Thats a wrap!

Life is surreal. The fact that we will be graduating in a mere three weeks almost feels like a joke. I know its cliche, but my four years at LSU has completely flown by. I remember being a freshman, from out of state no less, and feeling like I had endless time to enjoy college. Clearly, I had a lot to learn.

In the past four years I have made amazing lifelong friends, created great memories and learned what it is to be a successful student. The Manship school had a lot to do with that. Our campaigns class has been a complete delight, forcing us to make the change from public relations students to public relations professionals.

Although many previous classes have required group work, I believe our campaigns class was the culminating experience in what it is to work as a team. We relied on each other to do our own jobs, as well as helping each other’s work. We trusted each group member would complete their task at the correct time, and it proved to be a successful work environment. I think our group has had a cohesive bond from the start and it has definitely helped!

In imagining what my public relations career would look like, I had not pictured an involvement in the non-profit sector. After working with Playmakers, I may have changed my mind. It has been a different process than I expected, in a positive light. I have enjoyed planning the events and contacting different restaurants to help promote Playmakers and increase donations. There are many avenues to take while promoting a non-profit, and they lead to some pretty great people and opportunities.

Another reason I believe our campaign is successful is the people we have worked with. The Playmakers staff has been amazing, Karli especially. I have enjoyed working with her, she has been a blessing to The Reilly Agency. She showed appreciation for the work and effort we put forth, which made our team want to work even harder. It is obvious the staff loves their jobs, and it translates into what they do for Playmakers.

As I move on from this phase of my life to the next, I am happy to know that I have an amazing education and experience behind me. I am looking forward to all my career and life has to offer in the future!

For more information on Playmakers, please visit the (new and improved) websiteTwitter and Facebook. To learn more about me, visit my LinkedIn profile and Twitter.


Spring has Arrived

With the weather transitioning from warm to hot, it is clear that spring has arrived and is in full force. It seems only natural to use the weather as a clue that it is time to get my act together and do a bit of spring cleaning. Many graduating seniors are starting the usual freak outs and panic attacks at what the future may bring, and it seems mine may be in the near future. So I have decided to take time to reflect and use my work experience as a guide to what I should look for in the coming months.

This semester I have basically held five jobs, including working with Playmakers. It may seem like I am spreading myself a little thin, but I am loving each experience! I have a wide range of interests and my work experience reflects it. I am currently involved in LSU Greek Life, Rent the Runway, Active Entertainment and Celtic Media Centre in addition to Playmakers. In each position I have done work in the public relations arena, helping my decision in which career path to take. I am working on condensing my experience and knowledge gained through these positions to help shape the career woman I hope to become, whether it will be heavily involved in the public relations field or not.

Working with Playmakers has shown me what it takes to promote a nonprofit and increase the community awareness – and that it may not come easily. Currently, I am working on the logistics of The Reilly Agency’s events. We have our first official event coming up next week. It will be a “Give Back” night at Schlittz & Giggles, a local pizza joint. They have graciously offered 10% of sales to be given back to Playmakers. We plan to have a table set up outside with brochures, posters and other information to help patrons understand what Playmakers is all about. We are still working out the exact details, but we are coming up with some great ideas that I can not wait to implement!

We are also planning on having a similar event at Bistro Byronz, where we will receive 20% of the fool sales on our particular night. With the location farther from the LSU campus, we are expecting a difference audience at Bistro Byronz. The night, dubbed “Bistro for a Cause,” will provide The Reilly Agency with the opportunity to engage with the customers and explain what Playmakers is all about.

I am looking forward to the upcoming events and the rest of my final semester. I have gained so much knowledge and grown as a person through my years at the Manship School. I am curious to see how and if the culmination of this project, a different viewpoint than I am used to, affects my professional choices.

For more information on Playmakers, please visit the (new and improved) website, Twitter and Facebook. To learn more about me, visit my LinkedIn profile and Twitter.

