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The president of the United States, Barrack Obama is expected to visit Regent College during his first official visit in the United Kingdom. Mr. Obama is among the most respected intellectuals in the world. Regent College is a private Christian institution that offers a wide range of programmes.
This includes certificates, diplomas and degrees (undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate). Despite its excellence and credibility, the institution has not gained a lot popularity locally, nationally and worldwide. Due to this fact, the institution does not have enough students to sustain its facilities and capabilities.
Barrack Obamas visit to the college gives this institution a golden opportunity to raise awareness to the general public about the college to increase the number of students who will enrol in the university. The visit by the American president will be covered by more than 400 local, national and international media houses.
They will therefore be the avenue to use to pass this information to the target audience. The target audience for this project will be students, academicians, parents and the society all around the world. Once this goal has been achieved, the number of student enrolment in the institution is expected to increase due to the high level of recognition that it gained from the media coverage.
However, achieving this goal is not easy. It requires proper planning and excellent execution. The project will therefore follow a four point plan.
This includes the definition of the problem, the definition of the audience, identification of the communication avenues and finally employing the best tactics and strategies to ensure that the project is successful. In the end, an evaluation will be conducted to measure the success of the project.
Definition of the Problem
The success of any project depends on proper identification of the problem1. Through proper identification and definition of the problem, the factors which need to be worked on are clearly determined and identified.
This will assist in the determination of the strengths and weaknesses of the programme. The project will therefore formulate procedure, guidelines and policies which will work on maximizing the strengths of the project and improving on the weaknesses.
The main problem that Regent College is facing is the low level of publicity that the institution is experiencing. The institution has always been referred to as a small private college in the regional media coverage. It is mainly familiar to the regional societies who also view it as a small college.
This notion has lead them to believe that the college does not have enough competence to meet their educational needs and requirements. As a result therefore, the student turnover at the institution is very low.
The main goal of this project is to raise the awareness of Regent College. Once this goal has been achieved, student turnover in the university is expected to be much higher. To achieve this goal, a lot of considerations have to be put in place. First of all, the target audience has to know what the university is all about.
They should therefore have the information concerning the history of the college, the programmes which are offered by the college, its goals, objectives and achievements and the impact it has created on its students, the surrounding community and in the world. By having this information, the target audience will have a rough idea of what the institution is all about.
Gaining trust from the audience is also another objective which has to be achieved. At this level, the growth and development of this institution mainly depends on the trust gained from the society. Trust can be gained in several ways. The mere fact that Barrack Obama is visiting the institution gives it a lot of trust and credibility.
This is because the institution has gained international recognition and has attracted many big names including the president of the United States. This fact has to be made clear to the audience in the course of the project.
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To add on this, the institution should also create a list of alumni who have been successful in their professions. Once this picture has been created, people will have more trust and belief in the institution, a move which will result to an increase in the number of students in the college.
With increased awareness, the number of students is expected to increase. People normally like to be affiliated with success and good reputation. The current status of Regent College has none of these. As a result, the number of students who enrol in the institution have been low as compared to the expectation of the management.
In the course of Obamas visit, the institution should therefore create an impression and atmosphere which will change the attitudes and perceptions of the audience. By the end of the visit and media coverage, people should have increased their confidence and trust towards the institution.
By achieving this, the institution would have improved its reputation to the target audience. It will be more recognised locally, nationally and internationally thus attracting students from far and wide. The expected end result of this progress is the rise in number of student enrolment in the institution to pursue the various programmes which it offers.
It is also important to identify the audience which the programme is targeting. This is because the success of this programme depends on a clear understanding of the audience. For the programme to be effective, it has to meet the needs and requirements of the audience.
Therefore, before the commencement of the programme, it is important for the project team to identify the audience, determine their needs and formulate means through which it will meet and satisfy them2.
The audience of this programme comprises of individuals from all over the world. This includes prospective students, current students, parents, visitors, alumni friends and partners within the region, nation and the entire world.
These are the stakeholders of their institutions hence their needs and requirements should be met. In doing so, the programme will be successful both in the short run and long run.
Prospective students are those individual who would wish to join the programmes which are offered by the university. Senior students in high schools, students who have just completed their secondary education and academicians are just but a few of the individuals who form this group.
The individuals of this group would want to join an educational institution which offers the best education and has the necessary facilities and equipments to support the available programmes. They would also like to be members of a reputable institution.
This programme will therefore advertise the various programmes which Regent College has, its expertise, facilities and success. Once this group has this information in hand, most of them will definitely join the various courses that are offered by the college.
It is of great importance to also have in mind the current students of various schools and faculties that constitute the college. These students play an important role of sustaining the institution. As a matter of fact, they are the institution.
This project should therefore be used to improve their self esteem and motivation. This can be achieved by assuring them that they are part of a great institution which highly reputable all around the world.
This self actualization will motivate them, make them feel comfortable and motivate them to work even harder to achieve their goals and dreams. This will also improve the academic excellence of the institution and in turn, its reputation will also become better.
The parents and visitors who would have come to the ceremony are also another target group for this initiative. The parents need to be assured that their students members of one of the best institution of higher education in the world. This will satisfy them psychologically and mentally.
The visitors to the institution should also know more about the college. They should be aware of the programmes offered, the facilities available and the success which is affiliated by the institution.
The last group to be captured comprises of alumni, friends and partners. The alumni to the institution would need to know the developments which have occurred since they left the institution. This initiative should also be a forum through which the institution strengthens the bonds it has with its friends and partners.
It will also be a good time for it to get new friends and partners. Friends and partners can assist in improving the education system, research and funding various projects which the institution might be undertaking. These developments will lead to the growth of the institution and more importantly, its reputation.
The audience therefore plays a critical role in ensuring that the college achieves its goals and objectives. That is why this initiative is putting a lot of effort the creation of awareness of Regent College to them.
The audience is the determinate of whether the initiative becomes successful or fails. It is therefore important to understand them, determine their needs and come up with methods of achieving them.
Communication is the most critical step of this project. Choosing a poor mode of communication will lead to the failure of the project. In choosing the best avenue to pass information, it is important to analyse the audience which the information is intended to reach.
This project targets students, parents, friends and partners. There are several methods which can be used to pass the Regent College message to them.
The ceremony will be covered by over 400 local and international media houses. This will be the best mode of communication to use to pass information to the audience. Currently in the world, media is the most commonly used and effective means to pass information.
Due to this fact, it has developed a lot of trust and credibility from societies all around the world. Furthermore, it is the fastest and most efficient mode of communication.
To create awareness about Regent College, the media should mention the college name quite often in their stories. They should highlight on the history of the college, its programmes, activities which it is involved in, its strengths, success and its credibility.
The media should therefore be briefed by the college administration before the coverage of the event begins. They should have a clear understanding of the college so that they give out a comprehensive story.
Once this strategy is in place, the name of the institution and its reputation will be transmitted within the region, nationally and internationally. This information will reach thousands of people all around the world.
The college will get a universal approval and people from different corners of the world will be interested in the programmes offered by the college. This will have an end result of an increase in the student numbers that was anticipated by the college executive.
To supplement the media, other subsidiary methods will also be used. The college executive could request the chief guest of the ceremony, Mr. Barrack Obama to give in a good word for the college in his speech. Brochures, newsletters, magazines and other books and journals should also be distributed to the guest during the event.
These materials should contain detailed information of the institution. This move should be viewed as advertising in marketing. By putting all these measures in place, the name and reputation of Regent College will certainly grow.
Strategies and Tactics
For the operation to be effective and efficient, several strategies and tactics have to be followed. To achieve this, the project should follow the basic steps and procedures. It should be simple, measurable, attainable, and reliable and it should have a time limit within which it should be completed. This should be the first step for the approach while designing the project.
Furthermore, the project should have a good management model that clearly states the duties and roles of the various individuals involved in the project. It should incorporate a programme management, portfolio management and project management.
The programme management level should ensure that the project is aligned to the visions, goals and objectives of the institution. This can be achieved by setting clear priorities of the project, factoring in the risks that might be involved and ensuring that the project has good governance.
The portfolio management level is concerned with evaluating the project to ensure that it has a maximum value. It also ensures that there are good communication channels to pass the information to the audience.
The level of project management should ensure that all the requirements of the project are implemented within the stipulated time. The project should also have a desired outcome in terms of quality and should be completed within a certain given time.
Having this approach in place will ensure that the project will be completed in schedule. This will be because the members of the project team will be working under strict conditions of achieving the goals and objectives that have been set by the college executive.
Through the efficient communication channels, each team member will know his/her roles and duties which he has to perform to perfection. This approach will also ensure that there is cooperation among the different units of the project.
It will also enhance teamwork among the project team members. Through working together, it will be easier for the project team to achieve the goals and objectives that have been set by the academic executive.
The success of the project can be determined by several indicators. First, if the number of students who want to enrol in the college increases during the next admission period, then the project was successful. Another indicator of success of the project will be the increase in the reputation and credibility of the project.
This can be measured by conducting a survey by using simple questionnaires. I believe that if every step of this proposal is followed, Regents College will utilize the visit by Barrack Obama to its advantage and gain a lot of publicity locally, nationally and even all around the world.
Regent College has been referred to as a small private college by the media for a considerable length of time. This move has made the college to have a small number of students as compared to its capacity and capabilities. However, this is about to change.
The academic executive of the college are planning to use the visit to the college by President Obama to create awareness to people from all around the world. The visit will be covered by more than 400 media houses. A project has therefore been proposed to utilize this opportunity to increase the awareness of the College.
This project will achieve this goal by decimating information about the institution through the media in the best way possible to capture the hearts of its audience. This will help to improve the popularity of the college changing it from a local college to an international university of academic excellence.
Stoehr, T., Managing e-business projects: 99 key success factors. Springer: New York, 2000.
Toenniges, L. and Patterson, K., Managing Training Projects: Tips, Tools, and Intelligence for Trainers. American Society for Training and Development: New York, 2006.
1 Thomas Stoehr, Managing e-business projects: 99 key success factors, Springer, New York, 2000, p. 128
2 Lisa Toenniges, Karyn Patterson, Managing Training Projects: Tips, Tools, and Intelligence for Trainers, American Society for Training and Development, New York, 2006, p. 4