The Creatives Project Final Campaign Report Compiled By: Hadiyah Daché Clark Atlanta University Media Seminar Spring

2009

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Table of Contents Practitioner-Client Agreement Organizational Background Situation Analysis Literature Review Primary Research Campaign Goal Objectives, Strategies and Tactics Key Publics Key Messages Time Line Budget Campaign Evaluation Recommendations Public Relations Lessons Learned Works Cited Appendix Page 3 Page 5 Page 5 Page 6 Page 11 Page 21 Page 21 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 25 Page 26 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30

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MEMORANDUM To: From: Date: Re: Neda Abghari Hadiyah Daché February 6, 2009 Public Relations Campaign Agreement

This agreement outlines: • • • Clark Atlanta University’s public relations capstone experience; Responsibilities of student practitioners; and, Expectations of clients/organization managers.

As part of the capstone experience in Clark Atlanta University’s public relations management program, senior students are required to establish a relationship with a client organization, for which the student will develop and execute a public relations campaign. Student practitioners must be assigned to a management-level employee who agrees to serve as the student’s primary contact and approve all campaign initiatives. The campaign should be managed solely by the student, with the client/organization manager and professor providing basic direction and guidance. The capstone experience is a two-part project, which is designed to be completed in two semesters. Students work the first semester developing the public relations campaign plan, which includes conducting client research, defining the public relations problem or opportunity, and creating the most effective strategies and tactics to address the problem/opportunity and client’s needs. Students work during the second semester to implement the campaign, which may include conducting additional research, hosting events, creating and distributing collateral material, launching media relations initiatives and other public relations activities. The final component of the capstone experience is the campaign defense. Each student is required to provide a 15- to 20-minute presentation about his/her campaign. Two university public relations professors and the client (the manager guiding the student’s work) serve as the defense committee for each student. Each student’s committee collectively evaluates the quality of his/her campaign plan and implementation, which accounts for 65 percent of the student’s final grade in the course. As a graduating senior and public relations professional, each student practitioner is required to: • Conduct him/herself in a professional manner at all times;

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• • • • • • • Schedule and engage in regular communication (via phone, email or face-to-face) with his/her client; Provide public relations consultation and services at no cost to the client; Provide regular updates and feedback to his/her client; Obtain client approval for all aspects of the campaign; Provide at least two-weeks’ notice for the required senior defense; Perform public relations tasks as agreed upon with client; and, Provide the client with research findings and recommendations.

As a client working with a student practitioner, the organization manager agrees to: • • • • • • • • • Assist the student practitioner in identifying the organization’s most pertinent public relations problem or opportunity; Provide the student practitioner with all necessary information, including but not limited to scheduling limitations, organization policies and procedures, and other information pertinent to the campaign; Schedule and engage in regular communication (via phone, email or face-to-face) with the student practitioner; Respect the student practitioner as a young professional; Remain engaged and in contact with the student practitioner throughout the duration of the two-semester capstone experience; Assist the student practitioner in leveraging the organization’s existing relationships (with media contacts or select audiences), when deemed appropriate by the organization manager; Notify the student practitioner (in a timely manner) of organizational changes impacting the campaign; Discuss and agree upon a campaign budget within one week of signing this agreement; and, Attend the student practitioner’s one-hour senior defense, as long as two-weeks’ notice is provided. The student practitioner will NOT be allowed to present or complete the course (e.g. graduate) if the organization manager does not participate in the defense process.

Above all else, both parties must commit to regular, timely and open communication. I, Neda Abghari, as a representative of The Creatives Project, have read and understand the student practitioner-client agreement stated above. By signing, I accept all terms and agreements set forth in this document.

Signature

Date

I, Hadiyah Daché, as a student of Clark Atlanta University’s public relations management program, have read and understand the student practitioner-client agreement stated above. By signing, I accept all terms and agreements set forth in this document.

