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Published by Kelsey Hollenbeck

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Published by: Kelsey Hollenbeck on Jan 03, 2013
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OPTIONS PR Plan, Spring 2012
The student-run public relations firm at California Polytechnic State University 
Public Relations Plan
OPTIONS Family of ServicesPublic Awareness/Outreach CampaignKelsey Hollenbeck & Kelsey ShimasakiSpring 2012
OPTIONS Family of Services is a local non-profit organization that provides a variety of servicesto individuals with developmental disorders such as head injuries, hearing loss, autism andother neurological impairments. Their core philosophy is that with respect and support, peoplewith disabilities can achieve their goals of living and working independently as full citizens of their communities. Unlike other organizations of its kind, OPTIONS provides comprehensiveservices to those on the Central Coast, including occupational and physical therapy and jobplacement, housing, extra-curricular activities and special events. In this respect, they have nodirect competitors.The focus of this plan is the promotion of the first annual Oyster Festival in Morro Bay. Thefestival is the first of its kind on the Central Coast and marks a new collaboration with theMorro Bay Oyster Company. It will be held at the Morro Bay Golf Course on June 16
, from 12-8 p.m. and will feature a full bar, various oyster dishes and well as other foods, retail vendors,music by Walk Off The Earth and structures designed by the Do LaB.
Situation Analysis
Despite the current economic climate, OPTIONS hopes to continue fulfilling its mission of helping the disabled to realize their dreams and achieve full inclusion in their respectivecommunities. As is the case with most non-profit organizations, OPTIONS has seen a decreasein funding in recent years. Last year, the suffered a sizeable budget cut of more than $300,000.This represents 10% of their medical services budget and 5% of their total budget. As of now,they have not yet been forced to make any program cuts, but they are currently readjusting toprepare for the possibility should these upcoming fundraisers prove unsuccessful in raisingfunds.
This deficit is a major weakness as it forces staff members to shift their attention fromproviding the best quality services, to coming up with a means of generating revenue. Though
OPTIONS PR Plan, Spring 2012
their past events have been successful in bringing in funds, they have had trouble making surepeople understand that the Avila Beach Music Festival and That 80s Thing are put on by andbenefitting OPTIONS. This lack of association is a weakness and challenge for the upcomingOyster Festival. In terms of this specific event, OPTIONS is relatively understaffed, with only oneMarketing Manager (Jacqueline Delaney) handing most of the logistics and promotions.
However, Jacqueline is very knowledgeable and has successfully planned and executed eventsof this magnitude. Her expertise and experience, coupled with the aid of an outside PR firmParker Sanpei (working on promotional materials, graphics and advertising) and CCPR (workingon recruiting vendors and participating restaurants), is a definite strength. OPTIONS has goodstanding in the San Luis Obispo community and has been very successful in selling out pastevents, including the Avila Beach Music Festival and That 80s Thing.
The Oyster Festival presents a unique opportunity for OPTIONS, in that it is the first of its kind inthe area. There are similar events in Humboldt, San Francisco and San Diego, but none on theCentral Coast. The accessibility of the Morro Bay Oyster Company and its proximity to thevenue are opportunities for success because it provides minimal logistical issues and providesattendees with an opportunity to support a local business.The event will be held at the Morro Bay golf course, which boasts 4000 acres and an oceanview. The large size presents the opportunity to host thousands of attendees, because there isno maximum occupancy. OPTIONS has had to turn people away at the doors of previous events,due to the event cap of 3000 people as mandated by the city of San Luis Obispo. This should notbe an issue for the Oyster Festival.The festival also features various attractions, besides oysters, that present opportunities toattract attendees. The band Walk Off The Earth, whose
recent cover of Gotye’s “Somebody
I Used To Know” went viral last month
with more than 87 million views on YouTube, willperform. The Do LaB, which makes the famous structures and stages for the Coachella ValleyMusic Festival and Burning Man, will make a stage and gazebo for the event.Other opportunities include reaching out to community members who have attended past
OPTIONS events, and people who may be in the area for Father’s Day weekend looking for
things to do. The magnitude of the event is attractive to potential vendors and participatingrestaurants that could receive a lot of exposure.
The “Best Oyster of the Central Coast”
competition presents the opportunity for a local restaurant to gain acclaim and mediaattention, and be judged by local food editors and wine industry judges, which might makethem more inclined to participate.
OPTIONS PR Plan, Spring 2012
Aside from the possibility of further budget cuts, the primary threat to OPTIONS’ success with
this event is the other events occurring that same weekend. The Oyster Festival, which will takeplace on June 16
, will be competing with the Live Oak Music Festival and the Pismo Beach Car
Show for peoples’ time and money.
However, the Live Oak Music Festival is located about 20minutes West of Santa Barbara and Pismo is about 30 minutes South of Morro Bay. We believethis distance will help alleviate this threat.
Additionally, the event falls on Father’s Day
Weekend, which may threaten attendance as people might be traveling to visit family or haveother plans. This presents a very real challenge: convincing people to spend their Saturday atthe Oyster Festival, as opposed to somewhere else.While the tickets are fairly affordable at $20, the vendor fees are more expensive at $850 forfood vendors and $450 for retail vendors. This may pose a threat to participation, if localbusinesses cannot justify spending the money in the current economic downturn, especiallysince this is the first annual Oyster Festival and therefore has no past measured success toensure.
a result of the aforementioned budget cuts, OPTIONS’
primary goal (in addition to providingquality services) is to increase fundraising. Their goal for this quarter and the remainder of theyear is to make the first annual Oyster Festival as profitable as possible, through maximumticket sales, to both attendees and vendors. In the next few years, they hope to continue toexpand this event and sponsor more like it to raise funds to continue fulfilling their mission.
OPTIONS’ objectives are as follows:
Sell a minimum of 3,000 GA tickets (at $20) to the Oyster Festival on June 16
(though5,000 would be ideal)
Sell 10-15 retail vendor passes (at $450)
Sell 10 food vendor passes (at $850) to serve side dishes to complement oysters
Get 10 restaurants (preferably with existing oyster recipes) to
participate in the “BestOyster of the Central Coast” competition
during month of May. The winning oyster willbe featured at the festival for patrons to purchase.
Target Audiences
Due to the accessible nature of the event, our target audience is fairly broad in that it rangesfrom Gen Y and Gen Z high school and college students to Baby Boomers. The event is relativelyinexpensive ($20), features something for almost everyone (live music, artistic structures, fullbar, oysters, etc.) and appeals to all-ages. Therefore, the ideal attendee is anyone with aninterest in the aforementioned things with a disposable $20 and means of transportation toMorro Bay. That being said, past events have shown that the most likely attendees will fall

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