By: Katie Campbell
As a public relations professional, it is crucial to know your client both professionally and personally. An agency can have preconceived ideas for the client and campaign, and the client likely has ideas of its own. However, that initial meeting can result in several changes in both the tactics and channels that help to achieve objectives. Empower Public Relations began the service-learning experience with tactics and channels, including an Eventbrite page and a social media campaign centered around the trivia night fundraising event. After discussing these ideas with our client, we realized that our campaign needed to take a more traditional approach, utilizing platforms such as press releases, radio and email messages.
As millennial students, our original idea focused on expanding the Capital Area Special Olympics Instagram page. Our primary research revealed that middle and upper class adults in the Baton Rouge area are a key audience for Capital Area Special Olympics. Pew Research revealed that 72 percent of online adults in America use Facebook, whereas only 28 percent of American adults on the Internet use Instagram. These results emphasize the importance of utilizing Facebook in every campaign, so we adjusted our channels accordingly.
Our client emphasized that its audience solely uses email and Facebook, so we adapted our campaign to focus on more traditional methods. We promoted Capital Area Special Olympics’ inaugural trivia night event through word-of-mouth at Capital Area sporting events and in the organization’s e-newsletter. We were delighted to learn that traditional public relations is still effective because within two weeks the event sold out. We saw first hand that building relationships with the public cannot be done through an app, and socializing verbally can act as a very effective way of promoting a campaign.
This service-learning experience has been a very beneficial learning experience for Empower Public Relations, especially as we prepare for our careers in the communications industry. A healthy balance between digital and traditional public relations can create a successful campaign. We have learned how to alter ideas to meet the client’s wants and needs and how to be creative with different approaches. Changing our tactics and channels at the beginning of the campaign worked well for the client and ultimately built a stronger relationship between Empower Public Relations and Capital Area Special Olympics.
Connect with Empower’s Account Executive, Katie Campbell.