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The Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop Campaign

Johnny Dougherty Grace Halbert Maegan Moguel Rebecca Rittenour 1

217 Tichenor Hall Auburn University

Dear Professor Fairley, Our group is looking forward to presenting you our campaign on April 29, 2010. We have worked diligently throughout the semester and believe the strategic and comprehensive implementation of our proposal will result in the recruitment of highly motivated minority students to attend the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop. We would like to express our gratitude for all that you have done for us on our campaign. We are very grateful for the time you have spent with us creating our proposal. We greatly appreciate the assistance you have provided us with our campaign, and we have enjoyed working with you. If you have any questions regarding our work, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you again.


Johnny Dougherty 404-680-9943

Grace Halbert 318-613-6091

Maegan Moguel 334-470-7024

Rebecca Rittenour 334-201-2206


Table of Contents Executive Summary…………….…….…………………………………………………...............4 Situational Analysis…………………..…………………………………………………..…….....6 Research Analysis………......………………………….......…………………………………….13 Campaign Goal………………………..…………………………………………………….…...16 Campaign Objectives………………………………….....………………………………………17 Effective Communication……………………………………………………………….……….21 Evaluation Summary…………………………………………………………….....……....…….24 Limitations…………………………………………………………………….…………..…......27 Conclusion…………………………………….......……………………………………..............28 Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………..........29 Appendix A—Budget……………………………………………………………………….…...30 Appendix B—Time Table…………………………………………………….………………….31 Appendix C—Rising Seniors’ Survey………………………….……………..……….…...........32 Appendix D—Rising Seniors’ Survey Results…..………………………….………………...…33 Appendix E—Parents’ Feedback Card……………………………………….…………….........42 Appendix F—News Release…………………………………...………………….……..............43 Appendix G—Public Service Announcement……………………...……………….…………...45 Appendix H—Feature Story…………………………………………………....…….………….46 Appendix I—Facebook Groups………………………………………………….……................48 Appendix J—Video Blog and All Items on CD-Rom Appendix K— 2009 Workshop Application Appendix L—2009 Workshop Flier Appendix M—2009 Tiger Times


Executive Summary This campaign was created by four Auburn University public relations students as their final project for their Public Relations Campaigns course. The purpose of the campaign is to increase awareness of the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop. This is a week-long workshop held every summer on the Auburn campus to give valuable journalism experience to rising high school seniors. At the end of the workshop, six $1,000 Auburn scholarships are awarded to the most productive students. Appendix D shows the results of a survey conducted in March 2010 by the creators of this campaign, that over half of high school students surveyed either plan to, or would consider pursuing a higher education degree in journalism. This campaign will encourage emerging high school seniors to attend the workshop to learn more about journalism. Students who attend the workshop are given a chance to explore the Auburn journalism program, encouraging them to pursue a higher education. We target messages toward parents and high school principals, whose opinions are highly valued by high school students. According to Developing the Public Relations Campaign: a Team-Based Approach, a campaign allows the audience to freely choose among several actions: accepting the campaign proposal, rejecting its ideas and remaining committed to another idea, keeping the same perspective or not partaking in any campaign at all. No coercion was involved in this campaign. This campaign promotes the building of a mutually beneficial relationship between the public, the workshop staff and the Auburn journalism program. The campaign takes a multi-disciplinary approach by utilizing numerous unique tactics. The entirety of this campaign was created by students Johnny Dougherty, Grace Halbert, Maegan Moguel and Rebecca Rittenour. This campaign was created for workshop director and journalism professor Nan Fairley. The campaign creators were given class credit for their work. As you navigate throughout the campaign, you will find every step needed to create, implement and evaluate this public relations plan to achieve its goal of increasing awareness of the high school journalism workshop. The campaign begins with a situational analysis. This part of the paper gives an overview of the client and event (the Auburn journalism department with director Nan Fairley for the high school journalism workshop), its publics and an analysis of the situation and reasoning behind the need for a public relations campaign. Here is where you can find the situation facing the workshop and the opportunities to improve it. Effective communication follows the situational analysis. This section of the campaign explains the rationale behind the message and types of communication will be used to implement the campaign. Next, the research analysis section explains the process the creators used to research the workshop, including its design and participants. Group members created, distributed and analyzed surveys, which gives credibility to why they used certain communication tactics.


The most important part of the campaign provides strategic recommendations and tactics to be used. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness of the workshop and spark an interest in high school students in the journalism program at Auburn. Tactics targeted toward students, parents and high school principals were created to achieve the campaign objectives. Communication tactics include but are not limited to a news release, a public service announcement, a video interview and blog and two Facebook groups. Concluding the campaign is a thorough selection of resources, the appendix items. This includes a preparation schedule for the workshop and its campaign and a budget to implement the plan. Research results from the survey conducted of the students are included in circle and bar charts. Samples of tactics are also included in the appendix items. A thank you letter from the creators to the workshop director is included, expressing their appreciation for her cooperation while creating the campaign. If this public relations campaign is implemented, the group believes that the high school journalism workshop will see an increase in the number of qualified applicants and continued success. The creators of this campaign hope to see this plan implemented for the mutual benefit of the journalism department and workshop participants. Feel free to continue through the campaign to browse its main points.


Situational Analysis Client Analysis Organizational Overview The Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop is a week-long summer camp that brings aspiring journalists from high schools across the Southeast to embark on a learning experience that will teach them about potential careers in journalism. Students are invited to attend this camp in the summer before their senior year in high school. They gain hands-on experience, sharpening their journalistic skills while interacting with professionals in the field. The students’ talents are put on display at the end of camp in a workshop publication, Tiger Tales. Throughout camp, the students take field trips while interacting with the Auburn liberal arts staff to learn the entire process of releasing a piece of written work. They learn to write a story, report on breaking news, take photographs, design the publication and use new multimedia techniques to make their stories come alive. Along with the final publication, there is a banquet at the end of camp for all participants to share what they have learned with their parents. In addition, six $1,000 scholarships provided by the Mobile Press Register are awarded to students who have shown excellence and improvement throughout the week. The money will go toward the winners’ tuition if they decide to attend Auburn.

