Big Buddy Campaign Comes to a Close

 

As our campaign comes to a close, the agency is focusing on evaluating our campaign and reflecting on our results. The Legacy campaign focused on reaching out to Big Buddy legacies; former Little Buddies, Big Buddies, staff and volunteers. Through reconnecting with Legacies, Big Buddy hopes to increase awareness and involvement in the program.

Now that we have concluded our campaign, our efforts are concentrated on evaluating the effectiveness of our campaign goals and objectives.

Prior to the launch of our campaign we sent out a digital and hard copy survey to evaluate the knowledge, investment and willingness to participate. At our event, Bowling with Big Buddy, participants all completed comment cards to share their feelings about the event and suggestions for the future.

Feedback from the event was easiest to obtain because we asked participants to complete before leaving. The event was so successful because youth, parents, mentors and Legacies to mingle in a safe, social setting and interact with one another. Comments mentioned a great group of people, lots of fun and a great atmosphere. The youth enjoyed the opportunity to compete with friends and mentors in a friendly setting.

During our agency debriefing, we discussed successes, mishaps and ways to improve our future events. In terms of Bowling with Big Buddy, the raffle seemed to be enormously successful because it got the participants excited to be there, happy to win and donating to the cause.

We preordered t-shirts for all the projected participants. The day of the event, attendance was not where we expected it to be so we decided to sell them to participants to offset the cost. Sales were quite low, so we added many of the shirts to our raffle items. Left over t-shirts went to Big Buddy headquarters to be used as thank you gifts for volunteers.

For future events hosted Capital City Communications, we will exhaust more effort toward promotion of the event. We contacted several local media outlets about coverage for the event and were featured in the ‘Fun’ section of The Advocate. Radio spots and broadcast news coverage would have drastically increased the awareness of the local Baton Rouge community to attend the event.

Bowling with Big Buddy was a success for our first year. The event posses great potential and will flourish with the Big Buddy Program over the next few years. By broadening our targeted audience, we will attract more members of the public to come out and support Big Buddy.

To learn more about Big Buddy, visit their Facebook and Twitter accounts!

Brittany Babineaux is a senior, studying public relations at the Manship School of Mass Communication with a minor in leadership development at Louisiana State University. She currently serves as the design director for Capital City Communications. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career using her skills to support military families and children through planning and programming of events. Connect with Brittany on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.

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Focusing on Stewardship with Big Buddy

Now that Bowling with Big Buddy is over, Capital City Communications has begun focusing on thanking everyone who made the event possible and concentrating on wrapping up the final stages of the Legacy Campaign.  We’ll be creating a legacy brochure to leave with the Big Buddy Program, highlighting the most important aspects of the program, as well as encouraging former buddies and current buddies to stay involved with the program.  We’ll also be working to put everything from the campaign together for our final plan book and portfolios as we’re just weeks away from graduation.


Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 8.52.50 AMPhoto created by writing director, Cyone Batiste

Stewardship is an important part of working with any client and is especially important to us following such a successful event only made possible by the help of so many outside supporters.  Making sure to thank everyone who helped sponsor our event was step one for us.  In the days following our event, before we left for spring break, we created and mailed out thank you cards and t-shirts to all of our sponsors for their role in making our event such a celebrated success.  Raising Cane’s, Kean Miller, Mattress Direct, Wampold, Otey White, Vermillion Painting and Construction, and Cox Communications, on behalf of Capital City Communications and the Big Buddy Program, we thank you!

Everyone involved with Bowling with Big Buddy had a great time and bowling really allowed all different types of people involved with the program to come together.  The little buddies enjoyed a Saturday afternoon with their friends, the volunteers enjoyed bowling and interacting with other volunteers and our team had a fun time raffling off prizes for everyone to enjoy.  Because the event was such a hit, the Big Buddy Program plans to host Bowling with Big Buddy at Circle Bowl annually. Capital City Communications plans to leave Gaylynne with an outline of everything our team did to plan and execute Bowling with Big Buddy, so she and her team can recreate the event for years to come and continue to bring everyone involved in the program together for an afternoon of fun.

