Prior to my initial meeting with Kenissa McKay, Public Relations and Special Events Coordinator of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, I decided to take a walk down memory lane and skim various mass communication books I have acquired during my time at LSU. Regardless of the fact that these books served for classes with various focuses, such as advertising and media law, I found one recurring topic linking all aspects of mass communication – research.
Before a PR practitioner is able to begin developing a campaign, he or she must first take some initial steps toward understanding their target audience. It is here where the research part becomes crucial. It is not hard to come across past advertising campaigns gone wrong. A simple Google search will suffice. Examples of these can be found here. However, it is important to note why those campaigns resulted in those predicaments – lack of research. By taking the time to perform thorough research on every aspect of the target publics, the PR professional is taking necessary precautions to ensure their campaign can take direction toward an effective course of action.
Fortunately, in addition to the research aspect I found throughout my books, crisis communications was also a recurring theme found in direct response to disaster campaigns and scandals. A crisis communications plan can not only be used in direct response to an emergency but can serve as a preventative measure to minimize risks and keep problems at bay. In this article, Frank Strong points out how negative situations can drive change for the better.
With all this fresh on my mind, I was able to develop a thorough communication analysis and inquire about the organization’s existing resources once I met with Miss McKay. While a crisis communications plan was not something the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank already possessed, I was able to gather enough information to form a basic list of possible crises the organization could potentially face.
Additionally, I was able to develop a research plan for understanding the campaign’s target audience and establishing the campaign’s strategies and tactics that would reach the desired results.
Make sure to stay tuned to find how Geaux Communications is implementing the materials learned through multiple communications courses and helping the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank reach its goals of reaching a new target audience – college aged students.