Organizational History Nan Fairley, associate professor of journalism, founded the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop in 2002. Dr. Jennifer Adams will co-direct the 8th annual camp with Fairley in the summer of 2010. Approximately 140 students have participated in the program since its inception. Applications can be found on the liberal arts website and are due by the end of April. The camp is traditionally held in the month of June. The program is financially supported through the Alabama Press Association Foundation, the Auburn College of Liberal Arts and the Mobile Press Register.

Organizational Issues Client and co-director Fairley sees an issue in spreading awareness to various high school journalism programs. There is a concern with the communication outlets being used to spread the word about the journalism workshop. Attracting students from Alabama has also been difficult for the program. Fairley has a special interest in recruiting minority students to the workshop in hopes that this will increase the number of minority students entering into the Auburn journalism department. Promoting diversity in the department is to be addressed along with increasing awareness of the workshop. 6

Public Relations Needs Fairley wants to promote the workshop in an attempt to recruit the best high school applicants possible. She wants the campaign to focus on recruiting minority students. Ideally, the workshop would encourage students to apply to Auburn’s journalism department, so the recruitment of these minority students would in turn improve the department’s diversity. Fairley specifically said she would like us to create a Facebook page and brochure and update the website and fliers the department has used in previous years. She also wants to encourage students who have attended the workshop to go back to their high schools and tell underclassmen about the program. The first few years of the program, the journalism department designed a T-shirt for the workshop. Fairley expressed an interest in doing this once again since it could serve as something concrete that attendees could take back to their hometowns, further promoting the workshop. While the creators of this campaign did not specifically address this idea, it would certainly be a viable tactic if the budget allowed for its execution. In addition to the ideas that Fairley suggested, our group wanted to explore using other social media sites to connect with high school students since many of them use social media as a way of obtaining information. We also wanted to explore the possibility of including an issue of the Tiger Times, the newspaper that students produce while attending the workshop, with the letters that are sent to high school administrators in Alabama. If sending a copy of the entire newspaper does not fall within the constraints of the budget, our group believes that including a few articles from the Tiger Times would be a suitable substitute. We think that seeing what previous students have accomplished will not only give students the confidence that they too can create comparable work, but that the caliber of the writing will show that high school students are capable of creating professional-level work.

Organizational Culture Fairley says that the workshop is dedicated to working towards bettering itself and that she hopes it will continue to improve in its eighth year. The culture of the organization is geared to the constant improvement and advancement of the workshop itself and of the diversity of the journalism department. The workshop is designed to be educational, informative and persuasive while also being fun for the participants. The primary goal of the workshop is to recruit the best and the brightest of Alabama’s high school journalists, so it must focus on teaching new information in an entertaining way. This focus on entertainment and persuasion will be beneficial to the campaign because it should be easy for us as young public relations students to identify methods that will entertain and persuade high school students. The enthusiastic and accepting attitude of Fairley will also help the group gain insight into what will make a successful campaign and motivate us to help her achieve her goals.


Organizational Goals The Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop aims to: • Spark a passion in the next generation of newspaper reporters and editors. • Introduce high school students to professionals in the journalistic field. • Teach students the basics in producing a piece of journalism work. • Encourage students to take the unique tools they gather in the workshop and implement them in their own school’s journalism program. • Promote the Auburn journalism program by encouraging aspiring journalists to complete their higher education at Auburn. • Increase the enrollment of minority students in the workshop and Auburn journalism program.

Past Public Relations Efforts There have been several public relations efforts employed by the workshop in the past, including a news release containing information about who is selected for the workshop and a list of activities. This news release can be rewritten to include more up-to-date information. Letters to principals in Alabama schools have been sent out to encourage students to participate in the workshop. These can also be rewritten and used for our campaign. A website with an application form and promotional material is also being used to recruit students to the workshop. These materials can all be rewritten and used in our campaign. The public relations efforts used so far have generated positive results. Students and faculty alike have said the workshop has been a success. Examples of past efforts can be found in Appendices K-M. One promotional avenue that has yet to be explored is the use of social media to increase awareness of the workshop.

Present Public Relations Efforts Public relations is important to the success of the workshop, which itself serves as an outstanding example of Auburn University and the journalism department’s outreach efforts. The current public relations efforts for the workshop are essentially the same as they have been in years past. The department still maintains its website, mails information to high school principals in the state and sends news releases to Alabama newspapers and the Alabama Press Association newsletter. Although these efforts have been moderately successful in reaching students, last year several spots in the workshop went unclaimed. The journalism department would like to reduce or eliminate these vacancies, especially since the workshop is free for students. Examples of present efforts can be found in Appendices K-M.


Public Relations Budget The workshop is funded by the College of Liberal Arts and the Alabama Press Association. While the budget for the camp itself is quite substantial, considering all of the students’ food and lodging is provided for them, the portion of the budget allocated to promoting the event is limited. Although we were not given an exact dollar amount, we know that in the past some mailings and a website were funded, so we can expect to be able to utilize similar methods for our campaign. The group must focus on free or relatively inexpensive ways to promote the workshop. Also at our disposal are the resources on campus that could be used to create and implement the campaign. Any computer program available to us would also be available to Fairley when she is putting our plan into action. A suggested budget can be found in Appendix A.

Publics Key Publics The Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop is designed for rising high school seniors, so this age group is the primary public of our campaign. While all genders and ethnicities are welcome, an emphasis is put on the recruitment of minority students, including African Americans, Hispanics and Asians. Faculty hope that increased minority attendance in the workshop will lead to a more diversified journalism department. Since the workshop is paid for by Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts and the Alabama Press Association and is free to students, economic status is insignificant. High school students tend to be Internet-savvy, so we will take advantage of this already established credible message source. We will target high school students through social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube since most of them regularly use these sites. Students with an interest in journalism and Auburn are ideal candidates for this program.

