“Better Together” Kelsey Chandler Hillary Gibbs Amy Hardy Ragan Helms
November 19, 2009 Table of Contents Executive Summary
Becoming an Official Club
Appendix A: Client Analysis
Appendix B: Survey
Appendix C: Focus Group
Appendix D: Contingency Plan
Executive Summary As a senior capstone project, our campaign team composed of public relations students, Kelsey Chandler, Hillary Gibbs, Amy Hardy and Ragan Helms, was given the task of creating a public relations and marketing campaign to assist the non-profit organization, Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI). Overall, we were faced with the task to assist this organization in achieving multiple goals, but concentrating on getting citizens of Alabama more involved with this organization and taking advantage of its free relationship education services. ACHMI is an applied research project and a collaboration of the Auburn University Department of Human Development and Family Studies, the Alabama Children's Trust Fund, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Montgomery Chapter of 100 Black Men and a network of community-based agencies. Made possible by an $8.5 million federally funded grant, ACHMI serves as a model to those states that choose to adopt this initiative in the future. ACHMI has been in service for three years and will continue to operate for two more years since it was given a five-year grant. ACHMI exists to help promote and establish healthy relationships and marriages among couples throughout the state of Alabama. In order to attain healthy relationships and marriages, ACHMI provides resources and educational programs for the youth and adults in Alabama. These resources and programs teach couples or individuals the skills and knowledge that are necessary to form stable and positive relationships. Over the past three years, many traditional and non-traditional forms of public relations have been used for branding ACHMI across the state of Alabama. Some examples include, but are not
limited to, a statewide campaign, statewide billboard campaign through LAMAR, ACHMI representatives appearing on local television shows, creating an informative Web site, blog, newsletters, news releases, advertisements in bridal magazines, creating a teen advisory board and slowly implementing forms of social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Although these public relations efforts have been beneficial according to ACHMI representatives, ACHMI has asked our campaign group to design a campaign that focuses on creative public relations tactics including social media to gain attendance to ACHMI's free relationship education courses which are held in the following cities: Dothan, Valley, Gadsden, Brewton, Decatur, Sylacauga, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery. ACHMI also wanted our campaign team to focus on informing the public and getting them involved in this organization by notifying all Alabama citizens that relationship and marriage counseling is needed. After assessing ACHMI's goals that they would like our group to accomplish, we began brainstorming and came up with some tactics that ACHMI has not used in the past to reach its audience, which are couples who live in Alabama that are in relationships, engaged or married. We also assessed the tactics that ACHMI has used in the past and further modified them to meet our needs of accomplishing ACHMI's current goal they set before us. To briefly highlight some new tactics that we would like ACHMI to implement after the presentation of our campaign, we will begin by introducing the videos that we have created that feature couples in relationships and marriages. In these videos the couples answer questions about their partners, ultimately testing how well they know each other. We would like these edited videos that we have created to be posted to ACHMI's official Web site, Facebook fan page, blog and any other outlet that they see fit. Through these videos we hope to entertain
ACHMI's audience while informing the public of the resources that ACHMI provides for the youth and adults in relationships or marriages in the state of Alabama. Another tactic that we would like ACHMI to implement is becoming an official organization on Auburn University's campus as well as an organization on college and university campuses near the other eight family resource centers. We researched the process of becoming a student organization on campus and fulfilled the requirements such as creating a set of organization bylaws and a constitution. The materials for becoming an official organization are included in this packet as well as other tactics and ideas that we think will benefit ACHMI by accruing more citizens of Alabama to become more involved with ACHMI and take advantage of the resources and knowledge that is available to them. Through our efforts and ideas found within this campaign and ACHMI's efforts, we hope that ACHMI ultimately can remind commissioners and public officials over the next two years that ACMHI's resources to the citizens of Alabama have made a difference. By reminding these officials of ACHMI's positive effect on relationships and marriages, we hope along with ACHMI that these free relationship education classes will be able to continue after the funds have been depleted.
Introduction When it came time to design our campaign plan and develop creative ideas, it was important to our group that there was an overall theme that could tie everything together. Our group decided to base all creative endeavors on the idea of “Better together.” No matter what kind of relationship one is involved in, educating yourself on healthy relationship habits will make any couple “Better Together.” It is our belief that this universal theme is one that fits our campaign as well as the intended ideals and messages of ACHMI. It was important to our group that certain ideas and efforts were placed in the forefront. For starters, it was important to create a campaign centered on spreading the work and reputation of ACHMI and all of the positive aspects that it has brought to Alabama in its first three years as an organization. It was also a priority of ours to make sure that the public knows that ACHMI is for all relationships, not just marriages. Our idea process was designed around bringing couples together with each other as well as ACHMI. We did this through the development of events that promote couples and families to spend more time together. Furthermore, created events and advertising efforts were designed with the idea of partnering ACHMI with corporations and local businesses making different parts of the community “Better Together.” The budget that we had to work with was also a vital factor to be considered in the institution of all new ideas. ACHMI allotted our campaign team a gracious $50,000 for public relation tactics, but we still strived to use as little money as possible. The budget was kept in mind with all events and materials created and gathered. We not only tried to keep costs to a minimum, but suggested
other ways of saving money such as joint sponsorships with local businesses. Our campaign will successfully represent ACHMI and help it to further educate couples of Alabama. Research The Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) is an applied research project and a collaboration of the Auburn University Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Alabama Children’s Trust Fund, The Alabama Cooperative Extension System, The Montgomery Chapter of the 100 Black Men and a network of community-based agencies. ACHMI was made possible by an $8.5 million federally funded grant, which is the largest grant that has been awarded to a College of Human Development and Studies in the country. ACHMI serves as a model to those states that choose to adopt this initiative in the future. ACHMI has been in service for three years and will continue to operate for two more years. Through ACHMI’s efforts, their hopes are that those who are engaged in relationships and marriages will take the initiative to learn what it takes to attain and maintain a relationship that will not only benefit those involved, but the children and family members as well. The client’s major public is couples engaged in relationships or marriages regardless of sexual orientation, age, ethnicity and financial status in the state of Alabama. ACHMI tries to involve people of all ages into their programs. However, our main public for this campaign is the couples and families surrounding the family resource centers. These areas include Dothan, Valley, Gadsden, Brewton, Decatur, Sylacauga and Tuscaloosa. Because so much preliminary research was previously conducted in order to establish ACHMI as an organization, it was important for our campaign team to reinforce previous ideas and findings through our own research. We began our research through conducting an extensive survey
(Appendix B) and focus group. (See appendix C). We worked with ACHMI representatives to come up with questions that would best provide us with the answers we needed in order to establish what plans should be implemented. The surveys we created were passed out randomly to individuals in the Auburn/Opelika area that are involved in marriages or relationships. We also conducted a focus group that consisted of five individuals involved in various types of relationships in order to gain information that we were unable to obtain through the surveys. Upon first meeting representatives of ACHMI, it was stated that the majority of Alabama may not be aware of the free resources that ACHMI provides. This was further backed up by our research that showed that 78 percent of our public is unaware of the existence of ACHMI as an organization (Appendix B). According to our survey, once informed of the organization, the initial attitude of our public is that ACHMI only applies to married people. We also found that our public is aware that individuals can learn relationship skills, but for the most part, they are unwilling to go to a free relationship education class. In general, the public is willing to listen to what ACHMI has to say about relationships, but they are not willing to seek out that information on their own (Appendix B and C). Since the organization formed three years ago, ACHMIâ€™s main goal has been to make the public aware of its existence and goals and to get Alabamians to attend free relationship education classes. While the organization has had some success with branding, the public is still not responding to the free classes that are offered. According to our surveys, an overwhelming majority of 65 percent of people said that they would not attend a free education class even though 65 percent also said they believe a class would benefit their relationship (Appendix B). This situation is very important to the overall mission of ACHMI. If people do not take the classes offered by ACHMI, the organization will not be able to self-sustain itself once the five-
year grant is up. If people do not take the courses offered, organizations will stop offering its resources and ACHMI will no longer exist once the five-year grant is up. Therefore, not only is ACHMI directly affected by this situation, but the citizens involved in relationships and marriages in the state of Alabama are impacted as well. According to ACHMI representatives, since receiving its grant in 2006, the divorce rate in Alabama has decreased, demonstrating its importance and effectiveness. Because most of ACHMI’s events are centered on relationship education classes, the public is hesitant to become actively involved. Our goal throughout our “Better Together” campaign is to develop more interactive events and activities that actively involve the public.
Planning The Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) exists to help promote and establish healthy relationships and marriages among couples throughout the state of Alabama. In order to attain healthy relationships and marriages, ACHMI provides resources and educational programs for youth and adults in Alabama. These resources and programs teach couples the skills and knowledge that are necessary to form stable and positive relationships. As public relations students developing this campaign, we have met with representatives from ACHMI on numerous occasions to learn more about this organization. We have gathered that ACHMI’s goal is to provide guidance for those in need of attaining a healthy relationship or marriage. We have also learned that AHCMI strives to help couples that are engaged in relationships or marriages understand that communication and relationship skills can be taught and learned. However, ACHMI’s goal on its website states, “ACHMI’s goal is to strengthen Alabama families by: raising public awareness of the importance of healthy, stable relationships and marriages for children, family and community well-being; increasing access to healthy relationship/marriage resources for all Alabama citizens and training community members and professionals in research-based educational programs that strengthen relationships and marriages.” After assessing our interpretation of ACHMI’s goal and their stated goal, as a campaign group we developed our objectives for ACHMI and its publics. In general, our objectives are to reach citizens of Alabama who are still unfamiliar with the organization. Our main objective is to get
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citizens involved who live in the communities surrounding the ACHMI family resource centers through events and attending free educational classes. Another objective is to drive traffic to ACHMIâ€™s current Web site and to provide elements of interest to its viewers. In order to accomplish the above objectives we must target a key public, which are Alabama citizens interested in strengthening their relationships and marriages. ACHMI family resource centers are available in eight areas including Montgomery, Dothan, Valley, Gadsden, Brewton, Decatur, Sylacauga and Tuscaloosa. Because these resource centers allow ACHMI to distribute information directly, the primary focus lies in these areas. Those who attend these classes or participate actively with ACHMI are more likely to receive the organizationâ€™s key message that all relationships can benefit from these classes. As a basis for our campaign, we focused on applying the social penetration theory to all of the creative ideas we implemented. Social penetration theory deals with relationships and how they slowly develop. According to http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/social_penetration.htm, the social penetration theory states that the deeper a relationship becomes the more it penetrates into more personal and private matters, therefore vulnerabilities are exposed and trust has to be developed. This theory can be applied to all relationships and marriages because no matter the stage of a relationship you can always learn more about one another and improve communication. The social penetration theory is made up of five steps that closely mirror the stages of a relationship. Like the orientation stage, the beginning of a relationship involves getting to know each other through simple questions and answers. Similar to the second step, the exploratory affective stage, over time individuals become more comfortable around each other and form a friendship. The
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affective stage allows individuals to begin discussing more private matters and share personal stories. Next, the stable stage allows couples in relationships to determine how their partner may react emotionally. The last stage, depenetration, is similar to a point in a relationship where it may be terminated, resulting in a break up or divorce. Pertaining to theory, we will use emotional appeal in our messages as well as logic since we are dealing with those who are in engaged relationships and marriages. By using emotion, we will be able to touch on topics that are sensitive to those who share their life with another. On the other hand, the use of logic will allow us to give our public the facts and statistics that deal with relationships and marriages throughout the state of Alabama. With the use of emotional and logical appeals, we will hopefully succeed in getting more people to realize the need of an organization such as ACHMI and make others see that ACHMI’s efforts matter and are making a difference. While thinking about how to motivate our key public, we decided to focus on the intrinsic values that encourage people to act. We focused on values such as concern, community improvement, quality of life and family needs. By incorporating these into our campaign we hope that people are motivated to become more involved in ACHM and its programs that they have to offer. In our “Better Together” campaign, we will implement new and creative ways to drive more people to ACHMI’s Web site and attend their classes. We did this by creating fun videos that may be posted to ACHMI’s Web site, Facebook fan page or any other social media outlet necessary. We have also instituted an organization on Auburn’s University campus to get college students more involved in ACHMI programs. We have updated and enhanced literature materials such as brochures and fact sheets to assist ACHMI in disseminating information. As a team we have created a number of broadcast release examples to help get ACHMI’s name out to the
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public. Twelve events were created as a means for the community to become more actively involved in the organization. ACHMI currently has an assigned intern in their office that we have created an updated list of duties to carry out on a daily basis and sustain ACHMIâ€™s efforts. Some strengths of our campaign include how accessible our written and subsequent materials are to attain and sustain. Likewise, all materials and events were created with the most cost efficient plan in mind. With the hopes of broadening our audience, we designed all creative ideas to stretch across all demographics. With all strengths come weaknesses and time constraints seem to be a weakness for us in our campaign. With ACHMIâ€™s grant ending in two years, they have a limited amount of time to implement all new ideas. With hopes of lasting longer than the time span of their five-year grant, it could be a struggle to inform the necessary officials of the positive results of ACHMIâ€™s efforts. Because of the wide range of demographics it is difficult to reach every individual across the state of Alabama. In order for all new ideas to have a chance to succeed, ACHMI should implement them as soon as possible. We also encourage the resource centers to host or plan an event each month. Certain tasks are considered maintenance tasks and should be attended to daily to weekly. These include online projects, event planning and education planning. Seasonal efforts would be needed as well such as, holiday greeting cards and certain events.
