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St. Lawrence College’s take on the Selfie

2014-11-28

The spirit of giving is alive and well at St. Lawrence College through our Selfie and Random Act of Kindness contest.

For each of the past two years, we have launched three social media contests encouraging our students and staff to tell us what they love most about SLC. Each contest, which ran approximately 8 month’s apart, built on the success of the last, and challenged students to tweet, post and instagram their love for SLC. The campaigns were not only successful, but also directly contributed to the creation of our marketing collateral. For example, tweets from the first contest were used to create a brand video as well as our television campaign.  Instagram pictures taken from the second chapter of the #MySLC campaign were used to create a giant mural, a copy of which now resides in each of our three campuses.

This time we wanted to go bigger.

To reward students and staff for all their tweets, posts and feedback, we devised a “selfie contest” to encourage submissions of selfies taken in class, at their favourite locations, and with their friends and colleagues.

“One of our primary goals was to engage with our students and staff where we know they are - on social media,” said Kelly Wiley, Marketing Director for St. Lawrence College. “We also wanted to create engaging content on our Twitter and Instagram sites that would also reach our prospective students who we know are looking online for information not only about our College programs, but student life as well.  We know that the student life aspect is as important to their decision making process as the program they are selecting.” 

The College worked with brand marketing experts at Brand Heroes to develop the concept and creative. The results of the promotion were astounding. Over a three-week period, our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook lit up with positive messages, smiling faces and inspirational thoughts which created a warm atmosphere college-wide. The “oh I should take a selfie”, became a commonly heard statement. We saw classmates and colleagues not only post, but share and like the various photos and messages resulting in a bonding experience.

Each week, from the selections we received, we held random draws for gift cards. From all submissions, we organized a special prize at each campus where we offered a Random Act of Kindness and surprised our winner with an extraordinary twist on their day.  We sent a camera crew to video tape each random act of kindness. The video was then edited and posted on YouTube within 48 hours, adding to the real-time nature of the experience.  

We started off in Kingston where our President and CEO, Glenn Vollebregt, met with a few partners-in-crime to surprise our first winner Chantal Lauzon. She was treated to a sit-down catered lunch with President Glenn, and Andrew Oosterman, Manager Student Affairs, in addition to a bag full of treats and swag. The week-one re-cap video can be viewed at http://youtu.be/XZIlcD397hY

Week two, we surprised Elizabeth Avery in her Choral class at the Brockville campus. President Glenn, along with Dean Doug Roughton, greeted her armed with a bag of treats and swag, and capped if off with her entire class breaking for breakfast sandwiches, coffee, juice and treats. Her professors Chris Coyer and Janet Venn-Jackson were aware of the covert operation and assisted with the classroom surprise. The Music Performance students were so pleased that they showed their appreciation by belting out a song for us. The week-two re-cap video can be viewed at http://youtu.be/sUpmbyewwsU 

Our final week, we surprised staff member and hockey coach, Mike Pettinella, who tweeted many selfies, several which included his hockey team. This mission included his co-coach, Sean Boulerice, who messaged the hockey team to be part of the surprise. Mike thought he was being interviewed, but instead we arranged for lunch for him, his team, other participants in the contest and any students that wanted to stop by, with participating students receiving chocolates and flowers. The week-three re-cap video can be viewed at http://youtu.be/ODmC3x5HJG8

“During this season of giving, we accomplished our goal of brightening days, and giving back to the students and staff who are the heart of this college. We work hard on a daily basis, and taking a few moments out of our day to share our thoughts and photos, was a wonderful experience” said Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO of St. Lawrence College, an avid tweeter and frequent selfie taker. “We don’t want the dialogue or the special feeling the contest delivered to stop, so stay tuned for future plans.”

Our wrap up video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV6V76nOqUw 

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About St. Lawrence College

With three friendly campuses in Brockville, Cornwall, and Kingston, St. Lawrence College is an integral part of the economic life and social fabric of Eastern Ontario with a close-knit community of 7,000 full-time students, and more than 80,000 proud alumni. Hundreds are also enrolled in our online and continuing education courses each year. As part of our ongoing sustainability initiatives, the College boasts more than 1,600 rooftop solar modules on our Kingston and Brockville campuses, the largest solar roof-top installation of any post-secondary institution in Canada. The college has many Applied Research projects in progress, as well, our Corporate Learning and Performance Improvement group has helped more than 350 organizations grow and prosper. Through our Employment Service offices we work with thousands of clients annually

Kris Ward
Communications Officer
Marketing & Communications
St. Lawrence College
kward@sl.on.ca
www.stlawrencecollege.ca
Brockville: 613-345-0660 ext. 2183
Cornwall 613-933-6080 ext. 2183
Kingston 613-544-5400 ext. 2183
Cell: 613-330-2482