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The public relations process involves five key components. Four of them are obvious — research, setting objectives, planning and evaluating the hard work. The last step is more subtle, but it can create and foster long-term connections. Stewardship entails thanking resources and returning favors when the timing is right. In a later post, one of our members will focus specifically on stewardship in the public relations process.

When our journey began, we knew our connections would play a key role in the outcome of our campaign. We realized during the first week that we all brought something different to the table. Anna is an event planning whiz and has contacts stretching from Las Vegas to Florida. Elise is a connected Baton Rouge nonprofit guru. Emily has endless media contact lists and corporate experience. Allison acts as our campus connection and can find a point of contact for any of our ventures. I love the agency life and have made connections throughout the Red Stick.

After we discussed our connections, we realized that we would have to utilize our resources to put the grassroots creative campaign we created for our client on the map. We knew incentives were vital for participation, and we began the process of asking our individual networks for help. We received support from each corner of the LSU campus and the Red Stick.

For example, the Manship School of Mass Communication promoted each event we held and donated necessary items to be used throughout the campaign. Nolan Cain, coordinator of baseball operations for LSU Baseball, provided us with a private tour of Alex Box Stadium for two lucky students. The tour was used as a participation incentive throughout the campaign. The general manager at Fred’s Bar and Grill provided us with half-off wristbands to encourage participation for our campaign.

Picture courtesy of Erin Kenna from her private tour of Alex Box stadium

Picture courtesy of Erin Kenna from her private tour of Alex Box Stadium

We were fortunate to have a team with established connections throughout the Baton Rouge area. Emily asked a few favors, and we had incentives. Allison reached out to Greek Life presidents, and we had many opportunities to pitch our client to various fraternities and sororities. Manship faculty and staff supported our efforts every step of the way and inspired us to do more than what was expected.

The connections we utilized began for various reasons — through internships, volunteer work, organizations, or were simply friendships. The common theme throughout the campaign is that each connection we called upon helped us in some way, shape or form. We made it a point to reiterate how appreciative we were for each person’s help.

When researching audiences, planning an event, contacting the media, printing collateral or even just spreading awareness about a client, always remember to utilize — and thank — connections.

Post written by: Erin Kenna, Mass Communication: Public Relations, senior at the Manship School of Mass Communication, erinmkenna@gmail.com and erinmkenna.com