This is the most current form of my personal resume. If you have any questions please contact me at the addresses provided.
I currently run the social media accounts for Aspen Springfield, a student housing complex in Springfield, Missouri. I have helped to cultivate and retain a large following of our target demographic, college students with a love of culture and innovation. Check out the linked content was created and executed for these accounts with the goal of gaining new leases and retaining current tenants.
Linked below is a proposal I created for the company Manly Cans. This company is based in Springfield, Missouri and in need of some marketing consultation. My proposal outlines marketing ideas and techniques for wedding and anniversary campaigns.
The following link is for a brochure I created outlining the information and classes necessary for completing a communication studies major at Missouri State University.
Kathleen O’Dell, Community Relations Director for the Springfield Greene County Library, paid a visit to our class the other day to cover the topic of community relations. It was a very interesting presentation over the subject because the libraries main audience are their patrons who are members of the community, therefore making community relations a crucial focus to drive traffic to the libraries of Springfield Greene County. A community relations specialist is defined by PRSA as, “Community relations specialists are responsible for developing and implementing community outreach programs including social & community awareness incentives. They work with the organization to create programs that promote the organization’s image in a positive and community-oriented way. Community relations specialists set up internal events, fairs and other community events to incorporate the organization into the community.” Kathleen O’Dell does all of this and maybe more for the libraries of Springfield and Greene County.
Kathleen started out in the world as an eager journalist interested in covering stories of all kinds. This background gave her an interesting view point when she finally entered the PR world due to her history in dealing with other community relations specialists and knowing what the media was looking for when dealing with these professionals. Kathleen has been at her current position for six years now and is a veteran in the community relations world. She handles everything from press releases, social media, all literature for promotions for the libraries as well as events, minor educational training sessions with library staff who do not have a background on how to handle PR or media type situations and raising money for the renewal of the Brentwood branch library. Kathleen has a large staff for a smaller organization, which she is grateful for as they help her to get messages out as well as design the artwork for campaigns.
Kathleen gave some advice to the class for when and if we ever have to put on our community relations hat that I found not only insightful but helpful as well. She said it is vital to your company or organization to always get staff involved, excited and educated on events, campaigns and promotions because they are your biggest brand ambassadors. If they are knowledgeable and interested in what is happening within the organization than your audience and customers will be as well. Monitoring administration and staff relations is also important because you never want to have them going rogue and creating their own signage or mixing the message you have carefully laid out in a community relations plan. Kathleen said she even had to create a “Wall of Shame” in her office for library fliers created without approval and posted in the libraries. However comical this may be, she said it seemed to have worked and scared the staff into letting her be in charge of the signage as it is her job.
Community Relations is a crucial part of being a PR practitioner because it is cultivating and fostering a relationship between your brand and the community. A positive image in the community will go a long way not only in support for your company or organization, but in bringing awareness to the causes your brand is representing. Besides all of the importance it has for your brand it just seems like a good, heartwarming time to create programs and events in the community that will directly benefit patrons of your company or organization. I would be interested in seeing what company or organization is thought of to have an outstanding community relations reputation.
The general goal as a public relations practitioner is to achieve internal and external harmony. It is more than just communicating with your external audiences, but your internal audience and stakeholders as well. If it is found that the internal relations of a company or organization is not all on the same page or dissatisfied as an employee, the productivity from these employees will not be as successful as it could be. Let’s go ahead and take a look at a few cases in which plans to improve internal relations were successful with Linhart Public Relations, The USDA and State Farm.
Linhart Public Relations is a PR firm that decided to take a look within themselves in order to accomplish “Creating a Great Place to Work, Thrive & Grow.” In doing so they wanted to retain talent while also building a workplace to attract new talent. The strategies used were clearly outlining employee expectations, holding meetings to make sure these expectations were being met, team building activities, counseling, paid volunteer hours, and PR training seminars. Linhart PR recognized that they needed to revamp their internal relations plan in order to stay competitive in the workforce for their current employees and future employees. Showing their employees they care about their feelings and needs through counseling, care for a team environment through team building activities, and fostering the education of their practitioners is really what made this successful. Linhart PR proved they care about their team, and not just their bottom line which is a quality in a company I know I would love to see as a future PR practioner. Similar to Linhart PR, in the sense that an internal relations revamp was needed, was State Farm Insurance. State Farm found that not only was business in the auto insurance department was down, but employee satisfaction was dwindling. By implementing centralized message management, attempting to grow employee engagement and support and hoping to achieve strong business results, State Farm was able to increase their business and employee satisfaction. State Farm embraced new online technology which helped their agents in the job performance category. The messaging seen in the media and distributed through the company was now consistent and helped employees to feel more at ease. I feel that State Farm did a great job in changing with the changing world around them and not getting stuck in the pre-tech era. This helped them increase their bottom line, which as an employee I know I would be more satisfied with myself if I was performing better at my job. Mixed messaging in a company is also unsettling so centralizing the message and information was a route State Farm needed to take in order to secure their employees.
The USDA did not attempt to re-structure internal relations in the same ways as the previous two cases, however they did need to educate their stakeholders, farmers in America as well as the general population, over the soil concerns beginning to occur. With less and less top soil available every year, the USDA needed to stop and take a moment to come up with a new way to conserve soil through new farming techniques. This prompted a carefully strategized educational campaign that needed to be distributed to the farmers in America as well as awareness of the issue to the general public. Education is a form of internal relations and the USDA was successful at bringing awareness to this soil issue as well as having 6 million acres of cropland positively affected and 9 million tons of top soil saved. Crisis situations will arise within organizations and being prepared to combat them and educate stakeholders is a must i order to survive as a successful organization today.
Internal relations can be anything from disgruntled, dissatisfied employees, or a decline in productivity to a brewing crisis facing your company or organization. Being able to take a step back and deciding which plan will work best to turn the situation around is vital to an internal relations strategy. Your company or organizations stakeholders are the biggest ambassadors for your brand and therefore need to be taken into consideration when evaluating how successful your company or organization was for the year.