GFW PRSA Introduces LAMP: Local Accreditation Mentorship Program

APRLogo-LRThe Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA is committed to helping APR candidates achieve their goal of accreditation. That’s why the chapter’s Accreditation Committee has created the new Local APR Mentorship Program, or LAMP.

The purpose of LAMP is to shine a light on the benefits on obtaining the Accredited in Public Relations designation. At the same time, the chapter will be positioned to offer mentorship and guidance to those who are interested in obtaining their APR.

Accreditation Committee co-chairs Sandra Brodnicki, APR, and Linda Jacobson, APR, will roll out the program throughout the coming year to culminate in the official 50th anniversary in 2014 of the profession’s only national post-graduate certification program.

With the help of PRSA members Chip Hanna, Margaret Ritsch, APR, Richie Escovedo, Chris Bryan, Bill Lawrence, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Andra Bennett-House, APR, the pair introduced the program during the chapter’s April 10 luncheon. Andra Bennett-House, APR, brought down the house with “I Want You After My Name,” which was performed to the tune of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” (See video below.)

In addition, the team presented its case via a Saturday Night Live-inspired presentation, the Accreditation News Network (ANN), at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. Special thanks goes out to Roxo Student LyTer Green, a senior at Texas Christian University, who provided much-need b-roll that answered the question, “What is an APR?”

If you are a prospective APR candidate and would like more information, visit http://fortworthprsa.org/accreditation or contact Sandra at 817-572-1556 or Sandra@brodnickipr.com or Linda at 817-228-1862 or Ljacobson@ctcinc.com.

PR lessons from ‘Kate’ and Tarrant Area Food Bank’s hunger campaign

The billboard asks a compelling question: What does hunger feel like? JustAskKate.org 

It strikes me that putting a (cartoon) face to hunger with a compelling narrative is a creative way to generate curiosity and hopefully leads to awareness, donations, volunteers, etc. The video component is simple but effective:

I reached out to Andrea Helms, Director of Communications for the Tarrant Area Food Bank and a Ft. Worth PRSA member for some insight into the campaign. I’m so thankful that she was wiling to share since I believe there are some interesting lessons and processes from this effort for PR and communication professionals:

Why did TAFB implement the ‘Kate’ concept campaign? 
Akron Canton Regional Food Bank in Ohio shared the Kate video concept with the Feeding America network of regional food banks, to which Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB) belongs. TAFB decided to customize this video for the organization not only because of the impact of Kate’s message, but to also join in creating a sense of unity across the network.

What are some of the strategic objectives you hope to achieve?
AWARENESS. We would like Kate’s message to be shared all over our community, through our Partner Agencies, donors and volunteers, and the general public. As part of our annual awareness initiative, we hope the community learns that hunger and food insecurity exist right here in our own neighborhood and we, together, can do something about it.

Through various print ads, billboards, and social media, we seek to increase awareness about hunger and direct people to the Kate video. We hope the Kate video and her message goes viral. The more that people share the video with their networks, the bigger the awareness of hunger we can create within our community. The video not only educates the public about the face of hunger–for example, Kate could be your next door neighbor, a co-worker or friend–but it also educates them about Tarrant Area Food Bank’s role in fighting local hunger.

When did it start and how long will the campaign run? 
The campaign started mid-October and will run through December. We will do another flight of the campaign in the Spring of 2013. The Kate video will remain active on our website and on justaskkate.org and through social media when the campaign is not active.

How would you say your version of the campaign differs from the original version?
We are the first Feeding America food bank to launch a traditional marketing campaign around the video. Up until now, the Kate video has been used as a tool in food banks for educating volunteers and donors and has been used through social media and word of mouth.

What communication channels are you using to share Kate? 
Facebook and Twitter posts, Facebook ads, billboards, print ads in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Fort Worth Business Press, the Just Ask Kate web page, the TAFB website, YouTube, e-blasts, email signatures, volunteer training and exclusive showings at TAFB related events.

We also have several collateral pieces our staff use for various audiences, such as children’s activities and giveaways, including Kate as a fan with suggestions on the backside for taking action to build awareness about hunger.  Our life-sized Kate cut-out is being used for photo opportunities with key people in our community for posting on social media.

How will you determine the success of this campaign?
Because this is an awareness campaign, we are most interested in how viral the campaign becomes. The more video views, shares and likes we get from the Kate video, the more we know the word is being spread around our community. We have been using Facebook and Google analytics to track where our viewers are coming from and what actions they are taking after they view the video, such as visiting our website or liking our Facebook page.

What do you think? Is this a compelling campaign to help generate awareness for the food bank’s fight against local hunger? As always, the comments are yours.

The post is from the Next Communications blog.

5 Ways to Save Money on a Viral Video Project

This is cross-posted from chapter member and March luncheon speaker, Jamie Brown’s PR blog:

Most public relations practitioners think of corporate video has high-dollar productions. However, the rules in today’s world of social media are such that creating a video for your organization doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can be just as valuable as a big budget corporate blockbuster. Click here and check out this rapping flight attendant from Southwest Airlines. Southwest put it on their blog and not long after they were fielding phone calls from CNN and The Jay Leno Show! You can’t buy that kind of press.

My opportunity to create a viral video came while working at JPS. We wanted to launch a new customer service initiative and roll it out to all 4,500 employees who were geographically separated. We decided creating a series of videos that used humor and was attention grabbing would be far more effective than sending out an e-mail telling everyone to be nice and smile more often. Check out how we created elevator heroes and reminded everyone to provide better communication to patients by clicking here.

You too can create heroes or promote your company’s fun atmosphere without breaking the bank by using the following guidelines:

  • Write it yourself
  • Use your own people as talent
  • Keep it short 1:30 – 2 min
  • Shoot multiple videos at one time
  • Use limited:
    • audio
    • graphics
    • 1ighting

Use these tactics and you should be able to produce a series of viral videos for $6,000-$10,000.

(Photo credit: Scott Kinmartin)
Do you have any additional ideas or tips on creating potentially viral videos on a budget? The comments are yours.

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