in a program at least once before they graduate. Considering this, it is important to consider ways to differentiate Study Abroad and StudyUSA. Our research suggests a change in language would be most effective as students do not associate StudyUSA experiences with the word global. When prompted with the word “Global Experience” students shared predominantly negative responses. “Cliche”, “over-done”, “vague” and “undefined” were a few responses provided. When prompted with the words “Global Education Center” and “Global Experience”, students did not mention the StudyUSA program at all. Observing these responses, it is necessary to either develop language innately specific to the StudyUSA program or to define and illustrate how the program provides students with a global experience.
  36. 36. TARGET NARRATIVE Meet RachelSmith. Demographics: Age: 19-22 Class: Middle to upper middle class Relationship status: Single Career: Student Temporary Residence: Town of Elon Psychographics: • Career driven • Motivated student • Plans ahead • Involved on campus • Academically successful • Independent Emotional Rationale: • Wants to get an internship that will help her get a job after graduation • Wants to be challenged in order to grow academically and personally • Wants to gain experience living in a fast-paced, competitive city environment
  37. 37. TARGET NARRATIVE Rachel is a sophomore strategic communications major from Charlotte, North Carolina, where she lives in an upper class neighborhood with her parents. As a motivated student, Rachel declared her major in her first semester at Elon. She develops strong relationships with professors and completes quality work suitable for her portfolio. She maintains a strong GPA and plans to graduate with honors. Outside of the classroom, Rachel is an account executive for Live Oak Communications and does service work with Elon Volunteers. She is a student leader within her organizations and other students look up to her for her work ethic and reliability. She does not have any behavioral infractions. Rachel is eager to land an internship that will challenge her while expanding her knowledge of strategic communications. She is prepared to work hard in a competitive, fast-paced environment in order to become a standout applicant for future opportunities. She is ready to spend a summer in New York City to learn about life in one of the country’s most competitive job markets. HER STORY. 35
  38. 38. TARGET NARRATIVE Demographics: Age: 19-22 Class: Middle to upper middle class Relationship status: Single Career: Student Temporary Residence: Town of Elon Psychographics: • Extroverted • Interested in current events • Motivated to inspire change • Avid learner • Enjoys debating controversial issues • Altruistic Emotional Rationale: • Passionate about getting up close and personal with issues affecting the U.S. • Wants to have unique experiences that will help him better understand issues that impact his country • Wants to dedicate his time in college to becoming a better US citizen • Prefers to use his Winter Terms for personal growth and development rather than an opportunity for down time Meet JOHN MILLER.
  39. 39. TARGET NARRATIVE John is a junior political science major from Boston, Massachusetts. He lives with his parents in an upper class suburb. Even as a child, John expressed an avid interest in current events and national issues. He receives cell phone notifications from several news applications and frequently strikes up conversations about controversial topics. John is respected by professors and peers alike for his knowledge of current events and thoughtful contributions to class discussions. John’s extroverted nature and competitive drive motivate him to actively participate in a variety of classes and campus organizations at Elon. He has held multiple leadership roles in the Student Government Association, Elon Volunteers and on the Student Union Board. John is looking for a hands-on way to engage with issues that currently impact the culture of the United States. He is interested in the “On the Border: Arizona” program for the chance to interact with government officials and hear from migrants who have been directly impacted by the immigration debate. HIS STORY. 37
  40. 40. MESSAGING IMPLICATU+STRATEGY KEYTAKEAWAY: BRAND POSITIONING STATEMENT: StudyUSA: Providing real world cultural and altruistic experiences for intellectual and professionally driven students. No matter when, where, or how messages are communicated with target publics, this brand positioning statement will be the core. Elon University provides students with an elite education, and StudyUSA brings that education to the real world. StudyUSA transports the Elon community to cities across the country, providing students with unique opportunities to pair professional development with cultural discovery. 38
  41. 41. BRAND MANIFESTO You go to college,you get a job. That’s how it works, right? Not quite. With the professional world becoming more and more competitive for recent grads, there must be a way to differentiate yourself. StudyUSA provides unrivaled opportunities for professional development in some of the nation’s largest markets. The program not only connects you with industry leaders, it provides you with unique cultural and altruistic experiences that help separate you from the competition. Because let’s face it: the real world’s right around the corner. Go out and experience it. Go StudyUSA. 39
  42. 42. STRATEGIES
 ANDTACTICS 40 STRATEGY 1: Use Print Collateral to Highlight the StudyUSA Experience TACTIC: POSTER RE-FRESH
  43. 43. POSTER RE-FRESH 41 Based on our focus group findings, non-communications and business majors are hesitant to participate in the StudyUSA programs because of uncertainty regarding whether or not the programs would benefit their major. A poster refresh can be an effective way to spread the message of how StudyUSA programs can benefit students from all majors. New posters will feature past program participants, and include their name, photo, major, and a testimonial style quote detailing how their StudyUSA program benefitted them. 
