Boy Scouts Student Consulting Project
Q&A with Taylor Thomas '13, District Executive, Boy Scouts Palmetto Council
by Caroline Winn '16
Taylor Thomas ’13 graduated from Wofford with a degree in Business Economics. Now he works as the District Executive for the Palmetto Council Boy Scouts of America. Thomas asked Wofford students to conduct a consulting project for this 100-year-old organization.
Q1: What was the background of this consulting project?
Over the summer, we started looking into how we market the Boy Scouts to our local community. Within our organization, which is volunteer-driven, we created a new position – the Vice President of Executive Marketing. We were looking to set groundwork for this position. We asked the students to look for ways to improve in two specific areas: School Night for Scouting (our fall recruitment time) and our popcorn sales. Wofford students were to look at what we do now and how we relay our message. Our goal is to get the kids excited, but it’s also important to convince parents to bring their child to School Night for Scouting. The consulting team looked at demographics of what we cover as a council and how to implement different marketing strategies for the various areas. For example, inner-city Spartanburg is handled differently than rural Spartanburg.
Q2: Why did the Boy Scouts choose Wofford students to work on this project?
As a Wofford graduate, I understood the many benefits of contacting The Space. Firstly, Wofford does not offer that many marketing courses. I wanted to give students at the college an experience with marketing. Additionally, we had just appointed Boyce Lawton to the VP of Executive Marketing position. He works at Wofford and is a Wofford alum himself. It was natural to tap into the Wofford community.
Q3: Was the Wofford consulting team helpful?
The Wofford students presented their findings a month before School Night for Scouting. We didn’t have time to implement all of the team’s ideas, but we sampled their recommendations on a smaller scale. One of their ideas was to use wristbands instead of traditional flyers. We sent out wristbands with the date of the event to six different schools. In some of our trials, this was effective – we found that it depended on when we distributed the wristbands.
Q4: What was the best part about working with Wofford students?
Wofford students are very organized and professional. But most importantly, Wofford students brought a fresh perspective to our organization. We appreciated that a team from outside our group, without a bias, could give an opinion on our operations. Our project was a little broad – we told the students what we wanted to accomplish and improve, and then we asked them for input.