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Photo credit – Big Buddy Facebook 

We’ve also teamed up with Buffalo Wild Wings on Highland to benefit the Big Buddy Program and further assist their fundraising efforts to purchase a new vehicle.  This past Monday, all guests who presented a Big Buddy flier received 20 percent off their meal, as a donation to the Legacy Campaign.  Special thanks to Buffalo Wild Wings!

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Photo credit – Big Buddy Facebook 

 For more information about Big Buddy, check out their website or look them up on Facebook and Twitter!

Lauren Smith is a senior at Louisiana State University, studying public relations at the Manship School of Mass Communication. She currently serves as one of the strategy directors for Capital City Communications. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in tourism PR. Connect with Lauren on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter for more information about Capital City Communications.

Leaving our legacy with Big Buddy

Last weekend, Capital City Communications hosted Bowling with Big Buddy at Circle Bowl of Baton Rouge. Following a big event, it is nice to see that all your hard work has paid off. We welcomed almost 70 people to our event, who helped officially launch the Legacy Campaign. Little Buddies and their Big Buddies had fun bowling together along side the public. Not only did we a great time bowling with the Little Buddies, but we were able to raise over $2,000 for the Legacy Campaign. This was a huge stepping stone for the program and gets Big Buddy one step closer to purchasing a new vehicle.  Photos from the event can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of  Big Buddy Facebook

Photo courtesy of Big Buddy Facebook

As Capital City Communications begins wrapping up our campaign, we are working to create a few more deliverables for our client. We are in the process of creating a Legacy Campaign brochure to be distributed to former Little Buddies, volunteers and staff. The brochure will include information on reconnecting with the Big Buddy Program, becoming a volunteer, mentor or donating money. The literature created will feature the same style and feel so that branding is associated with other Legacy Campaign pieces.

 

Photo courtesy of Big Buddy Facebook

Photo courtesy of Big Buddy Facebook

When creating pieces for Big Buddy, we keep plan to utilize the similar design concepts for the Legacy Campaign as used for Big Buddy branding. This article shares 7 tips to ensure a successful integrated campaign. The Legacy Campaign aligns with the same goals as the Big Buddy program but with a more specific scope and end goal. Our job is to be sure the campaign reflects the actual goals and efforts in progress.

Photo courtesy of the Big Buddy Facebook

Photo courtesy of Big Buddy Facebook

These deliverables will be an integral part of our success in our capstone course because each member of the Capital City Communications team will be curating digital and hard copy portfolios of our work in the campaign, our courses and internships. These portfolios will reflect our own personal brands while showcasing our abilities and experiences. In a competitive job market, standing out for the right reasons requires our portfolio to be on point.

In our portfolio, the design should reflect our personality while featuring our strongest work. There are many components that will make the entire piece complete. In order to determine what pieces we should include, we’ve researched must haves and what are the right words to brand yourself. Questions such as, “How do I want to make people feel?” “Where am I looking to work?” and “What am I doing for people?” are easy guidelines to leading you to the perfect portfolio.

Photo courtesy of the Big Buddy Facebook

Photo courtesy of Big Buddy Facebook

With only a few weeks until graduation, these portfolios will be essential when going on job and internship interviews. Having our resume and best examples of our work all in one place will make it easier to show what we can do. For me personally, I want to improve on my personal elevator speech, so I’ll use this time practice those speeches.

On behalf of Capital City Communications and the Big Buddy Program, we’d like to thank everyone who made our Bowling with Big Buddy event a success. We could not have done it without you and we are thrilled to leave our legacy with the program. Although our event is over, Big Buddy has many upcoming events that you don’t want to miss. Visit the Big Buddy website for more information.

Brittany Babineaux is a senior, studying public relations at the Manship School of Mass Communication with a minor in leadership development at Louisiana State University. She currently serves as the design director for Capital City Communications. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career using her skills to support military families and children through planning and programming of events. Connect with Brittany on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.

