‘We must protect this mouse’
You may have caught sight of a mouse in the University Union before it scurried away.
Now that mouse is the friendly face of the Department of Student Activities, as they bring their office buddy to life in their new marketing plan.
Sam, the name of the mouse who is named after Student Activities Marketing, is the face of a new movement using social media in new and creative ways.
“We wanted to use Sam as kind of a friend to the other students on campus,” Student Activities Marketing Assistant Kim Ciurlino said. “So he can tag other students in pictures and invite them to events on campus through Facebook.”
While Student Activities has its own Facebook page, the marketed mouse has a profile under the name “Sam TU” and posts videos and photos of events around campus.
Ciurlino said she directs a team of 10 students who are part of the marketing team: three bloggers, a videographer, three marketing assistants, one of which doubles as a graphic designer, another graphic designer and a Web Master.
Along with the Facebook account, Sam has a YouTube channel where he will posts his playlists every Monday for “Music Monday” and a blog that will be updated weekly.
“It was something that we’ve been talking about for a while,” Ciurlino said. “My boss, Dirron Allen, had wanted to get Student Activities a bigger presence in our office and we just wanted to give it more of a student voice as opposed to just the professional staff offering stuff to the students. We felt that if students were explaining the events that our office does from their point of view the other students would be more interested.”
Sam’s weekly blog will be in the form of a “Day in the Life,” and will post things that occur in the office behind the scenes, Ciurlino said.
The first of Sam’s blog posts went live Friday, Oct. 5, and shared an introduction of Sam, a Mouse Communications major, and the other new bloggers who post about events.
“I’m kind of the voice of Sam. I help Sam communicate what Sam wants to say,” Student Activities blogger Cori Caskey said. “In addition to the behind the scenes we’re looking to do more stuff to engage the students, kind of fun things about the campus and the school that might catch people’s interests.”
By the end of October, Ciurlino said she is hoping to have all aspects of the design elements finished and have increased traffic to Sam’s WordPress site and Facebook page.
Coverage and blog posts will include the leadership and community service events that the Student Activities office holds, but will also feature Campus Activities Board and University Residence Government events.
“For the beginning we’re trying to just have students understand what our office does and the events that we do every year, every semester … and then hopefully as it picks up we’ll branch out,” she said.