A Test with RideShare Delaware: PRSSA’s Marketing Practice

BY: DANIELLE FAHEY

One of the most essential skills for any PR person is learning how to market. Whether it’s understanding your audience, brainstorming social media posts, or utilizing effective campaign strategies, marketing is the core of a PR career. On Monday at our weekly PRSSA meeting, we did just that.

RideShare Delaware, a program sponsored by DART First State, seeks to reduce vehicle emission and reduce traffic by encouraging Delawareans to give rides to each other. With the RideShare app, you can match up with work colleagues, students, or friends to carpool to the same destination. The “Me” tab on the app allows you to see how much money you saved, how many gallons of gas you saved, how many calories you burned, and how many points were earned. Points earned from the carpools can then be redeemed as “Rewards,” such as restaurant discounts or store coupons.
PRSSA was challenged to devise a marketing plan for RideShare. Gia Nassir, the program’s current PR intern, needed the best marketing strategy possible to grow the business. We split into three different groups to determine what kind of audience they would target to, as well as what the best social media presence would be. My group created hashtags like #deridefree and #udridefree, and we tried to figure out what the best rewards would be. It seems that college students would benefit quite a bit from this app – commuter students could carpool and off-campus students could make it class more easily, while also helping the environment! IMG_9109We brainstormed a few restaurants on Main Street that RideShare could use as reward incentives, and we tried to figure out the best way to spread the word about the app. Making RideShare’s presence known on social media through ambassadors (like fraternity/sorority leadership or sport team captains) would be an excellent way to increase the app’s popularity, and coordinating with HR departments for various Delaware businesses would help reach the more professional demographic.
It was interesting to see how much went into creating marketing strategies. To those who’ve never done it, it may seem simple at first – determine your audience, reach out to them, and engage with them in digital media. But it’s much more complicated than that. Creating the most effective marketing campaign requires energy, expert knowledge of audience engagement, and passion for social media. It was great meeting Gia and helping her determine the best marketing plan, and speaking of marketing, follow RideShare on social media! Their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is @rideshareDE!

Danielle Fahey is currently a senior at the University of Delaware majoring in English with minors in global studies and interactive media. Upon graduation, she hopes to work in communications, marketing, and/or content writing. She’s also involved in Gamma Sigma Sigma and National Residence Hall Honorary.

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