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April 6, 2009

ISAC Gets Good Buzz on With Free Rosen Event
Accomplished author teaches word-of-mouth strategies to non-profits at UIC

CHICAGO— Best-selling author Emanuel Rosen, author of  The Anatomy of Buzz (Doubleday, 2000) and The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited (Doubleday, 2009) presented real-life lessons in Word of Mouth Marketing to more than 130 people in a free lecture at University of Illinois at Chicago Monday morning (April 6).
The event was organized through the joint efforts of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and the Illinois College Access Network. Rosen’s presentation to college access, community outreach, nonprofit and public sector professionals and students reviewed seven steps to achieving Word of Mouth Marketing.

Rosen shared numerous examples of how organizations and products have worked with “buzz” to help those who are fans to spread the good word.  He described buzz as “person to person communication about a product” with the objective being to create the highest possible number of positive comments.

Advice from Rosen’s book included strategies such as encouraging participation and creativity as well as how to identify and find “hubs,” or, people who are trusted sources of shared information among large networks. People, he said, are the drivers of action and can make or break a product, service or event with their passion and attitude.

Speaking specifically to the numerous nonprofit marketers in the crowd, Rosen noted that "evoking an emotional response is one of the most important pieces of creating buzz."

“When you're in the social service sector you’re not selling a product or campaigning for office - you're trying to promote behavior change,” said Jacqueline Moreno, director, College Access Initiatives at ISAC and one of the event’s organizers. “That doesn't translate very well into traditional marketing. Rosen's concepts in word of mouth marketing are right on target.” 

“At ISAC we're trying to get students to go to college,” Moreno continued, “the people they already know and trust are the ones who are going to help them make that decision. Our role is to get that conversation started in communities across the state. We've built our outreach strategies around Rosen's concepts, and since then we've received national recognition for our ability to efficiently and effectively reach our target audience.”

About the author:
Emanuel Rosen, author of the national best-seller The Anatomy of Buzz (Doubleday, 2000), is now on book tour introducing The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited (Doubleday, 2009). Prior to writing these books, he was VP of Marketing at Niles Software where he was responsible for launching and marketing the company's flagship product EndNote, which spread to a large extent by word-of-mouth.  It was during this time that

Rosen became interested in buzz and especially in how it can be accelerated.  He started his career as a copywriter in Israel. For his work in advertising, he won the Bronze Lion from the Cannes International Advertising Festival, as well as several national awards including two gold medals.  He holds an MBA from the University of San Francisco and lives in Menlo Park, California.  The Anatomy of Buzz "has managed to generate quite a bit of buzz itself," as BusinessWeek Online noted. The book hit The Wall Street Journal's business best-seller list and is now available in twelve languages.

About ISAC:
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission provides students of all ages and backgrounds with the resources and support to obtain financial aid for higher education. A state agency, ISAC has paved the path to post-secondary education with innovative programs for more than 50 years. Last year alone, ISAC continued its mission to make college affordable for Illinois students by issuing over 186,000 grants and scholarships totaling nearly $431 million. 

The Commission provides educational funding with student loans, as a loan guarantor and via numerous public programs such as the successful Monetary Award Program (MAP), the Illinois Veteran Grant and College Illinois!sm the Commission’s groundbreaking 529 prepaid college tuition program. Students and families have free access to a wealth of financial aid and college planning information at ISAC’s family of websites available at www.knowhow2GOIllinois.org.



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