web analytics
April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Strong Marketing Drives Success at UC Santa Cruz


Marketing and strategy

Visit http://israelcampusbeat.org for the latest Israel trends and events on campus.

You might not expect it, but the pro-Israel group at the University of California, Santa Cruz — a school with a decidedly liberal reputation — drew impressive numbers of attendees to its events throughout the past academic year. Approximately 150 people attended the Santa Cruz Israel Action Committee’s (SCIAC) big fall quarter event, a screening of the documentary film, U.N. Me. and the numbers remained impressive all the way through spring quarter.

SCIAC employed a strategy of publicizing its events widely. One of its final events of the year, a talk by the American-born Israeli entrepreneur Jonathan Medved, who was featured in the 2009 book Start-up Nation, drew 80 people. The event was cosponsored by the engineering department.

These numbers are impressive on their own, but SCIAC’s history casts them in a different light. The group’s events have not always been so popular.

“When I first joined, no one came to events,” said Lauren Kasner, a senior at UCSC and SCIAC vice president of programming who also serves as a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow.

During the summer of 2011, SCIAC members formed their first independent and fully functional student board, empowered by a unifying democratized decision-making process. Fortunately, this new SCIAC leadership realized the importance of good marketing, and the group focused on recruitment and event promotion, carefully strategizing to spread the word in ways that garner campus-wide attention.

“We realized that our outreach wasn’t very strong,” said senior Guy Herschmann, who is the StandWithUs Northern California campus coordinator. “So we decided to take a more proactive, visible approach.”

The shift in marketing has been no easy feat.

“We’ve had a lot of trouble publicizing SCIAC,” UCSC junior and SCIAC board chair Prescott Watson said. “We’re not a big group; our board is seven people, and we don’t have that many invested people coming to our general meetings. We’re dealing with a small group of people who are dedicated, and the rest of the campus is pretty apathetic.”

But this small group has poured tremendous thought and energy into tailoring their marketing tactics to the UCSC community.

“Our campus is really decentralized, so we have a hard time flyering,” Watson said.

To SCIAC members, this apparent roadblock is merely a logistical barrier that can be bypassed with thoughtful and innovative advertising tactics.

“We put a lot of effort into regular flyers and any means of advertising we can think of,” Kasner said. “We print big posters. We’re adamant about flyering bus stops multiple times a week. We put flyers all over libraries and classrooms and we make classroom announcements. We take a very ‘in-your-face,’ approach; you can’t really miss us.”

Herschmann also finds it helpful to take interest in individual underclassmen with high potential for interest and involvement in campus pro-Israel activities.

“I take them to coffee or lunch,” Herschmann said. “I don’t hesitate to call or text them. I don’t ask ‘if’,’ I ask ‘when.’”

To bolster attendance and support for the Medved lecture, SCIAC leaders turned to academic departments on their campus. After contacting various economics professors, the economics department, computer science professors and heads of development, SCIAC enlisted the Department of Engineering as event cosponsor.

“Cosponsoring the event with campus departments allowed us to draw out audiences that we never had before,” Herschmann said, “making the event all the more successful.”

Professors encouraged their students to attend the event, and some economics professors even offered extra credit, according to Herschmann.

“They want their students to learn from experts around the world—including Israel,” Herschmann said. “When you look at a country and how it’s transformed the world—you look at Israel, Israel is as good as it gets.”

In addition to aggressive marketing and cosponsorships, the SCIAC board members tap into a marketing aspect that no college student can resist: free food.

“We’ve been really lucky this year,” Kasner said. “We’ve been able to cater a lot of our events.”

SCIAC’s food-marketing strategy was especially effective in drawing attention to and bolstering attendance at the U.N. Me screening during fall quarter.

“I made sure that no one got falafel unless we got their name and email address and educated them about Israel, which we did with Israel pocket facts and StandWithUs brochures about Israel and the U.N.,” Herschmann said.

“The food was not really free,” Watson acknowledged. “People spent about 30 seconds talking to us about Israel and U.N. Me. It was really key to getting people in the door to the screening.”

Although the pre-U.N. Me event’s goal was to bring viewers to the documentary screening, SCIAC members felt that the food did more than merely put U.N. Me on the campus-wide radar.

“People had to walk away having talked to someone about SCIAC,” Watson said. “They walked away remembering SCIAC and remembering that we put on events on campus.”

SCIAC distributed a total of 225 falafel meals prior to U.N. Me, but that wasn’t the end of their food giveaways. The pro-Israel group also provided dinner at the screening, a tactic that, Herschmann claims, boosts attendance at any event.

