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SECONDARY RESEARCH PAPER

I. ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND
The Baton Rouge Childrens Advocacy Center, BRCAC, serves the areas of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Iberville and Pointe Coupee as a privately funded nonprofit organization that provides a safe haven for abused children and teens. Its services include partnering with law enforcement professionals, child protective services and members of the criminal justice field to defend children and their families with one-on-one interviews and therapies at no charge. BRCACs main mission is to lessen the trauma experienced by a children and their family when abuse allegations are investigated. Working alongside law enforcement, BRCAC works as a spokesperson on the behalf of children for upcoming court cases dealing with abuse claims. Along with providing communication the BRCAC proceeds to offer therapy and consolation to victims and other persons involved. In providing children a home-like environment where they feel comfortable and safe the BRCAC can gather the necessary information pertaining to the abuse case. As executive director, Sharon Pol leads her team of professional therapists, educators and interviewers in maintaining the organizations image as a safe house. All employees head their own department and collaborate in sustaining strong communication with children and partners involved in maltreatment. Annually, the BRCAC holds a Celebrity Waiter event that stands as its biggest fundraiser providing the majority of its revenue, along with grants and several other charity events. As of now the organization receives $12,000 from its annual campaign and $55,000 from the Celebrity Waiter event. Not including grants and Court-ordered reparations, the organization in total maintains an annual budget of about $67,000. Although BRCAC works directly with law enforcement, similar organizations still maintain a strong reputation among members of the Baton Rouge community. Organizations including Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana and Court Appointed Special Advocate, CASA, still remain as the leading organizations for child abuse or neglect cases. Even though both organizations work across Louisiana, they continue to pull a steady following in the Baton Rouge area. According to Executive Director Pol, BRCAC has been confused with CASA on several accounts. This confusion could string from the fact that CASA is part of a nationwide organization that hosts locations in major cities around the United States. [1] Currently, BRCAC is working toward becoming part of the National Childrens Advocacy Center but has yet to achieve this partnership. Compared to CASA, Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana also maintains a stable following in Baton Rouge. On Facebook alone the organization has more than 1,300 followers compared to BRCACs 188 followers. In the 2008 to 2009 year, Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana raised $1,405,784 in funds for children of abuse in the Louisiana area. [2]

From information gathered on BRCAC and similar prevention organizations, Envision One plans on developing a strategy that will bring forth more awareness to BRCACs programs and services to the community, along with developing a future plan that will aid BRCAC in preserving healthy relationships with the community, donors and other local organizations.

II. COMMUNICATION ANALYSIS PRINT MEDIA


Currently, BRCAC does not distribute a monthly newsletter and rarely produces press releases. On average the center produces four to five press releases a year mostly to support major events, including its annual Celebrity Waiter event. Pursuing its main focus of working with police officials, interviewing victims and providing therapy to all abused parties, BRCAC does not utilize any means of advertisement. The job of handling media relations and website updates belongs to Community Education Coordinator Angela Golden. To help fulfill her mission of bringing awareness to the organization she has requested Envision One to help her with strategic planning for the website and future newsletter, along with sustaining uniformity to all outgoing documents. As a niche organization, BRCAC deals directly with victims and law enforcement including Baton Rouge Police Department, East Baton Rouge Sheriffs Office, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge Sheriffs Office, East Baton Rouge Department of Children and Family Service and Iberville Department of Children and Family Services. Due to these relationships BRCAC prefers using the minimal amount of advertisements as a means of drawing attention to the organization.

ONLINE MEDIA
Baton Rouge Childrens Advocacy Center presently uses Twitter, Facebook, email and community educational visits along with word of mouth to educate the community about their services and events. From social media the organization has 188 followers on Facebook and only three recommendations. On Twitter BRCAC has 50 followers and is currently following 91 other organizations. Both social media networks are also connected to each other limiting the advantages both networks provide (Facebook events).

RELATIONSHIPS
Recently, BRCAC has been recognized by United Way, a leadership and support organization for the network of nearly 1,800 community-based organizations, that acknowledges agencies that promote the well-being and education of communities. [3] From this recognition BRCAC hopes to gain more publicity toward its cause. Golden also explained BRCACs other relationships with different corporations in the area (Coca-Cola, Raising Canes).

Partnerships with these agencies allow for the nonprofit to promote its services and receive donations.

MESSAGE
The BRCACs overall message communicates comfort, safety and trust. Employees stressed that BRCACs main goal is to provide a safe area for children where they feel comfortable enough to explain their situation and receive therapy. BRCAC avoids flaunting its organization; its true focus is in reaching those in need of its services. Through research of the communication behaviors of BRCAC, Envision One proceeds in learning the important steps needed in building the best-suited public relations campaign for the nonprofit.