Project X: The Final Level

I can not believe it is already halfway through March! Mardi Gras and my birthday have already passed, leaving only spring break and graduation to look forward to this semester. It amazes me how quickly college passed me by, it seems like I was a freshman only last year and I was just figuring out how to survive on my own in a new environment. But alas, here we are in the final months of our college careers, applying what we have learned in the last four years to a actual campaign.

With the success of Pinocchio behind us, The Reilly Agency has turned our attention to the show opening this weekend, Project X: The Final Level. Playmakers has partnered with Baton Rouge Community College on this project, designing a video game and puppets used in the performance. With the recent opening of a movie titled Project X, Playmakers decided to change the name by adding “The Final Level” to the original title. This was a great move to distinguish the play from the movie while adding a descriptive element to the title.

Karli, our Playmakers contact, has expressed worry over the success of Project X: The Final Level. It is an original play based mainly on one character and his adventures from when he is thrown into his video game. I think the play will cater to a different audience with its emphasis on technology and puppetry. I personally have never seen a show like this so I am excited to experience it for the first time. Although ticket sales have been less than impressive thus far, we are hoping they will increase as the weekend continues.

Project X has received some great publicity, with articles in the Advocate, The Dig Baton Rouge, 225 Magazine, Country Roads Magazine and is included on various radio stations and media outlets calendars. The Reilly Agency also hung up posters to promote the opening weekend, as well as passed out bookmarks Jadi made. The bookmarks are amazing, a Nintendo-esque design featuring the necessary information, as well as the Project X: The Final Level tagline and the Playmakers social media information. These bookmarks were passed out at school visits in the Baton Rouge area. The Reilly Agency and Playmakers are hoping the articles, partnering with BRCC and the rest of our marketing efforts will help in boosting ticket sales.

For more information on Playmakers of Baton Rouge, you can visit their website (new one coming soon!), Facebook and Twitter. For more information on me, you can visit my Twitter or LinkedIn.

Introducing Pinocchio, Postmodern Style

As the semester continues (a little too fast, may I add) The Reilly Agency continues to put in the hard work and relentless effort to make our project the best it can be. We have continued on with the marketing techniques I mentioned in my last post, and many more in the works! As we approach the weekend, The Reilly Agency is looking forward to our first big hands-on experience with Playmakers.

This weekend marks the opening of the Pinocchio play. The Reilly Agency came into the picture about a month before the play was scheduled to open, so we knew our promotion techniques would have to be fast-acting if we wanted to garner the necessary support for Pinocchio. We jumped into action, placing posters around Baton Rouge and contacting local media outlets. Playmakers had some previous marketing in place, including a billboard overlooking the busy street of Perkins Rd., which I am lucky enough to see on my way to work. The billboard looks awesome, and is a great way for the community to find out about the play while sitting in what we all know as terrible Baton Rouge traffic. Jadi, our design director, visited a rehearsal for the play and taped some footage as well as a few interviews. She created a promotional video which we uploaded to the YouTube channel. The video is amazing and definitely gives the audience a peek at what they are in store for this weekend.

Articles on Pinocchio and Playmakers were also featured in two prominent Baton Rouge newspapers, The Advocate and Dig: Baton Rouge Uncovered. We were very excited to see these articles published and get the word about Pinocchio out in the community. The Dig article does a great job of explaining the concept behind this play, dubbing it a “Postmodern Pinocchio.” The article explains the  style of the play, Commedia dell’Arte. I had never heard of this style, and I am assuming most others have not as well. It basically means that the play will be performed by masked actors. The play is considered a Postmodern version because it was adapted from the original text as opposed to the Walt Disney version. I believe the audience will greatly enjoy this version and appreciate the new take on an old classic.

Come out and see Playmaker’s Pinocchio this weekend, March 1 through 4! Buy tickets here.
Showtimes are as follows:
March 1 – Pay-What-You-Can at 7:00 p.m.
March 2 – 7:00 p.m.
March 3 – 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
March 4 – 2:00 p.m.

