One of the reasons I love college students is because of their energy and general enthusiasm to change the world — through pie-throwing, if necessary.
One of the reasons I love social media is because I can share this exuberance and good-natured antics with the world. Instantly.
Students: Want to cream your RA’s? You can today! Whip cream throwing stations will be set up for today’s Club Friday at 3:00 p.m. in the University Center Commons. You can purchase a plate of whip cream for a lucky RA. Cost is $1 and proceeds will go to benefit Kids Against Hunger! Let’s see who has the best aim!
This simple post on Mount Mercy’s Facebook page landed us not only on the evening news of our local TV station, but also in the local paper the next day (two color photos. Cha-ching)
An alert journalist saw this post and took it as an opportunity to get some footage. In hindsight, it should have been obvious to me that this would have been something of interest to them. It carried all the elements that their cameras are drawn to.
1) Interactive and visual
2) Out of the ordinary campus event
3) For a cause
I didn’t even have to formally pitch this event because they came on their own. Post, and they will come. And what can we learn from this little experience?
1) Social media can be used to share a message with an audience AND convey a brand identity to a larger listening base. Case in point, students were alerted to a fun event on campus, and the Cedar Rapids community got to enjoy highlights of a service-oriented project
2) Social media is routinely used as a resource for journalists looking for unique story ideas that include all the pertinent details – when, where, why, how
3) After the event, it allows you to share the message again with your audience. Thanks to the coverage we earned from the local media, the Mount Mercy page was able to share coverage again with our fans
And of course, capture our own great photos and video.
The RA’s who allowed themselves to be creamed for charity were good sports. Nice job, guys!