“Food is a big deal,” Herschmann said. “It’s good for us and it’s good for the students; it helps them save a little bit of time. Hopefully, during that time, we can educate them about Israel.”

Indeed, it seems that the free food appealed to anyone with a mouth and a stomach, including students without passionate opinions about Israel. According to Herschmann, he’d never even seen most of the students who attended. Kasner estimated that about a quarter of the audience showed up for the food, a composition which works both for and against SCIAC’s goals.

“Sometimes it means that people aren’t there for the right reasons,” Kasner said. “But we get a lot of people at our events.”

Yet the opponents of Israel were certainly not absent from the U.N. Me screening either. Herschmann said that many of the new faces held anti-Israel views. Kasner estimated that they comprised ten percent of the audience.

“The U.N. Me screening definitely drew in some people that we wouldn’t have drawn in another way,” Kasner said.

The screening enhanced SCIAC membership and it served as a useful tool in Israel education and the dispersion of accurate information, according to Watson.

“Next time people see a report from the United Nations, they’ll think twice about it.”

Similarly, cosponsoring Medved’s talk with university departments allowed UCSC students to learn about Israel beyond the conflict.

“When Jon talked, people really listened,” Herschmann said. “He sparked a new interest within them about Israel’s economic interest.”

Herschmann feels that widespread, inclusive events like Medved’s talk and the U.N. Me screening were crucial to strengthening SCIAC during the 2011-12 school year, helping boost attendance at events and teach the greater campus community about the real Israel.

“By forming a cohesive board and working collaboratively to engage diverse campus communities, SCIAC successfully implemented dozens of programs that not only built important bridges between different campus groups, but aimed to provide a fair and balanced education to our peers about Israel’s countless accomplishments and challenges,” he concluded.

About the Author: Visit http://israelcampusbeat.org for the latest Israel trends and events on campus.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Strong Marketing Drives Success at UC Santa Cruz”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars
No Victory for V15 and Not Healthy ‘Healthy’ Snack Bars
Latest News Stories
Hebron terrorist arrested

The wannabe terrorist wanted to be arrested more than he actually wanted to stab the soldier.

Raising Star

Israeli workers raise a large Star of David (Magen David) onto the “Harp Bridge” at the entrance of Jerusalem on April 17, 2015, in honor of Israel’s upcoming Israel’s Memorial Day and the 67th Independence Day. Israel will mark its 67th Independence Day on April 22, 2015.

Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars

First thwarted at the Israeli polls, now V15 funder’s “healthy” bars are also losers.

Mrs. Golda Katz a"h

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

The EU wants to label Settler products. Liberman want to remind them of the last time they labeled Jews.

A pro-BDS professor at Sydney University may face disciplinary action over his conduct at lecture where anti-Israelis disrupted a speech by retired British Col. Richard Kemp, who has often praised  the IDF for its morality while fighting terror. The university issued a “show cause” letter to Prof. Jake Lynch, according to The Australian. Jewish students […]

Liberman is adamantly insisting on receiving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but Netanyahu wants Liberman to step back and take something else.

The teacher could face three years in jail for displaying Nazi symbols, which includes singing Nazi songs.

Ministerial distributions are starting to firm up, but Bennett reportedly has a new demand.

Egypt’s clampdown on tunnel has left Gazans without popular and addictive drug that helps them forget their misery.

“Our men, our women, our children all envision kidnapping your soldiers and settlers, wherever they are.”

12 Christian Africans ‘thrown overboard’ by Muslim African migrants

The rock under the mosaic floor that was damaged is the foundation where the two Holy Temples stood.

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry calls the Shoah “the most painful and horrific chapter in human history.”

Thousands paid their respects to Shalom Yochai Sherki, 25, who succumbed on Thursday morning to injuries he received when a car that slammed into a bus stop he was standing near.

The president was very politically correct on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.

More Articles from Molly Cornfield, Israel Campus Beat
Marketing and strategy

You might not expect it, but the pro-Israel group at the University of California, Santa Cruz — a school with a decidedly liberal reputation — drew impressive numbers of attendees to its events throughout the past academic year. Approximately 150 people attended the Santa Cruz Israel Action Committee’s big fall quarter event, a screening of the documentary film, U.N. Me.

El Al airplane

Imagine a different kind of Israel program. One that features a wide range of Israeli citizens sharing their own stories about Israel. And all of them work for the country’s national airline.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/on-campus/innovative-pro-israel-marketing-wins-at-uc-santa-cruz/2012/06/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: