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Zenith Award submission Public Relations Campaign Email: Henderso@uwosh.

edu Phone: 920-424-1105 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Date of Graduation: May 2014 Submitted by: Ashley Brown Chris Bucher Alyssa Chase Mandy Felle Josh Knuteson Katie Neumann Carly Roiniotis Sara Stein

Submission Background Essay The Advance-Titan is the student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and has seen a decline in readership over the past several years. In fall 2013, research found fewer than half of students knew of the paper. In a poll conducted in the weeks prior to our campaign, we discovered only 39 percent of students indicated they knew of the paper. Our team decided to conduct a public relations campaign and event to raise overall awareness of the Advance-Titan. The goal of our campaign was to raise student awareness of the Advance-Titan by 20 percent by March 17. To do so, we held an event, partnering with the Oshkosh Public Library and sponsored by the Advance-Titan, Books For Bingo, in an effort to get students to positively connect with the newspaper. To promote the event, we used various forms of promotion, such as posters, classroom announcements, information tables and social media. For our bingo event, students were encouraged to bring books to donate to the Oshkosh Public Library in exchange for extra bingo cards and door prize tickets. We asked businesses to donate prizes, and were able to give away 40 bingo prizes exclusively from sponsors, from merchandise to gift cards. Additionally, we held a drawing for a $75 “Study Break Box” gift basket, a 100-wing party, and a Kindle Fire. Sixty-four students attended the event, and together donated 425 books to the library. In our post-event research, 50 percent of students indicated they knew of the Advance-Titan. While we fell short of our goal of a 20 percent increase in awareness, we still saw an increase of 11 percent.

Appendices Appendix A—Background/Situation Analysis Appendix B—Audiences Appendix C—Research Appendix D/E—Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Tactics Appendix F—Evaluation Appendix G—Supplemental Materials (Tactics, budget, timeline, pictures)

Appendix A: Background and Situation Analysis The student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the AdvanceTitan (A-T), is one of the main sources of news for on-campus happenings. The weekly paper has been published since 1892. The newspaper includes articles about campus news, sports, opinion pieces, and upcoming events. The entire paper is written and edited by Oshkosh students. The A-T currently has 13 editors and managers, and between 2030 employees who are writers, copy editors, photographers, and ad sales representatives. The Advance-Titan is free to all students on campus. Currently, 2,000 newspapers are distributed every Thursday at various locations on campus including residence halls, academic buildings and the library. The A-T recently updated its website to offer additional content than what is shown in the weekly hard-copy edition. The newspaper has a Facebook page and a Twitter handle to deliver news and engage with students through social media. The main problem for the A-T is that the weekly readership has decreased throughout recent years, which has caused the number of newspapers distributed each week to be cut in half (from 4,000 per week down to 2,000 per week). After our initial research, we discovered that more than 50 percent of the students had never read a story in the A-T. We decided that the best way to spread the awareness and attempt to increase the readership of the newspaper would be through a public relations campaign and event. Our decision was to hold a bingo event where we asked people to donate books in exchange for bingo cards. The name of the event was “Books For Bingo” and the books that were collected were donated to the Oshkosh Public Library to be sold through its “Friends of the Library” program. The program helps pay for new book purchases,

library events, and new library technology. We felt this was a great way to help spread awareness of the A-T on campus, while also doing something to give back and benefit the Oshkosh community. SWOT Analysis

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Appendix B—Audience When deciding on an audience for our program, we determined to focus on the campus. We chose the faculty, staff, and students at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. We picked these groups because of the reach that we have on campus. The Advance-Titan reaches mainly campus, because it is a campus newspaper. The newspaper is printed and distributed within campus, so we decided to center in on those parameters. Our main focus was the students, specifically the underclassmen, because they will be here to read it and have input for years. We also focused on the staff and faculty, because they are also on campus for many years, and they can have input with the students in their class. We also selected this audience because they were to whom we directed our research. When we made our goal, we used information from a poll on a campus website, which eliminated the possibility of utilizing the community. We wouldn’t be able to directly gauge how our program affected the community.