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Implementation After conducting thorough research and after an extensive planning period, we believe that we have come up with creative and innovative ideas that will best suit the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) and its perspective audiences. Through this campaign we have applied the public relations tools that we have learned in the classroom in hopes of making a more efficient and effective campaign. By using a variety of public relations tools, we hope to reach a broader audience spanning across all demographics. When creating new ideas, we felt it was important to not only develop the groundwork for each project, but to see our ideas through to its beginning stages. Throughout our campaign, we have sought to tie all of our material into one central theme, “Better Together.” The idea of “Better Together” is to actively educate and involve community members with the ACHMI organization and its message that a healthy relationship is a happy relationship. Our hope for “Better Together” is that it will encourage more people to get involved in ACHMI’s free relationship education classes. The following elements in our campaign strive to communicate this chosen theme.
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Events Our biggest effort to make ACHMI more interactive for its participants is to promote events in the family resource center areas. Each event will be hosted by ACHMI or ACHMI can partner with other businesses with a goal of dispelling information to bring ACHMI and its public together. Enclosed is a list of 12 possible events, one for each month. Each event contains seasonal themes as well as our overall campaign theme of â€œBetter Together.â€? In each event description, the budget is included. We tried to execute each event at a medium to low cost. The advertising for each event is specific to that event and is enclosed in the descriptions as well. Each event description includes general details, reasons why the event will benefit ACHMI and its participants and what is needed to accomplish each event. It is our hope that ACHMI can disperse these event ideas to each family resource center located across the state, allowing them to choose which events they would like to host.
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January Event â€œJanuary Jamâ€? Where and general details: This event would invite local musical acts to come together in their city to perform for the community. ACHMI would act as host or sponsor of the event, which would bring attention to the organization and allow them to further spread their message. The event would be familyfriendly and all interested guests would be encouraged to make it a family event or bring their significant other. The event would serve as free publicity for the host, or a small ticket fee could be instituted in order to help cover any costs. Because the event is going to be advertised as a family event, any band interested in participation would have to audition in order to ensure that all music is appropriate. Why: An event like this is a great way to bring couples and families together. Also they can meet other couples and families in their community. Furthermore, this event would allow ACHMI to get its name out to those who may not have heard of them before. What is needed: Advertising for this event can be done using several possible approaches. Because it is a musical event, it might be a good idea to use local radio as a promotional venue. A short 30-60 second commercial could be used to reach music enthusiasts. Also, fliers could be posted in local businesses around town. This would offer a cheap, but effective way to get the word out about the event. The concert, if possible, could be held in a community center or a location like a local school or church gymnasium. Because ACHMI promotes a positive message, a venue like this
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might be provided for free. Local television stations could also be contacted to get more involved and possibly run a short story on the concert. On the night of the event ACHMI could have a table set up that is dedicated to further informing the public of the organization. Representatives would manage the table and be there to answer any questions and distribute any literature.
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February Event “Valentine’s Day Giveaway” Where and general details: For February, ACHMI could create an event centered around Valentine’s Day. Interested participants would be asked to send in a video to the ACHMI Web site that describes that couples relationship. The videos could be cute and humorous as long as appropriate. Incentive for the video would be that the winning couple would have their video displayed on the Web site, as well as the prize of a free Valentine’s Day dinner at a local restaurant. The point of this event would be to not only promote ACHMI as an organization, but also to drive more traffic to the Web site. Why: An event like this is most importantly a great way to bring more traffic to the ACHMI Web site. It also gets participants more involved. If a couple sends in a video to win a free date, they will be checking the Web site often, maybe even leading them to read our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Also, this event allows a couple a nice evening out to spend time together. What is needed: Because this event takes place online, it would have a relatively low cost. Advertising could be done using themed fliers that would be posted in the surrounding community and in local businesses or campuses if present. Likewise local radio could do a small broadcast on the event. Along with traditional methods of advertising, newer technologies would be incorporated with this event as well. Because the contest takes place online, social media could be used as a way to
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spread the word. Twitter and Facebook pages could post information and videos that provide direct links to the ACHMI site and contest information. March Event “March Madness” Where and general details: ACHMI would host a race called “March Madness.” The race would be a 5-k or more depending on ACHMI/ the city’s decision. ACHMI would host the event along with any other interested businesses in the area. ACHMI would encourage couples and families to sign up together. In order to enter the race, a small sign-up fee would be in place in order to help cover costs and raise money. The cost would include small refreshments and a T-shirt. The T-shirt would be a simple design with the ACHMI logo along with the title of the event and any other participating businesses logos. The location of the race would most likely have to be decided upon by the city, according to laws and interferences with the community and traffic in the area. Participants would be asked to sign up using the Web site or by going to designated sign up locations around the community. Why: This event benefits couples, families and the community. Not only are participants making their bodies healthier, but their relationships as well. This event would be a little more extensive than the others and would create an opportunity for ACHMI to create more partnerships with ACHMI. What is needed: Advertising for an event like this could be done across all spectrums. A story like this would possibly interest a local news station to do a short story on the race. Furthermore, fliers would be
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posted in relevant businesses around town such as gyms and health spas. The fliers would not only advertise the event, but would also list the Web site and designated sign up areas where interested participants can learn more. The cost for this event, although still relatively low, would probably be higher than some other events because of the magnitude of implementing it.
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April Event Earth Day- "Pick Up While Cleaning Up Your Relationship" Where and general details: Each family resource center would promote an earth day clean-up day for local families, married couples and those in relationships to partake in. It would have a sign-up sheet where those who would like to participate can choose to pick up trash in their local community or help a local family clean their house, paint their house, etc. After spending a couple of hours cleaning up the community and spending quality time with their loved ones, the ACHMI family resource centers would provide lunch for all of the participants. After lunch, each participant could help in planting one tree at the family resource center. Once the tree is standing, each family, married couple, or couple will write their names on an ornament provided by ACHMI and place it on the tree. Why: This is an event that would be beneficial to those who receive free relationship education classes through ACHMI as well as those who are interested in supporting the organization. As individuals who benefit from the free services provided by ACHMI, they are able to give back to their local community by participating in the "Pick Up While Cleaning Up Your Relationship" Earth Day event. As an added benefit, participants are able to spend quality time with their loved ones while enhancing their community. This is also an event that can be accomplished at a very low cost. What is needed:
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Fliers and brochures to promote the event throughout the community. These would be passed out
to local businesses and organizations and be available at the family resource center. A Facebook event page would also be created for this event, allowing ACHMI an estimated list of people who will participate. ACHMI would also approach local churches and get their members involved and ask them about potential members in the community that need help with their homes. ACHMI would also need to purchase the supplies needed to "clean up" the community such as: trash bags, cleaning supplies, rakes, painting supplies, etc. ACHMI would also need to purchase the items that could go into a brown bag lunch such as sandwiches, chips and apples. ACHMI would need to make a paper ornament where participants can sign their names and hang it on the tree. This would be something as simple as ACHMI's logo and tagline with a space for participants to sign. With all of these supplies, ACHMI would provide a day of cleaning up the community as well as relationships. There is nothing like giving back to a community that has given so much to you, so get out there and "Pick Up While Cleaning Up Your Relationship." After the event is over, participants should also be given information about ACHMI's services (for example, the brochure and cup that we have created).
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May Event Mother's Day- "Mother May I Help You Bake Your Favorite Good?" Where and general details: The "Mother May I Help You Bake Your Favorite Good?" would be held at a local park in the areas of the family resource centers. On the day of the event, the mother and daughter(s) teams must bring their chosen homemade baked goods to the park. Once all of the participants have arrived, the ACHMI officials would taste each treat and declare the top three winners of the bake-off contest. Once the winners have been notified, the mother and daughter(s) teams may enjoy the treats baked by everyone. ACHMI would also plan an activity that the mothers and daughters can do or have a speaker at the event. The prizes that would be awarded would be a gift certificate for a shopping spree ($50), a certificate for a mother-daughter manicure and pedicure or a certificate for a mother-daughter brunch at a local venue. Why: This event would promote mother and daughter quality time in their homes as well as spending time with other mothers and daughters at the park. This event would be open to all age groups, allowing mothers and daughters of all ages to be able to come together and speak about their relationships. This event would be accomplished at a very low cost with the only expenses for ACHMI being the three gift certificates or items that it chooses to reward the winners of the bake off. What is needed: Fliers and brochures to promote the event throughout the community. These would be passed out
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to local businesses and organizations and be available at the family resource center. A Facebook event page would be created for this event, allowing ACHMI an estimated list of people who will participate in this event. ACHMI would also approach local churches and get their members involved. The only expense that ACHMI would have to implement this event is to buy the three gifts awarded to the winners of the bake off. This is a low cost event allowing mothers and daughters to spend time together in their home baking their favorite good. If ACHMI would also purchase some drinks such as punch that the participants could enjoy while tasting all of the treats.