Signature

Date

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ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND The Creatives Project was founded in early 2007 by native Atlantan, Neda Abghari, after realizing a major disconnect between the creative professionals within the city. A photographer herself, Abghari set out to connect the professionals within the city through her own established creative outlet. For years, Atlanta has been home to many inspired individuals who enrich our experiences and everyday lives within the city. The Creatives Project is a photographic documentation of Atlanta's creative core. The project will serve the purpose of placing faces with the many names. All facets of Atlanta's creative underground will be explored by the project resulting in a never-ending visual history of this great city. Abghari photographs each creative on a unique set designed specifically for them. The result: a true network of creative professionals such as visual artists, musical artists, creative writers and designers. The mission of The Creatives Project is to seek, cultivate and promote the work of local creative talents across the nation, and eventually worldwide. The organization’s mission will see fruition through the distribution of an annual publication that will include each creative’s photograph along with a brief biography/interview on the creative and their work. While the first project consists of individuals within the city of Atlanta, Abghari has plans to expand The Creatives Project on to other cities across the United States, including Miami, New York City and San Francisco. SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS The Creatives Project is a relatively new organization that has been entirely ran and funded by Ms. Abghari part-time as Ms. Abghari also has a full-time job. With that being so, Ms. Abghari has not had the time to properly promote or update content on the organization’s blog on a frequent basis. The organization must establish an identity, a rapport amongst its key and potential publics within the city and content for the blog.

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LITERATURE REVIEW Background The Creatives Project was founded in early 2007 by native Atlantan, Neda Abghari, after realizing a major disconnect between the creative professionals within the city. For years, Atlanta has been home to many inspired individuals who enrich our experiences and everyday lives within the city. The Creatives Project will serve the purpose of placing faces with the many names. Abghari photographs each creative on a unique set designed specifically for them. Abghari’s work is distributed through the organization’s weblog or blog. Currently, the information is not updated on a consistent and frequent basis and it is uncertain if this communication outlet is being used effectively. This literature review will take a look at how non-profit organizations (NPOs) with a focus on the arts can effectively use a blogging platform as a public relations tool. Literature This literature review is a review of five articles from scholarly journals and two theses written at the Masters level. Public Relations and Non-Profit Organizations Before we can begin to examine the relationship of NPOs and effective public relations (PR) blogging, we must first examine the role of public relations within an NPO. Most non-profit organizations seek to gain acceptance of its mission and goals; develop communications with publics it serves; create and maintain favorable climate and relationship for fundraising and development; and inform and persuade key motivated publics to dedicate themselves to the organizations missions and objectives (Tillery 2006). It appears for most non-profit organizations, the most immediate need or focus of the four listed is the focus on fundraising and development—as that is where the bulk of PR efforts

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are often centered. In an arts focused NPO, this objective is most easily met through some sort of exchange (i.e. art auction, art forum) or a collaborative effort with another for-profit organization (i.e. benefit or gala). David Finn suggests that the most effective is organized collaborative efforts, which must be made between a non-profit and corporate organization to attract interest of potential donors (Finn 1984). In that statement, Finn alludes to the success of non-profit PR relying upon the public’s ability to familiarize the non-profit with a popular or at least familiar for-profit organization. At the same time the arts non-profit organization’s key publics often scrutinize this collaborative relationship. However, it is important to note that in order for public relations to truly be effective within non-profit organizations, they must first acknowledge the existence of hegemony as an obstacle in building relationships (Gale 2007). An often-limited objective of non-profit organizations but perhaps the most imperative to meeting any of the other objectives is developing communication with the publics it serves. Managing relationships with key publics is considered the core of the public relations practice (Gale 2007). While it may seem easy to attain, non-profit organizations may find keeping communication to be the most difficult. Most non-profit organizations have some sort of newsletter available but for non-profit organizations with limited resources, it is either poorly formatted resulting in minimal readability, not created frequently enough to keep interest of key publics and, therefore, communication is not readily available. Understanding these reasons, the relationship management perspective is best for public relations in a non-profit setting (Gale 2007). Relationship management perception takes a rather engaging approach to public relations and the types of constant dialogue found within relationship management methods are best, especially for NPOs with limited resources. The role of public relations amongst non-profit organizations is the very rudimentary function of communication. This is where the advent of web 2.0 comes along to help non-profit organizations. Today, written communication can be delivered more effectively through e-mail, announcements on organization’s websites and through blogging.

