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Communications and Public Affairs

President Pastides at the Statehouse

Event Spotlight: Carolina Day 2018

Whether it’s the president’s annual State of the University address or the Bernstein Mass, high-profile and meaningful events happen around USC Columbia throughout the year. Communications and Public Affairs can ensure university events convey our values, mission and messages through thoughtful in-person experiences.

The Opportunity: Carolina Day 2018

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, we leveraged the power of digital and social media to connect our supporters with their legislators, who must constantly be reminded of the many ways Carolina benefits the people, communities and industries of S.C. With the state’s continued depletion of higher education funding, capturing our supporters’ voices and support on Carolina Day was more important than ever.


The Deliverables

  • Carolina Day at the Alumni Center

    Alumni Center

    The Alumni Association gave us a convenient location to serve as the hub for our communications efforts. It also doubled as the location for President Pastides' media availability.

  • Carolina Day impact graphic

    Messaging Toolkit

    We created an online one-stop shop for our advocates to connect with their legislators, choose the messages they wished to amplify and post on social media.

  • UofSCImpact


    This is a new handle on Twitter to share our messaging. @UofSCImpact went live on Jan. 31, and, moving forward, it will continue to serve as a voice to share messaging about the university's impact.


The Approach

  • This year, we put a much larger emphasis on digital media and connecting our advocates with their legislators via social media rather than appearing at the State House. This allowed anyone with access to social media to participate.
  • The USC Alumni Center served as “Carolina Day central,” a gathering place for our advocates.
  • An online Messaging Toolkit suggested how to support Carolina in three steps:
    1. "Find your Legislator," an easy way to look up your state legislator
    2. "Choose your Message," ready-to-share messages about Carolina's impact arranged in four categories: students, faculty and staff, alumni and leadership
    3. "Post on Social Media," a simple process to share messages and graphics on social media channels such as Twitter.
  • We equipped a small group of advocates with key messaging and arranged for them to appear at the State House for in-person advocacy.


The Results

  • #UofSCImpact was trending regionally on Twitter just an hour into Carolina Day.
  • All campuses in the University of South Carolina system participated.
  • 1.5 million impressions in one day, leading to 3.2 million impressions and counting
  • 42,000 Facebook video views
  • 28,000 Twitter video views
  • Great feedback was received from alumni, lawmakers, university administrators and others.