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June Event Father's Day- "Boys Bowl-A-Rama" Where and general details: The "Boys Bowl-A-Rama" could be held at a local bowling alley in each of the family resource center's areas. At each family resource center, ACHMI would have a sign-up sheet allowing father and son teams to sign up for a bowling tournament held by ACHMI. The teams would be made up of four members, having two fathers and two sons on each team. The teams would get the chance to play three games, with ACHMI officials monitoring and collecting each teams score at the end of their game. Throughout the tournament, refreshments would be served. At the end, ACHMI officials would look at the scores and award the top three father and son teams a prize. Each bowling participant would also be given an ACHMI T-shirt at the beginning of the event (we have an example of a potential shirt). Why: This event would be beneficial to promote Father's Day and the activities that a father and son can enjoy together. This event also allows a father and son to spend time with others who have similar relationships. It would be open to all age groups, allowing fathers and sons of different ages to be able to come together and speak about their relationships. This is also an event that can be accomplished at a low cost. What is needed: Fliers and brochures to promote the event throughout the community. These could be passed out to local businesses and organizations. The brochures would also be available at the bowling alley
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where the event would take place, allowing people who have not heard of ACHMI to learn more about the organization. A Facebook event page would be created for this event, allowing ACHMI an estimated list of people who would participate in this event. ACHMI would approach the bowling alley and would work with them on a possible discounted rate to rent out the bowling alley for a couple of hours one night. ACHMI would need to ask the bowling alley if it is able to bring its own refreshments or if ACHMI would need to purchase food and drink items through the bowling alley. ACHMI would need to make T-shirts for participants in the bowling tournament. Lastly, ACHMI would be responsible in getting three prizes that would be awarded to the top three father and son teams.
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July Event “Celebrating Togetherness and Independence Picnic” Where and general details: ACHMI’s event in July could be focused around the idea of July 4 fun. This event could be located somewhere outside, whether at a park, a church or school vicinity or even outside at an ACHMI family resource center. Families and couples could come out and enjoy a fourth of July cookout with hotdogs, chips, drinks and other refreshments. Music could be playing to add to the atmosphere of the fun environment, kids could participate in simple outside games and even play with sparklers. ACHMI could also plan any other activities they wanted to incorporate into this event or even have a speaker. After dinner and visiting with other families and couples attending this event, ACHMI could host a fireworks show that night. This event would also be a great opportunity to invite those in the service or those who have a family member or significant other in the service to come out and learn more about ACHMI. Due to the significance of the holiday this event could even be focused on families and relationships that have someone in the service. ACHMI could also provide information or even a speaker to provide education on coping and managing these situations properly. Why: This fourth of July themed event would be a great way for families and couples to come together and spend some time together in a nice relaxing atmosphere. At the same time, it would allow the participants at this event to socialize and get to know each other better. It would be an opportunity for those families and couples already involved in ACHMI’s free classes to get to
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know each other outside of class and on a more personal level. For others attending this event who have never taken a free relationship education class offered by ACHMI it would be a great way for them to get to know people before coming to a class, especially if attending a class is something they were apprehensive about in the first place. What is needed: Fliers would be a great way to promote this event throughout the community. These could be passed out to local businesses and organizations and be available at the family resource centers. An event page on Facebook could also be created for this event, which would help reach a larger audience and allow for ACHMI to see feedback and get an estimation on how many people plan on participating in this event. The ACHMI Web site could also have a section for events where information about the event would be posted as well as a sign up. ACHMI would also need to purchase necessary supplies for this event such as food and other supplies such as paper goods for the cookout, sparklers and fireworks. Due to the firework show, this event would be a more expensive one, although ACHMI could consider talking to firework warehouses in Alabama about getting donations for their event. At the event, participants could also be given free information about ACHMI's services in the form of plastic cups with brochures, newsletters and fliers about upcoming events. We have created an example of an ACHMI cup and new brochure that could be used.
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August Event â€œBack to School Fundraiserâ€? Where and general details: With most schools beginning in August, ACHMI could host a back to school fundraiser. Each family resource center could host a back to school event for local families and couples. This event would include making back to school supply kits for those who are less fortunate and need help affording school supplies. Participants could sign up at each center and decide which supplies they were going to bring to the event based on generalized lists of what is needed. At the event, kids could decorate plastic boxes and help write personalized notes for each school supply kit. Together the families and couples could work to sift through the supplies and make each school supply kit. Why: This event would be beneficial to those who receive free relationship education classes through ACHMI as well as those who are interested in supporting the organization. As individuals who benefit from the free services provided by ACHMI, they are able to give back to their local community by participating in this back to school fundraiser. To top it off, participants are able to spend quality time with their loved ones while helping out others in their community. This is also an event that can be accomplished at a low cost to ACHMI as participants would be helping fund the school supplies. What is needed:
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Fliers would be a great way to promote this event throughout the community. These could be passed out to local businesses and organizations and be available at the family resource center. The ACHMI Web site could also have a section for events where information about the event would be posted as well as a sign up. ACHMI could also pair with local churches and get their members involved and ask them about potential members in the community that need help with supplying their kids with school items, since most churches might have access to this kind of information. Purchasing supplies for this event would only include some plastic boxes for the school supplies to be put inside and markers for the boxes to be decorated. At the event participants could also be given free information about ACHMI's services, newsletters and fliers about upcoming events.
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September Event â€œDonâ€™t Let Your Relationships FALL Tailgateâ€? Where and general details: With football season kicking off around the beginning of September, this would be a great time to have an ACHMI tailgating event. Participants could pay a low price around $2 each, which would get them two burgers, two bags of chips and two drinks. Participants could be encouraged to bring desserts to this event so that everyone is contributing and participating in this event and in this tailgate, just like any other football tailgate. The event could be held on a Friday evening before a home Saturday game. Families could spend time together and with other football fans while getting excited and talking about the upcoming season. Why: This would also provide a fun atmosphere in which families could come and spend time together. Having families bring a dessert with them to the tailgate would encourage families to get together at home to come up with their dessert and prepare it as well. Tailgates are for families too! What is needed: Fliers would be a great way to promote this event throughout the community. These could be passed out to local businesses and organizations and be available at the family resource center. Fliers could also be posted around campus encouraging football fans to come out to this event. An event page on Facebook could also be created for this event, which would help reach a larger
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audience and allow for ACHMI to see feedback and get an estimation on how many people plan on participating in this event. The ACHMI Web site could also have a section for events where information about the event would be posted as well as a sign up. Purchasing food for this event would be easy and would only include supplies for burgers, chips and drinks. All other food items would be brought by participants; therefore this event would be low cost, especially if you charged each participant a low $2 fee for the event. At the event, participants could also be given free information about ACHMI's services in the form of plastic cups with brochures, newsletters and fliers about upcoming events. We have created and provided an example of an ACHMI cup and new brochure that could be used.
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October Event “A Hollywood Halloween” Where and general details: Each ACHMI family resource center would promote “A Hollywood Halloween” party for couples, married or unmarried. Couples would come dressed as their favorite Hollywood couple. The event would be held at a church or the local resource center. The venue would be decorated “Hollywood style” with a red carpet, a painted Hollywood sign, white Christmas lights with fake spider webs and pumpkins around the building for Halloween. Inside, there would be basic Halloween decorations such as skeletons, ghosts, spider webs, witches, etc. There would be an area for couples to dance and a DJ playing music. There would be a costume contest at the end of the night and the winner would receive a gift certificate to a local restaurant for a romantic night out with each other. The main cost would come from food and music. However, ACHMI would get a restaurant to sponsor this event and provide food for them. This would help to eliminate a large portion of the cost. The main cost ACHMI would have to cover now is music and decorations. The expenses for the event would be in the medium range. Why: This event would be beneficial for couples to be able to have a night out without their children, if they have any, or just a night out with their significant other. Couples who are going to free relationship education classes given by ACHMI and their resource centers will be able to put what they have learned in their classes to practice. Couples who aren’t taking classes yet, but are
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interested in taking them will be able to get a feel for what ACHMI is all about. They will also be able to meet the educators and other couples involved in ACHMI in a laid back and relaxing environment.
What is needed: Fliers and brochures are needed to be posted and passed out throughout the community. Members of ACHMI and their resource centers would go around town and post the fliers inside local businesses. Fliers and brochures would also be made available in the downtown area. ACHMI could also approach local churches and get their members involved. ACHMI and its resources centers would also put ads on their Web site, Facebook fan page and Twitter to advertise the event as well as possible radio broadcasts. ACHMI would also need to provide a DJ, decorations, food, tables, chairs, a gift certificate to a local restaurant, etc.
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November Event “Cans Film Festival” Where and general details: Each family resource center would promote “Cans Film Festival” movie night for families. The event will be held at a local park when the sun is going down. ACHMI and the resources centers will partner with organizations like UPC at Auburn University to put on a movie night for parents and their children. The venue will be decorated autumn style with pumpkins, bales of hay, scarecrows and more. To get into the event, each family member must bring at least one can of food to be donated to the local food banks. Families will bring blankets and pillows for added comfort while they spend time with their loved ones. In addition to the movie, everyone will be given two tickets when they enter. These tickets will be for popcorn, a drink or candy. Everyone will be able to pick any two items they wish. This would be of medium cost to ACHMI, with the help of an organization like UPC, ACHMI would not have to cover some of the expenses. Why: This event would be beneficial for families to spend quality time together outside of the house. Also, ACHMI and its resource centers will be able to give back to its community with the food drive. Families will be able to get into the true spirit of Thanksgiving by giving back to the community they live in as well as spending time with other locals. What is needed:
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Fliers and brochures would need to be posted and passed out throughout the community. Members of ACHMI and their resource centers would go around town and post the fliers inside local businesses. Fliers and brochures would also be made available downtown. ACHMI could also approach local churches and get their members involved. ACHMI and its resource centers could also put ads on their Web site, Facebook fan page and Twitter to advertise the event as well as possible radio broadcasts. ACHMI would also need to provide decorations such as pumpkins, bales of hay, scarecrows, etc. Other items that will be needed include barrels for families to place their can foods in, tickets, popcorn, candy, drinks and supplies for the movie like a projector, screen, etc.
