Dancing! Through The Big Day

It took a splinter attack, almost dropping an enormous table on Lester’s body and a ton of balloons to help me realize that public relations goes beyond news releases and social media usage. Dancing Through The Decades was my first taste of hardcore event planning and it was quite the experience.

It all started at 1 pm on April 25, 2012. The cake balls were ready and the team was running around hectically trying to decorate and go over our event positions. We were up to our necks in our to-do list throughout the entirety of the big day. Team BluePRint had to set everything up for the mocktail and beverage section, food, silent auction and raffle ticket area. There is no doubt that we made the best out of the Dunham School gymnasium and I was very proud of my team for our hard work and dedication.

In public relations, you must always be prepared when it comes to event planning. Schedules, lists and plans are the key ingredients when organizing an event. It takes flexibility, team work and comfortable shoes when ensuring an event’s on point in the planning process. Team BluePRint utilized immense organization proficiency, demonstrated exceptional communication skills and turned a high school gymnasium into one hell of a ball considering our time and resources.

Overall, I would say our event was a success. All of our stress, conflict and confusion ended up benefiting and motivating us to do our absolute best. Each group member did a fantastic job in keeping cool, calm and collected while improvising and making the best out of our situation.  Marcus did a great job juggling mocktails, soft drinks and charm. Mom and dad rocked those clipboards and were amazing at keeping everything together. Taylor was one mean Vanna White and worked fabulously with event attendees. Haley and I showed that silent auction and raffle ticket section who is boss. I am very satisfied with our success!

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Managing time and deadlines-like a BOSS!

Team BluePRint has been up to our knees in writing assignments, advertising and contacting potential donors. From creating the rough draft of the campaign book to selecting appropriate locations to advertise the Dancing Through the Decades event, my team has been juggling a tedious, heavy to-do list.

Last week, Haley and I felt the pressure of extensive research. I feel like we were on the verge of wearing our keyboards out. We compiled our data and strategically began composing the appropriate information to include in our campaign book. As writing director, I was primarily responsible for ensuring that we successfully documented our goals, strategies, plans and research. It was not an easy task. However, I am ecstatic to have knocked a major portion of our work load out the way.

There is still so much to do in so short of time. BluePRint must keep our momentum focused on maintaining contact with both monetary and in-kind donors. Also, we have been brainstorming locations to hang our posters. We aim to reach as many viewers as possible. It is our goal to reach individuals in the 35+ age range who have the extra income to support our cause. My group members came up with great ideas on where to increase our viewership. We discussed locations in Towne Center, Perkins Rowe and recreational clubs. I am very proud of my team for working together to successfully publicize our event.

Aside from acquiring donations and publicity, we also aim to network with BRAADC’s board members. It is essential that we encourage them to get involved in promoting and assisting the organization to expand its resources. Lester and Kandyse plan to meet, collaborate and encourage them to partake in the event at the next board meeting.  I am pumped to see how well we pull together to manage our time and deadlines.

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A Change is Gunna Come

Please judge me for using Aretha Franklin as an inspiration for this blog post. No team BluePRint was not born by the river, but we have made some epic changes these past couple of weeks. I’ll admit under no uncertain terms that our last meeting with the executive director was nothing short of nerve wrecking for the entire group.

BluePRint learned a valuable lesson early in this campaign and in public relations. You will not always agree with your client on creative and tactical decisions. The key to success is compromise. The battle for compromise can be a stressful, demanding circumstance that requires effective communication, teamwork and necessary feedback. Public relations professionals must assist and guide their clients in the right direction. It is our professional duty and responsibility to see that our clients are making effective decisions, utilizing proper resources and working to better their company or organization.

I am confident that team BluePRint’s plan and vision is in BRAADC’s best interest and is also specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Our intentions are to promote the BRAADC brand and to make this event a financial and social success. It takes confidence, honesty and an open mind to efficiently combine your own knowledge and experience along with the wants and needs of your clients.

What was once an adult prom-like event is now an elegant, fun-filled ball of the past decades.  It is our goal to stray away from an adult prom and to make this event more appealing and appropriate for our target audience. Team BluePRint is busy working to acquire potential donors. We are working tirelessly to procure as many in-kind and monetary donations as possible to make this event the best it can be. We are currently devoted to working on restaurant sponsors and launching BRAADC’s social media.

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Publicity, Fundraising And Other Shenanigans!

The growing pressure of knocking out our colossal to-do list is creeping upon the team. Rewind the Clock and Rock is right around the corner and we’re just beginning to orchestrate and execute our PR weapons of mass amazingness. These are the moments when it really pays to have a public relations team who supports and works closely with each member to accomplish short-term goals and deadlines. Each team meeting, group text conversation and Google document makes the time crunch a little more bearable and gets us that much closer to fulfilling our objectives.

