Marketing students increase engagement for Monona Community Media (MCM)

Professor Kathryn Krueger’s course creates content strategies through which MCM could increase user engagement across its YouTube channel and social media profiles


Devin R. Larsen


Shelly Strom, Marshall Curry


City of Monona, WI, United States
Community Size
8,045 (2018 Census Estimation)
University of Wisconsin - Madison
UniverCity Year
Case Type
Project Stories
EPA Region 5, USA

The City of Monona uses numerous channels to remain in touch with its 8,000 citizens, with one of the most popular being city sub-department Monona Community Media (MCM). MCM strives to engage Monona citizens through digital media thanks to a radio station, WVMO, and a public TV broadcasting division. However, while MCM’s radio station has high engagement with residents, the TV channel—which uploads content primarily to YouTube and Facebook—receives little engagement.  

To help increase resident engagement, the City of Monona and MCM were looking to better develop their TV channel and all related content. 

The UniverCity Year program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an EPIC-Network member, was created to help local government and community partners with identified sustainability and livability projects. Participating University faculty incorporate community-identified projects into classes, and provide students with on-the-ground experience in support of a more sustainable and livable future for the partnered community. 

During the 2016 to 2017 academic year, the City of Monona was chosen to partner with the UniverCity Year program due to its proximity to the university and for strong support from Mayor Bob Miller. 

Students find what’s been stalling user engagement 

The UniverCity Year program partnered UW-Madison’s Marketing 355: Marketing in a Digital Age course with the City of Monona to perform a digital marketing analysis of MCM TV channel and its content. Under the guidance of Professor Kathryn Krueger, students embarked on two initiatives to study MCM’s TV channel and social media presence:

  1. Answering the question, “What is Monona Community?” re: Monona Community Media
  2. Creating a marketing plan for the city, which would involve community members as content contributors

Students set out to complete this project by conducting a digital marketing audit of the station’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, analyzing what content resonates with viewers while determining what has stalled engagement.

Targeted content strategies aim to increase engagement  

Following their digital audit, students synthesized all research and produced numerous recommendations which could increase resident engagement with MCM’s content. These included:

  • Implement a partnership with Monona Grove High School to share each other’s content and social media posts
  • Boost engagement with Facebook content by utilizing Facebook Live
  • Create a “My Monona” video campaign with local businesses to boost residential interest in content
  • Publish content to the MCM website and through an email newsletter  
  • Set weekly and monthly goals for increasing engagement, which can be monitored through the use of social media analytics tools

Upon implementing this student-driven digital marketing campaign, the City of Monona and MCM should expect to see an increase in content engagement through platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. This effort will help to spread awareness for the goings-on within Monona, while crafting a clearer narrative around Monona’s community and culture. 

Read the full story of the partnership.

Read the final student report delivered to the local gov/community partner.

“Monona Community Media has a great opportunity for growth within the digital space…we hope to expand MCM’s reach and follower base…to inform more people in the community what their organization is all about.”

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