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December Event “Christmas for the Kids Festival” Where and general details: Each family resource center would promote “Christmas for the Kids Festival” family Christmas party. Families would come out to the local park to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones. ACHMI would partner with “Toys for Tots” and to get into the event, every family would have to bring one toy for donation. Children and their parents would be able to participate in different activities pertaining to Christmas such as making a gingerbread house, decorating Christmas ornaments and pin the nose on Rudolph. At the end of the day, the parents would be able to participate in their own activity, a tacky sweater contest. The winner of the tacky sweater contest will win a gift certificate for their family to a local restaurant. Families will be able to enjoy good food, drinks and listen to music to get into the true holiday spirit. By participating in Christmas activities, one can bond with family and friends. This would be of medium cost to ACHMI. ACHMI would possibly get a company to sponsor to help with food and drinks, which would eliminate a large portion of the cost. ACHMI would then have to buy the different supplies for the activities, enough for every child to do one activity. ACHMI would also possibly find organizations to sponsor the event in order to help them cover the cost of music. Why: This event would be beneficial for families to spend quality time together outside of the house and be able to give back to less fortunate families. Parents will be able to allow their children to
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play in a safe and secure environment while they run from booth to booth completing the different activities. This allows parents to see the benefits of having safe and engaging activities for their children. Families will be able to bond while they work on making gingerbread houses, Christmas ornaments, Christmas trees, etc. What is needed: Fliers and brochures to be posted and passed out throughout the community. Members of ACHMI and their resource centers would go around town and post the fliers inside local businesses. Fliers and brochures would also be made available downtown. ACHMI could also approach local churches and get their members involved. ACHMI and its resource centers could also put ads on their Web site, Facebook fan page and Twitter to advertise the event as well as radio broadcasts. ACHMI would need to provide boxes for the families to place the toys for â€œToys for Totsâ€? in, supplies for the different activities like construction paper, jewels and glue for the Christmas tree booth and the supplies to make ornaments and gingerbread houses and food, drinks and music. ACHMI would also need to get a gift certificate from a local restaurant for the winner of the tacky sweater contest.
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Press Releases After creating 12 possible events for ACHMI, we decided to develop two press releases that promote “The Valentine’s Day Giveaway” and “Don’t Let Your Relationship FALL Tailgate.” ACHMI could use the following press releases as a possible template for events in the future. The press releases will be distributed to local media surrounding the family resource center that chooses to host the event. Through these press releases, the citizens of Alabama will understand that their relationships are “Better Together” with ACHMI.
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NEWS RELEASE September 1, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Information: Sandy Williams Phone: 1-888-4TOGETHER E-mail: email@example.com
DON’T LET YOUR RELATIONSHIPS FALL TAILGATE ACHMI Jump Starts the Fall Season with a Family and Couples Pre-Game Tailgate AUBURN, Ala. – “Healthy Relationships, Happy Marriages,” that’s the idea behind the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI). Now you can add happy tailgating to that list. On Friday, Sept. 3 starting at 6 p.m., ACHMI will host its first tailgate event. ACHMI has reserved a spot on campus in front of the stadium and next to the student center. This event is open to families and couples who have already attended free relationship education classes through ACHMI and those who are interested in getting more information. Participants in the tailgate event will pay $2 each, which will get them a burger, bag of chips and a drink. However, the desserts are up to guests who are encouraged to make their favorite tailgate dessert and bring it with them to share with others. Thinking about coming to a free relationship education class? “Don’t let your relationships FALL tailgate” is a great way for families and couples to get to know others in their community in a fun, relaxing environment. ACHMI offers free relationship education classes in many different areas of Alabama and events such as this allow members to get to know each other
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outside of the resource centers and on a more personal level. This event will help you understand just what ACHMI is about while getting to know the people behind ACHMI and others involved in the classes. An ACHMI tailgating event will be the perfect way to kick off Auburn Universityâ€™s 2010 football season. So make sure you come out and tailgate with ACHMI on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. For more information on this event and ACHMI classes visit www.alabamamarriage.com. -###-
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NEWS RELEASE September 1, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Information: Sandy Williams Phone: 1-888-4TOGETHER E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ACHMI KEEPS LOVE ALIVE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY AUBURN, Ala.-The Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) announced plans yesterday to host a Valentine’s Day couples' video contest. Participating couples are asked to send in a creative video to the ACHMI Web site in hopes of having their video chosen to be on the site. The winning couple also receives a free Valentine’s dinner date at a local restaurant. The contest will begin January 14 and will end a month later at noon on February 14. The winner will be announced at this time. ACHMI is encouraging the couples to send in a video that best describes them and their relationship. Participants are also encouraged to be as humorous or creative as desired. ACHMI is the result of a five-year grant given to Auburn University by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Family Assistance. Their goal is to promote healthy marriages and relationships through educational and promotional events. The Organization offers free classes across the state educating individuals on how to participate in a strong marriage or relationship. For more information and/or a list of free education class in your area, please contact Sandy Williams at 1-888-4TOGETHER or visit ACHMI’s Web site at www.alabamamarriage.org.
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-###Entertaining Videos In order to drive more traffic to ACHMI’s Web site, we created light-hearted and entertaining videos to engage viewers while dispelling ACHMI’s overall message. Four videos were created from beginning to end, providing ACHMI with videos for immediate use and a possible template for future videos. We interviewed couples in various stages of relationships to see how well they know each other. Through these videos, viewers will walk away with the intended understanding that all couples can benefit from relationship advice and help. It was necessary to include contact information at the end of each video, showing people how easy it is to find out more information about ACHMI and its goals and resources. Not only can these videos reach an audience through ACHMI’s Web site, they can also be posted and linked to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other outlet that ACHMI sees fit.
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Becoming an Official Organization on Auburn University’s Campus After speaking with ACHMI representatives, it was clear that an ACHMI club that met on campus would get college students more involved. We decided that a club on campus would be a great way to get the students of Auburn University involved with ACHMI and its programs. Although ACHMI cannot be an official organization on campus, we can create an affiliation named “Relationship Smarts” that can be a club represented on campus. After researching how an organization can be established, we found that a constitution and bylaws needs to be written and submitted for approval. The constitution and the by-laws that we developed explain the basic information of the club, ranging from how officers are elected to how students become a member of the club. Included with the constitution is the official student organization packet. We have included all of the paper work and beginning steps needed in order to make this idea a reality. The only step left for ACHMI is to find an adviser for the club, which would not be a major obstacle after speaking with ACHMI representatives. For more information on making Relationship Smarts a club on campus, visit https://fp.auburn.edu/stuorgs/. We encourage ACHMI to become an official organization on Auburn University’s campus first and then research how to become organizations on other college and university campuses throughout the state of Alabama. Through these official organizations on college and university campuses across the state, ACHMI would provide college students with the necessary resources to acquire and attain healthy relationships and marriages.
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Constitution of Relationship Smarts November 3, 2009 Article I Name and Affiliation Section I: The name of this organization is Relationship Smarts. Section II: Relationship Smarts is affiliated with Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) which is a partnership of the Human Development and Family Studies Department at Auburn University, the Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/The Children’s Trust Fund, The Alabama Cooperative Extension System, numerous other State agencies, The Family Resources Center Network, The Montgomery Chapter of the Hundred Black Men of America and a growing network of publics, nonprofit, and faith based community organizations. Article II Purpose Section I: According to the ACHMI Web site, “The purpose is to raise public awareness of the importance of healthy, stable relationships and marriages for children, family and community well-being.” Article III Membership Section I: General Membership Relationships Smarts caters to individuals who are interested in learning communication skills that will help them enhance current or future relationships. Members do not have to be in a current relationship, but must have the desire to obtain the knowledge necessary to build healthy and stable relationships and marriages. “Membership is restricted to regularly enrolled Auburn University students, faculty, and staff. No university student may be denied membership on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, color, age, disability, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or veteran status.” Section II: Voting Members In order to be a voting member, members must pay all dues on time, regularly attend meetings and must assist in one event per semester.
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Article IV Officers Section I: President: The president is responsible for the overall care of the organization. The president is responsible for communicating with the organizationâ€™s adviser. Vice President: The vice president is responsible for communicating with the members via email. Members must contact the vice president if they are unable to make it to a meeting. Secretary: The secretary is responsible for taking notes during the meetings and taking attendance. Treasurer: The treasure is responsible for collecting membersâ€™ dues and the overall budgeting of the organization. Section II: President: In order to become president, you must be a member of Relationship Smarts for at least two years. Members can put themselves up for election and give a speech in front of the all members of the organization on why they think they are qualified to be president. Members will then vote on the person they wish to be president. Vice President: In order to become vice president, you must a member of Relationship Smart for at least a year. Members can put themselves up for election and give a speech in front of the all members of the organization on why they think they are qualified to be vice president. Members will then vote on the person they wish to be vice president. Secretary: In order to become secretary, you must be a member of Relationship Smarts for at least a semester. Members can put themselves up for election and give a speech in front of the all members of the organization on why they think they are qualified to be secretary. Members will then vote on the person they wish to be secretary. Treasure: In order to become treasure, you must be a member of Relationship Smarts for at least a semester. Members can put themselves up for election and give a speech in front of the all members of the organization on why they think they are qualified to be treasure. Members will then vote on the person they wish to be treasure. Section III: Officers will hold their position for two academic terms before there is another election. Each position may be held by the same individual for up to two years. Section IV: If a position should be vacant during the academic year, the officer below the vacant position
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will be move up and take over that position until the next election. If the treasurer position becomes vacant, the secretary will take over the responsibilities of the treasurer until an election can occur. That election will occur within two weeks of the treasurer position becoming vacant. If an officer is not fulfilling his or her duties, the members will vote on whether or not they think the officer should be impeached. Article V Officers Section I: The Relationship Smarts will have ___________ serving as its adviser. Section II: The adviser for Relationship Smarts must sit in on each meeting. They must meet with the officers to give them advice and direction on how to conduct each meeting, what additional events they need to be working on and deal with any problems the organization might be having. Section III: If the adviser does not fulfill the above duties, the officers will have a meeting and discuss the problem and vote on whether or not the adviser needs to be impeached. Article VI Meetings Section I: Meetings will be held bi-weekly in the Student Center. Additional meetings will be called if additional preparation for events is needed. The officers have the authority to call any additional meetings. The vice-president will notify members of the meetings via e-mail. Fifty perfect of the members must be present in order to conduct an official meeting. Section II: The officers must contact the adviser for permission to conduct any meetings outside of the clubs schedule. The officers must notify the members 24 hours in advanced of any additional meetings. Article VII Amendments Section I: In order for the constitution to be amended, 2/3 of the majority must agree to do so. If any members wish to add, change or retract any statement found in the constitution, they must give a formal request to the president via e-mail prior to the next meeting.
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By-laws of Relationship Smarts November 4, 2009 Article I Membership Section I: Anyone can become a member of Relationship Smarts as long as they fit the requirements stated in the constitution. The maximum number of members in the club is 50. Section II: The members’ responsibilities include attending meetings and spreading the organizations’ message through event planning, participation and education. Section III: Members have up to two unexcused absences throughout the semester. If a member misses a third meeting, they have to meet with the officers to decide his or her future in the organization. Section IV: At the beginning of the semester, the adviser and the officers will have a meeting to decide membership dues depending on events and activities that are planned for the upcoming year. Article II Officer Duties Section I: President: The president is responsible for the overall care of the organization and responsible of communicating with the organization’s adviser. Vice President: The vice president is responsible for communicating with the members via email. Members must contact the vice president if they are unable to make it to a meeting. Secretary: The secretary is responsible for taking notes during the meetings and taking attendance. Treasurer: The treasurer is responsible for collecting members’ dues and the overall budgeting of the organization. Article III Officer Elections Section I, II and III: President: In order to become president, you must be a member of Relationship Smarts for at least two years. Members can put themselves up for election and give a speech in front of the all members of the organization on why they think they are qualified to be president. Members will then vote on the person they wish to be president.