 

The Final Steps: Last minute planning steps for Bowling with Big Buddy

After weeks of planning, our Bowling with Big Buddy event is only three days away. Our agency could not be more excited to host such a great event for our client and we’re thrilled that we can finally meet the youth behind the Big Buddy program. Since we are in the final stages of event planning, we wanted to share a few tips that will help other groups tackle the last few things on their event to-do list.

First, you should have a written plan for the day of the event. Our event planner, Julie Rapp, created an event timeline weeks ago, during our planning stages, but we noticed as time progressed that things changed. For example, we originally planned to pick up our event T-shirts earlier during the week, but because of printing issues, we had to push the date and time back a few days. Although this was only a minor change, our agency still had to make the necessary adjustments to make sure that there would be someone available to pick them up. Reading through your scheduled timeline and reviewing it with your team will be essential during the week of your event. You can never be too prepared and by preparing, you leave less room for error.

Next, check your supplies. Our agency is very fortunate to be partnering with Circle Bowl of Baton Rouge for our event.  Circle Bowl is allowing us to use their tables, chairs and eating area throughout the duration of our event. They are also serving all of our bowlers pizza, popcorn and drinks during the event. Their generosity has helped tremendously because we don’t have to worry too much on getting supplies. Because they are donating tables and chairs, our agency is only responsible for bringing table cloths and other decorations for the registration and raffle tables. In our planning stages, we budgeted for all possible expenses, including supplies and decorations, so we now have money to put towards other aspects of the event. Our advice would be to plan and budget for all potential expenses and get things donated if possible. Once you’ve secured those donations, make sure that you have the money and the resources to collect the supplies you need for the event. There is nothing worse than showing up to your event and realizing that you forgot something.

Lastly, if possible, do an event run through. Our agency is meeting with our client this afternoon to do a quick run through, to make sure we are all on the same page. By walking through the location, identifying where certain things will be placed at the event, such as the registration table and locating things such as bathrooms and eating areas, will help relieve much of the “day of” stress. By doing an event run through, you can make sure that you have everything needed for the event and you might even notice things that you may have forgotten. Again, there is no such thing as being too prepared and trust us, with the many other things your agency has to worry about, you’ll be happy to know that everything is set for the event.

Before we go, we would like to thank our event sponsors who have generously donated both time and money to ensure the success of our event. We could not make a difference in the lives of Big Buddy participants without your generosity.

Photo credit: interlaw.org

Photo credit: interlaw.org

Photo credit: www.vermillionpaintingconstruction.net

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1hAMZpY

 

Interested in participating in Bowling with Big Buddy? It’s not too late to sign up! Visit the Big Buddy website to register a bowling team for $20 or join us in cheering on the teams for only $5. Make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the Legacy Campaign.

Created by design director, Brittany Babineaux

Created by design director, Brittany Babineaux

Cyone Batiste is a senior at Louisiana State University, studying public relations at the Manship School of Mass Communication. She currently serves as the writing director within Capital City Communications. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in Sports PR. Connect with Cyone onLinkedIn or follow her on Twitter for more information about Capital City Communications.

Event To-Do List: A Week and a Half From Bowling with Big Buddy

With a week and a half left before your event, where should you be? This is the question we are asking ourselves. The two weeks before your event are some of the most crucial planning and organizing moments to help make your event go as smoothly as possible.

Through our event plan memo, Capital City Communications is following the exact time schedule we made when we first planned our event. Following the memo has not only kept us on track, but also has shown us the things that we still need to get done.