To learn more about Playmakers and what they bring to the Baton Rouge community, check out the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.
To learn more about me, check out my Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Playmakers boosts their Public Relations

As the semester carries on, I am still extremely pleased with The Reilly Agency and the progress we have made. The group has continued with client meetings, as well as group meetings, to strategize and plan the semester. We have received feedback from Karli, our Playmakers contact, regarding our event ideas and marketing techniques. The feedback has been positive, showing the appreciation Playmakers has for our team.

The Reilly Agency has come up with some different marketing techniques to implement. We have already updated the Facebook Page with a landing page that Tara designed. We hope to greatly increase the number of “likes” and visitors to the page. The non-profit was also lacking a Twitter page, which has been created and can be found by the name @playmakersbr. This will be an outlet for show information and scheduling, as well as a way to get people excited about the upcoming performances. We are also taking posters to hang up around Baton Rouge, I will focus on the area of Towne Center. I think this area is crucial in our marketing techniques because many young, successful parents shop in this area. This is the perfect demographic to market to, they are the parents most likely to bring their children to shows!

One of my favorite things about this project is the fact that it is a real client with tangible goals and objectives to meet. As we have completed the required courses for the public relations major, we have drilled concepts such as AP style, the inverted pyramid and Photoshop into our minds. We, as students, get to practice our techniques and receive teacher feedback, yet we rarely see our hard work out in the public relations world. With this project, we will receive media coverage through outlets of newspapers, magazines, radio spots and social media. Karli has already established a relationship with professionals in these fields that we can reach out to for coverage. It is a good feeling to watch your knowledge and education go into practice in the real world, and see the benefits that can come from it. This project has helped solidify the fact that I definitely chose the right major. Karli has expressed gratitude to our team for helping her out with simple things, like placing posters around Baton Rouge. The ideas we have come up with have excited her; watching someone with a fire for what they do is inspiring. I can only hope that I care for my job as much as she does in the future.

For more information, check out Playmaker’s Facebook page and Twitter, or my personal Linkedin.

Welcome to the Reilly Agency

In the semesters leading up to the dreaded “Campaigns” class, the general aura of our grade seemed to be clouded with a negative anticipation. As we moved closer to our final semester, we understood the seriousness that MC 4005 entails on more relevant terms. It is not an unachievable task; it has the potential to be a great learning experience. I now look forward to the class, and view its intense syllabus as a great way to grow as a public relations professional and put into practice what the Manship School has taught us the past four years.

The Reilly Agency is a public relations agency compiled of six dedicated and competent members. Each has different talents, but work well together as a group. I am excited to see what we can accomplish! Our primary client is the Baton Rouge-based company Playmakers.

This morning, The Reilly Agency had our first meeting with the primary contact, Karli Henderson, at Playmakers. The non-profit company puts on plays and theater productions for the younger audience. The company has different programs, from the Young Professionals productions to educational tours put on throughout the state of Louisiana. There are three productions opening in the near future: Pinocchio, Project X and Pippi Longstocking.

Karli explained that well-known plays tend to drive higher ticket sales, so promoting Project X would be both beneficial and potentially challenging. Especially with a new movie, titled Project X as well, opening two weeks before the show. Did we mention the movie is a Hangover-esqe film marketed towards teenagers? There is potential to need to combat a negative response to the title, but we are up to the challenge! We talked about different ways to promote for a non-profit and came up with some interesting ideas that I am looking forward to implementing.

Playmakers does not fully utilize their social media, and The Reilly Agency plans to increase the ease and effectiveness of the existing Facebook and YouTube channels. The company is lacking a Twitter page, which we believe would be an effective tool. We plan to create one and use it to promote the upcoming shows. The YouTube channel also sparked some great ideas with Jadi, our design director. We plan to attend a rehearsal for Pinocchio and film a few clips of the show and interview the actors. Once this is pieced together, it will resemble a mini-trailer that can be added to the YouTube channel and linked to the Facebook and Twitter accounts.

I think our first meeting went extremely well, with each member coming prepared and acting as a professional. If today was any indicator to how our semester will go, I could not be happier!