It is important that we focus our energy and resources on taking every goal one step at a time. In our meeting last week, team BluePRint buckled down to continue our hunt for PR success. After looking at the piles and piles of paper work stacked on Lester’s living room floor, I felt the cold stab of overwhelming. It was in that moment that I truly learned to take PR in baby steps. We must tackle one objective before we consider juggling a handful. However, our team has proved efficient in dividing and conquering. If we maintain our teamwork spirit and drive for success, we will achieve greatness.

BluePrint accomplished the creation and approval of our poster, ticket design and event logo. I am thrilled to finally start getting the BRAADC ball rolling.  One of our main goals is to contact potential in-kind donors in the Baton Rouge Area. BluePRint’s Event Director, Kandyse, assigned each member a few sponsors to contact. We also have a script to better prepare us on professional and appropriate conversation with regards to fundraising. This is slightly out of my comfort zone. I am both excited and nervous to push my limits and to overcome my professional weaknesses.

I am proud to announce that our Strategy Director, Taylor, was contacted by the Mandeville Picayune to run a story on the event we are planning for BRAADC. This is the first step in acquiring positive publicity that we hope will increase BRAADC ‘s overall recognition and community support. One of our initiatives is to promote the organization and this course of action is just the first step. This article will be a great tool to introduce BRAADC to the Mandeville area. I think it is extremely important to reach a broader audience and to spread our message to surrounding areas. All support is encouraged and we will utilize every resource necessary.

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brainstorms and big moves!

BluePRint has finally made some lead way in our PR journey! We’ve developed the plan, momentum and teamwork spirit to take BRAADC’s adult-prom to the next level. The past two weeks have really pulled us together to ignite our creative juices. However, there is so much to do in so little time. After contacting the executive director of BRAADC, we found out that we will be sticking with the primary colors that are used on all BRAADC marketing collateral. I think consistency would really help to strengthen BRAADC’s identity in the community. The scary part is that the organization does not have any donors for the event. Fortunately, we were given permission to utilize the donor database in any way necessary. This is exactly what was needed to help us spread our message and re-open those lines of communication.

When I interned with the previous development director, I learned how important it was to manage your connection to donors, sponsors and volunteers. We stayed focus on emailing them about events, news and ways to get involved. In any non profit organization, it is absolutely critical that public relations professionals keep their publics informed and motivated to maintain their connection to the organization. My plate is about to get full. Next, I have to focus my efforts on drafting press releases for the event, providing Marcus with brochure information and editing the research proposal.

Looking at the non-event timeline that Taylor and I crafted at our last meeting, there is also so much to do with BRAADC social media. We plan on revamping their social media while keeping their posts up-to-date and frequent. Taylor and I started brainstorming creative and informative posts that will keep BRAADC ‘s social media followers interested. My group and I discussed using Hootsuite to manage their social media. Often, non profit workers may feel so overwhelmed with essential tasks that they neglect to maintain their social media. This is where Hootsuite comes in. Also, BluePRint has an enormous amount of planning and strategizing to do before we put a dent in this event. We need to contact sponors and donors, create ads that will effectively draw in participants and spread the word about our event. We have been juggling different ideas for posters, tickets and flyers. This week has been a hectic, but productive one. BluePRint is finally getting our ducks in a row and executing those ideas out in the community!

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The Adventure Begins…

Great news folks! The MC 4001 Campaign Winners of Family Road of Greater Baton Rouge have reunited to revamp and support Baton Rouge Area Alcohol and Drug Center (BRAADC), a local non profit detoxification center. Since collaborating with our client, my team and I have managed to set goals and deadlines, successfully communicate and work past issues and concerns. Our main initiative is to launch a public relations campaign that will increase community awareness and recognition while acquiring funding and outreach efforts. Also, I think its absolutely critical to incorporate updated social networking sites and information hubs. We plan to update the BRAADC facebook page and make it a priority for communicating with supporters.

The organization is in dire need of media attention, greater community support and facility improvements. As an intern for Slaydon Consultants over the summer, I was able to work with the previous development director of BRAADC. I have acquired a basic knowledge of how the organization operates and what interests and resources are mandatory for BRAADC to continue to offer its services.

Last week, my team met with the new executive director to determine what project objectives we needed to focus our time and resources on. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend since the director is not available after 3 p.m. This is one major issue I’m concerned about. Luckily, I have an efficient team that works wonderfully to keep our lines of communication open and frequent.

We are currently debating on the event that we will plan and execute for the organization. My team and I have tossed around great ideas that are sure to be a success.  It is not common in the non profit world to come across professionals who do not fully utilize or understand public relations. In order to successfully connect with targeted audiences and increase fundraising efforts, non profit workers must use public relations campaigns to their advantage.

An effective public relations campaign consists of research, planning, implementation, two-way communication and execution. Our campaign will consist of immense research and planning. However, each step of the public relations process is necessary to achieve our goals.

We were responsible for presenting the executive director with more information on what we are able to do for the organization. As a future practitioner, it is our duty to inform other professionals and media specialists on what public relations is and how it can benefit its users. One objective that my team and I accomplished so far was creating and designing a professional and visually appealing logo. The color and font are modern, professional and classy.

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