College Homecomings around the country are known for their week long festivities that bring life to campuses after a draining period of midterms. Students find release in pep rallies, football games, concerts, the whole nine yards. As a senior in college, I know the all too well line up of Coronation, fashion shows, dances, and everything else leading up to the anticipated Homecoming Concert and football game. It’s exciting to try and guess which famous celebrities or entertainers your school was able to get for a performance or appearance. As my fourth homecoming and also my final year as a public relation major, it has been interesting to see just how much Public relations work is put into College Homecomings that we as students don’t even realize.
Homecoming is a way to bring a college or university together and make sure that as many students as possible are enjoying what the Student Government has planned. Here are some of the PR aspects implemented into planning a Homecoming:
Target Audience- After speaking to some of my friends in the Student Government Association, it is important to keep in mind that EVERYONE CANNOT BE PLEASED when it comes to Homecoming. It is impossible to make a week of events that everyone will agree with because it’s hard to please thousands of people who are all different in some way. Instead look at the schools target audience. What is the majority of age, ethnicity, gender, class, etc of the schools population? Who exactly do you want or plan on attending and participating in Homecoming events? This will help start the preparation process.
Advertising- Even though advertising is its own path in the communication field; it is strongly connected to public relations. Take a second to sit back and think about just how many ways a school advertises for its homecoming. There’s social media of course (twitter, facebook, instagram), handbills and flyers are printed, give away are purchased, and just about any outlet you could think of is used to spread the word about homecoming.
Budgeting- As many people in the PR industry know, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to know what kind of budget you are working with. This means booking performers who won’t cost your school about 5years of debt!!!! So as much as we may want the Jay Z’s and Beyoncès of the industry, it is safe to say there charging rate may be a little bit more than most schools are willing to pay. Distributing money wisely is important in an event planning or event coordinating position in pr.
Yes, fellow students it’s that time of year again! I just hope we as students realize how much work (and pr work at that) go into planning a Homecoming and we give our peers a break when our favorite band isn’t booked for the concert. Most importantly don’t forget PR IS EVERYWHERE!!!