Perks of the Nonprofit World

By: McKennah Robinson, @kennmilli

Nonprofits Matter Logo 2 on white (larger)

When looking for internships, narrowing down your choices often doesn’t come until you have a solid list of places to apply to. The questions we all ask is ‘What will be the most beneficial?’ I’m willing to bet that most of us would say corporate or a PR agency. Not as many of us look at the world of nonprofits as being a great place for interns to go. But, there are many perks that can make saying ‘yes’ to a nonprofit worth your while.

Perk #1: We generally don’t know a whole lot about the non-profit world.

In class, we lean very heavily on corporate or firm marketing and PR. Most of us have probably even taken networking trips to firms or companies. It is phenomenal that we all have this breadth of knowledge about the strategic communication world, but stepping away from our comfort zone of agency and corporate PR, and into a murky area of non-profit, may bring great rewards. I personally love to learn, so taking an internship with a nonprofit is an exciting and logical next step for my education.

Perk #2: It feels good to know you’re part of something bigger.

In a giant company, it can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day tasks. Sometimes, we complete tasks in PR and never get to see the bigger picture. In a non-profit, everything the members do is essential to keeping the organization afloat. Every press release or blog post that a nonprofit puts out is crucial to keeping followers updated on how the organization is doing. In a non-profit, no one is expendable and they need all hands on deck.

Perk #3: We should all strive to be a little more altruistic.

Being selfless is one of the most undermined values. It shows dedication and compassion — both of which are key traits in a world that has become so impersonal. Giving back feels good, great even, and is a quality that most employers look for in potential employees. Knowing that you’re helping make a difference in the world is an unparalleled feeling.

This list just barely scrapes the tip of the iceberg on why it is a right decision to take your PR talents to the nonprofit world. Even if this isn’t for you, I challenge us all to broaden our horizons and look into internships that are outside of our comfort zone.

Bob Evans and Up ’til Dawn collaborate for a good cause

By Samantha Caulfield                                                                                                                                                                   Associate, ImPRessions account


ImPRessions’ Bob Evans and Up ’til Dawn accounts are proud to announce an exciting collaborative event. The two accounts are coming together to to promote the “Up ’til Dawn 5k, Helping St. Jude One Step at a Time.” All proceeds from the race will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The Up ’til Dawn account wanted to host the 5k to help with fund raising. At St. Jude no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay according to their website. The account invited Bob Evans to help with promotion and add an extra appeal for participants.

“This will provide some great advertising for the Bob Evans restaurant down here in Athens,” said Rachel Csaszar, Bob Evans account executive.

The accounts are also excited to announce that DJ Pro Bono will be at the end of the race, helping the participants through the last stretch to the finish line.

The race will be May 22 starting at 10 a.m. at Ping Recreation Center. The race will finish at the Walter Hall lawn where a breakfast buffet will be provided by Bob Evans. Registration is $15 which includes a t-shirt and the breakfast buffet. To register email Checks can be dropped off to 111 Irvine Hall, on West Green.

For more information see the Facebook event “St. Jude 5k with Bob Evans Buffet” or find them on Twitter with the hashtag #stjude5k.

ImPRessions invites community to “ButtOut”

By Sydney Cologie                                                                                                                                                                       Associate, ImPRessions account

The ButtOut Ohio account hosted "A Night Out to ButtOut: Salsa Dance Night" to raise awareness for the Ohio Department of Health campaign.

A Salsa dancing themed event was held by ImPRessions’ ButtOut Ohio account at The Pigskin Sports Bar and Grill last Wednesday, April 27 from 8 p.m to 11 p.m.

The goals for the event were just one piece of the puzzle to their larger campaign goals. The ImPRessions account aims to make ButtOut Ohio a widely known program and inform students of the resource. “Our goal is to make ButtOut Ohio known on campus.  It is a state-wide campaign, but if we can at least get it known here that would be a good start,” said Andrea Harless, account executive.

