Evaluating the success of East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s “Beyond the Books” campaign

It is hard to believe Sweet Southern Public Relations is wrapping up the Beyond the Books campaign for EBRPL. We are now in the evaluation stage of the R.O.P.E.S. process; here is how the Sweet Southern PR team evaluated the success of the campaign.

ROPES

The research does not stop throughout the R.O.P.E.S process. After our event, and a little celebration, it was back to qualtrics. Just as we did at the beginning of the campaign, we asked the public to take the same survey to determine if our campaign spread the desired message and reached its target audience. Before re-opening the survey, we saved the initial survey results report and cross tabulation charts to pinpoint relevant information, and we deleted the old responses to prevent them from interfering with the post-campaign results. Thus far, we have 29 responses.

Other ways to evaluate campaign success

Surveys are just one of the ways we evaluated the campaign’s effectiveness. Alternative ways to measure the success of an awareness campaign can include:

  • Counting the amount of guests who attended the event. A Beyond the Books informational table was apart of the “Sneak Peek” tour of the new library. We had just under 25 percent attendance from those who were invited or RSVP’d without an invite. That may not sound like a lot, but a 25 percent attendance rate for a nonprofit event is considered a large success.
  • News media coverage. You cannot forget about the audiences reached through newspapers and news websites. Our event received coverage from The Advocate, Nola.com, WAFB channel 9 and WBRZ channel 2. This year, The Advocate alone has an average circulation of 87,434 subscribers. Getting coverage on four major news sites is a big win for our campaign. Always look for media coverage and research each outlet’s readership numbers after hosting an event.
  • Social media. EBRPL has its own Facebook and Twitter pages. We created a social media guide along with status updates and hashtags related to the campaign. The amount of new followers for each page can add to the list of people made aware of EBRPL through the campaign. But, an even better way to measure the public’s awareness is by the amount of likes/shares/comments each related post garnered. It would be impossible to determine a concrete number, but each person who likes, shares or comments on the campaign-related posts is exposing the campaign to everyone who follows them. That is the beauty of social media.

Maintaining a positive client relationship

From the first meeting with your client to the end of the campaign and beyond, a major goal for your public relations team should be to establish and maintain a positive relationship with the client. This is to ensure your client is happy with your team’s work, wants to work with your team again and will refer your team to others. Most people forget how important evaluating the campaign is to this goal. Just because the event is over does not mean the job is done. Evaluation should be taken as seriously as every other part of the campaign process because it shows your team’s hard work paid off and how much you care about the client. Proof of successful PR performance will help to solidify a positive relationship with your client.

Now that the semester is wrapping up so is our project. As the Sweet Southern PR team begins preparing for our final campaign presentation, finals and most importantly graduation, we are sad to say this will be our last blog post. We hope this blog is helpful to fellow PR enthusiasts. We would like to take this time to thank Mary, Esau and Kayla at EBRPL for giving us the opportunity to work with them this semester. We have thoroughly enjoyed working on this campaign with each of you, and we cannot wait to see how far you all will go Beyond the Books for the grand opening of EBRPL new Main Library building in April 2014.

I’ll talk at y’all later,

Sam

Samantha Starr is a mass communications senior from New Orleans, La. She plans to move to New York after graduation to pursue a career in public relations. Connect with her on LinkedIn.  

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Implementing an awareness campaign for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library

Throughout the course of the semester, the public relations process came full circle as Sweet Southern Public Relations learned the recipe for a successful campaign.

Research

The base of any good campaign is research. It is necessary to conduct research, as it is the first step in the R.O.P.E.S. process. We are thankful that our client was able to provide us with loads of secondary research. For primary research, we decided to print cards with a bitly link and visit popular places in our target zip code to hand them out. We handed out 160 cards and were able to receive responses from 25 people.

When planning for a public relations campaign it is necessary to recognize the diversity of audiences. As PR practitioners, we do not have the privilege of choosing our audiences. It is our job to discover to whom we Brochurefrontshould pitch our campaign. BrochureThis, of course, should be based in research. We determined through secondary research that we wanted to pitch our campaign to those who do not currently use the library but may do so if they were educated about the library’s modern services. A national study our client provided us about the audience of public libraries helped us identify our audiences.

