Walking into the first day of class, seeing the syllabus, and reading about our ½ semester project may seem overwhelming to most. I’ll admit even I was overwhelmed. My heart sped up a bit as I groaned internally and realized my last semester in college was not going to be as cookie cutter as I had previously thought. Fortunately, my opinions quickly turned from distress to excitement as I engaged further in the class, further in the semester, and further with my teammates.
Creating a public relations campaign can seem daunting. However, I consider myself fortunate. The first time I am putting together an entire campaign I am under the supervision of my professor, and I have three teammates to help me along. Carlye, Shelby, and Lindsey are all well-rounded students, and I am confident in our abilities to put together a successful PR campaign.
Getting started can be overwhelming; however, it is important to realize many others share this same feeling. It is equally important to know how to deal with stress and fear in a healthy way. Thankfully, YouTube is available.
To my relief, our group got along right away. I realized my group was just as driven as I was and refused to waste any time. The non-profit organization we decided to help was Talitha Koum Institue (TKI) Talitha Koum is a non-profit organization that focuses on the Kate Ross Neighborhood in Waco, Texas. Their Facebook page further emphasizes their mission.
“The Talitha Koum Institute is a mental health Therapeutic Nurture Center focusing on the brain development of at risk children. Through an intensive care program involving their Therapeutic Nurture Center, alongside school age mentoring, parent education, and community training programs, the Talitha Koum Institute strives to improve outcomes by providing comprehensive support for each child’s family, while growing to support the children until the time they reach high school graduation. The Talitha Koum Institute opened the Therapeutic Nursery in 2003 and will celebrate their tenth anniversary in January 2013. In 1999, with funding from Waco’s Cooper Foundation, the founders of the Talitha Koum Institute, who were CrossTies Ecumenical Church members, purchased the former Gonzales Boys & Girls Club building which is located in the South Waco community, at the corner of 13th and Clay.”
Needless to say, we were excited to meet them and get to work on their campaign. In our initial meeting, my group and I went over our goals and objectives. We also spent some time on the TKI website in order to learn more about them. We reached out to Lane Harbin, communications specialist, and set up a meeting.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the initial meeting because of classes. Carlye and Lindsey represented us and met with Ms. Harbin. They came back with a better understanding of what TKI needed from us and ways we could help.
TKI has a mentoring program focusing on children who have already gone through the therapeutic Nurture Center. However, they have a hard time acquiring and maintaining mentors throughout a student’s life. Ms. Harbin, as well as one of the founders, Susan Cowley, want to further promote their mentoring program and encourage Wacoans to invest in the lives of children in the Kate Ross Neighborhood.
After their meeting, we came together and developed a vision statement for the mentoring program. Likewise, we came up with ideas on ways we can develop a thorough and well-planed public relations plan and then implement it.
So far, all we have done is brainstorm our ideas. Shelby and I are meeting with Ms. Harbin on Friday morning and taking a tour. There, we will run our ideas past her and get a first-hand look at how TKI operates, the faces behind the operation and the many benefits TKI provides to the children of the Kate Ross Neighborhood.