Alycia Crofton has the integral job of connecting the publication and the student audience, and she shares how to do it all.
What does a Grapeshot Campus Engagement Officer do?
My job involves distribution and marketing for the publication. I create events and promotions to engage readers and get the magazine copies out to as many people as possible. Some things I’ve run include Ubar parties, O-week activities and competitions, not to mention the joy of carrying many magazines around the university (it’s really not that bad).
How do you do it?
As with most jobs that require creativity, there’s a lot of brainstorming and relying on sparks of inspiration. But once there’s an idea then you’ve got to do some project management and set up how to make it happen. This might include sourcing equipment and talking to people around the university. There’s a lot of collaboration and communication with the whole team and I’ve got two great assistants.
What do you love the most about your work at Grapeshot?
I really enjoy the opportunity to come up with fun ideas and actually make them happen (most of the time). Working with such a dynamic, eccentric team has been a blast.
How do you manage your time of being a Grapeshot Campus Engagement Officer and a student with your other commitments?
Somehow, I’ve managed uni, my other job and this all reasonably well. Grapeshot has been a huge distraction, because, let’s face it, it is much more fun. But I like being busy and have always needed pressure to get things done so if you’re like me then you’ll be fine.
What challenges have you encountered and how have you overcome them?
Getting students to actually pick up a magazine, let alone attend an event, isn’t easy. We have tried very hard this year to grow our audience and improve our rep. Our team has done a great job but it has taken a while. Hopefully our efforts will get next year started on a high. I don’t have any official marketing experience, so it’s been a learning experience and there was lots of trial and error.
Constantly evaluating what’s been done and finding ways to improve as well as finding a ‘less is more’ balance.
What advice would you have for those who are looking to apply for the Campus Engagement Officer / Marketing Director position?
Prepare to be flexible, plan as much as you can but don’t think it won’t change completely! Have a good sense of humour and be willing to think outside the box.