Producers Auburn University provides the housing and meals for workshop participants. Auburn faculty members lead seminars throughout the workshop. Fairley and Adams have been the directors of the program since it began in 2002 and plan to continue their involvement with the workshop. The College of Liberal Arts and the Alabama Press Association provide monetary support for the workshop, both during the recruitment process and while students are attending.


Limiters The main disadvantage working against the program is that most students are unaware of its existence. The focus of this campaign, however, is on increasing awareness of and participation in the workshop. Activities such as jobs, vacations and other summer camps also compete for students’ time and can limit involvement in the workshop. Although this program targets students in Alabama, distance may still hinder people from coming. Social activities are included in the workshop schedule, but some students may find its focus on academics in the summer unappealing.

Intercessory Publics Traditional and social media are our main intercessory publics. We will disseminate our messages to newspapers across the state through periodic news releases. We will also contact students directly through social media groups created for the workshop.

Opinion Leaders Formal opinion leaders include high school administrators that would interact with potential participants. In addition to fliers and brochures, we will provide this public with writing samples from past students that have attended the workshop. Informal opinion leaders include past participants and family members of those who are considering attending. According to Fairley, most students who have attended the workshop have given her positive feedback, so they are also likely to encourage others to attend.

Background of the Situation The Auburn High School Journalism Workshop gives hands-on journalism experience to 15 to 20 high school students annually. In the past, camp members traveled long distances to attend, from as far as Texas, California and Maryland. The program has had limited participation from minority students, particularly from Alabama. There has been an effort to target all Alabama high school students, but due to closing schools and changing addresses, the efforts are outdated and are beginning to hinder the growth of the program.

Situation Facing the Organization The situation facing the planners of the journalism workshop are extremely low interest and participation, difficulty reaching students through high school administrations and ineffective means of keeping in touch with previous participants. Although there are many issues to contend with for this campaign, they can be dealt with within the course of a year. Two-way communication will be implemented to attack all three areas that are slowing the progress of the workshop. Although the situation facing the organization is hurting the workshop in many areas, it provides the opportunity to re-evaluate and reorganize the program. 10

Obstacles Impeding the Situation The obstacles that are impeding this organization are communication and recruitment. Due to previously ineffective campaign actions, the workshop has never received more applicants than the available openings. Using ineffective communication channels has halted growth of the workshop. Growth will not occur in the journalism department if it does not more creatively utilize various media outlets. The lack of use of social media components may have prevented students from hearing about the camp in time to register and made it more difficult for participants to keep in contact with each other after attending. In addition to a failing communication system, workshop attendees are not strongly encouraged to recruit future participants and are not retained in high numbers for entry into Auburn’s department of journalism. We will implement specific public relations tactics aimed towards raising awareness of the workshop and the retention of all participants into the journalism program.

Ethics Involved for the Organization Risk management will be considered in the form of a safety plan for the workshop members. The workshop clearly states that participants are under the supervision of the entire camp staff. An issues management team would attack any problem and handle the situation appropriately and to the best of its ability. In the case of a crisis, all workshop and university staff will be contacted to take proper action to resolve the situation while protecting the workshop members from any harm or danger. Workshop staff will be sure to make workshop members their number one priority during camp. The staff will provide an honest evaluation of the workshop members.


Opportunities Abundant opportunities exist to increase recruitment for the workshop and improve participants’ experiences. Currently, there is low interest in and awareness of the program, but this can be improved. With more than 200 high schools in Alabama, thousands of high school students have the potential of being reached, but they need to be targeted more effectively. If more school administrators can be contacted and they pass the information on, more high school students can be made aware of the program. This gives the workshop the opportunity to receive more applications. There are many ways for the workshop planners to keep in touch with former participants, including e-mail newsletters, a Facebook group or a mailing list. Since Fairley expressed an interest in using Facebook, this will be the first and most useful channel of communication to make the students aware of upcoming events or deadlines. An e-mail newsletter would be best to share more in depth information or to maintain personal and ongoing communication with former participants who are further removed from the program. This workshop presents the opportunity to cultivate the minds of young journalists at the peak of their learning curve. This workshop and the skills presented through it will broaden the horizons of the aspiring journalists who attend and help them understand various aspects of a career in journalism. This week-long, interactive job shadow will advance the skills of aspiring journalists, better preparing them for their careers.

Importance of the Situation This situation is important to address because the journalism workshop is a great educational program for high school students to be introduced to the Auburn University journalism department. Not only does it promote Auburn’s programs, but it also provides students from across Alabama with an educational experience they may not have had exposure to otherwise. The six scholarships provide financial aid to students who may otherwise miss educational opportunities due to financial difficulty. The camp provides a foundation for students to develop journalism skills while learning and having fun with experienced journalists. This situation provides incentive to develop a strong awareness campaign to spread the word about the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop.


Research Analysis Purpose The purpose of our survey of high school students is to find out which tactics are most effective in communicating with them. By completing a convenience survey of this group, we will have reliable results to use as a base for the rest of our communication with rising seniors. We expect that the results of our survey will affirm that our planned tactics will be the best ways to influence our target public. We believe that the survey will show us that students are best reached through social media and are influenced the most by friends and parents. If those are the conclusions reached, we will move forward into creating our tactics. We will use the results to narrow our methods of reaching our publics. If, in any area, the results of our research tell us something other than what we expect, we will reformulate our tactics to match the results.

The Diffusion Theory In short, the diffusion theory shows how information falls from mass media outlets to individuals in society. Those individuals then share the information with other individuals, causing even broader dissemination of the message. In this campaign for the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop, we used this theory to support the communication tactics we developed. Social media outlets, such as websites and radio are examples of mass media outlets that allowed us to reach individuals with our message. These modern-day types of communication allow people to quickly and efficiently spread information to each other. Mass media outlets often have influence over audience members, making them more likely to act on and share information with others. The diffusion process will happen naturally if communication tactics are properly executed.


