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The same words, but rearranged differently. Then grilled.

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Final Project

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The Goal

 

The long term goal of this social media campaign is to boost ticket sales for West Coast Entertainment’s Best of Broadway Fall 2013 program among college millennials (described below), with secondary objectives of boosting awareness of West Coast Entertainment as a brand on social media.

So far, West Coast Entertainment has done an excellent job of engaging top Twitter media specialists in the Spokane area. This, plus strong relationships with local businesses both on and off social media, puts WCE in a prime position to gain more followers and strengthen brand identity in the Inland Northwest. However, West Coast Entertainment has some weaknesses. Faced with a dwindling audience, WCE has struggled to reach out to a younger demographic, with student rush tickets and increased broadcast advertising. And, while this has boosted ticket sales, WCE would greatly benefit from a more aggressive social media campaign that understands the needs and wants of college students.

 

Target: The College Millennial

 

Millennials are an elusive demographic, even for brands that assertively engage them on emerging social media. They can barely remember a time before the internet, their time is highly valuable to them, and they are allergic to sales language. They grew up using technology, have a fierce “I shared/posted it first” sense of online ego, and want to know more than anything, “what’s in it for me?”

To cater to this demographic, WCE needs to produce content that entertains, provides utility, provides rewards, supplies with useful information, or perhaps most importantly, grants recognition. With this in mind, a competition seems well suited towards drawing in new listeners and contributors on social media platforms.

 

The Plan: Broadway U

 

My initiative will overcome a perceived brand weakness (lack of  with a definite brand strength. In order to reach out to the next generation of Broadway supporters, I propose an initiative that will allow local college students to actively engage with WCE while vying for opportunities to win WCE swag and tickets to Broadway shows. The name of the campaign: “Broadway U.”

“Broadway U,” a play on the words “University” and “you” is a supplemental campaign to be conducted in concert with your current social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, including a series of contests to be executed two weeks prior to, and during, the Fall 2013 Broadway season. Contests will be announced on Mondays, with the winners being announced on Fridays. Throughout the week, WCE would promote one notable entry per day on social media (for example, a video entry submitted Tuesday night would be promoted on WCE’s Facebook page Wednesday morning).

In order to promote the contests, WCE could engage key media influencers on Twitter.  As an additional incentive, WCE swag and vouchers to local restaurants could be given as runner up prizes. This would not only boost readership among college students, but strengthen ties with businesses in the local community.

 

The Contests

 

Valid student id required to claim prizes.

Suggestions for Possible Contests:

 

  • Follow WCE as entry. Sample: “COLLEGE STUDENTS! Follow WCE during the next four days, and you will be entered into a drawing to win tickets to ‘Hello Dolly’,” etc.

  • “This week’s #BroadwayU: Send us a video of your best witch impression. Our fav gets tix to Wicked!”

    • (Psst. There’s swag for runners up, too. #BroadwayU

  • “Check in at [restaurant name] on 4square and tag #BroadwayU for a chance at free tickets to Wicked!”

  • “Send a pic of you belting it out at your college campus for this week’s chance to win tix to the #tentenors!”

  • “Confess: who’s your favorite nun of all time? Use #BroadwayU for a chance to win this week’s free tix! #sisteract”

  • “What’s your dream? Tweet us for a chance to win free tix to #AmericanIdiot (bonus points for pics) #BroadwayU”

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This is the part where I totally flip out

You have asked me to come up with my status report, as well as obstacles, challenges, and questions.

Well, I’m going to level with you. This is going to be the most challenging assignment I’ve ever tried to tackle. Grappling with the amount of reading I need to catch up on, plus the additional stresses from all of my other classes, has put me in somewhat of a pickle. I have learned how to use the tools at my disposal, such as Buffer, and Hootsuite, and Twittalyzer, and so on and so forth. But none of this information is making any sense to me yet.

I opened the XYZ Coffee Company sample media proposal, and it was like I was gazing at the exposed human brain. I have no idea where all this information is coming from. I’m going to show up on the final day, having done nothing and knowing nothing, and I’m going to be standing in front of the classroom looking like an ass. And I prefer to look like an ass from the back of the classroom.

I’m pulling my hair out about this. My current project isn’t anywhere close to 500 words even, which should be easy considering I’m a writer. I can put out a 700 word story in an hour if I need to, challenge accepted, no problem. But again, the project is too vague. Key contacts? What? Where am I going to find those? What if I use the wrong ones? Sorry if I haven’t been able to devote hours every week to monitoring Twitter and Facebook for WCE, but as far as I know, I wasn’t supposed to be doing that in the first place. Or was I? I just don’t know. It doesn’t feel like anything we have done in class has prepared us for what we need to do. Am I the only one?

All of this aside, I just need a checklist. Plain and simple. Is this for a one time promotion, like an event or a contest, or is it an entire year of things? Or is it just a code book of best use principles for how WCE should approach the web?

I feel like I’m going to get an awful grade in this class simply because I wasn’t given all the information I need. I’m not even sure if you know what you want from us, and if you do, please share!

I… I need to go lie down.

Writing for the Web

I’ve come up with a way to actively engage the student body in Spokane with regards to selling tickets. It’s similar to the Tweetseats initiative, in that we will utilize Twitter, but it’s also similar to a radio broadcast giveaway.

I propose that WCE set aside, say, 60 tickets from different Broadway shows, and post a trivia question every day for two months. Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is simple. A ticket a day, on orchestra level? You would bet that over the summer people would be checking the Twitter page frequently to try and be the first to respond. And if they’re tuning in frequently, they’re also seeing the bonus promotional material for the shows, whether they like it or not. I think this idea has a lot of potential. What do you think?