Appendix C #1: Survey The primary source of research was from a 30-question online survey that was hosted through Questions in the survey were based on media behavior(s) and included twelve yes/no, six ranking systems, five behavioral, five demographic, three check boxes, three opinion and one true/false question(s). We e-mailed the survey link through a number of different sources. One was an e-mail list consisting of a random sample of 900 addresses of all UW-Oshkosh students. Other sources included current and pre-business school students, an Advanced Composition class of 35 people and the link was posted on each of our group members (five persons) Facebook pages. The survey opened on Oct. 30, 2013 and closed on Nov. 14, 2013, for a total of 16 days. #2: Focus Group The focus group was conducted on Nov. 8, 2013 on the UW-Oshkosh campus in Sage Hall. Through social media and on-campus connections 13 participants were gathered. The 13 participants met within a confined room with one mediator and three observers on the opposite side of the glass. Recommendations were asked a series of questions ranging from media usage to awareness of the campus publication, the A-T, in hopes of capturing their views on the subject matter.

#3: Observations Each member of the research squad spent time ranging from one to three hours observing the student community’s interaction with A-T distribution stations. Observations took place in the first (lobby area) and third floor (lounge area) of Sage Hall, the lobby area of Reeve Memorial Union, the first floor of Polk Library and the first floor of Gruenhagen Conference

Center. Each member’s observations took place on Thursday, November 14 when the newest issue of the Advance-Titan was released. #4: Poll We conducted a pre and post-event poll through UWO Portal to see if students had heard of the A-T. Before the event, 39 percent of the students had heard of the A-T and after the event, 50 percent of the students had heard of it. Analysis Demographically, our study was very similar to the actual population we were surveying - UW Oshkosh students. The gender distribution showed a male-female ratio of 39.1 to 59.2 percent. The female distribution (103 respondents) was within .7-percent of the actual distribution for females who attend UW-Oshkosh (58.5 percent). The male distribution (68 respondents) was within 2.4-percent of the actual distribution for males (41.5 percent). The representative sample amplifies the accuracy of our findings. The data showed that 47.6 percent of people generally have low interest in campus happenings. Our study doesn’t address this; however, the sway of low interest could mean students have low amounts of school spirit and aren’t big fans of campus-hosted events. This doesn’t mean the students don’t care about events happening directly off campus such as parties, concerts, etc. but rather it could illustrate that they don’t like campus-specific programs such as programs from the UWO Student Union and other departments--which generally have a low turnout. The data showed that people don’t read printed publications located for free on campus 61 to 95 percent of the time, determined by the publication. However, despite the high percentage of non-readers, 22.2 percent of people said they read the A-T once a month and 13.5

percent said they read it once a week. Looking at the survey population, we determined those numbers are roughly 2,886 reading once a month and 1,755 once a week. The other top publications were the New York Times and USA Today, both available on campus for free. Respondents indicated that the Internet is their preferred way to get news. 88.6 percent get their campus news online, 51.8 percent get local news online and 66.9 percent get national news online. Also, respondents get their news on their computer 58.8 percent of the time and they get their news on their mobile device 37.1 percent of the time. Half of the respondents said they have never read an A-T story. Also, 36.3 percent of people had never heard of the publication. These results indicate an awareness problem. The top five places the respondents said they pick up a copy of the A-T are: Sage Hall (51.1 percent), Reeve Memorial Union (40.9 percent), Residence Halls (23.9 percent), Polk Library (20.5 percent) and the Art and Communication building (11.4 percent). These spots are expected to have the most A-T pick-ups due to their highest traffic areas on campus. The top ranking social media platforms people like across the nation were accurate with our sample. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube were ranked on top. Despite the hype of social media in our culture, the percentage of people using social media to engage with the A-T is very low. Our survey said that 6.7 percent of UW-Oshkosh students follow the A-T on Twitter, roughly 897 people, which proved to be quite accurate because their current following is 849 people. The general consensus was that there is a low number of people who have invested time in the A-T’s social media, with all platform results hovering around 6 percent. The “UWO Today” smartphone application is not helping the A-T get publicity. With 81.4 percent of respondents owning a smartphone and 41.4 percent of those smartphone users possessing a news application, only 11.7 percent of smartphone users have downloaded the

