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Friday March 30, 2001

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Struggling events need public relations support

Student involvement on this campus tends to be minimal.

However, the cause of this apathy may not be due entirely to laziness on the part of UA students.

After having fallen by the wayside for the past seven years, the UA Residence Hall Association (RHA) has attempted to resurrect an annual lip-sync contest known as Mock Rock.

Although UAB and ASUA worked together to donate their time and prizes to the event, these groups did not seem to plan an effective promotional campaign for Mock Rock.

Despite RHA's enthusiastic attempt at reinstating the event, a lack of publicity is the reason why Mock Rock was unsuccessful - only one person signed up for the event.

Rather than immediately blaming student apathy for the cause of the event's downfall, Arnold Lopez, RHA vice president of programming, admitted Mock Rock failed to take off due to ineffective promoting on the part of RHA.

Note that Lopez did not say the event failed due to ineffective promoting on the parts of RHA, ASUA, UAB and so forth.

One of the most successful campus programs is the UAB Eat to the Beat concert series on the UA Mall.

A major reason why Eat to the Beat is so successful is because it is promoted effectively. Not only are the concerts publicized on UAB's Web site, they are also publicized on the UA's official Web site.

Furthermore, UAB's concert series has a major presence on the Mall. The key to programs being successful seems to lie in their ability to advertise on the Mall where students are most likely to be present and paying attention.

Advertising an event to be held at the Park Student Union is a much less effective way of ensuring student involvement.

And yet other events such as Spring Fling are shining examples of how consistent advertising can yield larger campus participation. The annual carnival is triumphant because a slew of UA organizations work together to promote the event.

Perhaps RHA could take a lesson from these two successful events. Of course, RHA is only one of several groups on this campus that have tried and found limited success with new events directed toward the campus community.

Had RHA worked more on their publicity and received promotional assistance from ASUA or UAB, it is possible that publicity for the event would have been higher, more people would have signed up for the contest and yet another prosperous campus event would have gone off without a hitch.

In the future, aspiring campus events should focus more on advertising effectively. If they do so, great ideas like Mock Rock will not fall flat on their face.

Staff editorials represent the collaborative stance of the Wildcat opinions board.