Below are the items still on our to-do list:

  1. Call potential sponsors: This is the first thing on our to-do list. Even though it started four weeks out, we are still currently trying to find a few more companies to sponsor a lane for Bowling with Big Buddy. We have had a difficult time finding sponsors, but we are confident that we will get the rest before Wednesday.
  2. T-shirts screened: We are waiting to get the t-shirts screened. Our sponsorship deck listed t-shirt logo placement as a perk to sponsoring a lane, but due to the fact that we are still contacting sponsors, we cannot print the t-shirts until that is done. Thankfully, we are working with a very helpful t-shirt company that have given us a flexible design date, so we have a few more days to get the design in and will still have the shirts printed in time.
    Image

    photo credit: design director, Brittany Babineaux

    Image

    photo credit: design director, Brittany Babineaux

  3. Banners printed: This is another thing we cannot do until we finish getting the sponsors. The sponsors were offered their logo not only on the event t-shirt, but also in front of the lane that they are sponsoring.
  4. Advertise via social media: Currently, we are writing social media posts for Big Buddy to post to Twitter and Facebook for the next week. We plan to give them these on Wednesday so they will have multiple posts to use for an entire week before the event.
  5. Contact Legacy spokespeople: Since all the money raised at Bowling with Big Buddy is going toward the Legacy campaign, we want to have a Legacy member to kick-off the event with a small speech. We have contacted these potential speakers and are waiting to hear back from them.
  6. Create teams with little buddies: The executive director of Big Buddy, Gaylynne Mack, is taking charge of this for Capital City Communications. She is sending home the little buddies with a flier for Bowling with Big Buddy and allowing them to sign up at their after-school programs.
  7. Advertise via fliers in local businesses: Capital City Communications has been going to local Baton Rouge businesses to hang up the Bowling with Big Buddy event fliers in their store windows. Each member has 30 fliers, which totals to 210 fliers around the area.
  8. Press release sent to local media: Our writing director, Cyone Batiste, is writing the press release for the event this week. The press release will be sent out the Monday before the event.

Capital City Communications is right on track with where we need to be in our event planning process. As the student-run communications firm for Big Buddy, we have realized that time management and planning an event go hand-in-hand. After we complete these tasks, we will move on to the day of event tasks.

Until then, don’t forget to like Big Buddy on Facebook and follow the program on Twitter, in order to get updates on Bowling with Big Buddy. If you would like to sponsor a lane or participate in the event, you may register here. Make sure to mark your calendars because Bowling with Big Buddy will be here before you know it.

Created by design director, Brittany Babineaux

Created by design director, Brittany Babineaux

Julie Rapp is the event planner for Capital City Communications. She graduates in May 2014 from the Manship School of Mass Communication in public relations with a minor in business. She hopes to work for a public relations agency in Dallas, Texas after graduation. Connect with Julie on LinkedIn for more information on Capital City Communications.

 

What You Didn’t Know About Public Relations: The Research Process and Big Buddy

When you think of public relations you think of writing press releases, proofreading newsletters, planning events, creating media content and many other various tasks, but the idea of doing research most definitely does not come to mind. Interestingly enough, research plays a vital role in the public relations process. Research helps determine specific goals, meet communication objectives and evaluate campaign success.

In working with Big Buddy, Capital City Communications has done some research of our own. We gathered secondary research from speaking with executive director, Gaylynne Mack, about the organization and its history. We also gathered information from the Big Buddy website and news article about the program, but that was the easy part because secondary research consists of gathering information from existing sources.

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Photo credit: TimeTrax23

 

Primary research however, consists of collecting and evaluating new information by conducting new research. The goal of the Legacy Campaign is to reconnect with former Big Buddy participants in hopes that they will be willing to help the organization by volunteering, becoming a mentor or by donating to the program. Capital City Communications needed a way to contact these former Big Buddy members and inform them of the campaign’s purpose, in order to find out their willingness to participate. The only way to collect this information was to conduct primary research of our own.

Although it seems rather simple to conduct primary research, we learned early on that it can be very expensive and time consuming, which created a great obstacle for our agency. With Big Buddy being a nonprofit organization, the budget for additional research is nonexistent and because we are a student-run organization, our time with Big Buddy is limited to the end of the semester. With a limited budget and time period, we had to put our heads together and come up with an inexpensive and relatively fast way to gather the information we needed.

 

We decided the best way to collect this information was to make a survey. The survey was created through Qualtrics and was sent in to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval. Now that the survey has been approved, it will be mailed to the homes of previous Big Buddy members and it will also be made available to take online through the Big Buddy website. Our agency decided to give past participant’s these options, in order to give them the ability to determine the location and time the study is taken.