Procedure Pre-Research Process Prior to deciding the proper research method for this campaign, we used our textbook, Developing the Public Relations Campaign: A Team-Based Approach (2009), to evaluate the most efficient forms of research to conduct for a public relations campaign. According to this book, conducting a focus group or a survey are the two best forms of retrieving research statistics. We will reach our target public, rising seniors, quickly by giving out a survey to the students. They are in school all day, and a focus group would not be feasible to conduct considering after school schedules. Focus groups are also costly, in that we would have to supply an incentive such as food to convince the students to attend. A survey can be given out in school. It will take no more than five minutes to answer. The factors of time and cost are used minimized if we conduct a survey. In our survey, we will ask questions about the communication trends among high school students. We will incorporate demographic questions and interest questions to aid in our specific objective to increase the applications of minority high school students.

Research Process The research procedure for our campaign includes multiple meetings with workshop director Nan Fairley and conducting research in the form of a survey. Below is a schedule of meetings with Fairley and the topics addressed: •

January 20 at 10:30 a.m.: We discussed an in-depth overview of the journalism workshop.

January 27 at 10:30 a.m.: We discussed an in-depth overview of the workshop history and culture.

February 10 at 8:00 a.m.: We discussed client issues, needs and wants. She also told us tactics she wanted to be implemented.

February 22 at 9:45 a.m.: We discussed an in-depth overview of our client’s desired goals, issues to be addressed, target publics and all other aspects needed to create one goal and three specific objectives and desired tactics.

From each meeting, we were able to gather information to formulate an effective survey for high school students.


Design We conducted the research for our campaign proposal with a questionnaire given to 88 high school students. In this research instrument, we asked eight close-ended, multiple choice questions. The questions were demographic, psychographic and substantive in nature. According to Developing the Public Relations Campaign: A Team-Based Approach (2009), close-ended questions provide the respondents a list of responses (such as adjectives or adverbs) from which to choose. While the first question about gender was a dichotomous question, a question followed by a list of only two possible answers, the rest of the research instrument consisted of multiple-choice questions, questions followed by a list of three or more possible answers. The book also explained that close-ended questions take two forms: demographic/psychographic questions that ask for factual information and substantive questions that ask for opinions. Questions one through three about gender, grade level and ethnicity are demographic/psychographic in form. Questions four through eight are about students’ contact preferences, parental and decision-making influences, career intentions and workshop interest and fall in the substantive category. Our group used a Likert-scale question at the end of the research instrument to assess the rising seniors’ interest in the workshop. As defined in Developing the Public Relations Campaign: A Team-Based Approach (2009), Likert-scale questions ask respondents to choose their answers from a list that includes two extremes and various degrees in between. Most offer choices such as strongly agree, somewhat agree, no opinion, somewhat disagree, and strongly disagree. The book goes on to say that while a typical Likert-scale question offers five possible answers, it sometimes offers seven or nine. In our questionnaire, we gave the students five choices. In accordance with the textbook, we chose an odd number of answer options because odd numbers are preferred over even numbers so that there will always be a neutral center mark, such as no opinion.

Participants The Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop is open to all rising seniors across the country with an emphasis on recruiting minority students from Alabama. Of the 15 students who participated last year, five were African American and 10 were Caucasian. There were also four men and 11 women. The 2011 workshop would like to see more students apply for the program, especially an increasing number of minority applicants. The surveys were given to students in journalism or English classes. We collected 88 surveys in our research. We have responses from 33 men, 55 women, 19 African Americans, 65 Caucasians, one Hispanic, three Asians or Pacific Islanders and one person of an unspecified ethnicity. Of these responses, nine said they are 15

currently interested in a career in journalism. The actual survey can be found in Appendix C. The survey results are represented in Appendix D.

Goals and Objectives Goal:

To increase the awareness of the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop and spark an increased interest for rising seniors to attend.


Public 1: Rising High school seniors Objective 1: To increase the number of applications from 15 to 45 for the 2011 Auburn High School Journalism Workshop from all students, with an emphasis on minority students, by the April 30 deadline. Strategy: Encourage rising seniors to apply for the Auburn High School Journalism Workshop and spark interest among students to attend the workshop. Rationale: Students in Alabama have had a lack of exposure to the workshop, which accounts for the low number of applications received by the department. The department is looking for a higher quality of students to apply for the program, allowing them to have a choice of students they want to accept. The workshop is a great way for students interested in journalism to get a first hand look at tasks routinely performed by journalists. Attending the workshop also gives a student a chance to earn scholarship money based on the quality of their work completed throughout the week. Increasing the awareness level of students will provide more high quality applicants and hopefully more minority candidates for the department to choose from. Tactic 1: Create a Facebook group for students who have just completed the workshop and a separate group for students who are planning to attend the upcoming workshop. After the completion of the workshop, we will encourage the participants to join a particular Facebook group solely for past members of the workshop. This group will serve as a way for participants to keep in contact with fellow students who have attended the workshop and share their experiences with each other. Having a group for past participants will also help recruit future applicants and provide testimonials about the benefits of the workshop. A separate Facebook group will be created for students planning to attend a future workshop. The page for this group will include links to past members’ testimonials and allow future attendees to contact former participants with questions about the program. This page will also allow future participants to get to know each other prior to attending the workshop. Most high school students are already familiar with Facebook, making it a good social media tool to use to attract students to the workshops. The groups can be found in Appendix I. Tactic 2: Create a video and write a blog to post on Auburn Family and the Loveliest Village. The video and blog post will be written about a past student who attended the workshop. This student will talk about their experience at the workshop and what they learned throughout the week. This video and blog post will act as a testimonial for all potential applicants. There will also be a link on both Facebook groups to the video and blog. The feature can be found in Appendix I. The video blog can be found in Appendix J. Tactic 3: Develop a frequently asked questions (FAQ) sheet to be sent out to all rising seniors in Alabama and surrounding states. This will contain all the necessary information in an easy to read format. It will provide important dates such as when the application is due, who to contact 17

for more information and a brief description of the workshop as a whole. We will also post the FAQ to the Facebook group pages. Tactic 4: Create a brochure to give out to all rising seniors in Alabama. The brochure will contain much of the same information as the FAQ, but in a different format. It will also be in color with pictures of Auburn and past participants. We can also put a letter from the dean of the college encouraging students to apply for the workshop.

