by Jeremy Noble
Public relations is planned with the audience in mind. The skills we develop in the classroom come together working with real clients and gaining professional experiences. Working with Christian Campus House this semester allowed my Innovative PR team the opportunity to plan and budget for an event and gain professional experience.
In partnership with Youthfront, CCH sponsors Something to Eat™ in Warrensburg, giving students and the community an opportunity to help people in need by creating food packages. Through this generous act of feeding others, we are helping to restore justice in the world.
CCH assigned us the task of creating a campaign, promoting the event to the campus and local community. We wanted to create a more engaging atmosphere by reaching out to more of the community than previous years. This is the third year UCM hosts the event on campus and each year the IPR group is given the opportunity to expand the initiative and increase the number of participants in hopes of reaching our goals.
Achieving our goal
The goals this year are to raise awareness of the event and to package 5,000 units, equivalent to 30,000 meals and package 1,000 meals a day. There have been a few challenges in years past to reaching our goal, for instance, the weather was a major factor last year. This year we believe that third time is a charm. With the help of campus and community organizations, we have the opportunity to reach our goals and help those in need.
Changes in 2014
You may be questioning to how this campaign is different from years past. This year we added the group competition to encourage more organizations to participate. We also added the “I fed __ people” label stickers. Since not every participant receives a t-shirt this could be an alternative to those who do not qualify for the t-shirt. To qualify for a t-shirt, participants must create 6-9 packages and make a social media post using the new mural, which can be seen at the event.
The sticker design is the same as the t-shirt design from last year. Our team liked the idea of showing others how many people each participant feeds. We created t-shirts that had a more appealing design than last year’s. Finally, we wanted to interact face-to-face with churches and businesses to help with community engagement.
All groups and organizations are encouraged to reserve a time to package meals by filling out the online form available at ucmo.edu/somethingtoeat. You can also sign up to volunteer. Participants also can help spread the word on Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #somethingtoeat.
by Ashley Dolan
From the beginning of Innovative PR’s work with Christian Campus House (CCH), I could tell the project was going to be different from any our agency coordinated. CCH brought the initiative called Something to Eat to the University of Central Missouri (UCM) campus last year. This project is a hands-on food packaging event where meals are assembled by volunteers on site, then shipped to communities in need. Last year the UCM campus came together and packaged more than 5,000 meals. Though the donated meals made a great impact on those in need, CCH knew they could give more. CCH reached out to Innovative PR to help the event reach its full potential.
Something to Eat at UCM has been a unique experience for our agency. It’s such a visual and hands-on project that it’s fun just being at the tent, taking it all in. From the colorful signs that fill the tent, to the pictures of people who were fed last year, CCH has made this event a point of attraction. There are great photo opportunities for students that package meals and a tower that shows UCM’s progress in reaching the goal of assembling 13,220 meals.
Innovative PR provided the opportunity for participants to share their experience at Something to Eat on social media, which serves as a tool to recruit their friends to take part in the initiative. Groups and organizations really took hold of the option for the group sign-up. From the UCM Cheer Squad to sororities, church youth groups and entire classes, the idea of feeding people together became a reality this week.
Witnessing the excitement students and the community have for the Something to Eat project is chilling. News of the event spread like wildfire throughout campus. The first day of the event I couldn’t stop refreshing my Twitter timeline, as I watched the online conversation and use of #SomethingtoEat skyrocket.
The passion CCH has for the cause mirrors Innovative PR’s passion for public relations and giving back to the UCM campus. Our client doesn’t know this, but their enthusiasm has inspired many of our ideas, generated our passion, and this has created impressive results for Something to Eat.
So far more than 3,000 meals have been packaged and with all of the support from the community we can’t wait to see the impact that this event will make by the end of the week.
This experience has taught me so much about working together for a cause, but what it all comes down to is the power of giving back.
When you do good for others, good things happen.