PRogressing to the end

Roaming Tigers PR is finally reaching the end of our journey with SCVNGR. We have been working so hard to promote SCVNGR at The Baton Rouge Zoo and all of our hard work will be showcased at our class presentation next Wednesday, but the work is far from over.

While we have completed a social media release, media release, event plan, fliers, postcard and brochure, we still have a few more elements to complete. Recently, Dr. Moore gave us flip cams to get some  footage of our trek at work. I decided to ask my cousin and her two precious children, Will and Kay, to come complete the trek with me. Armed with my flip cam, I got a lot of good footage of them having fun completing their journey around the world zoo trek. I was also very happy to see quiet a few other zoo patrons enjoying our trek. It was the ultimate ‘job well done’ to see others completing the trek who were not related to me. In fact, when we checked out SCVNGR trek’s progress we saw over 85 people have completed the trek this month!!! This is VERY exciting news and we are very pleased. Hopefully, the footage can be transformed into an amazing promotional video the zoo can add to their Facebook page to get more people to enjoy their SCVNGR trek.

Having an educated staff is very important for the future success of the SCVNGR trek. For this reason, we made detailed list of  talking points for the zoo’s employees. It includes detailed instructions about how to use the SCVNGR app and what screens to look for the give out the gift shop reward. I think this will be very beneficial and help out a lot.

With the semester coming to a close, I would like to thank my amazing team, Paul, Jessica and Karoline. Group projects can be a little scary and let’s face it not always enjoyable, but  y’all have been an absolute pleasure to work with and we have worked so well together. I look forward to finishing our campaign book and closing this chapter of our PR adventure.

You can also learn more about my progress on my present Public Relations ventures on  my personal Facebook pageTwitter account and LinkdIn page.

Baton Rouge Zoo’s SCVNGR Trek Launch!

On Saturday at BRECs Baton Rouge Zoo‘s annual Zippity Zoo Fest, Roaming Tigers PR launched the zoo’s SCVNGR trek! Karoline, Roaming Tiger PR’s design director, made this amazing flier that we hung up in the ticket booths.

Before the actual launch date, we had a lot of work to do. During the week we met with Mary Woods to discuss final preparation for our launch. Jessica, our writing director, wrote an amazing press release that was sent off to several different media outlets and featured on the zoo’s website. We also arranged for SCVNGR stickers to be placed at all the different challenge locations so people would know they were in the right spot. It is very exciting to see the PR wheels in motion and all of our hard work finally paying off. The staff at the Baton Rouge Zoo has been so supportive of us and our PR adventure with SCVNGR, we could not have done it without them!

On Thursday, I tested the trek with my mom and six year old sister, Emma. It was fun to show my family the finished product and enjoy a day at the zoo. My mom loved the idea of using her iPhone to navigate the many exhibits the Baton Rouge Zoo has to offer and Emma loved reading the signs and learning about all the different animals. She was really excited to pose like a Chilean Flamingo and see peacocks freely roaming the zoo. She also mentioned her favorite part was shipping me off to be the newest animal at the zoo, one of the SCVNGR challenges at the Realm of the Tigers exhibit. Emma took the picture posted below all by herself and giggled the whole time, it is pretty funny! My favorite part was that all 10 challenges worked and the whole zoo has 3G coverage! This was the first SCVNGR trek I have ever completed and I am proud to report it will not be the last!

On Saturday, Karoline and I volunteered our morning to promote SCVNGR. We wore matching SCVNGR shirts and the weather was beautiful. Our table was set up right as you enter the zoo by the iconic granite globe, which is the location of the first challenge in our trek. In the afternoon, Paul and Jessica joined us and after about an hour we left the promoting in their hands.People were just as excited about the trek as we were! About 25 families downloaded and completed the trek. We continue to see more and more activity every day.

We still have a few more exciting things planned for the remainder of our mini-campaign. Ms Woods said she would like to have several talking points to give her guest relations staff since the four of us cannot be there to promote the trek every day. We also are starting to work on our mini-campaign book. I am sure I will post a few screen shots, we are all very proud of our work.

It was an eventful week, but I am really proud of the progress we made. Physically being there for the launch of  the SCVNGR trek definitely gave us the momentum we need to finish this mini-campaign on a high note.

