Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Two days down, the third just starting.

I love my new job and all the excitement that it brings. The GM pokes fun at my ties. I think I'll keep wearing them as it makes me feel far more comfortable. I'm looking for some places to go for lunch too but I'm thinking I'll switch to bagged lunches. On the first day I got a brand new iMac to work on. There was a Queens expense account that paid for it; that was cool. This office is very quiet. I have the QueensU Radio station in my ear but the surrounding silence certainly makes the atmosphere a little less comfortable. I'm also paid once a month… which is definitely new to me. Every job I've ever had has been bi-weekly.

I guess the biggest surprise was finding out we're not a part of Queens University at the Campus Bookstore. So technically, I don't work for Queens. The Queens Campus Bookstore is the only university bookstore not owned by its university. This is why you'll find interesting things on their site like the "used book buyback app", and "used book classifieds". They're here to save the students money. As a student who paid a small fortune (or at least my parents did) getting my books from the St. Lawrence College bookstore, this strikes me as odd. But, this is the organization I represent, so onward and upward.

While I thought that generating a conversation with our audience would be the primary objective I have come to find out that it is even more necessary than I thought. I am not, however, presently tasked to do so. I have been given a branding assignment for a new book rental system. Which, in itself, is a necessary task, however, it needs to reach the incoming students most of all, an audience with which the bookstore has had zero exposure. We do not even have a contact list of incoming students. We don't have this list because the registrars office does not share it with us. They don't share it with us because we are not a part of Queens University. Very interesting indeed. How do I get their attention?

Designing a campaign for book rentals is my first task. It would be easy if all they did was book rentals… but it's not. They approached me with this concept and the first thing I did was make the project bigger. There are many ways to purchase books through the bookstore. You can buy (at our discounted rates), buy second-hand, or rent. There are also a number of free services offered like free eBooks (DSVs) and encouraging teachers to use Custom Courseware. So clearly this is not just an advertisement for the new rental system. I am clearly branding a single product in a suite of products.

A very interesting first two days indeed.

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