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SPECTRUM

Recommendation Report
Alyx Bean, Andrew Scott, Maritza Gonzalez
November 17, 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.

Introduction. 2

II.

Analysis 3

III. Strengths & Growth Opportunities.......... 4


IV. Key Strategies . 5
V.

Recommendations... 6

VI. Anticipated Outcomes. 9


VII. Sample Documents.10

INTRODUCTION
Context
Now more than ever, it is incredibly important that organizations like Spectrum are effective in
creating safe spaces for the LGBTQIA community and allies. As you know, over 4% of the U.S.
population identifies as non-heterosexual, and the negative stigmas associated with this minority
group have profound effects on the well-being of this community. It is our hope that you as
Spectrum, Elon Universitys queer-straight student alliance, can increase your effectiveness as a
resource on campus by improving your technical communication strategies.

Overview
This report synthesizes a number of recommendations for improving the technical
communication methods of your student alliance. The proposals listed in this document are
supported by professional writing and rhetoric strategies, needs of the client, and external
research. It is important for you as Spectrum executives to note that we, the authors of this
document, are students gaining introductory level expertise in technical communication.

Goal
The purpose of this report is to assist Spectrum in strengthening their community presence by
effectively meeting communication needs. Specific strategies proposed in this document are
designed to attract new members, develop current members, and retain member loyalty. The
methods offered in this document are intended to be sustainable and effective for both current
and future use. We hope that this document will be helpful to you as an organization in
improving your presence in the Elon community, and raising awareness about the LGBTQIA
community.

ANALYSIS
Methods
The recommendations listed in this report were developed through an analysis of Spectrums
current communication strategies. Two primary research methods were utilized to determine
organizational needs.
1. Direct communication with Bella Salmon, a Spectrum executive board member, to gather
information about the organizations current communication strategies and needs.
2. Online research to identify current social media presence, and the accessibility of
information readily available to prospective audiences.

Understanding
Based on personal observations and conversations with both general and executive members of
Spectrum, we have gained a deeper understanding of your student alliance. First, we recognize
that Spectrum has a long history on Elon Universitys campus that stretches back nearly 20
years, making it a well-established group on campus. While you strive to appeal to the student
body, you also appeal to audience groups such as faculty, staff, and the greater Alamance
community. Current strategies for communicating with your audience include email, Facebook,
the Elon website and flier distribution.

Concerns
While Spectrum is a well-established group, it is clear that this organization struggles with
creating sustainable communication strategies that can easily be used by future generations. It is
apparent that over time, your organization has struggled to keep up with the rapidly changing
needs of your young and interchanging audience members, students aged 18-22.

STRENGTHS & GROWTH


OPPORTUNITIES
Strengths
Considering that Spectrum has been an organization for nearly 20 years, it has been developed
and has support unlike other organizations on campus. The organization has been doing well
since its development and has distinguished itself in the LGBTQIA community, the campus
community and off campus community. Currently, you have a newsletter that has kept members
informed about upcoming meetings and events. The newsletter is a huge strength that the
organization has because of the magnitude of individuals that are on the email list. Another
strength is the consistency in organizing functions and the attendance of members to
collaborative events. As you know, the members of Spectrum are passionate and work
vigorously to ensuring that the organizations goals are achieved. The strengths of the
organization lie with its members and its supporters, it is those individuals that work at keeping
Spectrum alive and thriving.

Social Media Improvements


One of our most prominent concerns is the lack of social media use. The two Facebook pages
that you currently administer are confusing for the average reader. Both pages have little to no
up-to-date information, and one is a difficult to access closed group. Neither page offers any
information about current Spectrum events, or the purpose of the organization. We did not
identify any usage of Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube. The lack of effective use of these basic
tools was particularly alarming due to the fact that your primary target audience is students, aged
18-22. With over 90% of this demographic using at least one social media platform as of 2015, it
is clear that the best way to effectively communicate with young adults is through the use of
technology (Duggan).

Newsletter Improvements
While you do issue a Spectrum newsletter, the distribution lacks cohesive design, and is not sent
to audience members on a consistent time-interval basis. It is apparent that you do not utilize a
consistent template to structure the design of the newsletter, which makes the documents
inconsistent and difficult for future Spectrum executives to replicate.

Webpage Improvements
Spectrum does exist on the Elon University website; however, the listing provides incorrect
information about meeting times. The online advertisement states that meetings for Spectrum
occur every Thursday at 7pm, however the correct meeting time is actually Mondays at 7pm. It is
clear that this page needs to be updated.

KEY STRATEGIES FOR


IMPROVEMENT
Based on our analysis, we have identified several key strategies for improving the technical
communication of your organization. The recommendations in this report are designed to meet
these strategic goals, including creating easily identifiable and well-designed online profiles,
posting engaging and informative material to social media, increasing frequency of posts, and
personalizing marketing material. The content of these proposals is also intended to increase
public awareness of Spectrum.






RECOMMENDATIONS
Logo Implementation

The official Spectrum logo should be consistently implemented across all online platforms.
Interestingly, none of the current social media accounts showcase the official logo, and instead
rely on other unofficial visual representation of your organization. This would benefit your
alliance by making you more easily identifiable to potential new members and interested parties.

Facebook Page Merger


Currently, you administer two separate and outdated Facebook profiles; one group, and one
Facebook page. To avoid confusion, it would be beneficial to condense down to offer only one
informative Facebook page. If there is an executive staff member who has the administrative
rights to both pages, then that individual has the option to simply merge the two pages so as to
avoid losing Spectrums follower base between the two profiles.

