As We Go On…

It’s hard to believe this is the final blog post, followed by the final week of classes, final exams, and my final goodbyes to a university I spent four of the best years of my life—ok, I refuse to get sappy on here. This Capstone class has been something I’ve been dreading since I first heard about it some three years ago or so. I heard it was a time-sucking, nail-biting, nightmare of a class that determines your graduating fate. Though it is time-consuming, at times nerve-wracking and has the power to delay your graduation, it has been one of the most meaningful classes I’ve taken at LSU. Nothing prepares you for the real world quite like being pushed into the real world. The opportunity to take a client with little brand recognition, hardly any funds, and a weak online presence and set goals and objectives to mold them into a stronger company is something that usually on comes in big firms who clients trust whole-heartedly. The hands-on experience is unbeatable and my personal portfolio is more than doubled. The ability to think strategically and creatively is one of my favorite things. Sometimes I like problem solving so much I think I should have been an engineer. But that’s kind of what we are as public relations professionals, engineers with writing skills, creativity, and an eye for opportunity. Working in a group has also been an indispensible learning experience. In the real world we will have to work with people and unfortunately we will not always agree with others or even be fond of them, at times. Fortunately, I am fond of my group members and problems were practically nonexistent. However, a group dynamic always adds some kinks because our minds work differently. I have learned that cooperation is key. I have to remind myself, I am not always right. In fact, I am sometimes wrong. Letting others express their ideas and opinions, even if they are different than your own, is beneficial to brainstorming and can often produce unexpected results. Seven minds are better than one.
Our client Playmakers, has experienced a total makeover. From their website to their Facebook and Twitter, to their crisis communication plans and press releases, I am proud of all that we have produced for them.  I don’t want to show all our final products on the blog because I am so excited to stand before my classmates and present to them everything we have worked so hard on throughout the semester. I’m also excited to see what other groups have been working on. And finally, I am excited to see what we all do in the actual real world as young professionals. I am more than confident we will all make this university proud.
After graduation I will be working full time as the Social Media Manager and Assistant Web Designer at Wireless I.Q. , a technology and web design company here in Baton Rouge. Follow me and the company on Twitter @TaraJohnson90 and @WirelessIQ to see what I’m up to!

Time, Talent, Treasure.

Schlittz flier

These are the three things we’re looking for out of donors for Playmakers.  Our latest mission has been planning an event that will get us in front of potential donors that can give us volunteer time, talents we don’t already have, and, of course, treasure (in the form of cash or check…or chests of gold! … so cheesy.)  In order to get in front of multiple audiences we have planned to have two different events at two restaurants with different dynamics.  Our first event will be held next Tuesday at Schlittz and Giggles on Perkins where 10 percent of all food and alcohol sales will be given to Playmakers if/when the customer mentions Playmakers or presents the event flier. The great thing about this event is the range of people we will see come through the door.  It begins at 5 p.m. and lasts until 11 p.m. meaning we will see families with children come in anytime between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and a younger college crowd will start to file in around 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.  for Tuesday’s special of 2-for-1 drinks. We are brainstorming ways to make this more than just a fundraising event, we want to find out if people have already heard about the organization and if not, we want to spread information and captivate their interest. We will have a table set up with a display board of Playmaker’s photos, camp and class information, and upcoming productions.  An idea we had to make the night interactive is to set up a photo booth of sorts with a Playmaker’s backdrop and banner and props such as hats, glasses, wigs, mustaches, etc. for kids, parents (and later in the night, buzzed college kids) to put on and pose in front of the backdrop for fun photos.  We’re thinking they can take the photos themselves or we’ll be there with a camera and a color printer to take nice shots and print them out on the spot for a small price of around two dollars.  Karli is also looking into getting some promotional items ordered and printed for Tuesday to hand out as incentives for people to ‘like’ the Facebook page and ‘check-in’ at Schlittz and tag Playmakers in the post. At first we thought water bottles with Playmakers logo would be good but then Doug proposed a better idea: those cheap plastic wayfarer sunglasses with colorful side temples. The funny thing is, college students love these glasses more than children do and with spring break on the horizon, these would be a huge hit and it’s an easy way to get buzz generating on Facebook.  I’m crossing my fingers she can find these glasses for cheap and on the fly! We’ve made two fliers for the event, one promoting the alcohol special and one leaving it out for our more kid-friendly audience.  I have huge hopes for this event and am literally so excited to be there! Especially if we can get the funny photo idea to work out! Stay tuned for my next post about the event with a slightly different tone at Bistro Byronz

 

 

