CSU-AAUP and CSUCONNects

Shifting Public Opinion in Connecticut for the Connecticut State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors

The challenge

The general public in Connecticut held a less-than-favorable opinion about the caliber of teaching to be found at the state university level (excluding UConn). It was described by many as an extension of high school, with few professors undertaking “real” research. Our task was to turn that opinion around so that voters in Connecticut would value the cost of the CSU’s in the Connecticut budget.

how CSU-AAUP measures "more"

Positive coverage in the local media and legislative support for higher education.

W@W's Plan

To identify meaningful stories of research, we developed a plan to connect with the media and the general public simultaneously by using press releases and social media. Throughout the course of the project, we managed CSU-AAUP’s communications plan, which included social media, press releases, blogging, print, and digital advertising.

In our most recent work for the organization in 2017, our team rolled out geo-fencing and geo-retargeting digital ad campaigns in addition to our other work. These ads were targeted at the Connecticut legislative offices and the CSU campuses. The digital campaigns performed well, delivering a higher than average click-through rate, a key indicator that our ads were well served to our targeted audiences and were successfully generating interest in the faculty as part of our awareness campaign.

results

Data has indicated that since we began posting material online in September 2014, over 26,000 people have visited the website, with roughly 2,000-2,500 people being reached via Facebook per month. Our recent re-evaluations indicate that the public is interested in learning more about faculty research and that the media is very willing to publish positive stories about faculty, students, and the quality of research.

Throughout the course of our annual contracts we have introduced new and exciting digital ad solutions to complement our awareness campaign.

Union leadership renewed our contract with the organization for four consecutive years.