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Public Relations and Blogging Blogging is a very recent media, making their debut around 1996 (Xifra & Huertas 2008). Whether personal, themed or corporate the persuasive and informative nature of blogs is undeniable. That being said, blogs can give an organization a vast amount of relevance while obtaining opinion leadership with a huge influence over public opinion (Xifra & Huertas 2008). As it relates to blogging, PR has a two-fold role. One on hand blogs enable professionals to analyze their market and ascertain opinions of their key publics while on the other blogs are a PR technique for participating and providing organizational opinion either by making posts on their own blog or commenting on others (Xifra & Huertas 2008). In a study by Xifra and Huertas, it was revealed that most blogs set up for PR purposes was updated once every five days. This information tells us that if an organization is going to have a blog it is imperative to keep the information recent. While the study also found impersonal organization blogs are not as widely accepted by blog readers, there is an increase (about 50%) in communication on blogs whenever an employee writer mentions something about his/her personal life on the blog. NPOs and using Websites and the Blogging Platform as an effective PR Tool Non-profit organizations can take advantage of technology by utilizing the key elements of effective web sites. Those elements are capture, content, community, commerce and customer orientation (Tillery 2006). The premier challenge most non-profit organizations have with using the web as a means to get their messages out is the actual set up and maintenance of the actual website. Website management and IT technical support high-demand jobs within a rising industry. Because of this, Non-profit organizations are often forced to either pay a substantial amount to hire someone or several staff to manage their Internet presence or rely too heavily on volunteers. According to Hackler and Sexton (2007) the effective use of the World Wide Web and the blogging platform is first assessed through their performance on six

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key strategic organizational competencies. These competencies are IT planning; IT budgeting, staffing and training; Internet and web site capabilities and use; measurement of IT effectiveness; board support and involvement in IT decision making and leaders’ understanding of the strategic potential of information technology. For non-profit organizations measuring effectiveness through IT capabilities is often ignored. However, if using their website as a means of measurement was paid more attention to, non-profit organizations can actually garner concrete results that can turn into meaningful information for future grant applications. Reasons as to why this type of measurement is currently ignored are lack of adequate staffing or IT may be a luxury that is not directly tied to the organization’s mission (Hackler & Sexton 2007). Blogging is the most promising mission-related use of IT as it can directly aid in building relationships and communicate with clients and other external stakeholders (Hackler & Sexton 2007). The non-profit organization blog should be the platform to provide website visitors with timely and adequate information (Kang & Norton 2004). Again, this goes along with keeping a constant dialogue between the organization and its key publics. Furthermore, by creating and maintaining an active website and blog, non-profit organizations can now control the implicit boundaries where particular information is included and excluded for potentially millions of people (Kennix 2007). Once the platform is established there are other factors that go in to making it effective. Design and aesthetics is key in using a blog as an effective public relations tool. Kennix suggests that when elements are aligned, there is an invisible line that connects items and indicates their relationship. The basic design elements of unity, balance, rhythm and contrast heavily apply to a website and blog. And, perhaps, the most important design element is that of the website and blogs type (Kennix 2007). Kang & Norton found that most organizations used a simplified design resulting in a streamlined web experience and positive visitor impressions. In the study conducted by Kennix, it was found that ‘normalized’ non-profit organizations presented

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themselves more professionally on the internet using little to no symbolism or confrontational visuals. As it relates to the tone of non-profit organization blogs, 72.9% of non-profit organizations use active voice in their writing, 100% used color(s) that represented the organizations and 95.8% replaced clichés with objective language (Kang & Norton 2004). Conclusion Reviewing all the information provided, I have learned that non-profit organizations can use websites and blogs to effectively communicate and establish and maintain relationships with its key publics. This information aides in my research with The Creatives Project as my objectives primarily focus on establishing the online presence of the organization. From the information provided, I have gathered that the most effective way to go about establishing an online presence is to create the website and blog in a very simplistic yet aesthetically pleasing design, provide content at least once every five days and encourage readers to engage in open discourse with the organization. The website and blog must also have information on the organization readily available and, overall, be easy to navigate