You can also learn more about my progress on my present Public Relations ventures on  my personal Facebook pageTwitter account and LinkdIn page.

political campaigns, treks, internships and so much more

In class, we have been working on pieces that public relations professionals would create for a political campaign. I chose to create pieces for Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul. I have already created a news release, social media release, feature release, media kit, fundraising letter and two public service announcements, one for radio and one for television. Today I will be revising a five minute political speech for Ron Paul to give to the National Rifle Association about his stance on gun ownership in the United States. This is the final written component for the political candidate. After today, I will be focusing my time and efforts to BRECs Baton Rouge Zoo’s SCVNGR trek.

This week has been exciting for my group, Roaming Tigers PR. We signed with BRECs Baton Rouge Zoo last week and had our own personal tour of the Zoo. Now starts the fun, creating the zoo’s SCVNGR trek.

Our trek will have eight to 10 different challenges that will showcase the Zoo’s most fascinating exhibits and animals. We are still playing with themes, but we all like creating a ‘journey around the world,’ to discover new things about the animals at the Zoo.

Plans will be finalized on our trek in the coming week and we will be promoting our SCVNGR trek at Zippity Zoo Fest Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1. We will be there teaching people how to download the SCVNGR application and discover the zoo in an exciting new way. We are really pleased with our progress and can not wait to launch the trek.

On Wednesday, I officially accepted an offer to be the public relations intern for Stone Ward’s Camp Reality in Little Rock, Arkansas. Camp Reality focuses on giving students the opportunity work on a team focused on learning the ins and outs of the field. We will be assigned a client and gain experience through exposure to the field. We will be interacting with clients, vendors and multiple departments in Stone Ward’s office to promote the client of choice. I am excited to apply the skills I have learned in the classroom to a real world setting. The 10 week internship begins at the end of May and I can’t wait.

You can also learn more about my progress on my present Public Relations ventures on  my personal Facebook pageTwitter account and LinkdIn page.

Discovering Public Relations

In my first entry, I discussed my public relations writing class. In case you missed it, I am currently enrolled in a service learning public relations writing class here at LSU. My group, Roaming Tigers PR, is excited to announce we will be working with BRECs Baton Rouge Zoo.

On Friday, we met with Mary Woods, Marketing/Development Director for the zoo. We got our own private tour around the widl word of animals and we are very excited to get started their SVCNGR trek.

Let me take a moment to discuss SCVNGR with you. SCVNGR is a geo-location based site that is all about getting out into your community and participating in activities that lead to rewards. SCVNGR uses the idea of gamification to get people out, engaging in their community. This unique aspect sets SCVNGR apart from traditional ‘check-in’ methods like foursquare.

Gamification is defined as applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging. It is starting to emerge as the biggest trend in marketing. I am very excited to promote the zoo in such a way. Until our detailed tour with Ms Woods, I did not know how many exciting things the zoo had to offer. I would ideally like to make our SCVNGR trek similar to the detailed tour we received. We all learned so much and had so much fun, even with though it was raining.

I am excited to finish up our first draft our trek. The zoo is definately an exciting non profit organization to work with and I am eager to share such an thrilling place with the people of Baton Rouge.

I have also been working on several other things for this class in addition to our mini campaign. This week I completed my personal marketing plan. This personal marketing plan forced me to look into the not so distant future and do a lot of research, soul searching and source searching, to find out how I will fit into the public relations profession. I am pleased with my findings and I am happy to report I am in making the nessicary steps to fit into the world of PR.

In other exciting news, I am applying for several fun, benifically internships in Little Rock, Arkansas this summer. I hope to have good things to report in my next post.

The Powers of Social Media in Public Relations

Whether we like it or not, social media sites are an important part of our lives. They not only allow us to keep in touch with friends and family, they also serve many other functions some of which are very beneficial in the public relations world.

Advertising is present in every social media website. Sites like Facebook target businesses who seek to reach very specialized target audiences. In May 2009, Nielson found that Facebook saw 144.3 million unique viewers. What most companies really like about Facebook’s advertising system is that they do not have to pay for ads unless consumers actually click on the ad and visit their website.

But the benefits of social networking sites do not stop at  traditional ad placement. Companies are using Facebook to not only place traditional advertisements for their companies, but also to allow consumers to show their loyalty by liking their page. A popular car insurance company, Esurance, took this one step further by encouraging its loyal customers to leave comments on its page about positive experiences with the company and the insurance in provided. They showcase this technique in TV commercials to get people to visit the Facebook page.