The survey takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete and gives a brief introduction of the Legacy Campaign’s mission, so that participants can get a better of understanding of the campaign and its purpose. With over 30 questions, we hope to gain new knowledge about the Big Buddy program, as well as learn more about previous members’ involvement in the program and their willingness to reconnect.

Once the results from the survey have been collected, the information will be evaluated and used to anticipate the amount of previous Big Buddy members interested in participating in the campaign. The information will also provide great feedback for the Big Buddy program; giving them insight on the thoughts and opinions of former members.

The survey is also a great way to get the word out about Bowling with Big Buddy, which is the official kick-off event of the Legacy Campaign. The event will take place Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Circle Bowl Baton Rouge.

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Photo created by design director, Brittany Babineaux

To find out more information or to sign up for the event, visit the Big Buddy website. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with current Big Buddy news.

Also if you were a former Big Buddy member reading this blog and would like to take the survey, please click here. https://qtrial.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_ctJpSUWMoVpxTk9

Erica Wilkins is a senior at Louisiana State University, studying public relations at the Manship School of Mass Communication. She currently serves as the research director for Capital City Communications. After graduation she hopes to work for a public relations agency in Dallas, Texas. Connect with Erica on LinkedIn for more information on Capital City Communications.

Fundraising: Sponsoring the Bowling with Big Buddy Legacy

Approaching potential sponsors for an event can be challenging. You conduct a little research, find out if a company has sponsored events in the past and give blind calls and pitches, in the hopes that they will sponsor your event. The whole process can be very tedious and somewhat overwhelming, especially after countless emails with no responses and blatant “no’s” from companies.  Although finding sponsors can be difficult, our agency has come up with a few tips that we’ve found to be very beneficial for us and our client this semester.

First, you should always be prepared. Before you send an email or make a phone call, you should have your pitch written and planned out. You should always know what you’re asking for, information about the company, specifics on your event and something in writing that you can send them to reference. Being prepared will make the process a lot easier on you and you will sound more credible when speaking with sponsors.

Next, you should never  be afraid to ask money from companies that have already sponsored events for your organization before. In fact, asking for sponsorships from these companies may be easier because they have a working relationship with your organization. Public relations is all about creating and maintaining relationships, so you always want to stay connected with those who have helped you before. In most cases, they are more willing to help, because they’ve seen the effects of their donations.  Setting up a meeting with them or scheduling a lunch to inform them of the new projects your organization is working on can easily open the door for sponsorship conversations.

Lastly, show them what their money is going to. Many companies donate funds as a means of fulfilling their corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR simply means that a company has a commitment, not only to its employees, but also the community and gives back to better the community and the world at large. Especially for non-profit organizations, who lack funds for events and other outreach, companies love to sponsor their events, in order to get their name out to the community and show that they care. Showing them pictures of the children who were fed thanks to their donations or the homes built gives them a sense of pride and also entices them to donate again. This can also help with maintaining the relationship, because your organization can continue the conversation and bond with them, far past the event.

In any case, you should always be prepared and be confident in what you’re asking for and know who you’re asking. For our agency, we are experiencing this first hand, while planning our Bowling with Big Buddy event. As we contact potential sponsors and gain more experience with fundraising, we’re noticing just how difficult it can be, but by following these few steps, you can get the conversation started and begin meeting your fundraising goals.

Be sure to mark your calendars because Capital City Communications will host Bowling with Big Buddy on Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Circle Bowl Baton Rouge. Visit our Big Buddy website to find more information and to sign up to participate. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on everything that’s happening with Big Buddy. 

Big Buddy Bowling Logo

Photo created by design director, Brittany Babineaux

Sam Accardo is a senior at Louisiana State University, studying public relations at the Manship School of Mass Communication. He currently serves as one of two strategy directors for Capital City Communications. After graduation, he plans to attend law school. Connect with Sam on LinkedIn for more information on Capital City Communications.