The following blog post was written by Tori Ward, account executive for Current Communications.
Current Communications is excited and eager to work with Youth Oasis, a local nonprofit organization in Baton Rouge, La. This partnership is through a service-learning class at LSU. In the service-learning handbook, the Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership defines service-learning as “a credit-bearing, educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.”
We view this service-learning course as not only an opportunity to gain public relations experience through working with a real client, but also as a chance to serve the community by meeting the expressed needs of the nonprofit organization. We will fulfill our agency’s mission and client’s needs by propelling Youth Oasis forward in its communications and community outreach.
Throughout this semester, we will be assisting Youth Oasis with its public relations efforts in order to gain awareness for the organization and to enhance its reputation in the community. Youth Oasis is an emergency shelter for children, ages 10-17, that provides safety, food, medical attention and emotional support. The organization strives to aid in breaking the cycle of homelessness in the Baton Rouge community and throughout the state of Louisiana.
Child homelessness is a severe problem facing the United States. The National Center on Family Homelessness reports that there are 2.5 million homeless children annually in the U.S. Based on statistics from 2013, Louisiana was ranked fourth in the country for risk of child homelessness with 39,918 homeless children reported from 2012 to 2013. As you can imagine, Youth Oasis plays an extremely important role in the community by serving as one of the only emergency children shelters in the state.
Sadly, a large majority of community members have very limited knowledge about the issue of child homelessness in Louisiana and about the services that Youth Oasis provides. This is where we come in.
Current Communications is a student-run PR agency consisting of an account executive, research director, strategy director, design director, writing director and event director. We plan to collectively use our skills in PR to provide Youth Oasis with various PR strategies and deliverables for effective communication, as well as a campaign kick-off event. We also hope to develop and maintain relationships with local media, such as The Advocate, 225 Magazine and WBRZ.
We are excited to work with the Youth Oasis staff to develop new ideas that will propel them toward their goals of gaining awareness and enhancing the organization’s reputation in the Baton Rouge area. We truly believe that Youth Oasis’ presence in the community can be taken to new levels with the help of our agency and the communication assistance we will be providing.
Stay tuned to see how this partnership develops.