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PRIMARY RESEARCH Methodology The primary research for this campaign consists of a series of informal interviews with Neda Abghari, the organization’s founder/director, and the direct mail electronic distribution of a formal survey via SurveyMonkey. Interview In order to get a better understanding of organizational concepts and the immediate public relations needs and goals, several informal interviews were conducted with the Founder/Director Neda Abghari. With Ms. Abghari being the sole individual involved with the organization, the sample size for the informal interviews consisted of one female currently employed in a professional creative field within the local Atlanta arts community. Probability was chosen as the selection process in order to gain as much information about the organization and organization’s expectations. In addition, census sampling was used because there was only one person to interview. Ms. Abghari was chosen because she is the Founder/Director of The Creatives Project and the only individual involved in the organization at this current time. These interviews took place over the course of the campaign process from December 2008 to February 2009. Survey In order to better establish effective content and gain a better understanding of creative individuals within the city of Atlanta, a direct mail survey was sent via e-mail to a targeted sample size of 473. The sample size consists of a mix of men and women over the age of 18 with an expressed interest in the local Atlanta arts community. Due to the lack of knowledge regarding the current audience, formal non-probability research was chosen. Convenience sampling was determined to be the best method to reach as many key publics as possible. This method of sampling was the only method available

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because participants were selected from an e-mail list of individuals who are interested in local and regional arts-related news and activities. The survey was opened on February 8, 2009 and closed on March 9, 2009. The survey invitation was initially sent to 473 recipients. Of the initial 473 there were 97 immediate bounces. So the survey successfully reached 376 recipients. The total number of recipients who took the survey is 70; 13 did not complete the survey. Of the 70 surveyed, there were 35 males and 35 females. A survey was the chosen because The Creatives Project is not an organization based on membership, nor did the organization track its readership prior to the start of this campaign. With no real idea of what the organization’s audience was, an audience with interest in the local Atlanta arts community was targeted because they would be able to provide valuable insight to the organization.

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Research Findings

Survey Question
1) Please provide us with some basic information. (Your information will not be sold to any third parties)

Response

Total Response 70/ 100%

Notes Respondents were

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demographic information.

*These questions and answers have been abbreviated. See research report for full questions and answers.

Name City/Town Zip/Postal Code E-mail 2) Are you male or female? Male Female 3) Are you a student or professional? Student Professional 4) Which of the following do you consider to be a creative field? Select all that apply. Visual Arts Design Performance Visual Communication Writing Other 5) Which of the following creative fields are you currently employed/studying? Visual Arts Design Performance Visual Communication Writing Other 6) Are you a member of any professional/student organizations related to your creative field? Yes No 7) If yes, why did you join? Convenient Helpful Required for class/job 8) Would you be interested in joining a local Atlanta network for creative professionals? Yes

70 70 70 70 70/ 100% 35 35 70/ 100% 28 42 57/ 81.4% Thirteen respondents skipped this question. Respondents were also allowed to select more than one answer choice.

54 53 48 47 49 8 57/ 81.4% Thirteen respondents skipped this question.

10 6 6 15 2 18 57/ 81.4% Thirteen respondents skipped this question

26 31 27/ 38.5% 5 21 1 57/ 81.4% Forty-three respondents skipped this question. This question was not required to be answered if respondents selected the answer ‘No’ to question six. Thirteen respondents skipped this question.