Event planning

We also held a sneak preview event, which allowed government officials, stakeholders and media to view the construction status of the new Main Library. We received great coverage on the event and are pleased at the positive buzz the media generated. We hope viewers feel a sense of excitement about the project and are able to better visualize the final product.

Grassroots campaign implementation

After the event was said and done, we implemented the remainder of the campaign, which consisted of a social media schedule and the delivery of a brochure highlighting some of the more modern services the library offers. We created the brochures using InDesign and delivered them to places around town we were sure our target audiences would visit. The social media campaign was comprised of both Facebook and Twitter posts. We created a campaign hashtag so the conversation could be monitored.

Below is a video of our reflections on the semester and a few key tips we can offer:

Stay tuned… next week we evaluate the effectiveness of our campaign.

Peace, love and southern hospitality,

Hailey Vincent

Hailey Vincent is a mass communication senior from Kaplan, La. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn or send her an email at sweetsouthernpr@gmail.com. 

East Baton Rouge Parish Library Sneak Preview Event: putting public relations planning into action & handling crisis communication

Think cupcakes are sweet? Think again.

After several long weeks of planning, Sweet Southern Public Relations and East Baton Rouge Parish Library finally held the Sneak Preview Event. The actual event went beyond Mary Stein’s expectations. However, the reality of what takes place behind the scenes is what a public relations team truly sees. Who knew that the majority of our chaos would center around cupcakes and boxes?

No matter how much prep work a team does the night before, there will always be last minute issues that pop up just hours and minutes before an event. During the preview, our team was able to stay calm, focus on tasks at hand and remember key public relations tactics we had been discussed during the prior weeks of planning.

Tactic 1: Maintain positive client relationships and work as part of a public relations team

Working as a team is crucial when handling a crisis situation, no matter how big or small. As a thank you token for coming to the event, Sweet Southern and EBRPL gave guests a take-home cupcake baked by Fleur d’Elise Sweets. The problem: Only 45 boxes came in the night before. With 30 missing boxes, we worked together with EBRPL and communicated back and forth until the problem was solved.  Luckily, Brew Ha-Ha graciously sold us some of their inventory to cover the remaining boxes. Communication between our team and our client kept the crisis to a minimum, and we were able to solve the problem within minutes.

Client and team relationship is key on the day of an event. A team is built on understanding members’ strengths and weaknesses, including the client’s. The stronger the relationship within a team, the better members can assign and implement tasks. We assigned tasks accordingly:

  • Check-in desks: two team members who are the most bubbly and welcoming

  • Informational table: team member who is the most informed on the campaign

  • Upstairs area: team member who can best mingle and answer questions

  • Floaters: two event planning team members who know the ins and outs of the event

We also understood that our best method of communication was through GroupMe. We used the app to communicate before and during the event to ensure members were aware of everything going on, even if it did not pertain to their specific tasks.

Tactic 2: Demonstrate mastery of oral and visual presentation skills

Every aspect of an event must be appealing to as many senses as possible. Oral and visual skills become increasingly important when an event is catered to a prestigious audience. Because the EBRPL Sneak Preview was for stakeholders and major supporters, oral and visual presentations had to be professional. We worked with Mary to create an event layout filled with talking points for tours guides and suggested visuals for each table. An event overview allows every team and staff member to be on the same page.

We also stressed the importance of professional table presentations. Guests were welcomed with a visually appealing check-in table decorated in EBRPL blue and surrounded by renderings of the new Main Library. Staff members and architects were placed by tables throughout the library with informative, hands-on materials. Visuals allow guests to feel included and give them a chance to be interactive.

Tactic 3: Create professional communications

For the majority of nonprofit events and fundraisers, the guests who attend are those who are the organization’s biggest supporters. Our event was specifically for EBRPL’s stakeholders and main supporters, and thus, all efforts had to demonstrate professionalism. So, even though the event showcased the new library, its purpose was to extend gratitude to the guests. It provided an atmosphere where we and EBRPL’s could interact, communicate and establish relationships with outside professional supporters of the library — a skill that will be key to the new Main Library’s grand opening.