III. CURRENT SITUATION (SWOT) STRENGTHS


The Baton Rouge Children Advocacy Centers greatest strengths sprout from its overall mission. The fact that they are a nonprofit organization that serves children gives them the ability to look toward other companies and agencies for donations and support. Its strong relationships with law enforcement officials in its target locations allow that BRCAC be first choice in deciding where to safely interrogate children about abuse allegations. Other strengths include its setting as a home-like environment and employee qualifications that range from therapist to forensic investigator.

WEAKNESSES
Weaknesses of the organization range from lack of awareness within the community to its online presence. Confusion over the organizations name could possibly lead to distrust and distance between BRCAC and its target audience. Further weaknesses include the lack of marketing toward a young adult audience. As one of its goals for Envision One, BRCAC hopes to increase its attendance of teenaged participants. For the 2012 year BRCAC has seen 41 clients ages 13-17 compared to the 149 clients 13 years and under. BRCACs online presence expands to social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) and a website. Its presence, however, falls short in communicating with the broad spectrum of Internet users the organization could potentially reach. Hits to Facebook made up only 188 likes and Twitter followers were below 50. Low media impressions and little funding also could affect BRCACs impact on the community.

OPPORTUNITIES

Looking beyond BRCACs weaknesses, opportunities for improvement include its ability to build partnerships with other local organizations for child abuse in Louisiana. Through effective planning and instructions these organizations could work together to maintain a safe, healthy environment for children in the Baton Rouge area. Along with building relationships with other child abuse centers, BRCAC has the possibility to receive donations or financial help from local or national organizations that support the well-being of children. By communicating with community relations directors for organizations similar to Raising Canes, a steady partner of BRCAC, the nonprofit can coordinate sponsorships between themselves and those agencies. Other opportunities thread from working along side law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

THREATS
These opportunities do not come without threats steered from the belief among some parents that therapy or counseling does not generate effective results. They believe that children should avoid talking about the abuse. Other potential threats come from the multiple agencies that provide similar services as BRCAC taking away many of the organizations clientele.

Strengths
Overall mission Relationships with law enforcement Setting and location

Weaknesses
Lack of Awarness Marketing to Teens

Opportunities

Threats
Misinterpretation by parents that therapy does not work

Nonprofit

Uses of online resources


Lack of funding

Opportunities for partnerships


Similiar organizations

Employees

Low Media impressions

Community support

IV. PRELIMINARY INDETIFICATION OF TARGET PUBLICS


Envision One plans on targeting the general public with a focus on young adults age 18 to 35 as its target audience. A recent census done by the Childrens Welfare League of America found that the state of Louisiana had 38,642 child abuse referrals in 2010 and that 8,848 children were labeled victims of abuse or neglect. Providing BRCAC with more volunteers and awareness will allow for the organization to further spread its message of Hope is Here. The astounding and unacceptable number of cases pushes BRCACs need to bring awareness to its cause. Since 2011, BRCAC has seen an increase in attendance to the center. In 2012, BRCAC has currently seen 208 visitors to the center compared to the 162 clients in 2011. Other results include:

BRCAC Visitors
250 200 150 2011 100 50 0 Visitors African American Caucasian Hispanic 2012

Types of Abuse
200 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Sexual Abuse Physical Abuse 2011 2012

Range of Age
160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 13 and under 13 to 17 2011 2012

The increase in attendance proves the need for BRCACs services in Baton Rouge and the importance of the organization. Envision One plans to increase the communitys knowledge of BRCAC in hope that the organization can garner more volunteers, donations and children in need of services. Internal and external constituencies to consider include members of the community directly affected by BRCAC, victims, and family members of victims, supporters and educators of abuse. These different groups offer important elements in the promotion of BRCACs messages. All of these different groups support, work or receive services from BRCAC. These groups are necessary in increasing positive awareness of the BRCAC and its cause. Both positive and negative behaviors exist in the internal and external constituencies. For example, the people who abuse will generate a directly negative effect on the abused but those as BRCAC are able to provide comfort and therapy employing a positive effect on the community. Through research of primary target audiences and constituencies of the BRCAC, Envision One is able to format a campaign that will interest and educate residents of the Baton Rouge community on the functions and necessity of BRCAC.

V. BIBLIOGRAPHY
[1] "National CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocate Association - CASA for Children: Advocating for Abused and Neglected Children." National CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocate Association - CASA for Children: Advocating for Abused and Neglected Children. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <http://www.casaforchildren.org/>. [2] "Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana - Baton Rouge, LA - Non-Profit Organization | Facebook." Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana - Baton Rouge, LA - Non-Profit Organization | Facebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2012. <http://www.facebook.com/PCALouisiana>. [3] "About United Way Worldwide." United Way. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. <http://www.unitedway.org/pages/about-united-way-worldwide/>. [4] "Child Welfare League of America." Child Welfare League of America. N.p., 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://cwla.org/>.