The expert advice to answer your most pressing questions. This month, Jennifer Seris, strategic communications manager at the University of Missouri, shares advice on marketing.
What does a typical day look like for you?
JS: I would like to have a typical day. I think it is a mix of having those production cycles with the magazine every semester and that process takes us the last half of each semester. We go from preparing for the start of the new semester with all of our graphic materials, photoshoots and orchestrating all of that. Then as soon as all of that is underway, making sure the website is up to date, external promotions, making sure we have an active presence online consistently, and then midway through the semester we start the magazine again. It is more cyclical rather than routine, depending on what time of the year it is.
What is an example of one marketing project you worked on recently that was a success?
JS: We just filled our videographer position over the summer, so getting to integrate that into our materials has been fun. One of the cool things we have done this semester is we did a timelapse of a microdermabrasion service in ZouLife. Part of our challenge, especially for our audience, is you have these services that they might not be aware of as 18 and 19-year-old students who haven’t looked into some of these things. They don’t know all the services they can have on campus. So trying to give that behind-the-scenes look at what happens when you get a facial, showing it is not scary or super fancy, but it is fun, healthy and approachable because you have seen the video.
What is one of the biggest challenges with marketing in campus recreation?
JS: I think just staying on top of everything. You have so many different audiences that you are trying to promote to at all times. Our intramural sports audience isn’t always the same as our fitness program audience, and that isn’t always the same as our facility users. You have the people who use the weight room all the time and then you have the people who just use the Grotto to study and don’t ever workout here. You have so many different groups of people on campus that you can’t reach everyone in the same way. Just keeping tabs on making sure that we have enough relevant content, and you are addressing all of those people, rather than isolating anyone.
What advice would you give to other campus recreation departments that might want to enhance their marketing?
JS: It is a balance of things. You have to take ownership over the brand and take pride in it. Everything should come through one channel and be on brand so that the people who are being communicated with know exactly where that message is coming from and that it is consistent with your entire brand. Take ownership over it, be consistent, but have fun with it.