Baking is a lot of hard work. It sometimes creates a mess and requires time and patience, but the end result looks beautiful and tastes delicious. Just like baking, in public relations, it is the end result that matters. Planning is time demanding but is essential to an event’s success and a crisis’s solution. Crisis situations are bound to happen the night before and day of, so be prepared. Also, the better your relationships are with team members and clients, the easier it is to communicate and deviate tasks. Remember, work as a team, have visually appealing material and act professional. The hard work is worth it.

See y’all on the sweet side,

Katie Richard

Katie Richard is a mass communication senior from Houston, Texas. She currently volunteers her time at Christ the King at LSU. Connect with her on Twitter or send her an email at sweetsouthernpr@gmail.com.

What does it take to plan an East Baton Rouge Parish Library event? Public relations students and nitty-gritty details

A versed event planner knows that the world of event planning is not as glamorous as it sounds.

With one week before Sweet Southern Public Relations’ event for East Baton Rouge Parish Library, the planning is becoming tedious. Everything from cupcake flavors to the number of balloons in a balloon bouquet was discussed at this weeks meeting with our client.

Carpet and wallpaper samples of the new main library will be available at the event for guests to get a close view.

Carpet and wallpaper samples of the new main library will be available at the event for guests to get a close view.

It is easy to get caught up in the overarching theme of the event such as what the attendees will do what the decorations will look like. However, for an event to run smoothly, every detail down to where the not-so-glamorous trashcans will go needs to be thought out.

I would advise your public relations team’s event coordinator to run through the event as if he or she were a guest. It is necessary to think of everything a guest may do and any potential upsets that a guest may encounter.

For example, going back to the trashcans, what if this seemingly small detail were left unplanned? If you are new at event planning, you may overlook the fact that you will need to have trashcans available at your event. Something as small as forgetting the trashcans could cause disarray. Imagine, people are drinking and eating, and once they are done, they have nowhere to put their trash but on a nearby table. Now, all of the tables that should be free for guests are filled with trash. At the last minute, everyone working the event is running around trying to figure out where to get a trashcan or garbage bags. At this point, the event staff is no longer focused on attending to the guest. The guests are sure to perceive the panic and may even leave less than pleased. A single mishap can ruin the fun. But, guest will leave a successful event satisfied.

One pre-event dilemma we have been faced with in the planning process is parking. Because the new Main Library (the location of our event) is not completely finished, there will be no parking lots available. Luckily, we thought about this and developed a practical solution. We plan to direct people to the current Main Library, which sits in front of the new building, using signage. Guests will park at the current location, and we will guide them to the new building.

photo (1)Establish and maintain positive client relationships and work as part of a public relations team

As a public relations agency, remember that you are planning an event for the client. You must work with your client to create an event that aligns with both the client and campaign’s missions. This will involve teamwork and require keeping the client be “in the loop” about every minor event detail. We are fortunate to work with a client who is responsive and enthusiastic about our ideas and willing to contribute when needed.

Applying tools and technologies appropriate for the profession

Remember, there are tools that can make your job as an event planner much easier. Eventbrite has been particularly amazing for us in planning this event. It has made registration easy for guest and keeping track of registered guests easy for us. We simply linked our e-save the date and invite to our Eventbrite page, where guests are prompted to register and enter their information.  We set the event as private so only those who received the e-vite can register. However, these settings can be changed for events that are open to the public. Now, we can easily access all information about attendees and have it ready at our check-in table.

Remember, you will face obstacles during the event planning process and, often times, at the actual event. Your best bet is to remember the 3 C’s — calm, cool and collected — and sort things out as smoothly as possible without drawing the attention of the guests. If you plan on entering the public relations field because you think event planning will be a party all of the time, this is not reality. While it is enjoyable, remember it is tedious work and the slightest mistake can do quite a bit of damage.

Breathe and don’t forget to smile y’all,

Maggie Robert

Maggie Robert is a mass communication senior from Covington, La. Follow her on Twitter or check out her work at maggierobert.weebly.com.