Order of Business

I was perusing the syllabus and flitting back and forth between different chapters in my reading, when I noticed something pretty glaring. It struck me like a stick of butter it was so simple.

There. Right there, at the beginning of the book, “Chapter 2 – Goals and Strategies”. I flipped to it quickly and I realized, holy hell, this is it. This is the lynch pin to all of my confused, backwards endeavors. Twitter, yes, blogging, fine, these are all useful skills, but this chapter, oh-ho, this chapter… It frames the whole process of just what it is we’re trying to do here. And then I became more confused…

Are we in the act of carrying out a social media strategy? It has all the hallmarks of one: distributed hashtags with our tickets… And for that matter, tickets in the first place. Are we participating in a strategy, or planning one? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that’s been my gripe from the beginning.

The fact that we were being told to plan a strategy, whilst being given very little direction, while at the same time being told to carry out someone else’s media strategy campaign, whilst being given a lot of direction.

 

Thoughts?

5 Reasons Why I Have No Idea What I’m Doing

In this class, we have been learning a lot about how to engage other users meaningfully. We’ve learned about the right way and the wrong way to tweet, we’ve learned about how to set up a WordPress account, and we’ve learned some basic video editing. All well and good. However, despite my best efforts, I still have no idea what I’m doing, or at least, I’m reluctant to do more than dip my toe into the world of reaching out online. Here are five reasons why.

1. Lack of Direction

I’m currently going to school to learn journalism. I like to go places, meet people and tell their stories, primarily because I feel like their stories are more interesting than my ho-hum life. I’ve been putting all of my time and energy into being a good journalist not because I want to sell myself, but because I’m a storyteller.

2. I Lack Expertise

It’s hard to write a blog post to the world wide web and hope that it becomes viral, because I feel like I don’t yet have valuable information to provide. I mean, I’m funny. I have a good sense of humor. But I don’t know if I have information that other people would classify as NTK. I don’t know that I have to add to the conversation.

3. This Final Project is Freaking Me Out

I’m probably stressing out too much over this, but it’s because I’m taking this class alongside Publicity & Public Relations, meaning I’m still trying to figure out what an offline PR campaign should look like, let alone an online PR initiative. It’s like, I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing in between class periods besides the reading and the blogs. I get the overwhelming feeling I’m missing something, and it’s making me anxious.

4. Fear

I’m caught in somewhat of a double-bind. Online, one is supposed to be up front and honest, but I worry many of my opinions will land me in hot water somewhere down the road. A journalist is supposed to be objective, and I’d hate to be ruled out for a job because of a cursory Google search. I fear that putting too much information out there too quickly will turn off potential employers, specifically because of the career I want to go into.

5. I’m Behind on the Reading

By about two chapters.

6. I Can’t Count

Wait, what?

Am I being crazy? Do people want to hear more from me? Should I quit whining? What should I tweet about? Let me hear from you in the comments below.

Smoking, Fossils, Journalism

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Last one, forever.

Right now I’m sitting in a basic earth sciences class, taught by a fossil. I can understand why they’d get him to teach the class, he was there when the earth was made. For Christ. Sakes. Fun story, and the first leg of my quit smoking journey, after the jump.

Read more…

Reflections

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Penny Arcade gets it.

I think the most important things I’ve learned from the course, I’ve learned about Twitter.

Twitter is an intimidating beast. On the one hand, there’s an immense amount of data being processed and syndicated every moment of every day, from celebrities, news outlets, individuals, and more. On the other hand, an individual’s contribution is limited to 140 characters. Without an understanding of what Twitter is, it seems like it would be difficult to be heard, let alone make an impact.

On Twitter, users are given 160 characters to describe themselves, and that’s it. Unlike Facebook, a user is defined by the conversations they engage in, not what they decide to post about themselves in their “About Me” section. Unless you know how to actively engage other users, people will know nothing about you, and they won’t be inclined to care. Twitter isn’t a network of people, it’s a network of conversations. People don’t search for other people on Twitter, they search for topics of interest (at least, if they want to participate in a conversation).

HootSuite and TweetDeck have been instrumental in helping me get involved in (and making sense of) all the data. WIth the rare exception, no one is going to make a splash on Twitter the day after they sign up. Knowing how to navigate through the conversation and understand what people care about is crucial to knowing how to engage with others meaningfully.

Let’s Get This Horse to Pull

“I was a talking horse before it was cool.” – Mr. Ed

I’ve decided, as you know, to do a PR strategy for WestCoast Entertainment’s “Best of Broadway” series of productions. I’m wild about this project, due in no small part that it involves a talking horse. But I’m already getting ahead of myself.

I’m going to develop a PR strategy aimed at college students from Gonzaga, Whitworth, and to a certain extent, Eastern Washington. The student rush tickets are already a huge boon to our cause, but I had a few ideas for generating buzz for the show beyond that.

The horse from WarHorse should have his own Twitter account and Facebook page. I have a feeling the Facebook presence will take a little longer to catch on, but if we can get this horse to say some very clever things, people will notice.

Additionally, WCE could leverage more than one of the many, many arts and culture blogs in Spokane, not to mention print publications. The Inlander should be on the top of WCEs publications to approach due to their high circulation among members of our target demographic. Student papers such as the Whitworthian would love to have behind-the-scenes looks at many of the upcoming productions.

If the horse ends up being incredibly popular, I could see him being an asset for the rest of the season. Different strategies may be required to reach other demographics, but I think this will be a clever way to generate some interest on campus. What do you think?

“What?” – Lucas…

“What?” – Lucas

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