Now We’re Getting Somewhere…

We are finally getting to execute many of our campaign plans now that Playmaker’s spring plays are underway! We did all of the preparation work: hung posters, created buzz on Facebook, had some ticket giveaways and sent a newsletter e-mail now it was time to see how the crowds would react and how the play would be perceived by the audiences.  Ticket sales were fifty percent overall, which is what Karli had been experiencing before bringing us on, so, we had hoped that they would be higher. We created surveys to place in each program that ask playgoers how they found out about Playmakers, how they found out about this particular production, are they likely to return and other questions that will be helpful to track our metrics among different mediums and which outlets proved to be the most successful.  We reminded audience members about the survey before the play began and we got a pretty good return rate when we collected them at the end. The feedback was mainly positive and most participants indicated that they are ‘very likely’ to return to a Playmaker’s production.  We also left a space for comments; and though we received many great comments commending the actors and the show’s postmodern plot, we got a couple of bad comments criticizing the age range of the play indicating that its complicated plot surpassed the knowledge of children under the age of 10.  But, feedback is feedback and it is always welcomed to improve operations in any company. From these results we hope to learn the best avenue for getting the word out about the plays and continue those efforts.  Many survey participants answered that they heard about the company and the production through The Advocate, a good indication that their stories and ads are being seen. Some also indicated that they read the article in Dig magazine.

Our next order of business is to tackle their awful website.  Not only is it aesthetically displeasing to look at, it is nearly impossible to navigate.  The tabs are not efficient, no one knows what information will be on which page, and their photos and info are extremely outdated.  Our meeting with Karli on Tuesday discussed the most effective layout and design and we chose a template on WordPress.  Jadi is taking the initiative on the web design and once it is laid out we will each tackle the content. I think this is going to be huge for Playmakers, a new website its like a new makeover.  I hope to give them a webpage that they are extremely proud of!

Any Publicity is Good Publicity…Right?

Wrong. Not when the name of your client’s upcoming production is all over TV screens across America promoting not the fun, juvenile play featuring an 11 year old and a love for video games, but rather an R-rated movie about sex-crazed, substance-abusing college kids and their parties.  Nottttt exactly the image we want to be associated with.  But, as I mentioned in my last post, we tried to curtail the association between the upcoming film and our upcoming production (opening the exact same weekend, wouldn’t ya know it?) by adding to the title Project X: The Final Level.  We hope this will add distinction to the play.  But that’s not what I want to talk about today.  I want to boast on all of the coverage that Playmakers has been receiving for their upcoming productions!  First, Dig wrote an entertainment article on Playmaker’s modern take on Pinocchio.  And they even added a teaser stating that there are non-traditional characters in the play, “but attendees will have to see that for themselves.”  We love the added suspense! Hopefully it will drive traffic to the production opening this weekend with a “pay-what-you-can” show at 7 p.m on Thursday, a 7 p.m. show on Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows on Saturday, and a 2 p.m. show on Sunday.  All located in the Reilly Theatre on LSU’s campus.  

Then, The Advocate wrote an article highlighting the play experience.  The article features pictures, an interview with the play’s director, Christopher Krejci, and a list of the cast members.  The two articles together with the AWESOME YouTube video that we’ve been promoting on the YouTube channel as well as on our Facebook page (shoutout to our creative director Jadi for filming and editing the great clip), and the posters hung around town will hopefully create a buzz in the community about the play and *fingers crossed* will help boost play attendance.  We have also been posting trivia questions on our Facebook and offering tickets to the first correct answer.  The answer to the questions can be found on Playmaker’s website.  See what we did there? Eh? Driving traffic from the Facebook to the website.  We’re trying here.

Also, Karli has two billboards around town.  One on Perkins promoting Pinocchio and one on Siegen promoting Project X.  So the message is out there, let’s just hope it’s received and we’ll see our efforts pay off this Thursday night!

Any Publicity is Good Publicity…Right?

Wrong. Not when the name of your client’s upcoming production is all over TV screens across America promoting not the fun, juvenile play featuring an 11 year old and a love for video games, but rather an R-rated movie about sex-crazed, substance-abusing college kids and their parties.  Nottttt exactly the image we want to be associated with.  But, as I mentioned in my last post, we tried to curtail the association between the upcoming film and our upcoming production (opening the exact same weekend, wouldn’t ya know it?) by adding to the title Project X: The Final Level.  We hope this will add distinction to the play.  But that’s not what I want to talk about today.  I want to boast on all of the coverage that Playmakers has been receiving for their upcoming productions!  First, Dig wrote an entertainment article on Playmaker’s modern take on Pinocchio.  And they even added a teaser stating that there are non-traditional characters in the play, “but attendees will have to see that for themselves.”  We love the added suspense! Hopefully it will drive traffic to the production opening this weekend with a “pay-what-you-can” show at 7 p.m on Thursday, a 7 p.m. show on Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows on Saturday, and a 2 p.m. show on Sunday.  All located in the Reilly Theatre on LSU’s campus.  