Launching Beyond the Books, a public relations campaign for East Baton Rouge Parish Library: Sending out a news release

Drum roll, please. As of Tuesday morning, Sweet Southern Public Relations and East Baton Rouge Parish Library launched Beyond the Books, their campaign to raise awareness of the modern technologies and resources available at EBRPL.

With the help of our client, we sent out a news release to let East Baton Rouge Parish residents know of our partnership and mission. Sending out the news releases is part of the programing step of the ROPES process, but writing and sending out a release successfully is not a simple task; it takes an understanding of social issues and strategic thinking.

Understand social issues

Through our experience and research, the Sweet Southern PR team knows some members of the Baton Rouge community are not keen on public libraries. We were confronted with a few disgruntled residents while encouraging community members to participate in our survey, and we have read negative opinions of public libraries in Baton Rouge online.

“Why do we need another library? This is 2013. We have a thing called the internet,” wrote common_sense_is. “Please do not use taxpayer money on this. I cringe every year when I see the breakdown of my property tax bill with $300 going to a library I never use and have no intention of ever using.”

With the property tax that is the lifeblood of EBRPL up for renewal in 2015, it is important to frame EBRPL positively and tread lightly when encouraging the community to support EBRPL and utilize its resources.

Think strategically

I attended the 2013 Public Relations Student Society of America National Conference over the weekend and heard from some of the nation’s top public relations professionals. One of the breakout sessions I attended was about media relations and included a discussion about successfully sending news releases and pitches.

Here are some key factors to  think about when writing and distributing a news release.

Determine goals and objectives

What are you hoping to accomplish by sending out your release? Determine an ultimate goal and  measurable objectives. Our goal is to garner coverage about Beyond the Books in at least one media outlet.

Make sure your objectives are measurable. According to Shonali Burke, ABC, the president & CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc, measurable objectives can be quantified and have a time constraint. For example, you may want to reach a specific number of people  — determined by circulation or the number of web page views — within one month of sending your release.

Know your audience

Who are your key publics? How do they get their news? What are they reading? These are some questions to ask yourself before compiling a media list to send your release to. Gillian Kocher, public relations specialist for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, said it is important to identify the appropriate audience and suggested tailoring news for different audiences.

If your target publics are 30- to 40-year-old women with children in Baton Rouge who primarily consume print news, then you would want to make sure you reach out to a journalist from Baton Rouge Parents Magazine. But, if your these women primarily consume news online, then you may consider sending out a social media release. If Baton Rouge Parents Magazine is not interested in your story, perhaps you should reach out to blogger that would cover it.

Follow AP Style and proofread, proofread, proofread

Journalists work on strict deadlines, and some media outlets publish news releases as written. Having grammatical mistakes or misspellings will reflect badly on the media organization, and in turn, journalists will not pay attention to releases from you in the future.

Do your research

Know each journalist’s beat. Don’t send a food writer a release about the opening of a dog park; he or she will be annoyed. Find out what especially interests a journalist by reading articles he or she has written.

Send an appropriate email

There are a few steps you can take to give your email a better chance of being read:

  • Have a strong, headline-like subject

  • Make it personal to the contact

  • Send each individually or BCC recipients

Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 11.10.46 AM

 

 

Follow-up

Following-up is a key step in any public relations process. Former journalist and Media Director at Winning Strategies Adam Dvorin suggests providing personal contact information and being available 24/7. Journalists and producers are willing to help public relations practitioners out, all it takes is a sincere effort to connect, Dvorin said.

My tip: Use PR tools and technologies when applicable.

We are anxious to see if our news release is successful. Be on the lookout for news on Beyond the Books.

Y’all Come Back,

Carli Thibodeaux, Sweet Southern Public Relations writing director

Carli Thibodeaux is a mass communication senior from Crowley, La. She currently has an internship at FUSE. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn or send her an email at sweetsouthernpr@gmail.com.

Diving into the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Beyond the Books public relations campaign: survey distribution and event planning

The Sweet Southern Public Relations team has been working diligently on preparing the launch of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Beyond the Books campaign. We have officially posted a survey online for our target audience to complete so that we may evaluate the effectiveness of our campaign. We are looking forward to hearing back from our audience and using our strategic plan to create library awareness among East Baton Rouge Parish residents.