Public 2: High school principals Objective2: To increase the number of Alabama high school principals who are aware of the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop from an estimated 90 percent to 100 percent. Strategy: Initiate new forms of communication with high school principals. Rationale: Since the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop currently relies heavily on principals of Alabama High Schools to disseminate information about the program to students, and students are not applying for the program in large numbers, principals must be more engaged by the promotional information packets sent to schools. If principals are impressed by the materials that are directly mailed to them, it is likely that they will pass the information along to students. With more information about how the workshop will contribute to students’ education and how it could also potentially improve the entire journalism program within their schools, principals will encourage students to apply. Tactic 1: Develop a frequently asked questions sheet (FAQ).We will create a FAQ sheet to inform students, principals, and parents of commonly requested information in a clear and concise way. This flier will be included in the informational packet that is sent to high school principals so that they will have access to answers to their own questions and so that they can provide those answers to interested students. It will also be included on the website for the event and Facebook group pages. Tactic 2: Create a brochure. A brochure would present information in a graphic and attentiongrabbing way. Since high school principals probably receive a lot of mail, something in our informational packet must stand out for them to notice and remember it. If we create a brochure that is eye-catching and informational, principals will be more likely to show the information to students. Tactic 3: Update the current flier. Currently, the workshop sends out a simple informational flier with the application to principals. Although this flier provides good information, it lacks a graphic element which would garner more attention. If we changed the flier from containing mainly text and bullet information to include more pictures and shorter text blocks, the flier would be more effective in getting and keeping the attention of principals, therefore prompting them to show their students. A past example of a flier can be found in Appendix L.


Tactic 4: Update and improve the existing website. The current website is less of a site and more of a single page. We will improve the site to be multi-page, more graphic, and more interactive, while retaining the necessary information. Principals who still have questions after going through the information packet will be directed to the website. The website should have more information, examples of student work, downloadable PDF files of the application and other traditional media tactics currently used, as well as links to the social media tactics we implement.

Public 3: Parents of rising seniors Objective 3: To increase the rate of awareness of the workshop to 90 percent of the parents of prospective workshop attendees, specifically parents of minority students, by the application deadline of April 30, 2011. Strategy: Persuade parents to send their children to the 2011 journalism workshop. Since parents are opinion leaders for their children, we must focus on attracting the students’ parents to the workshop as well in order to attract more qualified applicants to the program. Rationale: Parents have a direct influence on the lives of their children. Because most rising seniors in high school are still minors and live at home, their parents are opinion leaders and play an active role in their decision-making process. When we also focus on potential attendees’ parents, we have a better chance of encouraging students to come to the workshop. Tactic 1: Send a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet to parents with the application information. Most parents are likely to read something they get in the mail. It is also likely that parents will have questions about the workshop since most of them are interested in programs that have to do with their children’s education. The FAQ will facilitate in properly informing the parents about the workshop. Tactic 2: Create a video and write a blog. According to Fairley, most students who have attended the workshop have given her positive feedback. Seeing that other students have benefited from the program will encourage parents to have their children apply for the workshop. We will post the video and blog on Auburn Family, The Loveliest Village, the Facebook group pages and the journalism website. The feature can be found in Appendix H. The video blog can be found in Appendix J. Tactic 3: Update and improve the existing website. Because parents will want to refer to Auburn’s journalism workshop site for additional information, it is important to make sure content is up-to-date. We also wanted to include issues of the Tiger Times, the newspaper that students work on throughout the workshop, on the website. Seeing what previous students have accomplished will show parents that high school students are capable of creating professionallevel work.


Tactic 4: Send Public Service Announcements (PSA) to all radio stations in Alabama. Running verbal news releases on the radio to inform parents of the skills that can be learned at the workshop will play a part in their acceptance of the program. Because the information is coming from a third-party source, the message will have increased credibility. We also know that many parents listen to the radio, so they would have access to such an announcement. The PSA used for the 2010 workshop can be found in Appendix G. Tactic 5: Create a news release. Sending a news release to all Alabama newspapers will prompt writers to write stories on the workshop. Since parents read the newspaper, they will be informed about the workshop through this outlet, encouraging them to research the workshop in its entirety. This will lead them to encourage their children to apply. An example of the news release can be found in Appendix F.


Effective Communication Message Source For the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop, there are several potential spokespeople. The spokespeople that will be utilized in our campaign are the Auburn faculty that run the workshop, including Nan Fairley, associate professor and Dr. Jennifer Wood Adams, who serve as co-directors, and previous workshop participants. Among the participants, we will spotlight David Crayton who participated in the 2005 workshop. He is currently a senior in the Auburn journalism program. Fairley has been working with us extensively on this campaign, and thus she will be the most referenced spokesperson. She serves as co-director of the workshop and associate professor of journalism, so she has a high level of credibility about both the workshop and the practice of journalism. She is comfortable speaking in public and makes time to work with the campaign. Although the publics targeted by our campaign will not be familiar with Fairley, we plan on presenting her in iconic Auburn locations to identify her with the university and the workshop. In her position as co-director, Fairley has significant power over the publics, but she will not necessarily have to exert this power. Adams has similar credibility, charisma and control characteristics to Fairley, with a few possible exceptions. She has not worked extensively with us due to other obligations with the journalism department, so it is unknown how much time she is willing or able to spend on the campaign. Previous participants, including Crayton, will also be good spokespeople for the workshop. Since he has participated in the workshop and actually attended Auburn as a journalism major, Crayton will serve as a credible source of information. His opinion on the workshop will be trustworthy because he is not directly working with the program. He is both young and a minority, so he should identify well with potential students. Crayton does not have any control over the publics, nor any power over them.


