When the Ohio TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) organization recognized the need to better promote itself, Britney Closson stepped up to help.
Closson, from Ottawa, is working on a major in marketing with a minor in mass communication. When Closson’s faculty adviser, S. Chris Ward, Ed.D., associate professor of business, presented the opportunity to her, she was immediately interested. “I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for me to demonstrate what I’ve learned in my studies in a relevant way. I’ve always enjoyed writing, researching and design work, so this project proved to be a great fit for me.”
Prior to working on this project, Closson was not familiar with the Ohio TESOL organization. Donald Beck, assistant professor of English as an international language, is an Ohio TESOL board member and had asked Ward if she knew any student who may want an extra project. Beck served as the primary liaison between Closson and the board of directors.
At the time Closson was working on the marketing plan for Ohio TESOL, she also was enrolled in an online public relations class taught by Jeanette Drake, APR, Ph.D., who allowed Closson to use her project as a class assignment – a public relations plan. “Given that my program would be under real consideration, I not only needed to be more thorough in the work I completed, but also extend my work beyond the assignment’s requirements,” said Closson, who added that the project extended well beyond the classroom.
In May, Closson presented her completed marketing plan to the Ohio TESOL board of directors. It included a complete situation analysis, detailed program planning, thorough implementation strategies and tactics, and an evaluation process.
In order to help the organization reach its goal of 1,000 members by its annual conference in November, Closson suggested ways to improve internal communication, enhance Web presence, expand social networking efforts and more.
The board members reviewed Closson’s plan and decided to invest $5,000 into marketing efforts. Closson continues to be in contact with the organization’s event coordinator, doing promotional design work for Ohio TESOL’s annual conference.