November 7, 2008

Change is Coming

Posted in Kent State University, Student Organization, Uncategorized at 5:03 pm by cdziak

President-elect Barack Obama has brought change throughout this election and will bring change with him to the White House.  Now you’re probably thinking, what does me mentioning Barack Obama have to do with public relations and student organizations.  Well, here are my thoughts.

Kent State College Democrats

I don’t even know where to begin.  The College Democrats have had such a strong presence on the Kent campus since I started grad school back in August.  Walking through the student center, the College Democrats always had their table set up handing out information to students.  At Risman Plaza in front of the student center, they were encouraging students to register to vote.  They chalked the sidewalks of campus, they handed out Barack Obama paraphernalia, they did a lot to get students excited and involved.  I felt like there wasn’t a place on campus you couldn’t go without seeing the presence of the College Democrats.

Kent State College Republicans

I wish I could say the same thing about the College Republicans on Kent State’s campus.  I might have seen a table set up once at the student center, but other then that, there was very much a lack of presence by them on campus. Perhaps the students weren’t inspired with the Republican candidate of John McCain or that they were not as organized as the Democrats.  Whatever the reason, as an organization, they need to communicate to the student body that they exist.  One might think that there is no College Republican group on campus because they are never appeared to be around.

Student organizations need to take advantage of all the opportunities they can to get the word out about their group.

Use Your Resources

  • Social Networks – Embrace technology.  Social networking isn’t going anywhere. Use them.
  • Student Media – Get to know the student media and take advantage of Black Squirrel Radio, Kent News Net, and The Daily Kent Stater.  Plenty of chances to get the word out about your organization with student media on campus.
  • Classes – Get to know people in class to help promote events or your organization.  Make announcements about the organization you’re involved with before or after class.
  • E-Mail – Send a mass e-mail to the class.  It can be easily done through flashline but make sure to e-mail yourself and blind carbon copy the class.
  • The Student Center – Set up information tables in the student center about your group.
  • Listservs – Have a listserv to encourage students to sign up with an opt-out option if they change their mind.  I’m on the Catholic Student Association listserv and most of the time I can’t attend any events because I am in class but it is nice to get the e-mail every week to know what is going on.

When I was an undergrad at UNC Greensboro, the first or second week of school, almost every student organization had a tent set up on College Ave. to get information out to new and current students.  For the entire week, each group was outside from about 11 am – 4 pm encouraging students to get involved.

Change is good and if student organizations want to boost their organization’s numbers or just have more of a presence on campus then maybe some of them need to change the way they approach their marketing strategies.  If organizations stay static and don’t embrace change or technology, then they might not get get very far.


  1. Kelly Yost said,

    I noticed that this blog is a requirement for your public relations class. I am also replying to this blog for my public relations class. Surprisingly, this was all very interesting. My roommate was in college dems last semester and they are really a huge and very dedicated organization. When election day came this year they promoted Barack Obama like crazy! I saw his face everywhere on campus. Also, in the weeks prior I was really struck by the number of people who asked me if I was registered to vote.

    This is relating to one of your other posts but campus organizations do really need to promote using flyers, facebook, myspace, chalking etc. There are so many things to do on this campus and so few get involved. I coach Kent State Women’s Rugby and we work REALLY hard to get our name out there. PR is a big part of any organization that is trying to grow. The internet is a powerful place, and a great place to start. Kudos to you! This is all very interesting.

  2. Alicia Verbic said,

    I am so excited about the change that is soon to come. I think change is great and is always needed. What I really found interesting and great is that many democratic students were very involved with Obama’s campaign. It was very apparent that students want to have a voice and be heard. Which is great. We are going to be the up and coming new leaders and it is very important that we get involved with our world today if we want to make an impact and be leaders. PR is very important and there are so many different ways to get the word across. In my PR class we had to speakers come in and stress the importance of voting and how Kent State students can make a change, I recieved messages on Myspace, walking by the Student Center sidewalks there were messages that caught my attention. I really thought it was great how Barack Obama’s campaign went as far as to sending text messages to reach young adults. Currently today I feel that if you need to get a message across text messaging is a great way. I know wheni recieve a forward message I go ahead and forward it to many people in my phone book. Overall I am impressed by the effort that was stressed, and looking forward to 2009!!!

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