Salve Regina students craft marketing campaign to raise money for beloved Cliff Walk
Next time someone walks along the Cliff Walk, they may see signs posted highlighting a new fundraising campaign to help raise money for the beloved trail. It was twenty-eight Salve Regina marketing seniors in the MGT-422 Marketing Strategies capstone course who were crucial in putting together the recently launched marketing campaign for the Cliff Walk Commission (CWC).
“This campaign was put together to show that the people who walk the Cliff Walk have more of an impact than they realize to preserve the beauty and longevity of the Cliff Walk,” said Dr. Jennifer Bonoff, assistant professor in the Department of Business & Economics. “The goal was to help people know that the power is in their own hands … to help something that’s so beautiful and … preserve it for generations to come.”
The origination of the “Cliff Walk Together” collaboration
The idea to have students help with the marketing plan originated in the spring of 2021 through the Cliff Walk Commission’s long-standing connection with the Salve Regina community. The CWC was seeking to generate a marketing campaign to promote the launch of a new cutting-edge fundraising effort where visitors and locals could donate to the Cliff Walk using their cell phones. Building on past work by Salve Regina students, the seniors in the marketing strategies class were tasked with creating a marketing plan for a new mobile donation fundraising application.
The 28 seniors in Bonoff’s class conducted market research using previous studies as well as a focus group of local community members. They then crafted the main idea of the campaign, “Cliff Walk Together,” along with visual photography and graphics to help aid with the messaging that would surround the present campaign. They also generated more photographs, maps, graphics, videos and other visual aids that the CWC can use for future marketing.
The launch of “Cliff Walk Together”
The “Cliff Walk Together” campaign was officially launched in May 2021, with signs posted along the Cliff Walk. These signs highlight a number that both local and tourist walkers can text, which then will lead them to the online donation application. There is also a social media component of the campaign. So far, over $3,000 has been raised, and the campaign is ongoing with no end date.
The Cliff Walk Commission has been thrilled with the results of the students’ hard work, and how the students have set the CWC up for success both presently and in the future.
“It’s really all thanks to Jenn and her class,” said John Hirschboeck, member of the Cliff Walk Commission. “They pretty much took the initiative from day one.”
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Dr. Bonoff also praised her students in the class for their flexibility and hard work during a time for students that wasn’t easy with the pandemic.
“I thought it was really great for them to be able to work together to work on a project that was going to have an impact—especially during COVID-19,” Dr. Bonoff added. “I know that school was a little different, life was a little different, so the fact that they were able to work with a real client and do something useful that’s going to help the community was really helpful, and I’m really proud of the work that they did.”
Seniors talk about helping the Cliff Walk Commission
Sydney LaPointe ’21, who graduated in May with a marketing major and a minor in sports management and business administration, was just one of the seniors who worked on the campaign. She specifically worked on researching the demographics of people who walk the Cliff Walk, helping to figure out what marketing strategies would be most effective.
“I learned a lot by being a part of this project,” LaPointe said. “The committee is filled with an amazing group of people that has a passion for the Cliff Walk. It was important to me to be able to help preserve it.”
For Maximillian Gliosco ’21, who majored majored in marketing, the project really helped him put to use the marketing skills he’d learned during his four years at Salve Regina. He loved the practical skills he was able to utilize, including using the Hootsuite social media marketing platform, presenting marketing ideas in front of the CWC and designing the website for the campaign.
“This project really got the gears turning for what it’s like to be on a marketing team that is actually going to make a difference in the world,” he said. “There was weight behind doing a good job here; it wasn’t just some made-up case study that you get a grade for in a class. I feel that after getting a taste of what it’s like to work in that situation, I will be better prepared for professional situations in the future.”
Kaitlyn Doherty ’21, who graduated in May with a marketing and business administration degree, was incredibly happy to be helping the Cliff Walk Commission. Doherty worked specifically on the social media presence of the campaign by establishing a Facebook business page and coming up with daily postings that would both motivate current followers and intrigue page visitors to learn more.
“During my time at Salve, the Cliff Walk always meant so much to me,” Doherty explained. “Oftentimes, I found myself out there catching a beautiful sunset, taking a walk on a warm day or even just taking a moment of serenity to catch my breath after a busy day. The Cliff Walk is such a beloved part of Newport, which is why I found it so special for our class … to maintain the long-term preservation of such a wonderful place.”