 By showing Elon students of various majors, it will become more believable to current students that the programs enhance their education, as well as increase knowledge of all available StudyUSA programs. Two important components of this method will be the placement of the posters and the quote describing the benefit they received. Ideally, there should be a poster in every academic building, with the student in the poster’s major corresponding with the main subject of classes held in that building. The larger buildings with more classrooms and floors, as well as common spaces such as the library and Moseley center, will bear two posters- one for an “Elon in…” program, and one for a winter term course. If students read a quote on a poster about a relevant benefit to their major or education, the value of a StudyUSA experience will be more clear.
  44. 44. 42 POSTER RE-FRESH Primarily the posters will aim to bring awareness of the benefits StudyUSA provides to all majors, but will also aim to depict cultural and altruistic benefits as well. For example, in the poster depicted below, the subject discusses achieving an academic goal, but also includes the fact that she worked with native wildlife, a new cultural benefit. The goal of the poster, after bringing awareness to majors, should be to blend the academic and cultural benefits of all StudyUSA programs.
  45. 45. STRATEGIES
 ANDTACTICS 43 STRATEGY 2: Use social media to highlight the professional successes OF students who have participated in Studyusa programs TACTIC: WHEREARETHEYNOW? CAMPAIGN
  46. 46. WHERE ARE THEY NOW? 44 Photo campaigns are a useful and efficient way of getting brand exposure on Instagram, into the eyes and minds of consumers. According to a 2013 study conducted by Harvard University, more than 40 percent of young adults ages 19-29 use Instagram on a daily basis. Considering this, social media campaigns can be an effective tool in building brand affinity. A 2014 Applebee’s Instagram campaign was effective in building brand affinity amongst its target audience with its “#Fantographer” campaign. From July to September, Applebee’s urged customers to tag pictures of their meals for a chance to have their image featured on the Applebee’s website. The company was able to highlight their most beloved and popular foods and show their target audience how an experience at one of their restaurants would be beneficial to them. Research revealed followers were more inclined to want to eat at an Applebee’s restaurant after seeing a customer share a photo of their experience. As an added bonus, Applebee’s additionally increased their following by 33 percent and increase their audience engagement by 25 percent in just three months.
  47. 47. WHERE ARE THEY NOW? 45 The Where are the Now Campaign’s goal is to highlight how StudyUSA programs have long-term impacts on the lives of the students who participate in them. The campaign will utilize StudyUSA alum who are planning to live and work or are living and working in StudyUSA locations. The campaign will use Instagram photos and text to communicate the professional successes of individuals who have completed a StudyUSA program. Campaign participants can be obtained from the current senior class and from alumni networks in these locations. For example, Elon in New York’s mentorship program includes many Elon in New York alum, these accomplished individuals could be featured in this campaign. This campaign will visually communicate the successes of students who have participated in “Elon in…” programs in effort to make an impact on current and potential participants. Ideally, it would benefit StudyUSA to run this campaign during the peak times of year when students are actively seeking information and engaging with the StudyUSA brand. Our research suggests further highlighting the professional development opportunities unique to the StudyUSA program will increase and diversify the number of applicants interested in StudyUSA.
  48. 48. STRATEGIES
 ANDTACTICS 46 STRATEGY 3: Create shareable content about the StudyUSA program and the cultural experiences it offers Elon students TACTIC: STUDYUSA BRAND 
  49. 49. STUDYUSA VIDEO 47 According to Cisco, almost 70 percent of all consumer Internet traffic will be a result of video content in 2017. The younger generations today are watching videos through a variety of channels and are absorbing the key messaging in video more effectively than other methods. Elon’s February 2016 admissions video communicating Elon’s unique selling propositions through an emotional prose garnered more than 50,000 views on YouTube. This video went viral in the Elon community and beyond, illustrating how effective well executed multimedia can resonate with the target audience. StudyUSA will produce a brand essence video. The video, released on the Global Education Center’s social media account, will be created with the goal to visually communicate the wide range of experiences the StudyUSA program offers students. For example, the video could show a group of Elon in New York students visiting Times Square to Elon in Alaska students walking through an igloo. In addition to painting an all- encompassing picture of students “Studying USA” the video should also motivate students who have not participated in StudyUSA to desire to engage with the program.