Shortly following the launch of the campaign, EBRPL Beyond the Books campaign will host its sneak peak event at the new Main Library. The event planning is well underway, and we cannot wait to share with you some of our strategic plans for the event.

SAVE THE DATE

Within our planning and strategizing this week, we focused on two important PR professional values and competencies:

Thinking critically, creatively and independently:

As our list of things to do for the week grew in length, we each had to work independently and think creatively to get the tasks done efficiently and innovatively. Our priority for the week was to officially post the library technology awareness survey online and begin to track results.

The distribution of the survey and ensuring enough of our target audience takes the survey was our primary concern. After brainstorming and creatively thinking, we constructed small cards with the link to our survey printed on them. This tactic will make the survey distribution process easier for our PR team as well as the audience. A small card with all the essential information to access the survey is much more convenient than delivering a multiple-page survey.

We even made the process simple for our audience by placing a QR code on the card. We are striving to receive as much survey feedback as possible; therefore, easy access to the survey is key. We have constructed a calendar for our team to visit local businesses in the area, pass out the cards and encourage EBR residents complete the survey.

Applying tools and technologies appropriate for the profession:

After spending time in class last week discovering new PR technologies, we decided to put our new knowledge to use in our campaign. As part of our event plans, we have officially created a Save the Date invitation using InDesign for our sneak peak event at the new Main Library.

The link to our survey was originally long and complicated. However, Bit.ly made it possible for us to not only shorten the link but also customize it.  We finished organizing the Eventbrite page, where guests can easily RSVP to the event as well.

We are excited to view the responses from our invited guests during the next few weeks as we continue to prepare the details of the event.

Stay Sweet Y’all,

Caroline Schulin, Sweet Southern Public Relations strategy director

Caroline is a mass communication senior from New Orleans, La. Connect with her on Twitter or email her at sweetsouthernpr@gmail.com.

Strategically planning the big event for East Baton Rouge Parish Library

The Sweet Southern Public Relations team has finally begun the task I have been looking forward to since the beginning of the semester: planning the big event for our client, East Baton Rouge Parish Library.

Our research and brainstorming led us to develop the Beyond the Books campaign; a campaign designed to raise awareness and acceptance of everything the library has to offer. We decided the best way to increase interest in the library would be to make the public aware of all the great technologies and services it offers. The new Main Library building has provided us with a fabulous way to get that message out there, so we have decided to host an all-access, sneak-peek event of the new building.

How will a sneak peek of the new library building help convey our message? At this event, guests will not only be able to get a first look at the new building, but they will also learn about all the modern technologies and services the library offers.

Planning the event

Most people do not realize how much work goes into planning a PR event. When planning an event, you have to answer the following important questions:

·      Who would be best to invite

·      What is the perfect theme

·      When and at what time will it be held

Do not forget you will also have to:

·      Create the invitations

·      Write and distribute press releases

·      Determine a budget

·      Promote the event

Needless to say we have our hands full.

Who would be best to invite?

The guest list was easy. Mary Stein, assistant library director, loves the idea of a first look at the new building exclusively for stakeholders, government officials, donors and the media. She gave us lists of media contacts and stakeholders to invite.

What is the perfect theme?

The event will not only be a way to get our message out there, but it will also be a way to thank those who helped make the new library possible. We plan to e-vite our guests using MailChimp and Eventbrite. Integrating these two programs makes it easy for guests to RSVP directly from the e-vite.

We then had the task of developing a theme for the event. When thinking about a theme, we had two goals in mind:

·      We wanted something interesting and sophisticated.

·      We wanted the guests to feel special and enjoy the event rather than feel obligated to attend.

Thankfully, Mary is creative and enthusiastic, so she was able to help us select the perfect way to reach our goals. But, I will just keep the theme an exclusive secret like the event.

When and at what time will it be held?

Choosing a date and time for an event is a strategic process. You have to make sure your event is not competing with any other event because you do not want your guests to have to choose between the two. You do not want your event to be an inconvenience for your guests either. Do your research and choose a date and time that works to your advantage.

