Entry 1

Title: Student Resource Fair

Target Audiences: Students

Team Members: Margarita Rincon, Jason Wagner

The Resource Fair is our first opportunity to interact with incoming first-year students and present ourselves as a resource to students to help answer any IT related questions they might have. Every year, we create t-shirts and tchotchkes as a way to entice them over to our IT desk and see what services we offer. Flyers for TV streaming; a promotion from our network and connectivity folks was also handed out during this event.

This year, our shirt was themed, “Reveal your inner Rocky” (Rocky is our mascot). To tie in the IT aspect to the design was inspired from our new Dell Racks – the equipment has mesh (honeycomb) material that allowed heat to be released from the equipment. I figured honeycomb, yellowjackets… they go hand in hand. We of course like to promote our tech.rochester.edu site on our t-shirts.

The challenge: I wanted our IT staff to be more engaged with our students… so how do we do that?

In the past, we’ve just handed t-shirts and tchotchkes out willy-nilly with little to no education or interaction. I’ve noticed at past events, other department’s tables have spinning wheels and students win their items. BUT I still wanted to find a way to interact, educate and do something different. So we researched and purchased a Plinko game – who DOESN’T love Plinko, am I right? We called it “Cybersecurity Plunk IT” We used a student focus group to survey which promotional items, they’d like to receive at an event. We came up with the following list (each item plays on promoting IT security).

Tchotchkes included (click here to see examples):

      • Pens: “Don’t write your password down”
      • Flashlight: “Shed light on job scams” (link to our job scams page)
      • Microfiber cleaning cloth: Keep a clean machine for better cyber hygiene” (QR code takes you to the IT Security page)
      • Bubble push stress ball: “Stress less, contact the Help Desk” (with phone number)
      • Webcam cover: “Expose scammers- Report Scams to abuse@rochester.edu
      • Blue light glasses: “Shield yourself from scammers” (links to scams page)
      • Water bottle: “Quench your IT needs” (tech.rochester.edu)

We gave students 3 discs (like Price is Right) and wherever a disc lands-they win the giveaway listed in that slot. We had  higher ticket items in a couple of the slots (nicer water bottles and blue light glasses). If a student’s disc landed on those items, they had to answer a cybersecurity question first. Whether they answered it right or wrong, they still won their prize. If they answered wrong, we were sure to provide them the correct answer. This helped me in my role to understand what our students know or don’t know regarding cybersecurity, so I know what to promote or educate more with my security awareness throughout the year (security articles, tips, campaigns, etc.) It also gets them thinking or being mindful of cybersecurity topics they may have learned while playing the game and save them from incidents in the future (job scams, etc.).

For students who wanted swag, but didn’t want to wait in line to play the game, they had to answer a cybersecurity question from one of our individuals handing out our promo items. It made them work for something they wanted and again giving us insight to what we can promote in our cybersecurity awareness program while being engaged with our students.

Another goal was to gain traction to our Instagram page, so we created a contest where students follow, post a picture in their new Rocky shirt and tag us at various location on campus. This helps students learn the campus and some history associated with those areas while putting our Instagram in their purview.

Full list of marketing materials used for our Resource Fair:


Entry 2

Title: Protect the House Campaign

Target Audiences: Faculty, Staff and Students

Team Members: Margarita Rincon, Margaret Gan, Amy Zaborowski, Kara Walsh, Vern Williams

Security Awareness is a priority in our IT organization. We are always trying to be innovative and find different ways to engage our audience with our campaign. This time ’round, we didn’t want to have the same ole song and dance of “do this, do that”, but instead we wanted them to think of being security conscious in protecting their data. We came up with the “Protect the House” campaign. Each part of the house depicted in our graphic was to be seen as different areas of security. We would promote security awareness tips each month focusing on the different areas of the house.

For example: We associated the front door as a way to promote strong passwords/phrases.
Your front door is how you gain entry to your home, would you give the keys to a stranger or a thief? Having strong security (like a password/passphrase) is one way you can prevent unwanted visitors into your home with access to all of your valuables (data).

University IT throws out terms like “When incidents occur, our security folks put out the fire”. We played with this terminology in our Protect the House campaign because if our audience doesn’t protect their house, there could be many fires to put out (identity theft, lost data, etc.), victims could lose everything and it’s hard to bounce back.

Challenges we faced: Reaching our audiences! This is the hardest challenge. We used both digital and print platforms and promoted our campaign through graphics, security tips, articles, etc. on our IT site, intranet site, our University newsletter, emails went out from our Leadership, digital screensavers, and we also had a lot of cling posters hung in every building’s high trafficked areas. There were short versions and longer versions that expanded on each item (see examples below). The short versions were used on screensavers and some posters that were only going to be seen at a quick glance (in line, bathrooms, screensavers) to just catch attention and act as reminders. The longer versions were used in all other platforms (email, IT site, etc.)

Protect the House graphic (short)

Protect the House graphic (long)

Protect the House cling posters

Next steps: Growing this campaign through a game (currently in the works). A user has to answer questions to “Protect the House”, if a question is answered wrong – they would need to provide next steps to “put out the fire” (examples: report scams to abuse@rochester.edu or change password immediately).