Association for Business Communication Rack Cards
I created these rack cards with one other student in my Introduction to Professional Writing and Rhetoric class. The purpose of the assignment was to produce several marketing materials for the Association for Business Communication (ABC) so that they could use the materials to gain more membership. Each rack card was geared towards a different audience, which include faculty, professionals in the field of business communication, and graduate students in related academic programs. This project was the second step in determining ways to promote ABC and generate membership. Prior to this, our class researched other organizations’ marketing strategies and compiled a report of methods that ABC can incorporate into their marketing plan. The rack cards take the assignment further and use the research we found to create deliverables for each of ABC’s audiences.
We decided to design rack cards because they could easily be placed in envelopes to be mailed to current members to distribute. Besides the size, another important factor was that we did not want to overwhelm our audience with too much information. Therefore, the rack cards were useful in highlighting key points while keeping the content brief. As for design, we kept the color scheme that ABC already had because they have established ethos with these colors. We placed a globe at the top of each rack card to mirror the globe that is present on the homepage of ABC’s website to continue to enhance their visual branding. It is important to note that we changed the logo from ABC to ABPC because we determined that adding the word “professional” to the Association for Business and Professional Communication broadens the target audience, creating the possibility of increasing membership from more diverse professionals.
The layout of the back of the rack cards is the same for each card to show that they are all part of the same organization. However, we changed the colors slightly to help distinguish one rack card from another. One of the hardest parts about this project was playing with the color scheme for each rack card. Working together and bouncing ideas off each other was the most efficient way to come up with three different layouts that all maintained similarity. We bolded the words that we thought would be most appealing to the individual audiences. For example, on the graduate student rack card, we bolded “scholarships” and “discounted membership” because these individuals are less likely to have the financial stability that professionals and faculty have. The quotes on the bottom of each rack card add a personal touch to the rack cards that appeal to the audience’s emotions. Because one of our other marketing goals was to create a stronger social media identity for ABC, we put the Facebook and Twitter logos at the bottom. In order to give the audience multiple ways to learn more about ABC and what it has to offer, we provided a link to the homepage at the bottom.
Lastly, five of us took our research and marketing materials to ABC’s Annual Conference in New Orleans to present to the members. We created a poster explaining the purpose of our project and the research we did. My group worked on marketing materials, but we also included the video, social media, and conference materials that the other groups worked on.
This was a large project for two individuals to complete in a week and a half, but because of this, we had to be more flexible. For example, at the last minute, we decided to create the faculty rack card. Originally, we were only going to have two rack cards, but we decided that we were missing a major target audience that could pull in a large group of members. This was an important move, but I am least pleased with the faculty rack card because I do not like the white background as much. However, this was something that I had to learn to let go of because it was more important to have the rack card than to neglect an entire audience. Overall, I enjoyed the assignment, and I learned how to collaborate with another student along the way. Although we only had a short time to complete this project, I was proud of the final products that cohesively go together, target each of ABC’s audiences with specific benefits, and are easily distributed.