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Communications and Public Affairs

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Partnership Spotlight: College of Education

Communications and Public Affairs is a vital resource for academic and administrative units. We collaborate with these units to craft and amplify key messages, unifying the university's stories for an ever-growing audience. A recent example is a social media campaign around the national Teacher Appreciation Week, which led into May commencement.

The Opportunity: Teacher Appreciation Week

South Carolina, like much of the country, is challenged by a severe teacher shortage, high turnover within the education profession and students who are underserved. The College of Education is addressing these problems through teacher recruitment and retention, by preparing students and by providing professional development and support to alumni. On    May 1, nearly 10,000 teachers and advocates rallied at the State House for better pay, greater funding and mental health services, and smaller class sizes. National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10, provided the university an excellent opportunity to share with key audiences how the College of Education is answering the teacher shortage and fulfilling its leadership role.

 

The Deliverables

  • Facebook ad image

    Facebook Ads

    Ads on Facebook, like the ones above, focused on how South Carolina produces more educators than any other institution in the state, and that the majority of our graduates stay in the state to teach and lead schools.

  • Twitter ad image

    Twitter Ads

    Twitter ads focused on how South Caorlina is committed to recruiting, educating and retaining the best teaching talent in the state and thanking our alumni for improving the lives of students every day.

  • Instagram ad image

    Instagram Ads

    On Instagram, ads pointed out that South Carolina boasts more than 33,000 education alumni, impacting tens of thousands of students around the state, and used first-person testimony to show that educators get to do what they love while serving others.

 

The Results

  • The posts resulted in excellent engagement and were further bolstered by social media posts/graphics that honored district-level Teacher of the Year recipients (alumni) and the announcement of the S.C. Teacher of the Year (also an alumna).
  • Facebook: increased post reach by 85 percent; increased post engagement by 115 percent; increased new followers by 103 percent
  • Twitter: impressions hit 110,000 for the week (college averages 65,000 monthly); added 34 new followers; post/graphic featuring Dean Jon Pederson's quote earned 17,344 impressions and 290 engagements
  • Instagram account launched May 6; posts led directly to 69 new followers

 

The Approach

The Office of Communications and Public Affairs worked with the College of Education to create a series of 10 social media posts as part of a weeklong campaign that ran during the observance week and culminated on commencement. The campaign featured two posts daily on the college’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, was used to launch the college’s Instagram and was amplified on @UofSC accounts. All the posts demonstrated how the college is addressing the teacher shortage and delivering on the university’s core value proposition:

The University of South Carolina is serving as a home for individuals who challenge themselves and each other to go beyond what is expected so that, collectively, we are a force multiplier in advancing the world.

Each day, two social media posts reflected the spirit of a different brand personality trait: committed, welcoming, optimistic, confident and trustworthy. The first post featured a benefits-driven message that reflected college messaging and the university’s brand platform. The second post featured a quote from a student or graduate, driving the message home in an authentic and personal way. All photos in the accompanying graphics conveyed the message and trait visually. The college used a modest budget to boost five of the posts.


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