PR Campaign Strategies & the P.A.C.
This is my final semester at Georgia Southern, and the capstone class for all Public Relations majors is Campaign Strategies in which we learn to analyze situations, research a client’s situation, and strategically develop a campaign proposal that will offer a client effective solutions in the public relations aspect of their company.
Our professor is the awesome Mr. Curtis Woody who has four clients for our class: the Performing Arts Center — better known as “the PAC,” the Georgia Southern Museum, the Georgia Southern Botanical Garden, and the Friends of the Library. Professor Woody revealed these four organizations to us before he randomly assigned groups to certain clients. The PAC is probably the one most students are familiar with since we have all attended an event there at least twice, so I secretly prayed to get this client. On the other hand, I think most of the groups were hoping to NOT get the Friends of the Library because we wrote it off as the most boring! (I’ll get into that in a minute).
Well, today a representative from each of the four organizations came to speak to our class about their missions and basic objectives and presented to us their core problem. Our group (consisting of Brooke Huger, Rachel Alderman, and Hillary Robinson) has been assigned to the Performing Arts Center. So Mr. Albert, the PAC’s director, spoke with us about their needs. Our group had assumed he wanted to increase revenue in general and increase awareness among the younger generation. We were almost accurate. But he reiterated that his biggest desire was to “get butts in the seats.” He explained to us basically that it is easy to incorporate public relations when trying to promote a new product, but that is it difficult to “sell art” so he needs our help. I never thought about that! This will be a great challenge that we are ready to take on!
As I stated earlier, the client that sounded least interesting was the Friends of the Library. I had never heard of this organization before today. But the representative who came and spoke to us turned my mind around entirely as I’m sure he did for some of my classmates as well.
He explained to us the importance of libraries and how it enhances the quality of life in the community. Libraries provide not only books, but they provide reading lessons for children and adults, they give Internet access to those in the community who are not fortunate enough to be able to afford Internet service or a personal computer, they allow patrons the ability to do research and use printers, and so much more. He expanded on several good points that touched me because I have a passion for children, and it would be horrible if the service weren’t there. I realize that children need libraries for some summer camps, reading programs, etc. But not only that, he told us that an e-mail address is required on job applications to even just be a janitor or cafeteria worker on Georgia Southern’s campus. And this university has hired hundreds, maybe thousands, of Statesboro natives, some of which may not have Internet access or a personal computer in the home – which means they probably don’t have an e-mail address either.
Those of us who didn’t want this client at first are now putting our feet in our mouths after today! I am sorry for not having appreciation for libraries. And I would love to have had this client. But anyway, I am happy that our group got assigned the PAC. We are looking forward to working with Mr. Albert, and we have no doubts in our minds that we can give him exactly what he needs.
Our first step is to set up an appointment to meet with him outside of the classroom. Then we need to begin researching his current situation, similar case studies, and previous tactics that the PAC has tried to increase attendance numbers – including strengths and weaknesses. This will be a challenging ride!