It my utmost honor to serve as the Public Relations chair for one of the newest clubs on campus, The Samford Runners. Our mission is to encourage healthy living and promote physical fitness through running and walking. There are several steps involved in promoting this exciting new organization.
The first thing that needs to be accomplished is formative research. This includes analyzing the situation, the organization, and the publics. I would start by talking to a variety of students and faculty on Samford’s campus. I would also gather information from the Cross Country Team, the track team, trainers, and coaches. An easy way to get runners involved would be to hand out a survey at the guard gate next to the running trials on Lakeshore Drive. Through these different types of research I could gather an adequate amount of opinions on running and walking as forms of physical fitness. Using this information would be helpful determining who is exercising, why they’re running, and what time is most common for the public to workout.
“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'”
– Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian and sub-2:12 marathoner
Creating a Buzz
Spreading the news of this new club can be done in a wide variety of ways, but i would start by using the diffusion theory to reach the students on campus. It is important to maintain an “open-system” approach in order to hear what the public wants and effectively reach them. Here are 3 creative ways to make Samford’s campus aware of the benefits of running & encourage students to participate in The Samford Runners:
- Print out flyers for The Samford Runners and put them up on all areas of campus. (be sure to make them appealing & easy to read)
- Put an add in the Crimson or get a journalism student to write a story highlighting our mission.
- Host an awareness even on a sunny afternoon in Ben Brown Plaza. Use a team of Samford Runners to wear matching T-shirts & promote the club. This even should be welcoming & open to whoever is interested.
These simple steps will allow The Samford Runners to increase their members & raise awareness of their cause. Communication is key in the success of any organization. So who’s down for a run?!