Recruiting and selecting campus reps can be tricky business. It doesn’t matter how much strategy and thought went into the campaign—if you select the wrong campus reps, it can be detrimental. With different brands looking for different qualities in campus reps, it’s important to do your research. Here are the five qualities to look for in every campus rep.
1. Brand Fit
To effectively represent a brand, it is vital that the student fits the brand. Every brand has its own personality—some are bubbly, pink, and fun, while others are green, wholesome, and all-natural. A campus rep for the former brand should come across as lively, feminine, and confident, while a campus rep for the latter brand should come across as environmentally conscious, inclusive, and genuine. In addition, potential campus reps should have interests and career goals that align with the brand. A student who is studying dermatology would be a great fit to represent a skin care line, while a student athlete would be great fit to represent an athletic wear brand. Finding a campus rep who embodies the brand doesn’t just lead to his or her individual success, it ensures the success of the entire program.
2. On-Campus Involvement
Strong campus reps are deeply involved on campus. Typically, campus reps are not freshmen; most first-year students haven’t yet developed a large enough network or the confidence needed to influence their peers. Upperclassmen tend to be more involved and have had the opportunity to take on leadership roles within their respective organizations.
Involvement in Greek life, in particular, is a major benefit. A sorority or fraternity chapter at a large school can have up to 400 active members, making it easy for members of these organizations to influence fellow members. In addition to Greek life, involvement in other on-campus clubs is very important. The kind of clubs that a student is involved in typically reflect their interests, which can help determine whether a candidate will be a good fit for a particular brand. Whether these clubs are academic, philanthropic, or social, these student groups make up a large and direct network that campus reps are able to influence.
3. Event Planning Experience
Event execution is essential to bringing a brand to life. Campus reps typically host 3-7 events per year to (re)introduce the brand, encourage student engagement, and create memorable moments with peers. For these events to be successful, having the proper experience is a must.
Campus reps must strategically determine where and when to host their events. Events executed in high-traffic foot areas typically perform better, as more students are able to directly interact with the brand and indirectly gain awareness. Prior event planning experience is particularly beneficial to informing these decisions. Students typically gain event planning experience from their involvement in on-campus organizations or through jobs and internships. Campus reps that not only have event planning experience but love the event planning process tend to execute their events at a higher level.
4. Digital Footprint
A great campus rep has a strong presence on campus and online—they’re micro influencers. Through their social networks, they are able to successfully reach and influence hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of their peers at once. This influence is created through an engaged social media following, a strategic and unique posting style, and an informed knowledge of the overall digital landscape gleaned from relevant internships and job experience. High-quality, brand-related posts often motivate and inspire like-minded students to further engage with the brand, increasing perception and purchase consideration for years to come.
5. Interview Skills
An interview further ensures that a potential campus rep is the correct fit for the brand. Interviews help you further understand the individual’s personality, evaluate how their experiences relate to the responsibilities of the position, and gauge their overall excitement towards the brand. The recruitment process is often lengthy, as finding the perfect candidates to meet the needs of both the campaign and the brand takes time. However, the benefits of hiring the correct candidates are exponential—a true influencer creates additional influencers, which can in turn take your brand’s awareness and relevance within the Millennial and Gen-Z market to the next level.
Many campus reps will go above and beyond the responsibilities of the position to ensure that the brand resonates with their peer networks. You’ll be able to easily spot this campus rep because of their outgoing spirit, expressed dedication to the campaign, and how well their aesthetic meshes with the brand. These reps can in fact be so on-brand and add so much value that they move into full-time positions with the brand following the completion of the campaign.
WANT MORE? CHECK OUT THESE BLOGS
- 3 Ways Campus Rep Programs Pay for Themselves
- The Rise of Micro Influencers on College Campuses
- 6 Tips for Hiring a College Marketing Agency
HOW CAN YMC HELP?
Want to recruit campus reps that are the perfect fit for your brand? Finding the right partner is key to your success. Here at YMC, we’ve been helping brands connect with 15- to 29-year-old consumers for two decades—we’d be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you. Contact us today!