How to employ a successful communication strategy

I appreciated the many opportunities available while I studied at Northeastern University.  As the Head Student Life Coordinator for NU Global International Pathways Program, I was responsible for event operations.  In my last semester in the Corporate and Organizational Communications program (COC), I coordinated one of the biggest events and collaborations between NU Global International Pathways and the Office of Global Services — Global Voice II.   

 

Global Voice II Audition Flyer Nov 2019  

Global Voice II is a singing competition opened to all international students at Northeastern University Boston campus. It attracted more than 50 students from seven countries and various colleges on campus to participate in the online audition. How did I have a hand in supporting the event?

Initial Planning

It all started early in Fall 2019. In order to make this event come alive, I developed a production team composed of five incredible volunteers responsible for specific goals. Based on each member’s previous work experience, I connected their strengths to assigned tasks in order to complete a full communication strategy plan. The responsibilities ranged from video shooting and editing, liaison for external communication with the contestants, social media posting, and IT support. The project plan kicked off in September with communication promotions to gather singers to audition. Online auditions were coordinated in October for ten days. Then, on-ground auditions were conducted with the finalists on November 3rd, preparing for the final show on November 20th. 

Demonstrating Skills

Before the online audition, I devised an online and on-ground promotion plan, co-designed the event flyers, and successfully networked with over 20 student unions and departments to guarantee diversity.  During the team meetings and contestant gatherings, I recognized the value of applying my skills gained through the COC program, such as thinking strategically, managing effective meetings, setting specific goals, developing clear communication channels, and identifying key performance indicators just to name a few. 

Facing Challenges

We did have challenges throughout the project planning.  I had to deal with several issues, at the time they felt like emergencies. As an example, some of the equipment was not functioning properly during the on-ground auditions. I ended up having to announce that we would finish the vocal auditions without musical accompaniment.  The show must go on. 

Plus, I gained experience by working with various cultures and backgrounds, sometimes this created communication barriers between staff and the contestants.  Fortunately, we grew to recognize the value of offering all kinds of musical genres – this was key to opening our minds to different perspectives.

Successful Communication Strategy

The Global Voice II Final Show was a huge success with more than 250 people in the audience enjoying the top 10 performances, along with three experienced entertainers as judges. The following images bring the words to life.

Global Voice II Team Fall 2019

I attribute the success of Global Voice II to my staff, volunteers, and my considerable preparations.   This event provided me with the opportunity to illustrate my skills developed through completing the Corporate and Organizational Communication graduate program. 

Author Guanming Chen, ’19

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