Two Mercyhurst College communication students were part of a client project for the Strategic Communication II course, where they were assigned to work with companies to address problems they were having.
Seniors Matt Wallenhorst and Grig Grigoryan were assigned to the Erie Community Blood Bank to create a strategic communication plan to help them increase blood donations.
The project lasted through spring term with students being evaluated on their outcomes.
Additionally, they had to do an evaluation analysis and give a presentation to the instructor of the class, Meghan Corbin.
Director of the Community Blood Bank Dan Desrochers compared Wallenhorst and Grigoryan’s success and hard work "to that of a professional marketing department."
To develop the plan a couple of different strategies were used.
"When we were developing our strategies we tried to use things that worked and eliminate those that didn’t work," Grigoryan said.
"Essentially we added few more communication channels and tweaked the message to fit students. We designed one message for students and one for faculty," he added.
Wallenhorst said they used many different media to spread their message.
"Our strategy was to combine Facebook messaging, on-campus signs and posters and personal selling to try to get people to attend, then out of the people that came we had them fill out a survey discussing their donor experience," Wallenhorst said.
"We targeted new blood donor students, recurring blood donor students and faculty and staff as our key publics," he added.
"When I was thinking on how to promote the event I thought that if we made more people aware by reaching them with better messages we should be successful," Grigoryan said.
"Our objectives were to get 40 donors, collect e-mails from 90 percent of participants and survey 40 percent of donors to understand their perception of CBB’s customer service," he added.
The students’ campaign was very successful.
"I wasn’t sure how much success we were going to have because the American Red Cross had a blood drive exactly one week before ours, we made goals that we thought we could reach and were pleasantly surprised that we easily achieved them," Wallenhorst said.
Wallenhorst and Grigoryan said they were excited that they had far exceeded their goals.
"We are very pleased with our results. The number of students that turned out was phenomenal and we also gathered some valuable information from those who attended. I would like to thank everyone for coming and making the blood drive a success for everyone," Wallenhorst said.
"We exceeded all our objectives. Total 68 people attended 59 people gave us their e-mail address and we surveyed 50% of donors. So I think it was a big success," he said.