Elon University Website Updates


Currently, the Elon University Gender and LGBTQIA Center webpage offers an outdated
weekly Spectrum meeting time. This is a critical mistake that misdirects both current and
prospective members of Spectrum. Official information about Spectrum should be fully updated,
and helpful for identifying additional insights about the organization. It is recommended that you
meet with the webpage director, Matthew Antonio Bosch, about updating the information
available on the webpage. You may also want to consider adding hyperlinks to other online
resources such as your social media accounts, or external resources you find helpful.


Photographic Elements

Research shows that social media post engagement drastically increases when relevant
photographs are included in a post. It is highly recommended that you capture, keep record of,
and include photos of events for documentation design and social media. Photos can easily be
stored and managed using a Flickr account online. Flickr also allows public viewers to have
access to entire albums, which would further enhance Spectrums online presence. It is important
to note that while sharing and posting photos is extremely beneficial for technical
communication, not all members of Spectrum will want their photo to be captured or made
public. Consult with your members and have willing individuals sign release wavers prior to
membership to avoid any legal infractions or obstruction of privacy.

Create a Hootsuite account


Hootsuite is an online social media management tool. The free version of Hootsuite allows you
to schedule posts ahead of time, and automatically publish on up to three social media accounts
simultaneously. Spectrum could greatly benefit from this type of tool because it will make
updating social media accounts a much easier task, and will provide a long-term solution that can
easily be adopted by Spectrum student executives as positions turn-over in the future.

Create a Mailchimp account


Mailchimp is an online email campaign designer tool. This service can be used to create
newsletters that can be sent directly to the inboxes of subscribed members of Spectrum.
Mailchimp offers free limited services, which allows users to access templates, create mailing
groups, and monitor the effectiveness of a mailing. While Mailchimp also offers paid upgrade
services, the benefits of these subscriptions are likely not necessary for your current purposes,
but should be kept in mind in the case of substantial organizational growth. Using an online tool
for newsletter distribution is beneficial because it is sustainable for future use, effective in its
design, and easy to use.



Mail Merge Contacts


Personalizing messages that are sent directly to individual audience members is a great way to
make receivers feel valued by, and included in an organization. Even something so simple as
correctly personalizing emails with a recipient name can make an impact, resulting in increased
activity and loyalty from members. Google offers an easy-to-use mail merging system for
syncing contacts and automatically personalizing mass emails. Free of cost, users can send up to
50 personalized mass emails per day.

Elon University Television Platforms


A great tool for student organizations provided by Elon University is the ability to advertise
upcoming events on any of the public television's in the library and student center. Each of these
locations are popular spots on campus, where advertisements receive high levels of exposure. A
recommendation that we have is to develop marketing material for these screen platforms. This
could be easily executed by saving digital copies of promotion materials which could be
submitted to this Elon University service. Hard copies of these documents could also be printed
and distributed to individuals across campus.

ANTICIPATED OUTCOMES
Each of our recommendations has a specific purpose to help further promote unity, growth, and
support amongst the members of Spectrum and the Elon community as a whole. In an
increasingly volatile and complicated government social climate, organizations like Spectrum are
a beacon of hope that should be given the best tools possible to succeed. Some of our
recommendations will help facilitate your growth more quickly, while others are extremely
pressing. Making clarity changes to the Facebook page by merging the two existing accounts to
promote the greatest user understanding. Additionally, making sure that the University is on page
with the current state of the organization through the Elon.edu page, are critical initial steps to
greater communication accomplishment. We hope that you take these recommendations into
consideration for the continued betterment of Spectrum as an organization, and Elon as a diverse,
fair, and unified campus.










SAMPLE DOCUMENTS
Poster Design
One of the main ways that events are communicated on campus are through the Moseley and
Belk Library television advertisements. Organizations use these as a marketing tool to promote
meetings, specific events, or outreach and they are located in high traffic areas. These posters
normally have lots of flare and attract the eye of many passersby, in Spectrums sample poster
document we have tried to add as many things that will make people stop and read as possible.


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Web Update
Being supported by the Gender & LGBTQIA Center, Spectrum is reliant on proper publicizing
and advertising to many of the Centers members. One of the main ways that they are able to do
this is through the Elon website which lists all of the organizations that they support. During our
initial research during the Rhetorical Analysis phase we learned that the Elon website had
outdated information about the time, date, and location of Spectrum meetings. This is an easy fix
for Matthew Antonio Bosh the owner of the Centers website. We would also recommend that he
add maybe one or two more lines about Spectrums functions in awareness and support.

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Facebook Update
As shown below, the Facebook page should have updated information about the organization
that include its updated meeting time and location. It is recommended that before every meeting,
Spectrum should post a reminder of the meetings to its followers to encourage attendance. The
Facebook page should also be used to advertise Facebook events created by your organization
and encourage that those followers share that page to gain a bigger following and turnout. The
inclusion of pictures and videos make the Facebook page seem inviting and show how active the
organization truly is around campus and off-campus.

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Card Handouts for Organization Fair


At the beginning of each semester, Elon Universitys Organization Fair offers an exciting
opportunity for student clubs and organizations to advertise themselves, and recruit new
members. While this event is great for new students and potential new members to become
aware of all of the great things happening on campus, it can also prove to be an incredibly
overwhelming time. To make Spectrum more memorable to potential new members, we
recommend that you consider offering students these small business cards to promote Spectrum.
Opposed to a standard flier or brochure, a business card gives potential new members the
important message to remember without overwhelming them with information. The business
card format is also beneficial to you because it saves paper, ink, and money. The business cards
can be casually printed on regular paper, or you may choose to invest in heavier duty cardstock
for a more professional appearance. This sample document can be mass produced to easily
accommodate the large crowds at Organization Fair, without taking up too much space on your
table!

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