Carolyn Koleszar on her Elon Writing Center marketing proposal for ENG 282: CUPID Studio

In a team of three, I worked on a marketing proposal for Elon’s Writing Center.  Paula Rosinski told us she wanted the Writing Center to appear up-to-date in order to attract clients with more advanced course loads.  She wanted witty posters, but “nothing cutesy,” I remember her saying.  “No puppies.”  She also warned us about an image of a hand holding a pen that gave her nightmares.  It appeared on a poster in the Writing Center years ago and bothered Paula because it wasn’t up-to-date.  A quill would have been worse; an iPad would have been better.

The first thing we did for our marketing plan was set out to find witty remarks to put on our posters.  We looked on the Internet for English jokes.  Surprisingly, most of the ones we found were bar jokes.  It crossed our mind to make that a theme, but something in us said we better not.  There had to be a balance between bar jokes and cutesy.  We struck it with our own comments, finding ourselves wittier than we had thought.  (There was one bar joke we kept: “The past, the present, and the future walk into a bar… It was tense.”  Too good not to share.)  We put our comments in white font on a black background to make them eye catching, especially to our upper class audience who don’t read every word of the posters they walk by in stairwells.

The social media of the Writing Center also needed a facelift.  All it had was a barely-used Twitter site and an AIM account.  I don’t know anyone who has used AIM since the fifth grade, and as a former Writing Center consultant, I know that the account doesn’t get much action.  Once I did get an IM while working; it was a grammar question.  That was the first time I had seen a message written without exclamation marks or emoticons on AIM.  It was also the last one I’ve seen at all.  With AIM on the verge of extinction, my team had to come up with other ways of making the Writing Center available online.

For the social media renovation, we first did some research to find out how other university Writing Centers are using social networks.  Believe it or not, we found some impressive sites from around the nation.  Texas A&M, for one, had very active Facebook and Twitter sites with pictures, quotes, advice, and announcements posted regularly.  It had plenty of subscribers.  People seemed to be excited about writing there.  Hoping to generate the same excitement at Elon, we used the A&M sites as the basis of our proposal for social media.  We listed all the kinds of updates to post – from famous authors’ birthdays to student poetry.  We suggested that consultants check in with the sites while they work like they formerly did with the AIM account.  It was certain that most of the consultants at least knew how to use Facebook.  We figured it would be easy to keep the sites going.

My team’s suggestions would update the Writing Center’s image on campus by making it appear more cutting edge.  More upper class students would be attracted to the center if our ads and media work the way they should.  Most importantly, the outdated image of a hand holding a pen will stop haunting Paula.  We hope she is pleased with our products and wish the Writing Center the best.


This entry was posted in Student Perspective, Student Profile. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.