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Vice President: In order to become vice president, you must be a member of Relationship Smarts for at least a year. Members can put themselves up for election and give a speech in front of all members of the organization on why they think they are qualified to be vice president. Members will then vote on the person they wish to be vice president. Secretary: In order to become secretary, you must be a member of Relationship Smarts for at least a semester. Members can put themselves up for election and give a speech in front of all members of the organization on why they think they are qualified to be secretary. Members will then vote on the person they wish to be secretary. Treasurer: In order to become treasurer, you must be a member of Relationship Smarts for at least a semester. Members can put themselves up for election and give a speech in front of all members of the organization on why they think they are qualified to be treasurer. Members will then vote on the person they wish to be treasurer. Elections will be held at the beginning of each academic year, giving the officers the opportunity to serve a year term. Section IV: Once the nominees have been chosen, a vote will take place in the form of a secret ballot. Section V: If a position should be vacant during the academic year, the officer below the vacant position will move up and take over that position until the next election. If the treasurer position becomes vacant, the secretary will take over the responsibilities of the treasurer until an election can occur. That election will occur within two weeks of the treasurer position becoming vacant. If an officer is not fulfilling his or her duties, the members will vote on whether or not they think the officer should be impeached. Article IV Adviser Section: Officers will chose an adviser based on availability, knowledge and experience. The president then contacts the adviser and asks them to step in as the adviser for one academic year. Article V Financing Section I: At the beginning of the academic year, the treasurer must put their name on the Relationship Smarts checking account. “All checks and withdrawals from the organization’s checking account must be approved by the president and/or treasurer as well as the adviser of the organization.” Article VI Parliamentary Authority Section I: Relationship Smarts shall be governed by Robert’s Rule of order to govern the organization’s decision making except when these roles are inconsistent with Relationship
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Smarts constitution and by-laws. Article VII By-law Amendments Section I: During any regular scheduled meeting, a member may bring up for discussion any bylaw he or she wishes to amend. Once brought up, members will vote on the amendment at hand. There must be a majority vote of 2/3 in order for a by-law to be amended.
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List of Possible Blogs for Posting We researched and compiled a list of blogs that pertains to relationships and marriages. This list will help ACHMI further implement social media. Although ACHMI already has their own blog, we believe it would be beneficial for them to post to other blog sites. ACHMI already has materials including article and events that can be posted in these blogs free of charge, reaching individuals who are interesting in strengthening their relationship or marriage. Through public blog posting, we hope that more people become aware of ACHMIâ€™s free services. We also hope that these postings will build traffic to ACHMIâ€™s official Web site, Facebook and Twitter pages. These are only a couple of examples and we encourage ACHMI to research posting in public blogs further.
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http://relationships.blog-city.com/ All feelings are welcome on this relationship blog, allowing individuals to post comments or information after contacting the administrator of the page at: email@example.com or http://twitter.com/relationships3.
http://soulmate-blog.com/Home/ The user is able to comment on any postings on this Web site, but in order to post your own message you must register. Once registering for free of cost, users are able to sign in as an author.
http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/marriage/ The LifeWay Christian blog provides readers with new resources available to strengthen marriages. ACHMI would be able to contact the administrator of this blog and become a link on their page.
http://www.examiner.com/x-2442-SF-Marriage-and-Relationships-Examiner This is a blog that is based in Birmingham. They post articles and resources for people in surrounding areas. ACHMI would get in touch with the administrator of this page and have a link on their page underneath the Additional Marriage and Relationship Resources tab.
http://alabamamarriagehelp.com/ This is a site that allows people to register so that users can submit articles to be viewed on their site. This could be beneficial since the Web site caters toward married couples living in the state of Alabama.
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Radio Broadcasts Although radio broadcasts are not the appropriate medium for every event, we believe that broadcasts can be beneficial in some cases. We assessed the pros and cons of radio advertisement, but believe that the pros outweigh the cons. The pros include reaching a broad audience for less money than you could with television or any other form of electronic advertising, it does not require much time or effort to create a radio broadcast and itâ€™s immediate. The cons include the expenses, no feedback and engagement with listeners and there is a significant time constraint. We have created four radio broadcasts that contain an informational ad, entertaining ad and two broadcasts that highlight two of the events that we have created. To best illustrate our ideas, we not only included the scripts to each broadcast within this campaign, but we also recorded examples to more clearly express our ideas. We hope ACHMI will enjoy these recordings and see that radio is a form of advertising that they may want to consider in the future. The informational broadcast that we included with background information about ACHMI can be disseminated to local radio stations across the state. We also included an entertaining advertisement that includes two women speaking about the benefits of ACHMI, which can be dispersed to all radio stations across the state. The other two broadcasts that are included give ACHMIâ€™s key audience more information about local events. Of course, further research would need to be conducted to find the optimal radio stations to disperse these messages.
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Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative Annual Christmas Event
Total Time: 60 seconds
COME CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS AT KEISEL PARK WITH THE ALABAMA COMMUNITY HEALTHY MARRIAGE INITIATIVE (ACHMI) AND THEIR ANNUAL “CHRISTMAS FOR THE KIDS FESTIVAL.” PARENTS, SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN WHILE MAKING CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS, GINGERBREAD HOUSES AND PLAYING PIN THE NOSE ON RUDOLPH. ENJOY GOOD FOOD CATERED BY CHICK-FIL-A WHILE LISTENING TO YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY MUSIC. MOMS AND DADS, COME DRESSED IN YOUR TACKIEST SWEATER AND GET THE CHANCE TO WIN A GIFT CERTIFICATE TO NIFFERS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. THE ONLY THING YOU NEED TO BRING IS YOURSELF, YOUR FAMILY, A SMILE AND A TOY TO DONATE TO “TOYS FOR TOTS.” EACH FAMILY MUST BRING A TOY TO DONATE FOR ADMISSION. GET INTO THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT AND COME OUT TO KEISEL PARK ON DECEMBER 20, 2009 WITH A TOY FOR “TOYS FOR TOTS” TO CELEBRATE ACHMI’S ANNUAL “CHRISTMAS FOR THE KIDS FESTIVAL.”
THE PURPOSE OF THIS PUBLICATION IS THE DISSEMINATION OF TECHNICAL INFORMATION. FUNDING IS PROVIDED THROUGH A GRANT FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES- HEATHLY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION GRANT #90-FE-0001/04-5. THE OPINION, FINDINGS, AND CONCLUSIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS DOCUMENT AND ASSOCIATED MATERIALS ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR(S), AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND
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HUMAN SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILREN AND FAMILIES. © 2009 ALABAMA COMMUNITY HEALTHY MARRIAGE INITIATIVE -###-
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Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative Conversational and Informational broadcast
Total Time: 60 seconds
FIRST WOMAN VOICE: LINDA- YOU AND BOB SEEM SO HAPPY. WHAT’S YOUR SECRET? SECOND WOMAN VOICE: IT’S NOT A SECRET. BOB AND I HAVE BEEN ATTENDING RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION CLASSES WITH ACHMI, THE ALABAMA COMMUNITY HEALTHY MARRIAGE INITIATIVE. FIRST WOMAN VOICE: WHAT IS THAT? I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF ACHMI BEFORE. SECOND WOMAN VOICE: ACHMI PROVIDES FREE RESOURCES AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR YOUTH AND ADULTS IN ALABAMA ON THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE NECESSARY FOR BUILDING HEALTHY AND STABLE RELATIONSHIPS AND MARRIAGES. YOU SHOULD CHECK IT OUT! WE ATTENDED A CLASS IN MONTGOMERY, BUT THEY HAVE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS IN DOTHAN, VALLEY, GADSDEN, BREWTON, DECATUR, SYLACAUGA AND TUSCALOOSA. FIRST WOMAN VOICE: WE WILL LOOK INTO THE DIFFERENT CLASSES THEY OFFER AND FIND A CLASS THAT FITS OUR NEEDS. WHERE CAN WE FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THEM? SECOND WOMAN VOICE: I FOUND OUT ABOUT THEIR FREE SERVICES THROUGH THEIR WEBSITE AT WWW.ALABAMAMARRIAGE.ORG. BUT YOU CAN ALSO CALL 1-888-4TOGEHTER. FIRST WOMAN VOICE: THANKS! I HOPE ACHMI'S FREE CLASSES HELP OUR RELATIONSHIP TOO. I AM GOING TO FIND A CLASS NOW AT
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THE PURPOSE OF THIS INFORMATION IS THE DISSEMINATION OF TECHNICAL SUPPORT. FUNDING IS PROVIDED THROUGH A GRANT FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES-- HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION GRANT #90=FE-0001/01-05. THE OPINIONS, FINDINGS, AND CONCLUSIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS ADVERTISEMENT AND ASSOCIATED MATERIAL ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR(S)/PRESENTER(S) AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES. -###-
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Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative Informational broadcast
Total Time: 60 seconds
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS AND HAPPY MARRIAGES THAT IS THE GOAL OF THE ALABAMA COMMUNITY HEALTHY MARRIAGE INITIATIVE, ALSO KNOWN AS ACHMI. THEIR PURPOSE IS TO RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTHY AND STABLE RELATIONSHIPS AND MARRIAGES FOR ALL ALABAMA CITIZENS. ACHMI OFFERS FREE RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION CLASSES AT MANY DIFFERENT FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS THROUGHOUT ALABAMA. ACHMI’S CLASSES CAN TEACH INFORMATION AND SKILLS THAT WILL HELP TO STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIPS. THESE CLASSES ARE BENEFICIAL TO TROUBLED RELATIONSHIPS AND FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO IMPROVE CURRENT RELATIONSHIPS. ACHMI SUPPORTS ALL RELATIONSHIPS AS LONG AS THEIR HEALTHY ONES, SO FIND A RESOURCE CENTER NEAR YOU AND GET INVOLVED TODAY. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT ACHMI ON THE WEB AT WWW.ALABAMAMARRIAGE.ORG OR BY PHONE AT 1-888-4TOGETHER, AGAIN THAT’S 1-888-4TOGETHER.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS PUBLICATION IS THE DISSEMINATION OF TECHNICAL INFORMATION. FUNDING IS PROVIDED THROUGH A GRANT FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES-HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION GRANT #90-FE-0003//05. THE OPINIONS, FINDINGS, AND CONCLUSIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS EXPRESSED IN ALL TRAININGS AND ASSOCIATED MATERIALS ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR(S)/PRESENTER(S) AND DO NOT
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NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES. -###-
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Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative Valentine’s Day Event
Total Time: 60 seconds
ARE YOU LOOKING TO SPEND A ROMANTIC NIGHT WITH THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY? WHY NOT DO IT FOR FREE? THE ALABAMA COMMUNITY HEALTHY MARRIAGE INITIATIVE (ACHMI) WANTS TO GIVE YOU THAT CHANCE. JUST LOG ONTO WWW.ALABAMAMARRIAGE.ORG AND YOU COULD WIN A VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER FROM A LOCAL RESTAURANT. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CREATE AND ENTER A SHORT VIDEO THAT COULD BE DISPLAYED ON THE SITE. AGAIN, TO LEARN MORE VISIT WWW.ALABAMAMARRIAGE.ORG. THE PURPOSE OF THIS PUBLICATION IS THE DISSEMINATION OF TECHNICAL INFORMATION. FUNDING IS PROVIDED THROUGH A GRANT FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES-HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION GRANT #90-FE-0001/04-5. THE OPINION, FINDINGS, AND CONCLUSION OR RECOMMENDATIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS DOCUMENT AND ASSOCIATED MATERIALS ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR(S), AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES. -###-
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Brochure The new ACHMI brochure was created with ACHMIâ€™s target public and audience in mind. The idea of the brochure was to use creative techniques to make the pamphlet eye-catching. We incorporated more colors into this new brochure, while still keeping the official ACHMI colors. We also included pictures and quotes in an effort to make the brochure more appealing and simple as opposed to the current ACHMI brochure that is text heavy. The new brochure provides important information about what ACHMI stands for, what ACHMI has to offer, how to get more information and where the family resource centers are located. The combination of a brochure that is aesthetically appealing, as well as informational, will help in attracting our audiences to learn more about ACHMI and to engage them into what it has to offer.
