Spark PR’s Experience in Service Learning With The ALS Association.

As seniors in the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University, Spark PR was given a unique service learning opportunity, which provided each member of our team an experience to remember. As a team, we have worked hard to provide The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter with the best campaign possible to strengthen the association between The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter, its programs and services while attracting future supporters to ensure the organization’s continued success.

The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to finding a cure for the ALS disease. This organization provides discounted or free programs and services to those with ALS. In the Louisiana and Mississippi areas, a Respite Care Program is available as well as home visits to assess patient needs. ALS, which is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a terrible and 100 percent fatal disease that not only affect those diagnosed, but also their friends, families and caretakers.

In 2014, The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge became a worldwide campaign to raise money and awareness for The ALS Association. This viral campaign raised more than $15 million but once the Ice Bucket Challenge ended, many people assumed that enough money had been raised to help those with ALS. The funds raised were a huge step forward for this organization and The ALS Association was able to move one step closer to their goal: “To create a world without ALS”.

Our goal was to help promote the organization’s Red, White and Snow Gala, as well as other events, raise public awareness and assist with fundraising. Spark PR worked hard to increase awareness in Louisiana and Mississippi through social media, print media and television. We created a “Fast Facts” infographic, which provides the public with quick facts about Lou Gehrig’s disease, The ALS Association and how to get involved.IMG_4308

Spark PR assisted The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter in hosting an event at The Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We promoted the Red, White and Sneaux Gala through print, social and digital media. The event featured both live and silent auctions, a sit-down dinner, awards ceremony, live music and much more. The 2016 Red, White and Sneaux Gala raised more than $109,000, which is more than ever before. Spark PR is proud to have been part of such a successful event for a great organization.

IMG_9747

IMG_9679.jpg

IMG_9670

Although it is not over, Spark PR has learned so many new things while working with The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter. This experience was an eye-opener for the members of our team and we have certainly learned the importance of giving back to the community. This class taught us more than how to be successful in public relations; it also taught each one of us that working hard to help others really does make a difference. Spark PR began as a public relations school project but as we wrap up the semester, we realize that this experience will stay with us long after we graduate from LSU.

13077019_10209391541776241_5210226800329693795_n

To find out more about The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAIqAAAAJDBhYzk1ZjgwLTEwY2EtNDE5My04Mzg0LWNhOGY0OGU1MDk5NA

Lauren Scioneaux, Spark PR Design Director

Sources:

Here’s How the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Started. (August 2014). Retrieved April 27, 2016 from http://time.com/3136507/als-ice-bucket-challenge-started/

Patient & Family Services. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2016 from http://webla.alsa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=LA_8_patient_family_services

Harrington, M. (2014, April 7). 7 top tips for successful infographics. Retrieved April 28, 2016, from http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/7_top_tips_for_successful_infographics_16262.aspx

 

Spark PR on civic engagement and social responsibility

Written By: Maria Connolly, event director

Public relations classes teach prospective college graduates how to do many things. These classes focus on writing, the media, crisis management and community relations. Working with the nonprofit ALS, Spark PR constantly engages with the community and actively learns what social responsibility in public relations means in real world contexts.

Civic engagement is defined by the actions used to identify and address issues that concern the public. This definition, taken straight from The American Psychological Association, speaks for each PR firm that represents a nonprofit.

Spark PR’s client, The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter, engages in civic responsibility through their role in health care in our community. The ALS Association is the primary resource in Baton Rouge for patients immediately diagnosed with ALS until their battle with the disease concludes. The nonprofit also offers support groups for patients and caregivers of the disease.

The Business Dictionary defines social responsibility as the obligation of an organization’s management toward the welfare and interests of the society in which it operates. The ALS Association’s mission reflects this definition through its use of community outreach and programs and ALS advocacy. ALS does this through posting patient and caregiver testimonials, which can be read on its website.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.45.43 AM

Image taken from Stories of Courage.

The importance of civic engagement and social responsibility stretch far beyond the definition and study in the classroom. Each PR professional manages the line between their clients’ needs and the communities’ well being.

To find out more about the ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter:

Facebook

Twitter 

Youtube

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAIvAAAAJDgzMTkyYjY5LTlmNmQtNGRkYy05MDFlLTcyNDIwYWJlNDk2MQ

Maria Connolly, event director

 

Spark PR Adheres to Professional Values While Partaking in Service Learning with the ALS Association Louisiana Mississippi Chapter

Blog by: Alyssa Henke, Writing Director

Spark PR’s goal is to ignite a spark in our clients. This semester our firm hopes to bring forth innovation and creativity to the ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter. By working with ALS, our agency is participating in service learning, which means that we are involved in an educational experience that integrates community service. 

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 12.24.22 PM

While partaking in this experience, Spark PR hopes to advance our firm’s knowledge and meet the ALS association’s needs. This agency-client relationship involves hands-on experience that addresses our client’s concerns. This hands-on experience will include our efforts to improve and collaborate on the ALS association’s event, Red, White, & Sneaux, as well as in person meetings with our ALS contact person, Jamie Craig. Each member of our firm hopes to contribute his or her knowledge and skills to improve ALS. We consequently hope that each member of our agency can further develop his or her skills and knowledge by learning through this real world experience, and we endeavor to better understand social issues in our community and civic responsibility.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 12.24.55 PM

As Spark PR strives to implement superior services in public relations for ALS, our firm will abide by the PRSA professional values to guide our actions. These professional values set the industry standard for public relations practitioners and are vital to the integrity of this profession as a whole. The six professional values are advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty and fairness. Spark PR first will act as a responsible advocate for ALS at all times. Spark PR will adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth while promoting the interests of ALS. Our firm hopes to advance the profession of public relations through the research, knowledge and experience we will gain and responsibly use. We will remain objective in our affairs with ALS and provide unbiased guidance. While serving the public interest, Spark PR will remain faithful to ALS. Lastly, our agency will deal fairly with the ALS association, competing nonprofit organizations, competing public relations firms, the media and the general public by respecting all opinions and supporting the right of free expression.

As Spark PR partners with ALS, each member of our firm aims to overcome obstacles and create opportunities in order to further his or her skills and ultimately be able to obtain the top 10 competencies employers look for according to the Korn Ferry/Lominger Model. Although each member of our group brings his or her own spark to our group as a whole, we hope that we can individually acquire all ten competencies by the end of this semester. The competencies employers want are for employers to be action oriented, know how to deal with ambiguity, be creative, have good decision quality, solve problems efficiently, motivate others, plan, prioritize, think strategically, and manage time. By providing ALS with creative and individualized solutions, we hope this nonprofit can give us insight to ourselves and teach us how to be the most efficient public relations practitioners.


Follow ALS Association Louisiana-Mississppi Chapter:
Facebook 
Twitter
YouTube

Sources:
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Member Code of Ethics. (n.d.). Retrieved February 04, 2016, from https://www.prsa.org/aboutprsa/ethics/codeenglish/#.VrN_3Dbh-8p

Center for Community Engagement, Learning & Leadership. (n.d.). Retrieved February 04, 2016, from http://www.lsu.edu/academicaffairs/ccell/

Center for Community Engagement, Learning & Leadership. (n.d.). Retrieved February 04, 2016, from http://www.lsu.edu/academicaffairs/ccell/