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Michigan Association of State Universities

Get MI Degree

Goal: Increase enrollment rates for Michigan’s public universities.

Research:

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that, on average, those with a four-year degree can expect to have much higher earnings and job security than those without. And that gap is growing, as employers increasingly seek to hire applicants with a four-year
degree.

Prior to the campaign launch, Martin Waymire’s team conducted focus group research that showed the greatest concern for graduating high school seniors and parents alike is the cost of a four-year degree. To show that a degree from a four-year public university in Michigan is attainable and affordable through financial aid, Martin Waymire created a social media testimonial campaign— “Students of Michigan” (inspired by Humans of New York)— highlighting real stories from university students and personalizing the college-going experience.

Action Plan & Communication:

Over the course of two months, our team drove over 2,800 miles and dedicated over 170 hours to interview over 100 students. We interviewed rural and urban first-generation students, immigrant students, transfer students, students with children, students with Pell grants, students who struggled with their health, students who struggled with their family, a veteran, a foster care student and students who simply discussed the impact of college on their lives. These students are working to change the world around them.

Every piece of content included a photo or video and was branded with the hashtag #StudentsofMI on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. From there, student testimonials were boosted to target audiences on Facebook and Instagram and added to an engagement campaign on Twitter. The content doesn’t include a call to action but stands alone as content meant to connect with and influence the target audience.

Evaluation:
  • The first wave of stories were seen over 230,000 times and gained over 23,500 likes, shares and clicks across our social media channels.
  • Due to the success of “Students of Michigan,” our team expanded the campaign to include blog content around topics that students discussed during the interviews (i.e. financial aid, choosing a major, etc.) and expanded the campaign to include alumni stories as well.

We offer clients our commitment to Michigan, because our driving passion is making our home state a better place.