It was a big week of year for film students at The University of Northwestern – St. Paul. In fact, it was a big time for the whole Communications Department and campus as a whole! Every April Northwestern holds the Five16 Film Festival to showcase the film student’s work. The best way I can describe this event is by calling it a “mini-Oscars.” Everyone dresses in their best formal wear and walks the red carpet before the nominated films are screened and winners are announced.
As a Public Relations, event planning, and video production student at Northwestern this event was a PERFECT opportunity to learn from. I jumped on the opportunity to be apart of marketing and planning. I was asked to take over the management of social media. Previous to my CTV internship experience I would not have felt as prepared to take this on. However, because of the work I have done on CTV social pages I was excited to take on the task.
In previous years the festival’s marketing didn’t have a clear message or theme. This was one challenge my team and I wanted to tackle. It is very important to have consistent messaging, color and font themes, as well as a posting schedule. This helps your audience recognize your specific branding and helps them know what to anticipate. I also wanted to make the account more personable. I did this by introducing some series such as: meet your judges, behind the scene shots from student films and meet the film student executive staff.
All the planning paid off! We were able to increase our following and interactions on Instagram and Facebook exponentially. We actually doubled our followers on Instagram and increased engagement daily. This helped spread the excitement that the Communication Department has for the Five16 Festival throughout the rest of campus.
The festival has grown so much over the last 13 years starting with 100 attendees to 1,400 plus online viewers. Using smart and collaborative marketing has helped grown the excitement and highlights the awesome work of our film students. You can check out the CTV coverage of the event here, including a 30 minute pre-show, floor directed by yours truly!