48

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**I=Important, N/A=Neither Important nor Unimportant, N.I.=Not Important

Analysis of Findings Survey results support the want for an Atlanta-based creative network (84.2%) and create options for Neda Abghari and The Creatives Project moving forward. The want for a creative network enable Abghari to expand The Creatives Project into something more. Furthermore, the survey shows that individuals were more likely to receive information on the Atlanta creative scene via blogs/websites (64.9%) which is currently The Creatives Project’s only source of communicating information. This information suggests that The Creatives Project can position itself as a major information hub for the Atlanta arts community. Because this medium is visited so frequently it would be necessary to update the blog on a frequent basis and research supports frequency of posts as important (59.6%). Amongst other things listed as important when seeking information on the Atlanta arts scene via the Internet were reliability (64.9%), relevance (66.7%), job opportunities (63.2%) and tips/how-to’s (57.9%). The majority of respondents (94%) most recognized Visual Arts (painting, illustration, photography, film, etc.) as a creative field. This information coincides with current creative individuals featured on The Creatives Project blog. During the interviews, Neda Abghari expressed her want for the organization to host events in the future. Survey results show that people are interested in such events during the evenings (5PM-8PM) and within the Little 5 Points neighborhood. The research aided in the design direction of The Creatives Project blog as well as content creation. Also, this research sets a solid foundation for future campaigns on behalf of The Creatives Project.

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Sample Interview Schedule Interview with Neda Abghari @ her home 1) Tell me about The Creatives Project. December 2008

2) Why are you seeking PR for The Creatives Project?

3) What previous press efforts have you made on behalf on The Creatives Project?

4) Does the organization have any press and/or informational collateral?

5) What help have you had with the organization thus far? Any volunteers? Any members?

6) Does the organization have a website?

7) Do you have a clear written mission/vision statement for the organization?

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8) What are the top three priorities for The Creatives Project right now?

Sample Survey

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Campaign Goal The goal of this campaign is to increase visibility of The Creatives Project while keeping communication between the organization and its key publics relevant and on a consistent basis. Objectives, Strategies & Tactics • To design The Creatives Project blog by March 1, 2009 o Strategy #1- Design blog layout      Tactic #1- Draft up ideas in Photoshop Tactic #2- Find a web designer who can work with blogger/xhtml formats Tactic #3- Get website re-design approved by Ms. Abghari Tactic #4- Have web designer revamp the website Tactic #5- Send e-blast out to subscribers/friends/colleagues about new website design o Strategy #2- Publicize new blog design   Tactic #1- Add Google Analytics to the site Tactic #2- Contact other local Atlanta bloggers and request link exchange opportunities  Tactic #3- Contact national creative bloggers and request link exchange opportunities  Tactic #4- Send pitch letter to bloggers/editors for potential features on new website  Tactic #5- Follow-up with bloggers/editors within one week of sending information to ensure a feature write-up will appear in the publication prior to April 31, 2009 • To develop collateral for the organization by March 30, 2009 o Strategy #1- Design uniform look of the collateral

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   Tactic #1- Draft three options in InDesign Tactic #2- Have one of the options approved by Ms. Abghari Tactic #3- Decide which pieces of press collateral will need to be used for this campaign   o Tactic #4- Write content for collateral Tactic #5- Have collateral completed by March 30, 2009

Strategy #2- Make collateral readily available to target audience   Tactic #1- Have collateral be in downloadable .pdf format on the website Tactic #2- Have information sheets printed and posted around the city art districts   Tactic #3- E-mail blast information to local publications/organizations Tactic #4- Send organization information to college/university professors and ask them to disseminate information amongst their student body  Tactic #5- Follow-up with local media and college/university professors to ensure they have received information

To conduct three interviews on Atlanta creative individuals to be featured on the blog by April 30, 2009 o Strategy #1-Compile a list of potential interviewees      o Tactic #1- Research creative individuals within Atlanta Tactic #2- Select five visual artists, designers and writers Tactic #3- Select five performing artists and visual communicators Tactic #4- Contact selected artists to confirm an interview date and time Tactic #5- Have three interviewees confirmed prior to April 15, 2009

Strategy #2- Write articles on creative interviewees selected

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     Tactic #1- Interview creative individuals Tactic #2- Transcribe interviews Tactic #3- Compile an interview not in Q&A format Tactic #4- Have interviews be approved by Ms. Abghari Tactic #5- Post interview to blog

Key Publics

Professionals in the visual arts, fine arts, performance art, humanities, history, philosophy, film making, architecture, advertising, marketing, visual merchandising, industrial design, art-centered journalism, art education and art business because The Creatives Project would serve as one of the premier networking organizations for new developments in the local/national art scene to these professionals

Demographic/Psychographic: Men and women between the ages of 21-40 who are actively employed and engaged within the arts with a median income between $40,000-$80,000

Motivating Self-Interests: to stay informed on possible competitors, new companies seeking freelancers, trends and issues

Status of Current Relationship with Organization & Issue: Not familiar with organization yet

• •

Third Party Influentials: Employers, Clients, other professional organizations Objectives this Key Public will help to Accomplish: This key public will aid in overall objective of increasing awareness for the organization through their own professional developments

Local artists because they will want to be included in The Creatives Project

Demographic/Psychographic: Men and women over the age of 18 within the

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middle-working class who have active careers in art; especially within the local art scene

Motivating Self Interests: To gain exposure through The Creatives Project blog and, in turn, boost sales and/or fan base

Status of Current Relationship with Organization & Issue: May/may not be aware of organization but more than willing to be introduced

• •

Third Party Influentials: Art dealers, other artists, art publications Objectives this Key Public will help Accomplish: This key public will aid in overall objective of increasing awareness for the organization and maintain awareness for the organization

Local media because they will have an interest to cover stories on The Creatives Project to inform their readers

Demographic/Psychographic: Men and women employed by local media outlets to cover stories

Motivating Self Interests: Becoming the journalist to potentially break a major story on the local art movement

Status of Current Relationship with Organization & Issue: New to learning about the organization and willing to learn more

• •

Third Party Influentials: Readers, viewers, colleagues Objectives this Key Public will help Accomplish: This key public will aid in overall awareness for the organization and the awareness event

Key Messages • • The Creatives Project is a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, GA (Primary) Flashing lights on the creative underground (Secondary)

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• A picture is worth 1,000 introductions (slogan/tag line)

Time Line Week 1- January 19-23, 2009 • Meet with Neda Abghari, founder, to discuss her immediate wants/needs for the organization • Evaluate wants/needs to see what can be done Week 2- January 26-30, 2009 • Establish research methods • Draft up web design and blog concepts Week 3- February 2-6, 2009 • Begin research via survey monkey • Create Facebook invite, inviting local Atlantans to take the survey • Create e-mail blast to over 1,000 contacts with a personal invite to take the survey Week 4- February 9-13, 2009 • Finalize website and blog design • Begin coding Week 5- February 16-20, 2009 • Meet with Neda • Go over recent website changes and get final approval • Ask her to send an e-mail to her contact list regarding the survey Week 6- February 23-27, 2009 • Make introductory contact with blog writers/owners • Draft up collateral for The Creatives Project Week 7- March 2-6, 2009 • Meet with Neda • Prepare mid-term review Week 8- March 9-13, 2009 • Finalize TCP collateral • Make introductory contact with blog writers/owners • Complete primary research Week 9- March 16-20, 2009 • Analyze research findings • Add Google Analytics to blog • Begin to write content for blog Week 10- March 23-27, 2009 • Complete 5 articles for the blog • Contact blog writers/owners to discuss link exchanges and possible features

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Week 11- March 30-April 3, 2009 • Complete TCP case study • Review findings with Neda Abghari.

Budget This campaign requires no budget.

CAMPAIGN EVALUATION Objective 1 Criteria: To design The Creatives Project blog by March 1, 2009 Tool(s): • • • • Consulted with Ms. Abghari to agree on color schemes Designed logo and special type using Adobe Illustrator Created a blog using the Blogger platform Added Google Analytics to the blog so that the audience can be tracked in the future and also, to know what content garners the most attention Results: This objective was met through the use of design skills and knowledge of blogging platforms, basic HTML/CSS and widgets. Objective 2 Criteria: To develop collateral for the organization by March 30, 2009 Tool(s):


Created organization stationery using Adobe InDesign Created a press release on the launch of the new website that was

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distributed via an e-mail blast using Mad Mimi e-mail marketing software • Created an organization fact sheet to be used in the press kit and to be viewed on the blog using HTML/CSS and Adobe InDesign • Created a business cards and flyers to be used as promotional items for the organization using Adobe Photoshop Results: This objective was successfully met through the use of industry standard design software and approved by Ms. Abghari.

