One simple quote captures precisely what Sweet Briar College’s fledgling Project 306 has done in a few short months.
It was posted on the student-run group’s Facebook page in March, about four months after it launched: “Girls compete with each other, women empower each other.”
“We’re trying to enable Sweet Briar students to do everything they want to do and are passionate about,” Sweet Briar College student and one of the Project 306 co-founders Acacia Salazar said.
“We really want to showcase it to the world.”
Currently, Salazar said, none of the media venues that promote the college highlight all the activities women at the small liberal arts school in Amherst are engaged in.
“That was really our goal to showcase everything we do but take it to a whole new level,” Salazar said.
So with the help of Tom Loftus, visiting assistant professor of business at Sweet Briar College, six students started picking apart past marketing and promotional campaigns run by students, sorting the successes from the failures.
They zeroed in on what worked and put it into Project 306, naming their group after the room they meet in each Tuesday afternoon with Loftus.
They set up Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and set about feeding them a steady stream of Vixen-specific news. They started a blog, asking professional women, including their president Jo Ellen Parker, to share their expertise and hosted events where entrepreneurs like Caroline Pugh, co founder of VirtualU, could talk to students.
Salazar said Project 306 wants to tell people about everything from the Habitat for Humanity fundraisers to the national awards bestowed upon classmates.
“It’s still growing, but we’re on our way to really big things,” Salazar said.
As each venue attracts more followers, Project 306 is tracking the analytics, watching, for example, as Facebook likes creep from 100 in the winter to almost 300 this spring.
“I’m enthused and enthusiastic” said Loftus, who has never seen students create a social media marketing campaign of this kind.
The project already has initiated conversations and dialogues between students and alum, which was one of the many goals of the group.
“We’re doing something that’s really pretty impressive,” Loftus said. “Everybody’s helping everybody.”
By the time the Vixens return in the fall, the Project 306 team will be ready to launch a whole new website where all of their efforts to let the wider world know what they are up to will converge.
“We’re promoting our own students work,” Salazar said. We talk about “any presentations or cool projects that you won’t see on the [Sweet Briar College] website” like our business seminar, student events and fundraisers
“We really wanted to broadcast that.”