The Final Chapter of PR Writing

Well kids, this is it. Our public relations writing class, MC 4001, is coming to an end. After weeks of work, and countless tears, curse words and frustrated sighs, we have completed our mini-campaign for BREC. As you already know (and if you don’t, you should), our group, Rouge Public Relations, has been working on a mini-campaign for the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, also known as BREC.

I was kidding about the tears, curse words and frustrated sighs, of course. Our group has been incredible and I can’t think of a better team of people to work with while gaining some experience in the public relations field.

And I promised myself I wouldn’t cry!

Kidding, of course. I’m not going to cry. As great as the experience has been, it’s a huge relief to finally have a chance to breathe. Instead, I’m gonna give you guys a little peek at some of the tactics we used in our campaign so you can see where all our hard work went.

One of the most fun tactics to create were our chalk advertisements at the parks. We drew brightly-colored chalk ads on the sidewalks to attract attention to our trek.

We also did several news media tactics, such as a news release, a social media release, and a newsletter. These were created for distribution to print news media outlets to gain media coverage of BREC and the trek.

Perhaps my favorite tactic, however, was our how-to video. Brooke Hidalgo (Rouge PR’s strategy director) and I created a one-minute video telling users how to use the trek. Considering I had never created a video before in my life, I thought it came out pretty well!

There’s plenty more, but to see the rest, you’ll have to join us in the Holliday Forum in the Journalism Building at LSU on Wednesday, May 2 at 10:30 am. I’d love to see you all there 🙂

That’s all for now, kids.

-Collin

Aside

No, there’s no Spock, no William Shatner, and nobody is going to be on a spaceship. But we’re going on a trek. The star? The Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, known in the Baton Rouge area as BREC. Our group has been working tirelessly and finally, the fruits of our labor have been harvested. We present to you the Discover BREC Trek.

(Catchy, ain’t it?)

My group, Rouge Public Relations, has been using the geolocation-based smartphone gaming application SCVNGR to create a trek, or a series of challenges, for BREC. Users go around to a selection of parks run by BREC, complete challenges, and earn points that can be redeemed for prizes.

While the entire trek isn’t outer space-related (sorry for the misleading title, but hey, I had to get you here somehow), one of the challenges is pretty stellar. Visitors to the Highland Road Park Observatory can earn points in a challenge called “Star Struct.” The challenge requires users to tell how many constellations they saw and to name three of them.

That’s only one of the challenges on this trek. Believe it or not, folks, there’s much, much more!

Other challenges on the trek include (but are not limited to):

These are only a few of the fun challenges included in the Discover BREC Trek. To see and experience the rest of the challenges, get on your smartphone and download the SCVNGR app (It’s free. It’s fun. And you’re gonna love it.) Then, find the Discover BREC trek. Visit the amazing parks included on the trek, complete challenges, and earn some great prizes!

And with that, I send you on your way. Go forth, my readers! Thou shalt have a little fun!

-Collin

All’s Well That Ends Well

Well kids, it’s official.

Our class lectures and individual projects for our PR writing class, MC 4001, have come to an end. The end of one chapter and the beginning of another, you might say. Because as we finish this phase of the course, we kick the next into high gear.

Yes, that’s right. Our mini-campaigns are on. Which means it’s time to shift from learning the principles of PR writing and put our skills to work. Before I start talking about the new phase of the course though, let’s do a brief recap of some of the things I’ve learned.

SCVNGR – A major part of this course has been service learning, which I discussed in my last blog post. Basically, service learning involves teaching students an aspect of their chosen careers through civic engagement and community involvement. We’re following this By planning mini-campaigns for various non-profit organizations in Baton Rouge. I’ll discuss ours a little later. The experience has taught our whole class about a new form of social networking called SCVNGR. This geolocation-based smartphone gaming application allows organizations to become actively engaged with their organizations through treks. These are groups of challenges that, when completed, offer the user the opportunity to earn prizes.

Mitt Romney – Another section of our course has involved learning the views of a presidential candidate of our choice and writing about them in various formats commonly used in public relations. I chose to do my assignments on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Not only did these assignments teach me how to write for political public relations, they taught me more about the views of different presidential candidates than I would have researched on my own.

That’s all for now, kids. I’ll update you more on the SCVNGR trek we’re currently working on for BREC as it develops. Keep in touch!

-Collin

A Walk in the Park

Where has time gone?

It seems like just yesterday we were marveling at the idea of actually getting experience doing a campaign for a real client. The prospect, at the time, seemed too good to be true, and not a little daunting. However, here we are, with only one week left of class meetings before we devote ourselves to our mini-campaigns for our public relations writing class.

We secured our first choice client, the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, better known in the Baton Rouge area as BREC. BREC is a non-profit organization that maintains 184 parks and recreational facilities in East Baton Rouge Parish. Many people do not realize just how many opportunities BREC has to offer for outdoor (and often free) entertainment in the Baton Rouge area. Some of the facilities BREC offers are:

  • Perkins Road Community Park: This 52.2-acre “extreme sports park” offers facilities for volley ball, rock climbing, and features a velodrome – a 333-meter cycling track where participants can reach up to 35 miles per hour. BREC’s is one of only 15 in the country!
  • Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center: Follow over a mile of gravel paths and boardwalks through various habitats and see real swamp animals in their natural environment. The facility also has an award-winning 9,500-square-foot exhibit building where visitors can view live animals as well as other nature exhibits.
  • Greenwood Community Park: BREC’s newest park is a 390-acre area located in Baker, La. The park features a lake for fishing and kayaking, tennis courts, a playground, a golf course and the Raising Cane’s Dog Park. After enjoying some outdoor fun, visitors can visit the Waterfront Café and the Dumas Golf Course pro shop. 

I’m really excited to be working with an organization that offers so much to the Baton Rouge area. All the members of our group love using BREC’s facilities, so anything we can do to give back to this great organization is a perfect use of our time and talents.

Stay tuned to find out more about our SCVNGR trek with BREC!

Blog Reflection #1

We have begun work on our mini-campaign, and the service-learning experience (even after only a few weeks) has been nothing but educational! I’m really enjoying the dynamics of our group; so many perfectionists working on one project is, while a bit overwhelming at some times, really refreshing. I have complete confidence that our group will produce a campaign that is nothing short of spectacular.

As the design director, my first big challenge was to produce our team’s logo. Once we finally settled on a name – Rouge Public Relations – the task of creating a visual identity for our company became much easier. “Rouge” is French for “red,” so choosing our signature color was no problem. It is also a rather old-sounding word, so we decided to create a logo that has an antique feel. Here’s a link to the Rouge Public Relations logo that I designed.

After establishing the name and logo for our team, we’ve completed our sales letter and are currently working on more parts of our marketing plan. Our campaigns for this class revolve around SCVNGR, a geolocation-based gaming app that allows the user to become actively engaged with local businesses through treks. Treks are groups of games or challenges that allow the user to accumulate points to redeem for rewards. Because SCVNGR is so intrinsically linked with location, I decided to use an image of Baton Rouge as seen on Google Maps as the background for our brochure. I like marketing materials to have a lot of visual interest, and having a map of our town as the background gives clients a sense of our ties to the community as well as a better understanding of how our brand name came to be.

For our non-profit, our group has our eyes on local park organizations. We believe that using SCVNGR could be a fun way to get local residents to discover all the parks Baton Rouge has to offer. We will have to decide with our non-profit upon our first meeting whether we will be doing a trek that is focused on one park, or a trek that brings users along a number of attractions in the area. We want to help an organization that provides so much in the areas of entertainment and recreation to the residents of this great city by making sure their services are appreciated by as many members of the general public as possible.