Objective 3 Criteria: To conduct three interviews on Atlanta creative individuals to be featured on the blog by April 30, 2009 Tool(s): • • Compile list of prospective interviewees from research Requests for interviews were sent via e-mail and a follow-up telephone call was made one week later • Results: This objective has been met. Two interviews have been conducted and posted. One more interview is scheduled to post prior to April 30, 2009 Interviews were conducted and approved by Ms. Abghari

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RECOMMENDATIONS After working with The Creatives Project for the past three months, I recommend the following for the future of the organization’s publicity growth: • It is imperative that the blog be maintained and updated at least once a week. When having a blog act as the primary/sole form of communication to your audience it is important to communicate on a regular basis. • Differentiate between topics. As the research shows there is a wide variety of topics that can interest your audience. Not every update has to be a feature on an artist, there can also be updates relevant to other events and opportunities that your audience may find useful. • Recruit volunteers. The Creatives Project is a great organization but requires far too much for one person to handle. I recommend recruiting several volunteers who can volunteer 3-4 hours per week to the organization in order to help promote the organization and keep content up to date. • Promote more. Much of this campaign was a re-branding effort and most of these efforts

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were publicized to familiar audiences. In the future, the organization should promote and publicize to a wider audience so that more people can know about the organization and potentially get involved.

LESSONS LEARNED It has been a tremendous pleasure and wonderful professional growth opportunity to work with Neda Abghari and The Creatives Project. Not only have my public relations skills been sharpened by this experience but I have also developed a strong interest in photographic fine arts by working with Ms. Abghari. This whole project was truly a learning experience. Perhaps the most valuable lesson learned throughout the course of this experience is the ability to handle and execute generally expensive portions of a public relations plan such as logo design and web development on a low budget, or in my case, absolutely no budget. This was my first time working with low/no budget and it was frustrating at times. However, I feel the experience made me stronger as a professional. In conjunction working with low/no budgets, I will also say that another lesson learned was the importance of having multiple skills outside of public relations. I honestly don’t know how effective this campaign if I had not had the basic skills in design, HTML/CSS and various web design platforms that I did knowing that there was not money for any of these services to be provided.

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Also, learning to network effectively was extremely valuable to me. At some points throughout this campaign there were some tasks that were increasingly difficult for me to accomplish. Though they did get done, I now realize that they could have done much more quickly and more accurately had someone else done them. This is where effective networking comes to play. In the future, I will definitely remember to barter with other freelancers to seek getting tasks accomplished effectively. When working with budding non-profits specifically, I will probably work to complete a full campaign for a longer period of time (more than three months). Additionally, if given the opportunity to do this again I would involve the press more during the beginning stages. I did not focus much on the press during this campaign process but had I made introductions at the start and kept in contact it would have been beneficial to the organization in the future. WORKS CITED Finn, David (1984). Is there a legitimate role for public relations in the arts? Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 471, 57-66 Public relations are often considered a function of fund raising by arts institutions. This is particularly true in the United States, where the tax laws encourage both individual and corporate contributions to nonprofit institutions. Through a variety of techniques, public relations have helped arts institutions gain visibility for their programs and stimulate community and corporate interest in specific projects. In recent years there has been concern about the introduction of hype into the art world. There is little evidence that either the practice of public relations or the increasing financial support from corporations is creating an over promoted environment in the arts. Public interest in blockbuster exhibitions and other special events has developed spontaneously. There is also no evidence that arts institutions are compromising their integrity in seeking support from business. Public relations can play the important role of helping to find common ground on which both business and the arts can seek to achieve their objectives.

