Tuesday August 16, 2016

Let the bells ring out: How we told the story of the chapel reopening

By Michelle Tedford

<p>One year ago today, the bells of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception rang as we threw open the doors to the public after a 14-month renovation. While our social media plan around the chapel&amp;#8217;s reopening didn&amp;#8217;t take quite that long to develop, it was a joint effort among many on campus to ensure that our community &amp;#8212; on-campus and off &amp;#8212; felt connected to the excitement.</p>

On this anniversary, we share with you a bit about what we did in the Office of Marketing and Communications and how we collaborated to share the chapel’s story with the world.

The chapel is the heart of campus, so we worked closely with Campus Ministry and the Office of Mission and Rector — especially Crystal Sullivan and Father James Fitz, S.M. — to ensure we got the message right. With them, we developed four objectives:

1) Inform our audiences about the chapel rededication and public events.

2) Educate our audiences about the liturgical significance of the chapel renovation.

3) Engage our audience to create another touchpoint to the University.

4) Inform new audiences about our Catholic, Marianist mission.

We then evaluated results from previous campaigns and set metrics goals for each channel. Scroll to read about some of what we did, and to the bottom for results of the campaign, which ran from Aug. 9 to 31.

--Crystal helped us create a series of #UDaytonChapel facts tweets. Some highlighted the liturgical significance of the renovation. In one tweet, we called attention to the 12 marble crosses that mark the spots where the chapel was originally anointed in 1869. Overall, our tweets made 100,908 impressions.

--Our audience wanted a behind-the-scenes look at the construction. Among the photo albums we provided with sneak peeks at the stained glass — both the removal of the windows for safety before construction, and the re-installation and addition of new windows. Facebook albums helped us tell these colorful stories. 15% of our Facebook audience engaged with our posts.

--During the chapel’s rededication Mass Aug. 16, we took notes and “live” tweeted (with delay) the event to help our audience participate in an event whose attendance was limited by the number of pew seats available. “Let the bells ring out! The chapel it open!” we shared at the conclusion of Mass.

--We turned to Snapchat @udayton for a tour of the completed chapel for students, who would return the week after the rededication celebration. The tour was led by a nun doll from the library’s collection. “These pews can fit me +1400 of my nun doll friends,” she (we?) wrote over a photo of the doll sitting in the walnut-colored pews. We also posted a video of the chapel doors opening, which reached 2.8k of our 3k audience members.

--Each week during the school year, many members of the campus social media community sit around a conference table and talk about how we can help one another promote the university and its great people, places and programs. They all collaborated to help spread the word about the chapel. For example, @RoeschLibrary, @DaytonAdmission and @DaytonFlyers all shared our content or created their own. @CatholicCincy, Franklin Art Glass and local news outlets were among others who helped spread the word.

Metrics:
Instagram followers +6.2%
Snapchat followers +200
Facebook reach 94,608
Facebook engagement 15%
Twitter followers +3%
Twitter engagements 4,955
Twitter impressions 100,908

Our chapel goals supported our overall institutional social media goals: Build our audience through salient content that speaks to our mission and encourages community building through engagement. Social media was but one part of the overall reopening celebration strategy, and the rest of the Office of University Marketing and Communications contributed brochures, stories, invitations, web pages, videos and more.

Our results were beyond our goals, which is gratifying. But mostly, we are proud of sharing this story of the history, heart and future of our university with so many followers. Thanks to all for the engagement, participation, questions and submissions. And we’ll see you in the chapel!

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