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Cups As another way to advertise, ACHMI cups could be made. The cup would be plain and simple, like a solid color, with the ACHMI logo. The cups would be used when setting up any kind of informational booths or meeting. Brochures and/or any other kind of literature could be put in the cups in order to give interested individuals an easy-to-take informational bundle. The cups can be ordered online from Web sites such as Oriental Trading. They will most likely have to be ordered in bulk in an amount like 20-50. The cups that we ordered, for example were $25 for 50 cups.
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T-shirts While developing tactics to successfully reach our objectives stated throughout the campaign, our group began thinking of products that we could develop to further disseminate the name of our organization, ACHMI. After coming up with multiple ideas, our group decided that cups, as described before, and T-shirts would be practical products that could be dispersed to ACHMI participants and citizens of Alabama.
By teaming up with the store STAMP located in downtown Auburn, we were able to create simple ACHMI T-shirts. Included on the white T-shirt is the official ACHMI logo that we obtained from ACHMI representatives. Although the T-shirt design is simple, when passed out to individuals, others will be able to view the logo and want to learn more about the organization.
We decided that T-shirts would be an item that ACHMI would like to invest in because they are a low cost marketing tool and items that can be given away. T-shirts would be a good item to give to participants during some of the events that we created such as the "Boys Bowl-A-Rama" and the community clean up event "Pick up While Cleaning up Your Relationship." However, ACHMI could use these T-shirts, or another T-shirt design, to hand out to ACHMI participants, ACHMI representatives and teachers, etc.
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Fliers Fliers will be a key component of cheap and easy advertising that will be used to promote several of our campaign tactics. For many of ACHMIâ€™s planned events, fliers could be placed in relevant businesses, schools, churches, etc. The purpose of the flier would be to have a simple message that would leave the readers more informed, but still curious. The Web site and phone number would be on all fliers so that anyone interested would know how to learn more. Although in some cases fliers alone would not be used to promote ACHMI and its events, fliers are always an option for minimal advertising efforts.
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Enter to win a gift certificate to a local restaurant for you and your significant other this Valentineâ€™s Day. For more information, visit or call: www.alabamamarriage.org 1.888.4TOGETHER 69 | P a g e
ACHMI offers free classes for every type of relationship! To Learn More Information: Visit www.alabamamarriage.org or call 1.888.4TOGETHER
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As a group, we decided to enhance some of ACHMIâ€™s written materials, which includes its fact sheet. The fact sheet includes basic information about the organization, how it developed, what its main goals are, who its target public is, etc. ACHMI would send its fact sheet out to possible companies it wishes to partner with, companies its wishes to sponsor its events, venues where ACHMI wishes to host an event and different media outlets. All of the information that we used to compile this new fact sheet came from information listed on ACHMIâ€™s official Web site.
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Fact Sheet •
The Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) is funded by a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Family Assistance
ACHMI is a partnership between Auburn University, the Alabama Children's Trust Fund, Family Resource Centers, Mental Health Centers and many other agencies and individuals at the state and local levels who have joined together to build and sustain healthy relationships and stable marriages throughout Alabama
ACHMI's goal is to strengthen Alabama families by: o Raising public awareness of the importance of healthy, stable relationships and marriages for children, family and community well-being o Increasing access to healthy relationship/marriage resources for all Alabama citizens o Training community members and professionals in research-based educational programs that strengthen relationships and marriages
ACHMI provides programming for youth, non-married parents, pre-marital couples, stepfamilies and married couples
ACHMI offers five relationship and marriage education programs through community partners: o Basic Training for Couples: Black Marriage Education o Mastering the Magic of Love o Relationship Smarts Plus o Smart Steps for Stepfamilies o Together We Can: Caring for My Family
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For more information visit ACHMIâ€™s website at: http://www.alabamamarriage.org/index.php Holiday E-Card
As requested by our client, we created an e-card for ACHMI to send to participants of their free relationship education classes. The e-card is intended to be a little reminder for couples to keep improving their relationships and to let them know that ACHMI is always a free resource for relationship education and knowledge. The e-card we developed is directed more toward the winter/holiday season since it is closely approaching. ACHMI will be able to use the e-card this holiday season and send it to the e-mail list of people who have previously been involved with their programs. The card that we have chosen and created would be acceptable to send to people of all ages, allowing ACHMI to send one e-mail to its entire list. We made the e-card on www.americangreetings.com and the cost was $2.99 for a month. ACHMI also has the option to make an unlimited amount of e-cards for the cost of $15.99 a year.
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Internship Program ACHMI currently has an intern, but we wanted to develop an internship program. This program explains who is eligible to become an intern, what skills are needed and what responsibilities will be expected. Our detailed plan includes both maintenance work and major projects the intern will be involved in. On a daily basis, the intern will be asked to maintain and refresh all social network material. We tried to include a list of responsibilities that we wanted the intern to help ACHMI with to successfully carry out some of the new tactics that we have included in this campaign.
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The Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) Intern Job Title: Public Relations Intern Reports to: Sandy Williams Title: State Public Relations Location: Auburn, Ala.
Type of position: Internship/unpaid
Hours: 25-30 hours per week
ACHMI Background: ACHMI is a nonprofit organization whose main goal is to improve the relationships of couples across the state of Alabama, married or unmarried. ACHMI plans on doing this by: raising public awareness of the importance of healthy, stable relationships and marriages for children, family and community well-being, increasing access to healthy relationship/marriage resources for all Alabama citizens and training community members and professionals in research-based educational programs that strengthen relationships and marriages. Primary Responsibilities of Intern: • • • •
Assisting in the planning and production of any and all events put on by ACHMI Update ACHMI’s Facebook and Twitter pages as well as its Web sites daily Make videos and document events for the website, Facebook and twitter pages Research marriage blogs for ACHMI and post on these blogs about ACHMI’s free relationship education classes, events, tools for having a healthy and stable relationship, etc. • Assist in making brochures, newsletters and any other written material Skills and Experience Required: • Experience working with a flipcam and editing videos • Experience working with different types of social media • Knowledge of AP Style and writing skills • Ability to work well with a team and individually • A creative approach to public relations Education Requirements: Enrolled as a junior or a senior pursuing a degree in communications, public relations, radio/television/film or a related field Employee Name: Date Hired: Possible Partnerships and Co-sponsors
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Our client, The Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI), asked us to brainstorm companies that they would potentially partner with once their five-year grant runs out in two years. The following information explains the companies that we think will be best suited for ACHMI and its endeavors. We have come up with three statewide companies and one local company that would make a good partnership for ACHM. Partnering with these companies would benefit ACHMI and best utilize their time, services and money.
Alabama Power Alabama Power would be a good potential organization for The Alabama Community Healthy 78 | P a g e
Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) to partner with because they are about more than just electricity. Alabama Power’s Web site states, “We're also working to make a difference in the lives of Alabamians. We're involved in the development of our communities, the education of our young people, and taking care of our elderly, needy and disabled.”
Alabama Power is all about the improvement of Alabama and its residents and so is ACHMI. With the help of Alabama Power, ACHMI would be able to get involved in more community projects, have more free relationship education classes spread their message to more individuals in the state of Alabama.
Alabama Power Company 600 North 18th Street Birmingham, AL 35291 1.800.245.2244
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Energen Corporation’s headquarters is in Birmingham, Ala. and is a diversified energy company that operates in an oil and gas exploration and a natural gas utility company. Energen works hard to not only work in their communities, but to also become a part of its community. Energen gets involved in many charitable fundraising programs such as: The Literacy Council Loft Tour, MS Walk, YWCA flower sale and many more. Energen is always willing to give their time and money to worthy causes across the state of Alabama.
Energen is a successful company and a company that has proven that they are willing to work with nonprofit organizations. By partnering with Energen, The Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) would have a successful company behind them that would be willing to donate their time, services and money to ACHMI’s cause. ACHMI would also be able to put their logos and statements in Energen’s newsletters, brochures and on their Web site. Energen has a committee, the Contributions Committee, that would help decide how much time, services and money to give to ACHMI, which would help ACHMI out in their endeavors to teach every individual in the state of Alabama the tools and skills it takes to have a successful, healthy and stable relationship.
605 Richard Arrington, Jr. Blvd. North Birmingham, Alabama 35203-2707 (205) 326-2700 J&M Bookstore J&M Bookstore would be a good local company for The Alabama Community Healthy Marriage
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Initiative (ACHMI) to work with. J&M Bookstore is a well-respected organization in the city of Auburn. It opened in 1953 and is the oldest bookstore in Auburn. J&M is built on tradition and enhancing the Auburn community. Partnering with J&M Bookstore would give ACHMI more opportunities to get involved in local events and would give ACHMI not only a true tie to Auburn University, but also the city of Auburn.
115 South College Street Auburn, AL 36830 (334)887-7007
Books-A-Million Books-A-Million was opened in Florence, Ala. in 1917 and has become the third largest
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bookstore in the nation. Now headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., Books-A-Million has become a favorite to many individuals in the state of Alabama. By partnering with Books-A-Million, the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) would be able to reach more people not only in the state of Alabama, but also across the country. ACHMI would be able to host events at Book-A-Million, post fliers, hand out brochures and most importantly have a wellrespected and extremely successful organization helping them in the venture to help improve the relationships of couples across the state of Alabama.
402 Industrial Lane Birmingham, Alabama 35211 (205) 942-3737
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After compiling a list of potential partnerships and co-sponsors for ACHMI, we decided to create a universal pitch letter for its use. The pitch letter would be sent out to all potential partnerships explaining what ACHMI stands for, its goals for the state of Alabama and how partnering with ACHMI would benefit its institution. At the end of the pitch letter, we included contact information for potential companies to learn more information about possibly partnering with ACHMI. ACHMI could send this pitch letter to the companies that we have included as well as others that it sees fit. We decided that ACHMI partnering with these potential companies would help develop our theme of â€œBetter Togetherâ€? because ACHMI and the potential company would equally benefit while helping families and those in relationships in Alabama.