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Gale, Megan Kate (2007). Public relations in nonprofit organizations: a guide to establishing public relations programs in nonprofit settings. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Montana. Missoula. Retrieved February 28, 2009, from http://etd.lib.umt.edu/theses/available/etd-06062007-224613/ Public relations have become an increasingly popular topic in the nonprofit community, and the demand for developing public relations as a core competency has increased as well. Since many nonprofit organizations have limited time and resources for developing full-scale public relations programs, many rely on information obtained during one-day workshops or conference presentations presented by public relations professionals who have little or no experience with the concerns of the nonprofit setting. Using a program-planning model, this paper describes how nonprofit organizations can increase the capacity and effectiveness of their public relations efforts by building relationships with key stakeholders.

Hackler, D., Saxton, G.D., (2007). The strategic use of information technology by non-profit organizations: increasing capacity and untapped potential. Public Administration Review, 67, 474-487 How are nonprofits using information technology to enhance mission-related outcomes and boost organizational performance? The authors examine a large-scale survey of nonprofits' technology planning, acquisition, and implementation to assess the strategic use of IT in these organizations. They evaluate nonprofits' strategic technology-use potential by examining ITrelated competencies and practices that are critical for the successful strategic employment of technology resources. Several promising developments are found, alongside significant deficits in the strategic utilization of IT, especially in the areas of financial sustainability, strategic communications and relationship building, and collaborations and partnerships. To boost IT's mission-related impact, nonprofits must enhance their organizational capacities in long-term IT

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planning, budgeting, staffing, and training; performance measurement; Internet and Web site capabilities; and the vision, support, and involvement of senior management.

Kang, S., Norton, H. E., (2004). Nonprofit organizations’ use of the world wide web: are they sufficiently fulfilling organizational goals? Public Relations Review, 30, 279-284 This study explores nonprofit organizations’ Web sites to determine the extent the organizations utilize the Web to accomplish organizational goals. A sample of the 100 largest NPOs in the United States was used for the study. Results found the selected NPOs were effectively using the Web to present traditional public relations materials and connect with publics. However, the organizations were largely unsuccessful in making interactive and relational communications with publics.

Kenix, L. J., (2007). The homogenized imagery of non-profit organizations on the internet. Visible Language. 41, 127-161 The Internet has been heralded as a democratizing and heterogeneous communication tool, particularly for activist organizations. Yet, a thorough examination of visual content on the Web that substantiates this position has not followed. This research evaluates websites from non-deviant and deviant activist organizations to better understand the relationship between the type of advocacy group and the visual imagery used for self-representation. Seventeen of 21 variables measured for this study found no difference between non-deviant and deviant activist organizations' visual representations on the Internet. These findings complicate the notion of a diverse communicative sphere and suggest a strong homogenizing effect could actually be occurring.

Tillery, A. (2006). Using web sites to achieve organizational goals: are nonprofits doing it right?. Unpublished master’s thesis, Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical

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College, Louisiana. Retrieved February 28, 2009 from http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd06142006-081756/unrestricted/Tillery_thesis.pdf This study examines how and to what extent nonprofit organizations are using their Web sites to fulfill their organizational goals and missions through volunteerism and fundraising. Through in-depth interviews of communication/public relations managers and executive directors at nonprofit organizations new information reveals factors that negatively affect nonprofits organizations growth in Web site development and technology, as well as those factors that push nonprofits to break the digital divide. Four nonprofit organizations that provide youth services in Memphis, Tennessee were selected.

Xifra, J., Huertas, A., (2008). Blogging PR: an exploratory analysis of public relations weblogs. Public Relations Review. 34, 269-275 Although there are ever more weblogs on the Internet, this is an area that has been little researched in public relations, and where they have been analyzed it has been as a tool for communication rather than a primary information source in the public relations body of knowledge. This paper provides an exploratory study of the structure and content of 67 blogs on public relations to determine what issues they deal with and whether they are a tool for the theoretical development of the field. In addition to their content we have looked at the structure, usability and interactivity of the blogs.

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Appendix

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