Message Appeal The key message of our public relations campaign is that the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop is a beneficial program in which students can improve their writing skills by working with professionals. Secondary messages include that the workshop offers: • • •

Chances to compete for six $1,000 scholarships to Auburn University Opportunities to learn different aspects of the journalism profession Chances to experience what Auburn has to offer as a university

Rational Appeal Our campaign is based on rational appeals. We are making logical arguments as to why students should apply for the workshop. The messages we create will stress the value and benefits received from attending the workshop. The program will allow students to improve their writing skills by working with professionals in the newspaper, television news, public relations and multimedia journalism industries. To support our claims, we will provide examples of students’ past work from the workshop. The Tiger Times is the newspaper that contains stories that students write during the workshop. This newspaper will be given out to high schools to show their students what can be accomplished by attending the program. We will also provide testimony from a previous participant to encourage others to come to the workshop and to support our claims. We will provide a video and a blog of a former participant, Crayton, detailing his experience at the workshop and recommending it to others.

Verbal Communication Our message reiterates its main idea so that those exposed to it are more likely to retain its information. High school students, faculty and parents will find our message clear, simple and understandable since the diction used is not complicated and the sentence structure is straightforward. Students, faculty and parents will know it is important to complete applications when the deadline is fast approaching. Our message is ethical because we emphasize the positive aspects of the workshop without exaggerating benefits that are out of our control.


Nonverbal Communication The presentation of our message includes a logo, music and a symbolic setting. We used the Samford Hall logo in the news release and on the pages for the Facebook groups because it is an image commonly affiliated with Auburn University and is easily recognized by the media. The PSA incorporates upbeat music in the background that is attention grabbing and is in line with the fun-filled seminar we are promoting. The PSA background music also has a rock sound that rising seniors in high school will find appealing. The video blog features the journalism building where the workshop will primarily take place.


Evaluation Summary Objective 1 Objective one, targeted toward high school students, will be successful with the completion of four communication tactics: two Facebook groups, a video testimony and blog, a frequently asked questions (FAQ) sheet and a brochure. The method used to evaluate each tactic is listed below. To determine if the Facebook groups are a worthwhile tactic, we will count the number of people who have joined the groups. We can also keep track of the posts to the groups’ walls and encourage group members to write about their experience at the workshop. Since there currently is not a Facebook group, if there is an increase in the number of students who apply for the workshop for 2011 (200 percent increase from 15 to 45), we can assume that adding Facebook groups contributed to the increase in applicants. A blog and video’s success is usually measured by how many visitors watch the video and read the blog. To evaluate how successful this tactic is, we will count the number of times the video is watched and how many people have read the blog. Since there are not currently a blog or video about the workshop, if more people apply for next year’s program we can assume that the blog and story encouraged more students to apply. To evaluate the effectiveness of the FAQ we will compare the number of students that apply from year to year. Since there currently is not a FAQ sent out with the packet of information, if more students apply when one is included, then it is an effective tactic. To evaluate whether or not an updated brochure is effective, we will send out a survey to students and ask them to compare the two brochures. We will count the number of responses and find out if the new brochure encouraged more students to apply for the workshop. If more students apply for the workshop with the new brochure, then it is an effective tactic. In order to determine which, if any, of these four tactics had the greatest impact in recruiting participants for the camp, we could survey the members of the 2011 program to find out how they learned about the workshop.


Objective 2 Objective two, targeted toward high school principals, will be successful with the completion of four communication tactics: a frequently asked questions (FAQ) sheet, a brochure, a flier and the update and improvements made to workshop’s website. Below is how the success of each tactic will be evaluated. The reason we created the FAQ sheet is because Nan Fairley, workshop director, noted that she often receives phone calls from interested parties with simple questions. The best way to evaluate the effectiveness of the FAQ flier is to have Fairley note how often she receives these kinds of questions now and then have her note if the frequency of such questions increases or decreases when the FAQ sheet is added into the informational packet. If the FAQ sheet prevents her from having to repeat the same information but still ensures principals’ questions are answered, we will know it has been an effective tactic. To evaluate whether or not an updated brochure is effective, we could survey some of the principals that currently receive informational packets to determine what they remember about the workshop, and then we would repeat this survey after a brochure is sent out. If principals can remember more information about the workshop after receiving the new brochure, we will know that it helped them remember the program. Similar to evaluating the brochure, we could also survey principals about what they know about the workshop based on the current flier and see if they know more after receiving an updated flier. If principals remember more about the program after the flier has been updated, we will know the changes we made to the flier are improvements. A website’s success is generally measured by the number of visitors the site attracts and how much time is spent on the site. To determine if improvements to the journalism workshop’s website were worthwhile, we will determine how many visitors the current page gets during the year, and then once the site is updated, determine how many visitors it gets during the same time frame. If this number increases, we will know that the changes to the website were successful.


Objective 3 Objective three, targeted toward the parents of rising seniors, will be successful with the completion of five communication tactics: a frequently asked questions (FAQ) directed toward parents, a video and blog, the update and improvement of the website for parents, a Public Service Announcement (PSA) and a news release. Below is how the success of each tactic will be evaluated. We created the FAQ sheet because Fairley noted that she often receives phone calls from interested parties with simple questions. The best way to evaluate the effectiveness of the FAQ flier is to have Fairley note how often she receives these kinds of questions now and then have her note if the frequency of such questions increases or decreases when the FAQ sheet is added into the informational packet. If the FAQ sheet prevents her from having to repeat the same answers to several people, but parents of potential attendees are still satisfied with the information they receive, we will know it has been effective. To evaluate the effectiveness of the video and blog testimonials, we could monitor comments on the posts throughout the campaign. If there are comments posted by parents, we will know the blog and video testimonials have increased parents’ awareness of the workshop. If these comments are positive, we will know that the blog and video testimonials left them with a positive impression of the workshop. To measure the effectiveness of the news release, we could collect clippings of articles about the workshop from local newspapers. We will stay in touch with the newspapers within a 50 mile radius by phone to see if they print articles on the workshop. We will monitor the websites of the newspapers for the rest of Alabama. We will then be able to use the number of articles to gauge the number of parents who may be exposed to the message. A website’s success is generally measured by the number of visitors the site attracts and how much time is spent on the site. To determine if improvements to the journalism workshop’s website were worthwhile, we will determine how many visitors the current page gets during the year, and then once the site is updated, determine how many visitors it gets during the same time frame. If this number increases, we will know that the changes to the website were successful. We will gauge the success of tactics aimed at parents by asking them how they heard about the program on the parents’ feedback cards distributed and collected at the workshop lunch reception. If parents indicate that they heard about the program on the radio, we will know that the PSAs helped raise awareness and encourage parents to send their children to the workshop. Overall, our goal is to increase awareness of the workshop and increase the number of applications received to better promote the Auburn journalism program and provide journalism experience to high school students. 26