We still have a lot to do before the event, but the planning is underway. At this point we have established a trusting relationship with Mary and the staff. They have witnessed how well we work together because every meeting has been presented professionally and productively. Because of this, Mary and Esau have started trusting us more and more to make important decisions as a PR team.  Every decision and detail is important in order to reach the goal: getting people excited and talking about the new East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library and everything it can do for them. Then people will see how the library is so much more than books. I cannot wait to see how our event turns out! Stay tuned to find out.

The Sweet Southern team and Mary Stein doing the first walk through of the new library building to prepare for our sneak-peek event.

I’ll talk at y’all later,

Sam

Samantha Starr is a mass communication senior from New Orleans, La. She plans to move to New York City after graduating.

Developing a PR strategic message for a campaign promoting East Baton Rouge Parish Library without “dissing” the books

Every good public relations girl knows after doing research and developing objectives for a PR campaign, the time has come to begin the programming stage of the ROPES process.

Through our extensive research of East Baton Rouge Parish Library, the members of Sweet Southern Public Relations came to the conclusion that the library is in need of an awareness and acceptance campaign. We specifically want to inform our publics of the modern technologies the library has to offer. Unfortunately, many people have a distorted image of what the library is today. We believe if people were informed about the contemporary resources the library offers, they would be more inclined to use their local library. Lucky for us, a state of the art, LEED certified Main Library is currently underway and set to open in early 2014. We were faced with an important question: How can we successfully communicate all that the library has to offer to our publics using the new Main Library?

Brainstorming

We met Monday with our team to begin quite an exciting brainstorming process. Account Liaison Hailey Vincent did her research on brainstorming techniques to help our team get a clearer image of the message we want to move forward with. Who knew brainstorming could be so fun?

Not only was our brainstorming session effective, but it also allowed us to apply the concepts of ROPES, which we learned in previous mass communication courses. The brainstorming process provided us with an opportunity to think critically, creatively and independently and critically evaluate our own work and the work of others.

photoWe each received a stack of sticky notes to begin the process. We went through seven-minute rounds in which we wrote down ideas (one on each sticky note) and stuck them to a wall. After each round, Hailey read the notes aloud and grouped them into categories based on their similarities. After several rounds, each of us went to every wall, picked out our four favorite ideas and stuck them to a new wall to narrow down our ideas.

It seemed that many of us had similar themes and words in mind. The concept of the library being a progressive and evolving place that grows with technology and gives people the opportunity to grow was one theme that resonated well with us. Several ideas were plays on words such as “turn a new page” and “start a new chapter.” Another popular idea was “discover you 2.0,” which would be centered on the idea that people could better themselves in any way imaginable at the library.

We knew we wanted our strategy to convey that the library offers more than books, is progressive and has something for everyone. But, how do you say all of this as concisely as possible, and how do you do it without “dissing” the books? After all, a vast book collection is still a major part of EBRPL.

After much discussion and several elimination processes, we were able to convey these ideas in what will become the theme or slogan for our entire campaign:

Beyond the books

discover.access.evolve

“Beyond the books” will be the theme of our campaign to promote awareness of EBRPL and the words discover, access and evolve will be used as a tagline in our deliverables. We ultimately felt that “beyond the books” is a simple phrase that will send a clear message to our publics that while the library still focuses on books, it offers much more. The words in the tagline help to further that idea in a concise manner.

Our brainstorming session was a success. We developed an overarching theme to our campaign and became closer to reaching our course learning outcomes and professional values and competencies. We hope to see this strategy reach our publics and spark their interest in EBRPL.

Stay in touch with Sweet Southern PR,

Maggie Robert

Maggie Robert is a mass communication senior from Covington, La. Follow her on Twitter or check out her work at maggierobert.weebly.com.

A detailed analysis of East Baton Rouge Parish Library: understanding the importance of internal, situational and publics research when developing a campaign

Any student knows the pains and groans that tag along with the words “research report.” However, when an agency has East Baton Rouge Parish Library — the hub of all educational information one could ever need — as a client, it lucks out. Mary Stein, the assistant library director, provided Sweet Southern Public Relations with a plethora of materials to complete a thorough investigation of EBRPL and its publics.