Then, The Advocate wrote an article highlighting the play experience.  The article features pictures, an interview with the play’s director, Christopher Krejci, and a list of the cast members.  The two articles together with the AWESOME YouTube video that we’ve been promoting on the YouTube channel as well as on our Facebook page (shoutout to our creative director Jadi for filming and editing the great clip), and the posters hung around town will hopefully create a buzz in the community about the play and *fingers crossed* will help boost play attendance.  We have also been posting trivia questions on our Facebook and offering tickets to the first correct answer.  The answer to the questions can be found on Playmaker’s website.  See what we did there? Eh? Driving traffic from the Facebook to the website.  We’re trying here.

Also, Karli has two billboards around town.  One on Perkins promoting Pinocchio and one on Siegen promoting Project X.  So the message is out there, let’s just hope it’s received and we’ll see our efforts pay off this Thursday night!

Any Publicity is Good Publicity…Right?

Wrong. Not when the name of your client’s upcoming production is all over TV screens across America promoting not the fun, juvenile play featuring an 11 year old and a love for video games, but rather an R-rated movie about sex-crazed, substance-abusing college kids and their parties.  Nottttt exactly the image we want to be associated with.  But, as I mentioned in my last post, we tried to curtail the association between the upcoming film and our upcoming production (opening the exact same weekend, wouldn’t ya know it?) by adding to the title Project X: The Final Level.  We hope this will add distinction to the play.  But that’s not what I want to talk about today.  I want to boast on all of the coverage that Playmakers has been receiving for their upcoming productions!  First, Dig wrote an entertainment article on Playmaker’s modern take on Pinocchio.  And they even added a teaser stating that there are non-traditional characters in the play, “but attendees will have to see that for themselves.”  We love the added suspense! Hopefully it will drive traffic to the production opening this weekend with a “pay-what-you-can” show at 7 p.m on Thursday, a 7 p.m. show on Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows on Saturday, and a 2 p.m. show on Sunday.  All located in the Reilly Theatre on LSU’s campus.  

Then, The Advocate wrote an article highlighting the play experience.  The article features pictures, an interview with the play’s director, Christopher Krejci, and a list of the cast members.  The two articles together with the AWESOME YouTube video that we’ve been promoting on the YouTube channel as well as on our Facebook page (shoutout to our creative director Jadi for filming and editing the great clip), and the posters hung around town will hopefully create a buzz in the community about the play and *fingers crossed* will help boost play attendance.  We have also been posting trivia questions on our Facebook and offering tickets to the first correct answer.  The answer to the questions can be found on Playmaker’s website.  See what we did there? Eh? Driving traffic from the Facebook to the website.  We’re trying here.

Also, Karli has two billboards around town.  One on Perkins promoting Pinocchio and one on Siegen promoting Project X.  So the message is out there, let’s just hope it’s received and we’ll see our efforts pay off this Thursday night!

Any Publicity is Good Publicity…Right?

Wrong. Not when the name of your client’s upcoming production is all over TV screens across America promoting not the fun, juvenile play featuring an 11 year old and a love for video games, but rather an R-rated movie about sex-crazed, substance-abusing college kids and their parties.  Nottttt exactly the image we want to be associated with.  But, as I mentioned in my last post, we tried to curtail the association between the upcoming film and our upcoming production (opening the exact same weekend, wouldn’t ya know it?) by adding to the title Project X: The Final Level.  We hope this will add distinction to the play.  But that’s not what I want to talk about today.  I want to boast on all of the coverage that Playmakers has been receiving for their upcoming productions!  First, Dig wrote an entertainment article on Playmaker’s modern take on Pinocchio.  And they even added a teaser stating that there are non-traditional characters in the play, “but attendees will have to see that for themselves.”  We love the added suspense! Hopefully it will drive traffic to the production opening this weekend with a “pay-what-you-can” show at 7 p.m on Thursday, a 7 p.m. show on Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows on Saturday, and a 2 p.m. show on Sunday.  All located in the Reilly Theatre on LSU’s campus.  

Then, The Advocate wrote an article highlighting the play experience.  The article features pictures, an interview with the play’s director, Christopher Krejci, and a list of the cast members.  The two articles together with the AWESOME YouTube video that we’ve been promoting on the YouTube channel as well as on our Facebook page (shoutout to our creative director Jadi for filming and editing the great clip), and the posters hung around town will hopefully create a buzz in the community about the play and *fingers crossed* will help boost play attendance.  We have also been posting trivia questions on our Facebook and offering tickets to the first correct answer.  The answer to the questions can be found on Playmaker’s website.  See what we did there? Eh? Driving traffic from the Facebook to the website.  We’re trying here.

Also, Karli has two billboards around town.  One on Perkins promoting Pinocchio and one on Siegen promoting Project X.  So the message is out there, let’s just hope it’s received and we’ll see our efforts pay off this Thursday night!