Companies also use indepdent bloggers opinions  as well. Walt Disney World just closed Habit Heroes, a new venue house in Epcot’s Innoventions, because of negative backlash recieved by independent bloggers about the ideas it gives children about childhood obesity. The Walt Disney Company also uses their bloggers to their advantage. The Walt Disney Company always shares information about new attractions, special event and new ideas with their blogging community at the same time they release information to the press. They understand the importance of the blogging community in spreading information about their exciting, new ideas and they respect this important relationship.

Social networking sites like Twitter seek brand ambassadors to tweet about their unique products. Often times celebrities thank companies for sending them promotional items, talk about upcoming movies they are in and not a day goes by that the Kardashian sisters do not tweet about their Quick Trim success.

Social networking sites can also help work to fix a problem. The most positive example of social networks working for a common good happened during this past Mardi Gras season.

A mother posted a blog about a negative experience she and her autistic daughter had while trying to experience Muses, her favorite Mardi Gras parade. The  story goes that Amy and her daughter, Emily, were waiting for the parade to start when a group of drunk college aged kids came and stood in front of her daughter. Since Emily had been anxiolsy awaiting the parade since its end the year before, Amy politely asked the crowd if they could watch where they were standing. One boy responded with hurtful words that left Emily in tears and wanting to go home. Amy’s full blog entry can be seen here.

The blog had a huge impact on a large number of people. It was viewed and comented on by thousands of people overnight. A few of the Muses  read the blog entry  and decided to open their den for “Emily-Gras.” WWLTV was there to capture the event. Emily got to tour Muses’ den and see her favorite parade’s floats up close. She was presented with her very own Muses costume, tons of Muses trinkets and her very own collection of decorated high heels, Muses’ most coveted throw. She got private performances by the popular 610 Stompers, the Rolling Elvi, Pussyfotters and the Muff-A-Lottas. Emily described the experience as overwhelming but fun! Her faith in Mardi Gras has been restored thanks to the power of social media and caused all readers to be a little more concious about what they say to people with special needs.

This heartwarming story is the best example of good public relation’s practice involving social media. People are interested in positively influencing change. Social media make this possible.

You can watch the heartwarming  WWLTV story on Emily and Amy’s experience at the Muses’ Den  here.

You can also learn more about my progress on my present Public Relations ventures on  my personal Facebook pageTwitter account and LinkdIn page.

Be the Change

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”

– Ghandi

When I graduated from high school in 2008, this quote appeared on my graduation invitations. I never thought it would have an impact on my life further than May 2008, but I still think about it every morning.

Volunteering has played an important part in my life for as long as I can remember. When I was in grade school, I enjoyed feeding the homeless and collecting canned goods for those in need around the holidays. When I got into high school, I spent most of my time organizing donations at the local battered women’s shelter and trying to find good homes for stray animals at the local animal shelter. Volunteering was my way of reaching out to the community and it is one of most life changing things a young person can do.

I am taking a Public Relations Writing class this semester and we are organizing a mini campaign, Discover Baton Rouge. This mini campaign is the service learning aspect of the course and I am very excited to volunteer in a new way for my community. This campaign will allow me to volunteer my PR knowledge to companies who generally would not have the opportunity otherwise.

Discover Baton Rouge uses SCVNGR, a geo-location based game for smartphones that allows users to interact with businesses in a fun way, to help promote our local non-profit organizations of choice. Thus I needed to find a non profit to represent.

I began my journey by googling “non profits in Baton Rouge” and was surprised to discover so many great opportunities to serve the community. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, for example, is a non profit organization that collects and distributes non-perishable food items to families in the Baton Rouge area.

My searching was at times heartbreaking. I stumbled upon Brave Heart Children in Need and The Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Hotline. These are non profit organizations that help people who are in need of counseling after traumatic experiences. I did however find a light at the end of the tunnel.

This semester I get the unique opportunity to help one non profit organization reach a wider audience using SCVNGR, this is my silver lining. Volunteering will not be something that ended in high school.  I am excited to be the change in Baton Rouge this semester and discover new things on my journey.

You can follow my teams progress on the Discover Baton Rouge Facebook page and Twitter account. You can also learn more about my progress from my personal Facebook pageTwitter account and LinkdIn page.