How to make your university club last past your graduation

“Business owners must try to adapt strategic choices to match the current internal organizational situation and external market conditions.”

McDowell, Harris and Geho, 2016, p. 1907

The UOW DMS has become an integral part of the Bachelor and Communications faculty at UOW. Whether it be through peer support, or supporting the faculty towards online learning on Discord due to COVID-19, the DMS ‘brand’ continues to work towards a better future for BCM graduates.

The society has a prominent role to play in transitioning students from their factory high school ideologies to creative, independent graduates. But first, it has to survive the departing of a majority of its founding members.

‘Brands’ notoriously have difficulty retaining interest over time (Preece et al. 2018, p. 331). And, this is especially true for niche-clubs as it is often difficult to replicate the Founders’ passion in new executives after Founders graduate.

Herein lies the Digital Media Society’s greatest obstacle: how do we train our own future leaders to ensure brand longevity?


WATCH: Onboarding Portal: A Solution for Brand Longevity


Browse my slides here:


Project Timeline

  • Week 3

    Background Research:

    • Past Digital Media Society DA’s
    • How to add a password-protected portal on WP
    • Strategies for brand longevity
    • How to construct a portal
  • Week 4

    Update DMS Website

    Create Portal on DMS Website

  • Week 5

    Content Planning Meeting with DMS Executive Team

    Create a Content Plan

  • Week 6

    Create assets for the content

  • Weeks 7 – 13

    Produce:

    • Videos
    • Podcasts
    • Transcripts
    • Graphics
    • Documents

    Iterate Content via established feedback loops with DMS Executives


Get in touch!


References

Chamseddine, R, 2018, Study Finds Half Of University Students Want To Drop Out, The Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 15 March 2020, <https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/study-finds-half-of-university-students-want-to-drop-out-20180327-p4z6fn.html&gt;

McDowell, W, Harris, M and Geho, P, 2016, ‘Longevity in small business: The effect of maturity on strategic focus and business performance’, Journal of Business Research, vol. 69, no. 5, pp.1904-1908.

Preece, C, Kerrigan, F and O’reilly, D, 2018, ‘License to Assemble: Theorizing Brand Longevity’, Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 46, no. 2, pp.330-350.

7 Replies to “How to make your university club last past your graduation”

  1. Hey Jasmyn, really interesting topic you have chosen, and it’s very clear that this is passion project for you. Firstly, I love the idea of a so called ‘training program’ for future DMS executives, with the potential to be built up and improved every time there are new executives elected, it bodes very well for the future. I thought it was interesting that you chose to liken the DMS to a kind of brand, which I thought made sense, but I also feel could have been expanded on a little bit in regards to marketing and recruitment, which I feel would be important pieces to the longevity of the club. To that end, I found a Forbes article which I have helps you: https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2016/10/04/sustaining-a-company-through-and-beyond-the-noise-how-to-develop-brand-longevity/#62f416df61ca

    Moving on, I have some questions about the project itself. You said in the timeline that you plan on producing content, but what topics and platforms will this content involve? Will this be similar to some of the DMS’ workshop content? Also, is this project going to be informed by other DMS’ executive projects, such as Callum’s 5 year plan?

    I wish you and the DMS good luck!

    Like

    1. Hi Josh, thanks for your comment! I have just had a read through the article and there’s some really useful tips in there, so I will defininetly keep those in ind for my project.

      I do agree that I can expand on marketing and recruitment a little. I will be somewhat tweaking the direction of my project based on Chris’ and peer feedback. So, I will be focusing on how to create Future Leaders, which will include protecting the DMS brand longevity and also touch on recruitment!

      Regarding your questions:
      1. I hadn’t figured out a platform at the time of my pitch but I am 90% sure I am going with an Atlassian platform called Confluence to create an intranet site. The topics on this site will be: About Us (company mission, values, customer segments etc.), onboarding (a run through of expectations, duties, roles and responsibilities), and marketing (a yearly calendar, social media info, and expectations of marketing outputs and activities).
      2. The content will not be similar to DMS workshop content as the audience is completely different. The workshops are tailored to student learning, development and growth. Whereas, this content is aimed at the executives that are joining the DMS in 2020.
      3. I do believe this was touched on during my pitch in the written slides. I have read through Callums 5-Year-Plan and established what goals we have already achieved, and amended the medium and long term goals to suit the 2020 conditions. I also read through Alex’s career development plans and am using them as a guide for some of my content. Kelsea produced the UOWDMS wordpress site, which I have taken and revamped as part of the branding process to ensure brand longevity.

      I hope this answers your questions, and thank you!

      Like

  2. Hi Jasmyn! The ideas behind your project seem very well researched!

    Re; making a portal for current and future executive teams, I genuinely don’t know what feedback I can offer there, other than discuss it with the rest of the DMS executive team to make sure you cover everything needed (which you seem already to be on top of so saying this might be redundant anyway!).

    In your blog post I see you’ve made note that brands (or clubs in this case) have difficulty maintaining interest over time, so you’re aiming to make things easier for executive pass-over. Not to be a downer, but your project is assuming that there will be future executive teams to continue the DMS’s work, which doesn’t address the issue of retaining interest for years to come. I understand this is a little off-topic to your actual project, but what if there isn’t enough interest to maintain an executive team as members graduate and move one? This is a possibility your team would need to be conscious of.

    I’ve found this piece on maintaining motivation in club members (http://resources.mdalions.org/lions_material/CB5_Motivating_Club_Members.pdf) which you might like to have a look at with the executive team. Thankfully the club does seem to be on top of many of these, such as communicating frequently and having informal gatherings (at least when we aren’t experiencing a pandemic) and BCM students do seem to have very positive views on the DMS. But at the very least it would be good to keep these in mind in case interest does start slipping in the future.

    Sorry I couldn’t provide too much feedback on your portal project, but I hope you got something out of my comment. Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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