  50. 50. STRATEGIES
  51. 51. 49 Business Insider conducted a study that revealed Instagram is the best platform to use to reach millennials. Considering StudyUSA’s target audience is primarily composed of millennials, Instagram campaigns may be the most effective communication tool. Red Bull recently held an Instagram contest whose winner was gifted tickets for the Red Bull King of the Rock Finals basketball tournament. In order to participate, users took photos of themselves with a basketball in interesting locations with the hashtag #TakeMeToTheRock. The campaign was successful, accumulating exposure for the product and promoting interest in the Red Bull sponsored prize. Modeling the success of Red Bull, StudyUSA will hold a similar contest with the goal to visually communicate the value of exploring cities closer to home and the variety of experiences StudyUSA offers students. This Instagram based contest called #MyBackyard will encourage students to share photos of what the experiences students were able to have “in their own backyards” or StudyUSA communities. This contest will visually convey the diverse amount of cultural experiences offered to United States residents in their own backyards. Photos submitted could showcase students visiting landmarks, immersing themselves into the lifestyles of the local residents, performing volunteer work and more. #MYBACKYARD
  52. 52. STRATEGIES
  53. 53. 51 All of our primary and secondary research has consistently concluded that students receive most of their information about StudyUSA programs from friends, peers and colleagues. We found that students learn about StudyUSA experiences through both verbal and social media communication from other students who have participated in StudyUSA programs. Therefore, we feel that student ambassadors would be the best way to reach students who are interested in participating in StudyUSA programs. Based on information provided on the StudyUSA webpage, we understand the StudyUSA program already has ambassadors for the Elon in New York and Elon in L.A. programs. However, these students are retroactive advisors, available to assist interested students upon completion of the ambassadors’ respective programs. The new student ambassador program would aim to create opinion leaders in the Elon community to speak on behalf of the StudyUSA experiences and generate interest among potential participants in real time. Ambassadors would be selected prior to their completion of an Elon in summer program, and would start their jobs by maintaining a blog that details the variety of professional and cultural experiences they encounter in their respective locations. Following their summer immersing themselves in their respective cities, the student ambassadors, who would be paid for their time, would be the face of the Elon-in programs exclusively. In the role, students would be responsible for being a resource during all StudyUSA informational events, fielding questions from students about their program, completing classroom visits and engaging with potential program participants on and offline. STUDENT AMBASSADORS
  54. 54. STRATEGIES
 ANDTACTICS 52 STRATEGY 6: Provide studentS with a StudyUSA sponsored, peer led forum to receive information about StudyUSA programs TACTIC: STUDYUSA WEBINAR
  55. 55. 53 Students reported the number one way they receive information about StudyUSA is through friends, peers and administrative staff. Considering this, it would benefit the program to provide Elon students with the opportunity to learn more about StudyUSA programs from their peers. StudyUSA will house two to three, student led webinars per semester to allow prospective students to interact with past program participants. This series of webinars will provide thorough details about StudyUSA programs and allow prospective students to ask questions at their convenience in an informal, peer-to-peer setting. STUDYUSA WEBINAR Throughout our research, students expressed that they felt uncomfortable communicating with GEC staff members. These webinars would help eliminate the perceived “intimidating interactions” with the GEC staff. This provides students with an opportunity to connect with an audience that they are already informally seeking information from by providing a creative, interactive, StudyUSA controlled medium that will engage with students in a new way. The student ambassadors leading the webinars will have the chance to showcase their experience with StudyUSA by sharing stories, pictures, videos, and documents detailing the work they completed in their term. Prospective student will have the opportunity to benefit from the webinars by learning about StudyUSA experiences from someone who has completed the program, and by having the opportunity to ask questions during the session.
  56. 56. APPENDIX 54 Anderson, Miles. "87% of Potential Customers Won't Consider Businesses With Low Ratings.” Search Engine Land. Third Door Media, Inc., 25 Aug. 2015. Web. 26 Apr. 2016. 
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