Members of Michigan State University’s Communications and Brand Strategy office embarked on the Great State Road Trip this summer to see how Spartans make Michigan a place of opportunity, innovation, and prosperity.
“The Great State Road Trip was a social first, real-time campaign to really get at the impact Michigan State University has here in Michigan,” says team member Jennifer Orlando. “And we wanted to share pride-worthy content with Spartans.”
With all that MSU does around the state, it was difficult for the team to pare down the list of places to visit to just 8. The team took an up-close look at MSU impact in East Lansing, Detroit, Traverse City, Flint, Hammond Bay, the Upper Peninsula, and Holland.
Ellen Doepke handled the social media interaction that played a big role in allowing Spartans to come along on the trip in real time.
“Without social media I don’t think we could have had the same feel to the road trip,” says Doepke. “I think and I hope that people felt like they were on the road trip with us because they were following along in real time. It seemed to work; we got a great reaction from people.”
Doepke found that the trip helped to enhance the MSU brand in the social world.
“This project really showed us how effective it is when you customize content for each platform. Anytime we can put strong branding on things, like the Spartan helmet, and make it easy for people to know as they’re scrolling through their news feeds that a piece of content is MSU, that works wonders.
“You don’t want to make them work too hard as they’re scrolling through their news feeds and they’re looking through hundreds of pieces of content every day. The more we can label things in a really obvious way that they’re MSU, I think the more people are going to engage with them.”
Even though Orlando is an MSU alumna and works in communications at the university, she says the trip elevated her pride in MSU.
“I was blown away by how passionate our Spartans are. I was just amazed by the impact we have on our state.”
“I didn’t go to MSU; I’m a happily adopted Spartan,” adds Doepke. “You hear the term ‘Spartan Nation’ and it is real. It was incredible for me to see in real life that Spartans are everywhere, and they’re making a difference everywhere.”
Take a ride on the Great State Road Trip at msu.edu/roadtrip.
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