Service-learning with Capital Area Special Olympics

By: Amy Gonzales

Empower Public Relation’s time working with Capital Area Special Olympics Louisiana is quickly coming to a close. Throughout the semester, we have grown as an agency and learned the importance of flexibility and professionalism when building client relationships.

The service-learning component of our PR campaigns class enhanced our classroom learning by providing numerous opportunities for hands-on experience that directly relates to our course content. We also pulled from the knowledge and experiences we have gained throughout our time in the Manship school. Empower PR conducted research to determine key publics for CASOL and then developed strategies and tactics to disseminate messages tailored to those publics.

Several tactics were related to a key component of our PR campaign, a fundraising event for the organization. CASOL’s main focus was to establish an annual event that would not only raise funds, but also inform event participants of the organization’s services and work in the local community. Empower executed this request by planning a trivia night for CASOL, which provided us with the opportunity to create professional design pieces for our client. The Empower design director, Hannah, created a flier and social media graphic to promote the event, along with registration forms and tickets.

Our event was definitely a success, and CASOL plans to recreate trivia night in the years to come. We reached out to small businesses and local restaurants for donations and sponsorships, and ultimately raised over $4,000 for the organization. Through our partnership, CASOL was able to gain a significant amount of funds towards their goal of $10,000 and reach a wide variety of people in the community. We built the foundation for successful events in the future and began building relationships with the community. Maintaining those relationships will be a key component of future events’ success. Sending personalized thank you notes to each donor or sponsor is critical for donor retention. To make donor retention possible, Empower PR created an internal communication document that outlines each donor and his or her contact information. This document will hopefully guide CASOL in nurturing these relationships in the future, even after our partnership concludes.

Empower PR also developed multiple tactics to execute the campaign beyond the event. The Empower strategy directors, Gabby and Lucy, managed the CASOL Facebook page by drafting posts and scheduling media and campaign timelines. The schedules continue throughout the year, even after our partnership with CASOL ends.

Hopefully, Empower Public Relations has prepared CASOL for the year to come, and the nonprofit will continue to grow and expand across the Baton Rouge area.


Connect with Empower Public Relation’s Writing Director, Amy Gonzales.

To learn more about Capital Area Special Olympics, visit the website or email our team at


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