EBRPL

Any agency conducting a campaign must actively seek to do two things: 1) engage in research and a critical evaluation of the organization and 2) understand the data and evaluation and apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.

Engage in research and a critical evaluation of the organization

A full research report requires several pieces of data, including a client overview, SWOT analysis, situation and publics research and a collaboration of primary and secondary research. Research provides an understanding of an organization by learning its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  In a national study completed on other general libraries, a majority of Americans felt they knew “some” or “not much” about their library’s services. By diving into the research materials Stein provided, we found EBRPL’s situation was consistent with the national results. Our SWOT analysis of EBRPL showed the library has countless free services and technological resources that are up-to-date with the progressive world, but the majority of library goers are either unaware of or uninterested in even half of its amenities.  The research showed EBRPL has an awareness and acceptance issue – a situation our campaign will focus to solve.

Understand the data and evaluation and apply basic numerical and statistical concepts

The research did not stop with our secondary findings; research is an ongoing process that requires the understanding of primary data. Sweet Southern PR compiled a survey to measure the public’s knowledge of EBRPL’s resources and services. The key to surveys is asking questions that are measurable – questions you can ask before and after a campaign to determine its success. Primary data from a survey is crucial because it helps determine the organization’s demographics and provides a way to narrow down and better target audiences. By computing data into charts, the organization can determine its key publics and see where to focus its efforts.

Once the research process is finished, an agency should be able to recognize its organization’s strengths and weaknesses, understand how its organization functions internally and know the best method to target its key publics. With research report in hand, Sweet Southern PR is confident in who EBRPL is as a client and who the EBRPL community is as an audience. We cannot wait to apply our knowledge toward building a successful strategy.

Stay tuned and see y’all on the sweet side,

Katie Richard

Katie Richard is a mass communication senior from Houston, Texas. She currently volunteers her time at Christ the King at LSU. Connect with her on Twitter or send her an email at sweetsouthernpr@gmail.com.

A closer look at East Baton Rouge Parish Library: civic responsibility and social issues in the community

Our entire senior campaigns class is focused on service-learning. Sweet Southern PR’s client, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, is an absolute shining star, y’all. We are so thankful to have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with such an innovative group of people. Mary Stein, assistant library director, is our primary contact. She understands the civic responsibility of libraries in the community and realizes that libraries are tools dedicated to serving the public.

Libraries can experience some backlash for being outdated or not useful in today’s world, but Mary and her team work hard to ensure that is not the case for EBRPL. The library took part in a national campaign called “Geek the Library,” which was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. If you want to hear a little more from Mary, here is her speech from the 2013 TEDxLSU event.

Video taken from YouTube. Credit to TEDxTalks.

Isn’t she great? Working with her is a dream. Through talking with her and her team, Sweet Southern PR has come to realize that many people in the community are unaware of the facelift the East Baton Rouge Parish Library system has undergone. There are numerous  services, new and old, the libraries provide. Also, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library system is comprised of  13 libraries, including the main branch, which  is currently being rebuilt to better serve its public. Sweet Southern PR is in the beginning phases of creating an awareness campaign for those residents in the main library’s zip code. We want the citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish to realize what a jewel they have in their revamped facility. We want them to hear all about the services the library offers, and we  hope they will feel enthusiastic in anticipation of the opening of the new updated main location.

Currently, we are in phase one of the public relations process. This means RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Research is an essential step in the PR process for a multitude of reasons. Our client provided us with a plethora of secondary research that we are excited to begin reading. The documents  provided will aid us in better understanding the organization and its key publics. Since we are doing an awareness campaign, we have decided to create a survey as our primary research method. We plan to survey those in the zip code of the main library and inquire about their current knowledge of the resources and services the libraries offer. At the end of our campaign, we will conduct the same survey and gauge the success of the campaign by comparing the results.

Grab an ice cold glass of sweet tea and stay tuned to hear more about our research initiatives.

Peace, love and southern hospitality,

Hailey Vincent

Hailey Vincent is a mass communication senior from Kaplan, La. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn or send her an email at sweetsouthernpr@gmail.com.