Accomplishments

Although it has been several months since I posted, I haven’t forgotten about my blog. It’s just difficult to find time to get here when I have such a full plate. I a full-time student, media relations intern, I work in retail and I skate for the Flat Track Furies (check us out at emeraldcityrollergirls.net) Needless to say I am looking forward to a couple of months off for summer.

In other news, the last year has been full of accomplishments and I am very proud of the steps I have made in getting closer to my career. I have had several moments in the last 9 months, where I could actually say to myself, “Hey, you actually know what you are doing.” I have felt particularly important as an intern at Ophelia’s Place. I really enjoy working with the staff and providing them with my expertise. Not a day goes by without receiving a thank you from them, but really, I feel like I should be thanking everyone there for letting me learn and grow.

In the last several months, I have made contacts with local media in Eugene, including Storm Kennedy from KUGN radio, who deserves an honorable mention as she has been so great about doing radio interviews with OP and helping me get in touch with other people in the community.

I really am having a great experience and will be graduating after fall term 2013. I plan to continue interning with OP as long as I am in Eugene.

 


Making a Name for Myself

Try as I might, I cannot seem to consistently post updates on my blog.

So here I am. Updating.

Many wonderful things are happening in my life right now, both personally and professionally.

My internship at Ophelia’s Place has given me the task of re-designing and adding content to its auction catalogue for its upcoming Gems Event fundraiser. Although I’m no stranger to deadlines, Monday is swiftly approaching and here I am nitpicking at InDesign before I have all of the content typed up and entered. Silly me. Thankfully, Verb Marketing + PR is willing to help when I need it.

In other news, I have taken on the role of PR intern at the Downtown Initiative for Visual Arts (DIVA)  art gallery in addition to Ophelia’s Place. I am very excited about these opportunities as this is my final year of college and I hope to gain experience and network with as many people as I can, locally and possibly not so locally (any Coloradoans, Northern Californians, or Upstate New Yorkers out there reading this?) in PR who might have other professional opportunities that I can be a part of.

With two internships, full-time classes, roller derby and a part-time job, I probably won’t eat, sleep or bathe for the next three months.

It will be worth it.

 


PR Intern at Ophelia’s Place

I recently began an internship at Ophelia’s Place (OP), a nonprofit organization in downtown Eugene, Ore., that focuses on providing young women with services and support.

The organization offers a wide range of services including skill building, counseling, education, and leadership opportunities. OP also partners with middle schools and high schools in the Eugene area, to provide classroom presentations that focus on the impact of media on body image and gender identity, healthy relationships and dating violence, and bullying, discrimination, sexual harrassment and how to be a helpful bystander.

Since I hope to find a career in nonprofit PR after I receive my bachelor’s degree, I thought this would give me experience working for a nonprofit organization.

OP has a public relations plan, but my goal while I am here for the next year is to help update it and gain more followers via Facebook and increase awareness of the organization, especially from middle school and high school girl. Another goal is to increase the number of media contacts and possibly have a story done in a local paper about the organization, so I am in the process of developing a media kit.

Hopefully my schooling up to this point has provided me with enough knowledge and strategy to help this organization gain awareness and followers!

Like Ophelia’s Place on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/OpheliasPlaceEugene

Or, visit its website: http://www.opheliasplace.net


Replication Studies about Media Publicity for Nonprofits

 

So, what are Replication Studies?

A simple definition of a replication study is the repetition of an experiment to confirm findings or to ensure accuracy

How do nonprofit organizations replicate previous research to confirm findings? To find out, I read an academic journal article as part of an assignment for my public relations class. The following article examines this topic thoroughly:

Helmig, B., Spraul, K., & Tremp, K. (2011). Replication studies in nonprofit research: A generalization and extension of findings regarding the media publicity of nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 41(3), 360-385. doi:10.1177/0899764011404081

The authors of this article wanted to contribute to an ongoing discussion about the best ways to conduct research for nonprofits and explore a specific topic that is relevant to nonprofit organizations in a globalized world.

 

Media Publicity for Nonprofit Organizations

The authors focused on the topic of media publicity for nonprofit organizations.

They explain in the article that despite a common interest in media publicity for nonprofit organizations, prior research is limited and has only focused on a few countries, such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

They replicate Jacob’s and Glass’s (2002) New York based study in Zurich, Switzerland, to gain more insight on this topic.

 

Methods

The replication study was completed over a 10-year period, from 1997-2007 (original study: 1990-1998).

The article notes that the newsworthiness of nonprofit organizations is based on a number of factors previously determined by Jacob and Glass (2002):

  • Annual income
  • Organization age
  • Number of members
  • Number of paid staff
  • Number of yearly meetings

As cited in the article, these factors can be interpreted as “news factors.” As these factors increase, so does the newsworthiness of the organization.