“UWO Today” application. Furthermore, 3.1 percent of people with the application downloaded the A-T on it - roughly 38 of the 10,582 people owning smartphones on campus. The crosstab results show a variety of different results, all of which point to lack of A-T readership on campus; however, most of the readership the A-T does have tends to come from upperclassmen. Out of the 175 people who answered the questions “Have you read a story in the Advance-Titan?” and “What do you consider yourself?” 26 percent of the respondents who answered “yes” were of junior standing or higher. Only nine percent of freshmen and sophomores answered, “yes” to reading the A-T. Out of all respondents, 51 percent said “no” to having ever read a story in the A-T. With the crosstab comparing the questions “How often do you read the A-T?” and “Where do you live?”, the tendency that readership is increased among upperclassmen is reflected once again. Of the 151 people in the crosstab, 37 percent of students who said they live off campus also said they read the A-T at least once a semester, with the majority having read a story at least once a month or once a semester. This reflects the readership among upperclassmen readers because most students who live off campus in Oshkosh tend to be older students living in off-campus housing or apartments. Another crosstab that we ran compares the questions “How often do you read a story in the Advance-Titan?” and “Have you ever read a story in the Advance-Titan?” Of the 152 students who answered the question, 52 percent said they read the A-T at least once a semester. If we generalize this percentage to the entire UW-Oshkosh campus, we can assume that over half of the campus reads the A-T at least once a semester. When looking at the use of the “UWO Today” mobile app and A-T readership on the application, we found that very few students even have the application. Of the 140 people who

said they own a smartphone, only 20 said they have the app on their phone. Of the 20 people who said they have the application, only three said they have read the A-T on the application. This means that barely anyone on campus has been reading the A-T through the “UWO Today” application. Our focus group results reinforced the survey findings. Almost half of the focus group participants were not A-T readers. The participants who were not A-T readers either didn’t think the content resonated with their lives or they were unaware of where to get a print copy or that a website existed. We discovered in the focus group that news about events around Oshkosh and a section about campus crime were the most exciting topics to read about. It was agreed by a majority of the focus group participants that if easier methods of obtaining an A-T were present, they would read the newspaper if they found the content interesting. During the five observation periods in different distribution areas ranging from one to three hours, fewer than 10 copies of the A-T were picked up and read. It’s clear that placement is an issue because a majority of observed individuals simply don’t seem to notice the stack of A-T newspapers.

Research The research question was, “what is the awareness of the Advance-Titan newspaper at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh?” Four different methods were used to gather the data: a survey, a focus group, observations and a poll. The results from our observation of the A-T’s distribution areas pointed to an awareness problem, poor placement and lack of interest due to poor placement. Half of the focus group participants were not A-T readers, and reasons ranged from not knowing where to pick up a print copy, they weren’t interested in the content or they didn’t know a website or mobile application existed. The survey provided statistics on how many students were aware of the A-T, which were very low. From this research, we concluded we needed to focus on awareness of the A-T among UW Oshkosh students.

Appendices D/E—Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Tactics Action After the research phase, we developed the goal of the campaign: To raise the awareness level of the Advance-Titan around campus. In order to accomplish our goal, we laid out a realistic objective: To raise the awareness level of the A-T by 20 percent by March 17, 2014. To achieve the objective, we came up with a number of strategies and tactics: Strategy #1: ! To notify the younger demographic (18-20 years old) of the event. Previous research showed underclassmen were the largest group of students unaware of the A-T. Therefore, they were important to target. Tactics: 1. Targeted residence halls, where students are required to stay for their first two years of school, by notifying community advisors (CA’s) of the event. Students were encouraged by CA’s to bring books and attend Books for Bingo. 2. Distributed one poster to each dormitory (10 dorms) to be hung in each hall’s lobby. Strategy #2: ! Because of our target audience’s large presence on the internet, our second strategy was to influence them through social media.

Tactics: 1. A Facebook event was created and updated regularly to give more details about Books for Bingo. In order for us to give students a bigger incentive to attend, we

offered a prize that was raffled off to those that RSVP’d on Facebook. 2. A Twitter handle (@BooksForBingo) and hashtag (#BooksForBingo) were created to gain followers. 3. Three viral YouTube videos were filmed and posted throughout the span of three weeks with a humorous edge to reach the target audience. Strategy #3: ! Raise the knowledge of Books for Bingo to the entire campus through print advertising. Tactics: 1. Designed multiple advertisements and posted them in all academic halls, as well as distributed them in various lecture halls around campus. 2. Advertisements were written on whiteboards that reached large audiences (100+ students). Strategy #4: ! Reach students through campus emails. Tactics: 1. Sent out a campus-wide email on the day of the event (approximate reach: 13,000 students). 2. Sent emails to students of the journalism department. These emails were sent out twice during the week of our event (March 10-13). Strategy #5: ! Meet students face-to-face and encourage them to attend the event. Tactics: 1. Members of our group made an announcement before classes urging other

students to support the A-T and come to the event. 2. Held an informative table at Reeve Memorial Union, where we gave students fliers of the event and free candy.

Promotional Items



Appendix F—Evaluation methods
Objective: To raise awareness of the Advance-Titan by 20 percent by March 17, 2014

Our main way of collecting data was through the UW Oshkosh Portal, a University-sponsored site where students can ask questions and interact with each other. We conducted a poll on the UW Oshkosh Portal from Feb. 5 to Feb. 14, which asked students if they had ever heard of the Advance-Titan, giving them the options of “yes” or “no.” In a poll of 191 students, 39 percent said they had heard of the AdvanceTitan. We held the same poll after our event, and the results indicated a positive change in overall awareness of the Advance-Titan, with 50 percent of the 111 respondents replying they had heard of the Advance-Titan. Our overall change in campus awareness of the Advance-Titan was 11 percent, but this was short of our objective of 20 percent.

Other methods of evaluation Additionally, we had event attendees fill out a sign-in sheet that asked if they had heard of the Advance-Titan, as well as how they heard about the event. This allowed us to evaluate which of our marketing efforts were most effective. Results from the sign-in sheets indicated 88 percent of the 64 attendees had heard of the Advance-Titan. This data helped us to determine word-of-mouth was our most successful form of advertising, as the chart below illustrates.

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Appendix G- Supplemental Materials Budget ! The Books for Bingo campaign started out without a budget because the Advance-Titan

student newspaper was so in debt that, if we were going to follow through with this campaign, we would have to do it without spending any money. That was the first obstacle we had to overcome. After talking with the Advance-Titan faculty advisor and the head of the journalism department, we convinced them that the journalism department should provide us with a $200 budget. ! Our team wanted to have free food at the event to encourage people to attend. In order to

have free food, we knew that we were going to need a larger budget. After doing some research, we decided to apply for the Pepsi Programming Allocations Fund. This fund assists organizations through sponsorship of social events and activities. We applied for this fund asking for a grant in order to run our event successfully. After meeting with the committee, we were granted $300. ! Our team booked our event at the Titan Underground ($23), which offered catering. We

purchased $150 worth of nachos (75 servings) and $27.50 worth of soda (47 cans). We received a donation of 100 cookies from Insomnia Cookies. We also purchased $56 worth of candy to hand out while promoting our event the week of and to have at each table during our event. ! We spent $35 on decorations in order for the Titan Underground to look festive and so

everyone was aware that this event was promoting the student newspaper. We also purchased shirts that came to a total of $75 so guests could clearly see who was working the event. Overall we spent a total of $459.50 in order to make Books for Bingo as successful as it was.

Item(s) Nachos Candy Soda Decorations Kindle Fire Rental of Venue T-shirts Total

Price $150.00 $56.00 $27.50 $35.00 $100.00 $23.00 $72.00 $459.50


We all agreed that the only way we were going to draw a large crowd to our event was to

have appealing prizes. The only prize we bought was a Kindle Fire. All the other prizes we had at our event were donated by local businesses. The donations we received are as follows: - Culver’s 2 scoop sundaes (6) - Planet Perk $5 gift card (5) - Oshkosh Lanes free bowling (20) - Oshkosh Lanes buy one get one bowling (20) - $1 off Cherry Berry coupons (20) - Culver’s 2 scoop sundaes (6) - Planet Perk $5 gift card (5) - Oshkosh Lanes free bowling - Glass Nickel $10 gift card - Mahoney’s $10 gift card (3) - Starbucks gift basket - Sun Seekers gift basket - Sport Clips free hair cut (6) - Under Armour $10 gift cards (3) - Gift basket from Candeo Creative ($75 value)


Feb. 3
PR campaign begins

Feb. 10
Final event decided

March 5 - 13
Executed tactics

March 19
Report completed





Feb. 5 - 10
Brainstormed for campaign

Feb. 10 - March 3
Planned event

March 13
Books for Bingo Event




The Advance-Titan Presents:

Brought to you by: The PR Campaigns Class

March 2014

425 Books Donated to the
Oshkosh Public Library!

64 UWO students attended!

Generous Donations, Insomnia Cookies and Door Prizes!

A Job Well Done!