Limitations During the course of creating this campaign, we have come across several limitations that would hinder the implementation of the campaign. The most serious limitations are time constraints and a limited budget. Although we believe we created a campaign that should accomplish its goal, we were limited by having only one semester to work on it. Though we spread the creation over the course of four months, the group members were also responsible for attending other classes, doing school work for those classes and working at their internships. With these other time consuming activities, it was often difficult to schedule time to work on the campaign. Also, the likelihood that this campaign will not be implemented until after all four group members graduate could possibly hinder the campaign. If, in the process of implementing our plan, Nan Fairley has any questions or incurs any problems, it may be harder for her to reach us because we will not be in school and may be occupied with other obligations. While the implementation of our tactics would not require a significant budget, full implementation may exceed the amount of money allotted. If the budget does not include enough money to implement each tactic, Fairley will be faced with the choice of only implementing some of the tactics or scaling back the extent to which she utilizes them. If this does happen, the campaign may or may not be as if it was completed fully.


Conclusion This campaign proposal was created by Johnny Dougherty, Grace Halbert, Maegan Moguel and Rebecca Rittenour as a class project for the Public Relations Campaigns class, PRCM 4090, the capstone course for the public relations major at Auburn University. The campaign focused on increasing awareness of, applications for and attendance at the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop. The workshop, founded by journalism professor Nan Fairley, was created to increase high school journalists’ interest in attending Auburn University and especially to increase diversity within the Department of Communication and Journalism. The workshop is completely free to participants thanks to funding from the Alabama Press Association Foundation, the Auburn College of Liberal Arts and the Mobile Press Register. In addition to providing programming and room and board to participants, six $1,000 scholarships to Auburn University are also awarded to the most outstanding participants. Our campaign proposal was brought about by extensive research and dedication to creating a quality project for our client. During the planning of the 2011 journalism workshop, we believe that if this campaign is implemented, the organizers will be satisfied with the results. We believe that through the various tactics proposed in the campaign, the workshop will improve its attendance and reputation. To insure the successful completion of the campaign, we recommend the workshop’s organizers strongly consider hiring a public relations intern. The materials within this campaign proposal should provide a student intern with enough projects to fill a part-time internship.


Bibliography Bobbitt, R. & Sullivan, R. (Ed.) (2009). Developing the public relations campaign: a team-based approach. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.


Suggested Budget



Facebook Groups Creation Maintenance

$0 $0

Websites Editing Maintenance Blog and Video

$0 $0 $0

PSA Production and Editing Air Time News release Electronic Brochure (Full-color on paper stock) Printing; Postage

Number Projected


Tactic Total Cost










$0 $0













Flier Printing; Postage

Total Estimate, High End = $756.98 Total Estimate, Low End = $688.49

**Pricing according to Office Max ImPress- Print and Document Services 30

Time Table First week in November

Contact all financial donors to inform them of your preparation for this year’s workshop

First week in December

Request a budget from the sponsors

First week in January

Post application with deadline online/begin creating all campaign tactics

Last week in January

Begin to plan events of workshop

First week in February

Send information packets to high schools

Last week in February

Call all high schools and make sure they received packets

First week in March

Send out news releases and public service announcement and put up Facebook groups, blog, video and fliers

Last week in March

Contact possible participants/vendors, etc.

First week in April

Continually check Facebook, Auburn Family and the Loveliest Village for questions or comments on the blog and video posts

Last week in April

Begin formulating all camp events into a cost list for the sponsors

April 30

Deadline for applications

First week in May

Begin to review applications

First week in May

Direct mail and call selected camp participants

Fourth week in May

Make an official schedule of events for the workshop (Mail to participants)

June 20

AU High School Journalism Workshop begins

June 25

Last day of workshop; distribute and collect parent surveys

First week of July

Review survey results and evaluate entire workshop; send out AU informational packets with applications enclosed to workshop participants


2010 Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop **Students: We are preparing a public relations campaign for the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop. We ask that you honestly answer each question below for our research. All responses will remain anonymous. Please circle one answer for each number. 1. Gender:



2. Current grade level:


3. Ethnicity: Caucasian

African American





Asian/Pacific Islander


4. How do you prefer to be contacted about events pertaining to school or summer activities? Phone


Through your parents

Social Media (Facebook, etc.)



5. How much do you value your parents’ suggestions on how you can spend your summer break? Highly not valued

Moderately not valued Neutral Moderately valued Highly valued

6. Which group influences your decision-making? Please choose one. Parents


People you do not know

News Media Teachers and Staff

7. Do you intend to or are you interested in pursuing a career in journalism? Yes



8. How interested would you be in attending a summer journalism workshop for five days on the campus of Auburn University with free housing and food while gaining writing experience and becoming eligible for a college scholarship? Highly not interested

Moderately not interested

Moderately interested

Highly interested










2010 Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop


Male: 33

Female: 55

Grade Level

9th: 5

10th: 12

11th: 43

12th: 28


Caucasian: 65

African American: 19

Hispanic: 1

Asian/Pacific Islander: 3


Preferred Method of Contact

Phone: 18

E-mail: 36

Through parents: 5

Letter: 21

Social Media: 23

Value of Parents’ Suggestions

Highly not valued: 7

Moderately not valued: 7

Neutral: 32

Moderately valued: 28

Highly valued: 13

Decision Making Parents: 40 Influences

Friends: 47

News Media: 0

People you do not know: 3

Teachers and staff: 5

Career in journalism

Yes: 9

No: 40

Maybe: 37

Interest in Workshop

Highly not interested: 16

Moderately not interested: 9

Neutral: 17

Moderately interested: 32

Highly interested: 14

High School Journalism Workshop Survey Results

Parents’ Feedback Card



**Parents, please circle one answer below giving us your anonymous opinion on the workshop and the feedback you received from your child about it. This survey will only be used for the improvement of the workshop.

