All that (public relations) work for something.

It feels like just yesterday I was a mere body, sitting in the Cox building, amongst 900 mass comm hopefuls in Professor Freeman’s Mass Communications 2000 class  Now, I can say I am a confident to make the transition from student to professional as I enter the “real world” of public relations.

Throughout the years, professors at Louisiana State University have taught me the “ins and outs” of the public relations business.  Whether ethics, visual, writing, or (as I’m doing now) implementation, I am confident I have been given the appropriate skills to dive into Public Relations.

I am very glad I was chosen as Events Coordinator for Louisiana Delta Service Corps.  While the planning was a bit stressful at times, it was really awesome to see everything come together.  I am so thankful to LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communications for giving me the tools I needed to make the event a success.

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Between letters of sponsorship, coordinating between our client and a third party vendor, as well as press releases on the event, we were able to really put a lot of the practice we’ve learned throughout our college careers and put them to use.

I know I have mentioned the event quite frequently in my other blogs.  It ended up being a huge success.  We were all a little worried when a huge thunderstorm hit, but we had about 40 people show up. A big thank you to Rotolo’s for donating the pizza.

I also need to say thank you to St. Albans Church.  They were beyond helpful throughout the coordination of the event.  St. Albans provided the location and drinks, as well as paper goods, for our event.  This is a perfect example of maintaining contacts.  Since Emma is very integrated in the church, they were willing to help us out so much.

Public Relations is built around relationships.  Just as in our personal lives, we have to be dedicated to working on these relationships on a regular basis to maintain positive thoughts about one another.  The phrase “mutually beneficial relationship” has been a bit of a joke throughout my graduating class, but more and more I see how that is exactly what must happen.

This class has been the best, most stressful class I have taken at LSU.  I know everything I have learned in will only help me be a better public relations practitioner when I enter the workforce.  I enjoy blogging so much, and I definitely plan to keep this going past this class.

It’s been a great semester.

Until next time.

-Elaina

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The Most Memorable Day of my College Career…

…and it was all thanks to Louisiana Delta Service Corps.

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to travel with Betsy (LDSC executive director) and Caitlin Barry (the videographer) to meet with some current service corps members, as well as see what types of projects they are devoted to.  It was a life-changing experience.

As much as I hate to admit it, I get caught up in my own hectic schedule quite often.  I will get so swallowed up in what is all on my plate that I sometimes forget what my purpose is.  The past couple of weeks, I’ve considered Louisiana Delta Service Corps more of a task than a gift.  The trials of the campaign, along with my other school work had me not really dedicated to the organization, rather I was just dedicated to getting it done.

That all changed when I visited Langston Elementary, the Broadmoor Community, and Greenlight NOLA.

Our first stop was to the Edible Garden at Langston.  Sam (pictured above) is currently serving Langston Elementary through LDSC.  I automatically noticed his leadership skills with his students.  He told me about how the students are able to learn through the garden.  You can check out his blog here.

Our second stop was to the Broadmoor neighborhood.  It was very eye-opening.  Broadmoor was under eight feet of water after Katrina.  The purpose of this organization is to help rebuild the homes ruined by the hurricane so that members of the community can move back home.  I met Milo at this organization.  He explained that LDSC was a great opportunity because he was given so much responsibility right at the beginning.

Our last stop was at Green Light NOLA.   This may be one of the most innovative non-profits I’ve ever heard of.  Green Light NOLA is an organization that will go to people’s houses and replace the lightbulbs in the fixtures with energy efficient bulbs.  They said the process takes about half an hour, during which they explain to homeowners ways they can be more energy efficient.

While all in all this was just a way cool trip, I consider it my most memorable because of the lesson I learned.  As I mentioned earlier, my head had not been in the right place.  As a public relations professional, I will be representing a person or groups of people who are all passionate about something.  I can relate and feel more a part of LDSC because I was able to see what they were doing first hand.  I now realize the importance of getting out there with my client so I can relate to what they’re doing.  I know this experience will better suit me in representing LDSC.

That being said, the big event is this Monday at St. Alban’s Church.  It starts at 7 PM.  I know our team is excited to execute the project we’ve been working so hard on!  We were also FINALLY able to get LDSC’s facebook and twitter pages up and running.  Be sure to check it out.

Until next time.

-Elaina

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Save the Date!

Students of LSU, Southern, BRCC, and surrounding colleges are not going to want to miss this!

Louisiana Delta Service Corp’s Informational Meeting is finally underway.  While the road deemed itself a bit bumpy, plans are steadily moving along.  I could not be more excited!

Our team at Prelude Public Relations has been diligently working and planning to help our client recruit more college aged students to their program.  After a bit of trouble finding a location, our team secured St. Alban’s Church right in the heart of LSU’s campus.  The location is ideal because it is a location most are familiar with.  I would like to give a huge thank you to Emma for helping find it.

Our event will be held on April 1, 2012 at 6:30 PM.  As mentioned in prior posts, there will be food, drink, current and past LDSC volunteers, as well as the the Executive Director of the program, Ms. Betsy.

The promotional video we decided to produce is also underway. We hired a very talented cinematographer named Caitlin Barry.  Caitlin is also a senior at LSU studying photography.  Caitlin has worked multiple promotional videos for companies, including Scene Magazine and Show me your MuMu.

In order to make the video, we had to get some photos for LDSC office.  The differences the programs LDSC supports shines through in the photographs.  It really makes me count my blessings that I get to be a part in helping continue LDSC’s success.

Tomorrow will be a big day for the event because I am going to ask for donations.  We are hoping to serve sandwiches, pizza, fruit, cookies and drinks.  I am hoping local companies like Winn Dixie, Which Wich, Rotolo’s, Raising Cane’s, etc. will be able to make a contribution.  I believe their contributions would be mutually beneficial due to the amount and diversity we hope to have in the event’s crowd.

As far as a little secret I have not even shared with my teammates, I am currently in the process of securing a snow ball machine for the event.  A local company in my hometown owns one.  While visiting my family last weekend, a woman overheard me telling my Dad about the organization.  She came up and told me how inspired she was by the program and asked if there was anything she could do to help.  I told her we were in the process of trying to collect donations.  Her face lit up and said “What about a Sno Cone machine?”  While not what I was expecting, I think it could be a good, inexpensive idea.

All in all, the project is moving along great.  I’m excited to see how it all turns out.

Until next time.

 

Elaina

 

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A Governor, An Oscar, and a Service Corps.

No, I’m not kidding.  They all tie in.

My last two posts recapped the activities my teammates and I have been doing for Louisiana Delta Service Corps in the past couple of weeks.  However, I’m taking an alternative route with this one.

I attended my first “real” press conference yesterday.  Remember how people always say “You learn more in the real world than in a classroom”… yadiyadah?  Well, this time, “those people” were right.  I watched as methods I learned in class were applied to a real situation.  Never did I think I could learn so many beneficial public relations tactics in a matter of hours.

Just a bit of background, I work as a Public Relations Assistant for Raleigh Studios at the Celtic Media Centre.  Working for a movie studio definitely keeps life interesting.  Some of the most memorable moments of my life occurred at the studio.  While many things have occurred at the studio, yesterday’s press conference to announce Pixomondo’s (who just won an Oscar for their work in Hugo) expansion to Baton Rouge was the first of its kind.

When Governor Bobby Jindal’s PR person walked into Celtic, he immediately began changing everything my boss and I had worked so hard to set up.  He literally rearranged the entire room, moving the podium from the side to the middle of the room.  He removed all the “reserved” signs I spent time laminating, explaining that everyone would stand behind the speaker and Governor.

“May I have the speaker’s list?” was his next question.  Um, what?  I had never heard of a speaker’s list until that moment.  When the media began asking for one as well, I quickly learned what they were (big thanks to google).

Wondering how this ties in with Louisiana Delta Service Corps?  Well, it completely changed the way I plan to execute our event.

Jindal’s PR person explained to me that people standing behind the speaker is less boring for the audience, as well as more aesthetically pleasing for a camera shot.  I planned on having one person at a time for our informational meeting, but now I will be sure to keep everyone in the front.  A reporter also explained the importance of a speaker’s list to me.  I will be sure this is available for the media at our event.

Also, before Pixomondo introduced themselves, they played a short video about what their company does.  The film highlighted the worked the company completed in Hugo (same work they won the Oscar for).  While the video had no dialogue, the audience was able to grasp what the company was about.  Personally, I felt inspired and connected with the  company after the video played.

Because of this, we at Prelude PR decided to take a portion of our budget to hire a company to develop a short 3 – 5 minute film highlighting the great aspects of LDSC’s programs and passions.

I took so much away from the press conference.  I’m so thankful Celtic allowed me to be a part of it.  I think it will help me plan a more successful event for our client.

Until next time.

Elaina

P.S. Welcome to BR, Pixomondo!

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“Do y’all want to meet?”

I hear these words about every other day with my teammates in Prelude Public Relations.

With the campaign finally getting started, Emma, Gabrielle, Heather, Grace, Katherine and I try to dedicate at least two nights a week to our campaign with Louisiana Delta Service Corps.  We actually met three times in the last week thanks to the research analysis we had due on Tuesday, which brings me to my next point..

I. HATE. RESEARCH.

I know it is one, if not the most important, steps of the Public Relations process.  Research is not necessarily difficult, but the tediousness of the process is enough to put anyone asleep.  However, with everything in life, there are going to be parts of something that are not your favorite, but are necessary to get where you need to go.

I should not really complain.  We were lucky enough to have research Louisiana Delta Service Corps collected about a year ago.  As our primary research, we decided to conduct a survey using Survey Monkey.  Our survey was less than ten questions and took people less than 5 minutes to complete.  However, we were really able to gauge how our audience with the short survey.

As I mentioned in my first post, I assumed that Louisiana Delta Service Corps was one of Louisiana’s best kept secrets.  I was right.  I know I am right by the results of our survey. Out of the 100 participants, 93 people were either “unknowledgeable” or “extremely unknowledgeable” about Louisiana Delta Service Corps.  While this may appear to the public to be a bad thing, our team see the anonymity as a “we can only go up from here” situation.

The results of our survey were not all disappointing, though.  We learned that the majority of the participants were willing to learn more information about the program.  We really plan to utilize social media to get our message out, along with somewhat of “guerilla advertising,” but I will not spill too much of those beans.

Since I am the Event Director of Prelude Public Relations, it is my responsibility to create an event for Louisiana Delta Service Corps.  Since Betsy, Executive Director of LDSC, mostly wants awareness and recruitment, our team is thinking about throwing an informational meeting on LSU’s campus.  We plan on inviting students from surrounding colleges as well as LSU students.  We hope to secure current Louisiana Delta Service Corps members to give their testimony in hopes of recruiting people to the program.  Afterwards we would serve food and students could talk to members of LDSC personally.

There is a lot to look forward to with this campaign.  I cannot wait to get my hands dirty.

Until next time.

Elaina

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The Start of a New Year.

Hi, my name is Elaina.

Campaigns haunts every mass communications major’s brain from the beginning.  Freshman year I heard horror stories.  Junior year I heard Cinderella ones.  It’s an anxious exciting feeling I get when I think about the next few months of my life.

As a senior at LSU, I was very apprehensive about this semester.  I knew coming in that the “capstone” class would inevitably take over my life.  Worry of whether my client would be easy to please, hard to work with, have extreme expectations, or be impossible to figure irked my brain for the first 14 days of class.  Then I was introduced to Louisiana Delta Service Corps.

In our first meeting, Executive Director Betsy Irvine described Louisiana Delta Service Corps as the “domesticated Peace Corps.”

“Louisiana Delta Service Corps is an AmeriCorps program and is one of over 400 AmeriCorps National Service programs.  Known as the “Peace Corps of the Delta”,  DSC creates opportunities for AmeriCorps members across the Louisiana Delta region to perform vital services in neighborhoods and communities.  We address education, health, and housing needs.  Up to 45 members are selected to serve individually or in teams at local public or nonprofit organizations.  Members receive a modest living stipend of $11,800 and a $5,350 education award upon completion of the 11 month service year,” according to the program’s website.

Betsy noted that Louisiana is an attractive place for individuals considering an AmeriCorps program due to its rich history and culture.  She also discussed some of the current programs the participants serve.  The program helps restore and revitalize Louisiana, but it seems to be one of the best kept secrets.

I plan to spread that secret.  Another apprehension I worried about was the team I would be placed with.  That worry proved to be a waste of time.  Luckily, I was paired with a group of 5 amazing girls.  We seem to all have the same vision for how we want to execute our campaign for Louisiana Delta Service Corps.  Our combined drive will take this campaign very far.

I am very excited to be given the opportunity to work with a volunteer program like Louisiana Delta Service Corps.  I believe the program will continue to make Louisiana a better place.  I feel like once more people know about the program, they will feel as passionate about it as I do.  I cannot wait to work with Louisiana Delta Service Corps this semester.

 

 

 

 

 

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