Penn State Will Listen

Working on the I Will Listen campaign this summer at JWT was not only a great learning experience, it was a project I found myself getting attached to.  Specifically, I helped develop a Campus Activation Strategy, finding the most effective ways to spread this campaign on college campuses.  Once I got back to school, I implemented my ideas as described below to help develop awareness of this campaign gain.

The first thing that I did was actively spread any news and information about the campaign through social media.  I urged my friends to share anything they could find regarding the campaign, as well as to tweet using the hashtag #iwilllisten.  I found this to be very effective in spreading awareness.

Since one of the most effective ways to reach the students on my campus is through our student-run newspaper, The Daily Collegian, I contacted the paper and proposed that the launch of the campaign be reported as a story.  The journalists were very interested and contacted me, as well as Drew to learn more about the campaign and how students could help.   The result was an article that The Daily Collegian ran in October 2013.

The Penn State student body noticed and was interested in the article, so other news organizations began to contact me to publish a story on the campaign.  Centre County Report, a local television news station, was doing a story on mental illness that week and contacted me for an interview during which I explained what I was doing to help end the stigma on mental illness and otherwise spread the word about the I Will Listen campaign.  After the show had aired, I was contacted by the on-campus radio station, PSU COM Radio, which was interested in doing a story about the campaign.  After having spoken to me, the radio station ran a piece about the campaign and mental illness.

I plan to continue my efforts in various ways such as hanging up posters around campus, contacting the doctors at our counseling center and coordinating a social media effort during finals week.

– Rachel Wexler