1. How impressed were you with the workshop lunch reception? Highly not impressed Moderately not impressed Neutral Moderately impressed Highly impressed

2. I believe my child learned valuable journalism skills from the workshop. Strongly disagree Moderately disagree Neutral Moderately agree Strongly agree

3. I will encourage my child to consider attending Auburn for its journalism program. Strongly disagree Moderately disagree Neutral Moderately agree Strongly agree

4. I would encourage other parents to have their children apply for the workshop. Strongly disagree Moderately disagree Neutral Moderately agree Strongly agree

5. How did you hear about the workshop? Phone


Through your child

Social Media (Facebook, etc.)


Mail Face-to-Face

Additional Comments:


Department of Communication and Journalism 217 Tichenor Hall Auburn, AL 36849 Phone: (334) 844-2727 Fax: (334) 844-4573 NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 10, 2011

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Nan Fairley Workshop Co-Director Phone: (334) 884-4593

AUBURN UNIVERSITY HOSTS 9TH ANNUAL HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM WORKSHOP For rising seniors with an interest in journalism, Auburn University will offer its ninth annual high school journalism workshop on June 20-25. Sponsored by the AU College of Liberal Arts, the Alabama Press Association Foundation and the Mobile Press-Register, the workshop provides rising seniors with an opportunity to learn about journalism and utilize their writing skills in a real-world environment. Up to 20 students are accepted into the program each summer from Alabama and surrounding state high schools. The workshop is free to selected participants, including their housing and meals for the week, as well as activities and field trips.

- more Journalism Workshop 2 of 2 The workshop gives students a chance to cultivate their writing skills by working as print reports, editors and designers. By the end of the week, the students will have produced several 42

news stories and compiled them into the Tiger Times, the publication created by workshop participants, which will be a valuable portfolio-building material for the students. “Our faculty are eager and excited about this wonderful opportunity to work with top students in the region,” said Nan Fairley, Auburn University journalism professor and founder of the workshop. “It will be a fun-filled program that will put students in direct contact with leading professionals in the media.” Throughout the week, students will take several field trips and participate in fast-paced seminars. In previous years, the students have had opportunities to interview Auburn coaches and visit real news rooms of major state papers. During each day, students will learn from Auburn faculty, which will prepare them for a college learning environment. “I learned how to properly report stories,” said David Crayton, a workshop participant in 2005 and current Auburn journalism student. “I became used to making deadlines, which prepared me for my classes.” Applications for the 2011 workshop are due on April 30 and can be found at the Auburn University Department of Communication and Journalism workshop at Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by May 15. For more information, contact Fairley at (334) 844-4593 or by e-mail at -###-

AU High School Journalism Workshop applications due soon. Total Time: 0:30




Contact: Nan Fairley, AU High School Journalism Workshop Director (334) 844-4593

AU Journalism Feature Story- David Crayton Approached by the administrative advisor for the newspaper at Sydney Lanier High School in Montgomery, Ala., David Crayton only ran with his interest in writing when he applied for the Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop before the summer of 2005. 44

Crayton now carries out the newspaper fundamentals he learned at the week-long journalism workshop. The Auburn University High School Journalism Workshop is an interactive camp on the campus of Auburn University that facilitates extensive journalism and communication experience through hands-on activities and field trips. “Visiting the Montgomery Advertiser was a special field trip we took,” Crayton said. Rising high school seniors become print reporters, editors and designers who are ready for any assignment that might arise in a high school environment. Participants learn how to report and edit the news while understanding and appreciating the passion journalists have for their work. They spend the week learning about the media from professional journalists and Auburn faculty. In between story deadlines, Crayton established four friendships that are still strong today from the memories of breakfast time laughs and night time movies. Mock broadcast reports, short essays, interviews and a student publication are among the many activities through which students obtain new journalism and communication skills. “I learned how to properly report stories,” Crayton said. “I became used to making deadlines, which prepared me for my classes.” “The experience itself game me a look at how journalist work in the real world,” Crayton said. Crayton learned about journalism, but said he learned more about himself in that week. “My mom and grandmother said they could recognize the ‘profound, positive effect’ camp had on me.” “The camp was a great experience,” Crayton said. “The camp taught me how to become more open to talk with people.” Now writing for the Auburn Plainsman and working as a student assistant in the department of journalism, Crayton puts these skills to use everyday. “Being able to work with the journalism professors has allowed me to gain close-knit networking relationships that I plan to hold on to after graduation,” Crayton said. The workshop sparked a continual, positive change in the life of Crayton. “I learned a lot from the workshop, but I am still learning more about journalism and myself as a journalist.” Crayton encourages all rising high school seniors to apply for the camp with his top three reasons: “You will learn a lot about journalism, you will make a lot of friends, and you get to spend a week on a college campus.” The office of communications and journalism plan to make this year’s workshop have an even greater impact in the lives of its high school seniors. The 2010 workshop will take place June 20 through 25 on the Auburn campus. Food, housing and field trips are free for the up to 20 selected participants. Applications are due April 30 and selected participants will be announced by May 15. For an application and more information on the workshop, contact associate professor and workshop director Nan Fairley at (334) 844-4593 or by email at


Facebook Groups Auburn University High school Journalism Workshop This Facebook group is primarily used to supply Internet users with the information about the workshop. Here is where you will want to post a link to the application, contact information, a description to the workshop, a video blog, a public service announcement (PSA) and any other public relations tactics used for the workshop.!/group.php?gid=117976571546685&ref=ts

Auburn University High school Journalism Workshop Members This Facebook group is used to unite the participants of the workshop, before and after the camp. The students will be able to connect with each other before the camp and get to know one another better. After the camp, they will be able to stay in contact and follow each other’s accomplishments and paths to success in the journalism field.!/group.php?gid=354253932121&ref=ts



this is the final campaign for AU journalism workshop