November 11, 2009
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Person Position Corporation Birmingham, AL 35216
To Whom It May Concern, The Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) is a partnership between Auburn University and several other state and local agencies who have come together to build and sustain healthy relationships and marriages throughout Alabama. ACHMI is funded by a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Family Assistance. Although efforts have been successful thus far, we are always looking to embark upon new educational and promotional opportunities, as well as make new business relationships. Because your business has a reputation of high standards and family-oriented interests, we would like to propose a possible partnership. ACHMI hosts several events across the state that promote couples and families coming together in a healthy and positive manner. Working together would not only allow your company to promote your business, but also make you a partner in bettering the relationships and marriages of Alabama. Please consider working with our organization. Having a connection with your company could only add to the positive effect that ACHMI has on Alabama and its relationships. For more information please visit our site at www.alabamamarriage.org, or contact me at (334) xxx-xxxx. Best Regards,
Sandy Williams Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI)
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Based upon our objectives of further reaching the citizens of Alabama and getting them involved with the organization ACHMI, we will evaluate our efforts through our "Better Together" campaign. In order to reach these objectives we came up with specific tactics that we hope will allow us to reach our ultimate objective. Our ultimate objective is to have citizens of Alabama take advantage of ACHMI's free resources and attend free relationship education classes. Our specific tactics, as stated in the Implementation section include: events, press releases, entertaining videos, Auburn University club guideline, possible blogs for posting, radio broadcasts, a new brochure for ACHMI, ACHMI cups, ACHMI T-shirts, ACHMI fliers, a new ACHMI fact sheet, a holiday E-card, a detailed internship program, possible partnerships and cosponsors and a pitch letter. Limitations After reassessing our campaign “Better Together”, we have found some limitations that ACHMI may be faced with while trying to implement our suggestions and tactics. Our main limitation is our ability to reach every individual in the state of Alabama. Most of our tactics involve the use of Internet access such as our website videos, e-cards and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. There are some areas in Alabama that do not have easy access to the Internet on a daily basis, which makes it harder for those individuals to obtain the information in those resources. Also, it is going to be difficult to reach Alabamians that do not live in the surrounding areas of the family resource centers. Members that live in the areas of the family resource centers have a distinct advantage of obtaining ACHMI’s information and going to free relationship education classes than others.
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Of course, with every campaign a budget is attached. While we tried to create tactics that would be inexpensive to ACHMI, future costs are impossible to predict. Financial matters should only be a concern when developing and caring out event ideas. All other tactics, which minimum to no cost, should not be affected by ACHMI’s limited budget. Campaign Success When determining the success of our campaign, several factors should be considered. The clearest way to determine its success is to calculate the number of people that attend events and free relationship education classes after our tactics are implemented. Another way to gage its success relies on our clients’ ability to implement our tactics. Our campaign was designed to be user friendly and adaptive. Likewise, ACHMI’s intern should track the website to calculate the number of people visiting their online material daily. This includes ACHMI’s Web site, Facebook and Twitter pages. In order to determine the success, ACHMI will need to document Facebook, Twitter followers and Google analytics. Furthermore, after the campaign is put into action, a second survey should be conducted and compared to our initial survey. If the campaign is effective, ACHMI should see an increase in awareness and participation. These evaluative criteria are easily accessible and immediate. Surveys, focus groups and calculations of free relationship education classes attendance should be conducted every six months and recorded to chart the impact of our campaign. The only problem with collecting this data comes from the surveys. When conducting our survey, we found that some people answer questions more than once and some not at all. Similarly, some people are unwilling to take the short time it takes to completely and honestly fill out the survey.
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Appendix A Client Analysis Overview Why does this organization exist? The Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) exists to help promote and establish healthy relationships and marriages among couples throughout the state of Alabama. In order to attain healthy relationships and marriages, ACHMI provides resources and educational programs for youth and adults in Alabama. These resources and programs teach couples the skills and knowledge that are necessary to form stable and positive relationships. What are the organization’s goals? As a public relations campaign group that has met with representatives from ACHMI twice, we have gathered that ACHMI’s goal is to provide guidance for those in need of attaining a healthy relationship or marriage. We have also gathered that ACHMI strives to help couples that are engaged in relationships or marriages understand that communication and relationship skills can be taught. However, ACHMI’s goals that can be found on its website states, “ACHMI’s goal is to strength Alabama families by: raising public awareness of the importance of healthy, stable relationships and marriages for children, family and community well-being; increasing access to healthy relationship/marriages resources for all Alabama citizens and training community members and professionals in research-based education programs that strength relationships and marriages.” What has the organization defined as the issue? Has it been defined as a problem or opportunity? ACHMI has defined the issue of their organization to be getting individuals or couples that live in Alabama to sign up and take the courses that promote healthy relationships and marriages. The courses are taught in family resource centers located across the state to meet the citizens of Alabama’s needs. This issue has been defined as the problem because in order to see benefits of these classes, people need to take the classes to be able to see the results and measure their effectiveness. What previous public relations efforts have been made? Over the past three years, many traditional and non-traditional public relations efforts have been made. In order to reach all citizens of Alabama, ACHMI launched a statewide campaign as well as a statewide billboard campaign through LAMAR. Representatives from ACHMI have also appeared as guests on television shows that have aired across Alabama. ACHMI uses its Web site to inform its audience of their courses that are offered. ACHMI uses a blog, newsletter, news
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releases and mailing lists to reach broader audiences. ACHMI has placed advertisements in magazines that are targeted toward those living in Alabama such as Alabama Weddings. In efforts to connect to teenagers, ACHMI has created a teen advisory board consisting of Opelika and Auburn High School students. Recently, ACHMI has been experimenting with social media such as Twitter and Facebook, but these are areas that ACHMI would like to enhance by reaching more prospective people who may be interested in what ACHMI has to offer. How effective have these efforts been? The public relations efforts that are mentioned above have been highly effective, but with an increasingly smaller budget for public relations each year, ACHMI would like to use social media in its efforts as well as other forms of public relations and marketing that have been implemented. What are its current public relations efforts? Currently, ACHMI has invested in setting up training dates for those who work at the eight statewide family resources centers where the courses are held. These trainings are held in order to teach each worker at the family resource center the basic principles of public and media relations and how to implement them. After these trainings, each person at the family resource center will have the knowledge to use public relations to promote each individual family resource center, ultimately driving more people to take these free courses to enhance their relationships and marriages. What are its public relations needs? As public relation campaigns students, we believe that there is a need for teenagers to be more informed about ACHMI and its purpose. Teenagers hear the word marriage in the title of this organization and automatically disregard it and believe there is nothing they can benefit from ACHMI’s resources. However, targeting teenagers will allow ACHMI to teach them what constitutes a healthy relationship, which will lead to healthier relationships and marriages in the future. In order to reach this demographic we plan to use social media and other non-traditional forms of public relations. What does the client believe to be his/her public relations needs? Although ACHMI sees the importance of reaching the teenage demographic through means of public relations, they also find it important to notify all Alabama citizens that relationship and marriage counseling is needed and can benefit those in the relationship as well as those who come in contact with the couple. ACHMI’s ultimate goal is to remind commissioners and public officials over the next two years through public relations means that ACHMI’s efforts have made a difference in the Alabama marriage and divorce rates. By reminding these official of ACHMI’s positive effect, ACHMI hopes that these classes will be able to continue after the funds have
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been depreciated. What is the organization’s culture? The leaders of ACHMI have established an organizational culture that shares the belief that relationships and marriages can be strengthened through courses that have been developed by professionals. ACHMI’s culture is also one that believes in laughter and a sense of humor to bring groups of people together to learn and benefit. By establishing an atmosphere that is inviting, ACHMI is able to use its resources to help couples across Alabama engage in healthier relationships and marriages. What resources are available to this organization? With ACHMI being a research-based project located on Auburn University’s campus, it has many resources at its disposal. For instance, ACHMI has access to the library located on campus as well as professors who are highly educated in this field. Not only are there numerous computers located in ACHMI’s office, but also each family resource center is equipped with flip cameras, allowing them to record videos and post them online. Situation Is this the first time the organization is dealing with a situation like this? Since the organization formed three years ago, the organization’s main goal has been to get its name out to the public and make a brand for itself. The organization’s main goal now is to get people in Alabama to come to the courses offered in each area. While the organization has been successful with getting its name out to the public, the public is still not responding to the free classes that are held. While this has been a problem over the last three years of the organization’s conception, it is most prevalent now that it has been branded. What is the cause of this situation? The main cause of this situation is the lack of time in people’s lives. Most people do not have the time to sit down and take a course on marriage when they have a job and a family to provide for even when the classes are free and childcare is provided in some areas. Does the situation involve the organization’s relationship with any other groups? Other organizations are still responding positively by matching dollar for dollar on what the organization spends on things like advertising, tickets packages, course materials, etc, even though ACHMI is not getting the turnout it would like.
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How important is the situation to the organizationâ€™s mission? The situation is very important to overall mission of the organization. If people do not take the courses offered by ACHMI, the organization will not be able to self-sustain itself. If people do not take the courses offered, organizations will stop offering its resources and ACHMI will no longer exist once the five-year grant is up. Does the organization have any existing research about the situation? ACHMI is obligated by law to keep detailed records of the results of its mission. It records the divorce rates, the child abuse rates, the domestic violence rates, as well as many other statistics of each year. ACHMI is able to lower these statistics by reaching more people across Alabama. Internal Environment What communications resources are available? Communication resources within the environment are vast, including publications, Internet, all types of social media and video equipment. All of these communication tools are used to aide in promoting ACHMI and its intended messages. What sets your service apart from your competitors? Unlike other relationship development organizations, ACHMI is statewide and spread out. Furthermore, their services are free and are not agenda pushing. ACHMI reading material and education is intended for all ages and relationships of all kinds, not just marriages. How will the services change in the next three years? Although it will almost undoubtedly continue to grow with success rates and attendance, the grant only has two years left. It will be interesting to see if efforts and interests will continue to rise or stay consistent when the money source changes. External Environment How competitive is the external environment of our organization? The external environment for ACHMI is fairly competitive given that there are many counseling and therapy services, especially those based around marriages and relationships, in Alabama. What does the competition offer that you can or do not? Some of these competitors have a bigger fund for public relations, marketing and advertising services. Since many of them are their own businesses, they arenâ€™t under a grant that will end in a couple of years and their money isnâ€™t destined to run out at a certain time.
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What groups exist with a mission to resist or hinder what your organization does? As far as we know, there are no groups that are trying to hinder ACHMIâ€™s efforts. It exists to promote healthy relationships for all people across every demographic. It is not favored toward race, religion, sexual preference, etc. Groups such as the Boys and Girls Club and Project Uplift have been trying to work with ACHMI in achieving its goals and help them out in any way possible.