The authors tested their theories:

  • Investigated four well-established newspapers and one free daily paper
  • Counted articles published during the 10-year span with the names of relevant nonprofits
  • Obtained data by mailing questionnaires to 666 nonprofits that listed their location in Zurich, of which they received a net sample of 209 completed questionnaires

Types of Nonprofits Used in the Replication

  • Cultural organizations (11)
  • Recreational organizations (6)
  • Educational and research organizations (17)
  • Health organizations (21)
  • Social organizations (35)
  • Environmental Organizations (10)
  • Economic associations (36)
  • Professional associations (48)
  • Political organizations (14)
  • Religious organizations (8)
  • Ethnical and multicultural organizations (1)
  • Advocacy organizations (0)
  • Unclassified (2)


Results

The authors found that 20.1 percent of the nonprofits in the study did not have any sort of publicity in the newspapers they counted, however the replication study shows that media publicity for nonprofits is much higher in Zurich’s newspapers than New York’s.

They also find that nonprofits prefer certain channels in which to gain media attention, with a majority preferring to appear in newspapers (70.8 percent), magazines (60.8 percent), and events (51.7 percent).

Interestingly, the study also finds that the income, number of members and number of chapters of a nonprofit organization strongly influences media publicity.

 

Limitations

In the replication study, the sample size was small in general and they only received 209 out of more than 600 mailed questionnaires.

Likewise, this study wasn’t identical to the original study because the authors used different nonprofit types.

Since this was a cross-cultural study, there wasn’t a “standard classification,” thus a standard had to be adapted to fit the features of the Swiss nonprofit sector.


How do you Address a Diverse Audience? Be Bold (but not too Bold)

It’s crucial for any public relations practitioner to understand how to successfully communicate with a diverse audience. The gay and lesbian community is one such group that is loyal and powerful, but it’s a demographic that is highly underserved.

To help understand the needs of the gay and lesbian community, PR agency Fleishman-Hillard has reached out to PR professionals looking to communicate with the gay and lesbian community with its “Out Front Blog.” The blog seeks to foster discussion about communications issues affecting the LGBT community and address the challenges associated with reaching this audience.

Nonprofit media campaigner, Luke Montgomery and his “FCKH8” campaign, is one inspiring example of effectively reaching out to the LGBT community. Montgomery’s campaign seeks to raise money and awareness about bullying and hate by using a series of videos featuring gays, lesbians and straight allies to bluntly oppose hatred against the LGBT community.

Montgomery’s campaign and videos aren’t for the faint of heart or the easily offended. They contain crass language, which can catch the viewer off guard and could be potentially off-putting, but the risks seem to have come with a number of benefits, including more than 180,000 Facebook likes, more than 41,000 Twitter followers and thousands of views for each of the videos.

Generally and professionally speaking, I don’t condone using foul language to appeal to an audience. However, this campaign has been highly effective in reaching its intended audience by being provocative and standing out. The main take-away from Montgomery’s campaign is to raise awareness about discrimination and bullying against gay and lesbian individuals, which is an important cause in the gay community as seen with other campaigns such as the “It Gets Better Project.

Ultimately, building relationships and successfully communicating with a diverse audience requires the knowledge and understanding of the issues, desires and goals of that community. Sometimes, taking a provocative approach results in success.


Know Your Audience: Tips on Developing Relationships with the Help of Social Media from Dana Lewis

As the Interactive Marketing Specialist for Seattle-based Swedish Medical Center, Dana Lewis is sufficiently experienced in social media and knows how to connect with diverse audiences in different places.

At a recent guest lecture at the University of Oregon, Lewis explained some important strategies to build and maintain relationships with your community through social media:

  • Be present. Make yourself known to your community via Twitter, Facebook, livestreams, live chats, videos, etc.
  • Listen. You won’t understand the needs of your community if you don’t take the time to listen to its concerns.
  • Engage. Start conversations. Ask questions. Spend time actively connecting and conversing with your audience.
During the lecture, Lewis recalled a story about severe weather conditions affecting the greater Seattle area last January. Through the use of social media, in this case Facebook, Swedish doctors alerted their patients of potential weather hazards and let them know that Swedish was operating as usual. If Swedish’s communications team wasn’t using social media and actively engaging, listening and being present for its community, it probably wouldn’t have been effective in getting the word out.

 

You are the biggest obstacle you have. Don’t be afraid to be a part of your community. Jump in.


A Friendly Introduction

Welcome to Think of Today! My name is Celeste Yager-Kandle; I am a student at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon and will soon be a young professional entering the PR world.

I started this blog to propel myself into the blogosphere and to explore topics in public relations and communications. Specifically, I aspire to work do strategic communications for nonprofit organizations.

I hope that this blog continues to grow with me, highlighting my accomplishments and showcasing my ability to compete in a tech savvy, professional world.

“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright