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We’ve won a major award

Beth Fox

It's fra-gee-lay

No, it’s not a leg lamp, but it’s the next best thing: The Tennessee College Public Relations Association honored us with an award for one of our social media campaigns!

More than 220 entries were submitted by universities and colleges across the state for the annual competition, which was judged by advertising, marketing and public relations professionals not affiliated with any particular school.

In the category of Social Media, we received a bronze for “Commencement 2013” – a collection of Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram photos and YouTube videos that used the hashtag #VU2013.

The campaign was for Commencement 2013 and the events surrounding it (May 8-10, 2013). We used  #VU2013 for every tweet, photo, Facebook post and video that we sent related to Commencement, and encouraged all of our students and their families to do the same.

We created the campaign with a few goals in mind:

  • We wanted to create awareness of the events
  • We wanted to build excitement for Commencement
  • We wanted to create a sense of community for those involved in Commencement (students and their families)

Senior Day speaker Toni Morrison and Chancellor Nick Zeppos

We started sharing #VU2013 related content weeks before Commencement, via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We used the tag to promote Commencement-related events, to inform people of weather-related changes to the schedule, and to share articles about some of our outstanding seniors.

When other people shared their content using #VU2013, we would retweet, repost on Instagram or like on Facebook; their friends would see that activity and be encouraged to share using the hashtag as well. We soon found that the more we shared other people’s content, the more content we had to share.

We gathered all of the content – Instagram photos, tweets, Facebook posts, vines, videos, Flickr photos and more – in one place, and shared that site. Graduates and their families could share the big day among themselves and with loved ones who couldn’t be there in person, and they could quickly and easily see what their friends were sharing.

Result: There were approximately 200 Commencement-related selfies, tweets and posts shared on various social media platforms. We provided an outlet for students to share their excitement, and created a sense of community around the event. By retweeting, liking and reposting their images and tweets, and by curating all of the #VU2013 content in one place, we encouraged even more people to share with us.

The campaign was a success – and now it’s been deemed officially successful. Thanks, TCPRA!

Congratulations to our Vanderbilt colleagues who were also honored by the TCPRA this year.

 


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