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Appendix B Survey Findings After creating the attached survey, our group passed it out to many members of the Auburn community including students, faculty and residents of Auburn. We collected 40 surveys and compiled the data to better help us assess the needs of the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI). With the information found throughout our thorough research, surveys and conducted focus group, we were able to choose strategies and tactics to best inform ACHMI's public. Through our chosen strategies and tactics, we hope to create a successful campaign that can help ACHMI now and in the future. Note: The data stated below may be incorrect due to participants in the survey circling more than one answer to a question or leaving particular questions unanswered. When participants in the survey were asked: Have you ever heard of the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative? 22% answered yes 78% answered no Would you attend a free relationship education class? 35% answered yes 65% answered no Do you feel like a class could benefit your relationship? 65% answered yes 35% answered no Are you aware that relationship education can benefit your children? 81% answered yes 16% answered no Are you aware that you can learn communication skills? 84% answered yes 16% answered no Do you know the difference between education and counseling?
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84% answered yes 16% answered no What do you think the current divorce rate of Alabama is? 8% answered 40% 46% answered 57% 32% answered 71% 14% answered 98% Where would you go if your relationship/marriage was in trouble? 30% answered clergy 0% answered websites 30% answered therapists 59% answered family 1% answered other Would you download relationship education resources from a credible website? 52% answered yes 48% answered no Would you watch an online short film on "relationship smarts" if it were available to you? 44% answered yes 56% answered no Do you know anyone who has attended a relationship or marital education class? 63% answered yes 33% answered no What is your relationship status? 2% answered single 65% answered relationship 11% answered engaged 22% answered married How long have you been in this relationship? 43% answered 0-2 yrs. 24% answered 2-4 yrs. 14% answered 4-6 yrs. 6% answered 6-8 yrs. 5% answered 8-10 yrs. 8% answered 10+ yrs. 93 | P a g e
Is this your first serious relationship? 32% answered yes 68% answered no How well do you know your significant other? 0% answered poor 0% answered moderate 33% answered well 67% answered very well Have you ever been involved in an abusive relationship, physical or verbal? 14% answered yes 86% answered no How satisfied are you with your relationship? 0% answered very dissatisfied 0% answered dissatisfied 6% answered neither satisfied or dissatisfied 35% answered satisfied 59% answered very satisfied How often do you and your significant other argue? 23% answered never 71% answered sometimes 6% answered often 0% answered always How well do you and your significant other communicate? 0% answered poor 6% answered moderate 52% answered well 42% answered very well Do you consider yourself to be a healthy communicator? 92% answered yes 8% answered no Do you consider yourself to be a healthy listener? 86% answered yes 14% answered no
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Do you consider your partner to be a healthy communicator? 85% answered yes 15% answered no Do you consider your partner to be a healthy listener? 93% answered yes 7% answered no How important do you think it is for a couple to have premarital counseling before getting married? 7% answered not important 26% answered somewhat important 11% answered neither 30% answered important 26% answered very important Do you and your significant other have any children together? 11% answered yes 89% answered no Do you have any children from a previous relationship? 3% answered yes 97% answered no Does your significant other have children from a previous relationship? 8% answered yes 92% answered no What is the status of your parents' relationship? 57% answered married 32% answered divorced 3% answered separated 6% answered widowed 2% answered other What is your age? mean=27 median=23 mode=22
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What is your gender? 27% answered male 73% answered female How would you classify your ethnicity? 86% answered Caucasian/White 2% answered Asian 6% answered Black 6% answered Hispanic 0% answered other
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Focus Group Transcript Mediator: Just in case you didn’t get our names, I’m Amy, this is Kelsey and this is Hillary. I appreciate you all coming. First of all, we want everyone to get to know each other. Could you say your name, what your major is and what type of relationship you are in; engaged, married, dating, etc. Rachel: Hey, I’m Rachel Murphy. I’m a public relations major. I’m a senior and I am engaged. Mary: Hey, I’m Mary. I’m a senior and a public relations major. I’m in a long distance, longterm relationship. Jessica: I’m Jessica Johnson. I’m a senior in Radio/Television/Film and I’m in an almost a year long relationship. Lynn: I’m Lynn Mullen. I’m a first year grad student in communication. I’m in a long distance, long-term relationship. Mediator: Have any of you ever heard of The Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative, or ACHMI? Everyone: No Mediator: That’s our client. It’s located in the old forestry building. Even though it has the word marriage in it, it’s just about helping make relationships healthy. They teach free classes. They have a teen section that they do. So building off that, does anyone have any idea what the divorce rate is in Alabama? Participant: I know it’s high, but I’m not sure the number. Mediator: Alabama actually has the second highest divorce rate behind Mississippi. It is 98 percent so obviously classes and intervention is needed, which is why we are asking you these questions to help them get information. If you heard of a free relationship education class do you think you would go to it? Mary: I probably wouldn’t take a class. Lynn: If I thought my relationship was that bad that I thought we needed to go to a class, I’d probably call it quits. Rachel: My mom made me go. It was good because you had someone older there to talk to that wasn’t your parents and you can hear what they have to say. And it’s not that my relationship was bad because obviously I’m engaged but I went there and it wasn’t a free session or anything, but it really helped because we touched on topics that we hadn’t touched on before because we weren’t married or anything, but it really just helped to open up other conversations. I thought that it really helped. We actually took a compatibility test just because usually in engagements
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and stuff like that you have to do that anyway. And it also just showed us how compatible we were together. And it taught us how to talk about stuff like budgeting because we had never talked about that and that’s a big part of marriage. Mediator: What would you all say is the difference between relationship education and relationship counseling, or do you think there is a difference? Lynn: I think counseling implies a problem and education is just facts or awareness. Rachel: I think it’s kind of the same. Jessica: Yea, I do too. If you get married through the church you are going to go through marriage counseling with a minister and obviously your relationship isn’t failing if you are meeting with a minister so I think it is just to maybe bring things to your awareness. Mediator: Do you think your partner would go with you to a free relationship education class? Everyone: No Mary: I mean, if it was through ACHMI probably not, but if it was through the church or something like that he would. Mediator: Do you think your relationship would benefit from a relationship education class? Jessica: I think it could. Me and Brandon are just really open to anything as far as learning more. Both of us have wanted to get involved in a Sunday school class and I know this is something that both of us could get involved in and benefit from too. Rachel: And it also helps with, if you get in little bitty fights and stuff like that that are completely ridiculous, you have someone in the middle to say ok you might not want to be saying this or you don’t need to be doing this and this is how you can take care of this, and long distance always causes little tiffs and stuff. So I really think that helps too because you can sit back and think. He said don’t ever argue at night. He said it’s the worst thing you can do because then you go to bed. Advice like that is really, really helpful. Mediator: Kind of building on that, how well do you think you communicate in your relationship? Everyone: Very well Mediator: Do you feel like you argue often? Everyone: No Mediator: What are some little arguments you have? Jessica: I know it’s definitely the little things. We’ve never had a big issue with me and Brandon.
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Last night, he rolled over without saying good night and I asked him why he rolled over without saying good night and he said, why does it matter? Then it ended up being a back and forth and I rolled over and didn’t say anything and he said well lets just talk about this and I told him I didn’t want to talk about it. So we sat there for a while and talked about how I didn’t want to talk about the fact that he rolled over. But it’s something little like that. And at night is the worst time because I was just ready to go to bed. Rachel: Yeah, they say if you are about to go to sleep to not ever get in an argument because then it will turn into something bigger because you are both tired. That’s something you need to hear from somebody else because how are you suppose to know. Mary: Dan and I have this one on-going argument. When we started dating he told me he used to dip, but that he doesn’t dip anymore and I find it repulsive. So for the first few months we were dating he didn’t dip at all. Now, I find out later that he was, he had stopped but he would do it randomly at chapter or when he was hanging out with his friends when I wouldn’t know. Then I found out, and now when he gets drunk he’s like, ‘Oh, I’ll just take one dip; she won’t know.’ So, my rule is that if he dips then I don’t kiss him for the rest of the night. So when he dips I tell him you chose dip over me. That’s the biggest thing that we fight about. Rachel: I’m really bad about calling him back. I’ll just be heading somewhere and I’ll tell him I’ll call him on my way there and then I’ll just forget and I’m just like oh my gosh, I’m so sorry I forgot because I’m really forgetful and he’ll just say something like, you are just like your mom anyway because my mom forgets too. I get so frustrated but he is like no it’s true you are forgetful. That hasn’t happened in a long time, but that’s just one of the little things we used to get into. Mediator: Well, let me ask what you think specifically Rachel, do you think that it is beneficial to take a relationship education class before you are married? Rachel: Actually, we did this before we were engaged. Because I guess, what’s the point of getting that far without seeing? So, we went ahead and at first I thought it was weird; I was like mom we aren’t even engaged yet and she was like I know but y’all are talking about it. So we did it and we really enjoyed it because we just started talking about more stuff. So, I think it is a good idea. Mediator: We’ve talked about communication skills and listening skills; do you think you can learn communication skills? Jessica: I just think guys and girls are so different that if you are in a relationship you need to know how you both communicate. So that if you did go to a class you could say ok this is how you normally approach things and this is how I normally approach things, now lets find a happy medium. We all have different ways of approaching things, maybe a class would help. Lynn: I think a class would be more pertinent in the beginning of a relationship because Will and I have been dating for three years so I feel that if we can’t communicate by now it’s something
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more than just like a new tactic, itâ€™s a problem. It would be more beneficial I think in like the first six months when the honeymoon period is getting over.
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Contingency Plan Additional Tactics for ACHMI to Implement Brewton Mailer Because Brewton is such a small town, it is much harder to reach the residents there than it is in the surrounding areas. In addition, some of the residents in rural areas such as Brewton do not have access to the internet where they can learn about ACHMI and its free classes. After ACHMI expressed this problem to us, we tried to think of ways to fix the problem. To avoid any information obstacles, ACHMI could send a direct mailer just to the residents of Brewton. The mailer would contain up-to-date news and class schedules. E-mail Reminders Another idea that we came up with is to send E-mail reminders to anyone who has attended any of ACHMIâ€™s free education classes. Whenever someone comes to a class their name is added to a list that will make them eligible to receive e-mails that would include the schedule of classes for that month that could be used as a reference. The e-mail would also include any up-to-date news that ACHMI would like to share. Newsletter Similar to the mailer and the reminder emails, our group wanted to update ACHMIâ€™s current newsletter. The newsletters would be sent monthly to those who may not have e-mail, but are still interested in attending ACHMI classes and receiving news updates. Another idea that we thought could be included in the newsletter, is a section that tells a short story about a couple that is involved with ACHMI or has attended classes in the past. The short story would include a brief biography of the couple, their relationship and their connection to ACHMI.
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Speaking Events Another possible way for ACHMI to spread the word about their organization and message would be to organize speaking events across the state. A representative could travel to public forums such as churches and schools to educate members of the community about what ACHMI does and where classes are held. Strengths/Weaknesses Although we were unable to employ these ideas mentioned above, each tactic has strengths and weaknesses. A strong characteristic of these tactics is their ability to help ACHMI reach an audience that it may not be able to otherwise. Also, the cost of each of them is low to medium and could help bring more attention to ACHMIâ€™s online materials. One of the weaker characteristics of these ideas is that they are all similar. The few couples that are able to receive information through each of these tactics could possibly fall victim to information overload. We were unfortunately unable to see each of these ideas through to completion; it is our hope that ACHMI will consider the benefits that could come from executing them.
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