ButtOut Ohio is a fairly new program for the Ohio Department of Health, so ImPRessions needed to take the first steps for the campaign to get noticed on the Ohio University campus. The account’s challenge is to create awareness of the campaign in order to reach out to the rest of Ohio and consequently encourage the Department of Health to put more funding into the program.

The event was packed with food, contests, music and sombreros. “We had a lot of people dancing, participating in contests and actively asking questions about ButtOut Ohio. We had slides on one of the TV screens that had smoking facts on them which was a hit,” Harless said.

Local and well know Dj iShine kept the event feeling modern and upbeat. Along with the salsa music playing periodically, there was a good mix that kept people enjoying themselves. There was also free food, that was delicious I might add, and drink specials that were being served throughout the night. There were a variety of contests taking place, such as the best salsa contest and a game of limbo. There were also contests that pertained to the LGBT related smoking facts that were being shown on the TV, with a chance to win a prize.

Despite the crazy storm that took place that night, it did not keep ImPressions’ ButtOut Ohio account from having a positive attitude. Harless the said that although the turnout was not what she anticipated the quality was fantastic and many people were recognizing the smoking problems within the LGBT community. Overall the event was a success.

Alden Open invites Athens community to explore and enjoy

By Myranda Owca                                                                                                                                                                     Associate, ImPRessions account

Ohio University students prepare to putt into a fourth floor hole at the first annual Alden Open Golf Tournament

Last Friday Alden Library held the first annual Alden Open Mini Golf Tournament. Alden’s third through sixth floors were filled with parents, kids and Ohio University students having fun while putt-putting through the eighteen holes from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

“Our main goal for the event was to raise awareness to students,­ and to get students to come into the library and check out the different floors,” said Nina Bressau, co-account executive of the University Libraries account.

Door prizes included tickets to the B.o.B. Concert, tickets to two Cleveland Browns pre-season games in Aug, and various gift cards along with numerous other things.

“The event went great I thought,” said mini-golfer Jessica Newton. “It was all very family friendly and a great environment to relax on a Friday.”

The event was a success and the mini-golfers agreed. All enjoyed spending time with loved ones and close friends while wandering through the floors exploring freely as they played.

Participation cost $10 per person or $50 for a team. Teams could pre-register online or simply walk in. The course wound through book shelves and even down the stairs for the eighteenth hole. The Alden Open had delicious pizza and refreshments for the participants. There was also a chance to get your picture professionally taken with your team before you started to play.

Bressau said, “I think the event went well. The students who played seemed to have a really good time. However, we are now coming up with strategies to make it more successful next year.”

Campaign Spotlight: Athens County Humane Society

By Carly Damman                                                                                                                                                                        Associate, ImPRessions account

Melvin was found this past summer and is around six months old. PHOTO PROVIDED BY THE ATHENS COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY

The Athens County Humane Society account recently finished raising awareness for Spay Day. National Spay Day was Tuesday, February 22 and is a national campaign with The Humane Society of the United States. Spay Day inspires people to spay or neuter their pets as a way to reduce the number of homeless pets who must be put to sleep. The ACHS ImPRessions account hosted an open-mic night called “Sing and Stand-Up for Spay Day” at the Front Room Thursday, March 3 to raise local awareness for Spay Day.

The event began with an opening act from New Chords on the Block and about six other acts went up on stage. Anyone was welcome to showcase their talents which ranged from stand-up comedy to singing performances. The account also sold paper hearts for one dollar to support the Athens County Humane Society. People could write a special message to a pet on the heart to be hung up in the State Street Market.

Athens County Humane Society account executive, Brittany Lambert, said the event was a success. The account has yet to come up with a final tally on the donations raised. Overall the performers were entertaining and the event was a success.

You can check out pictures and videos from “Sing and Stand-Up for Spay Day” at the Athens County Humane Society Facebook page. The videos include two performances of the night including New Chords on the Block. Spay Day was the Athens County Humane Society ImPRessions account’s biggest event of the quarter. They raised money for ACHS by holding an event at Donkey Coffee and helping out with a pet calendar contest.

Up Til Dawn is on the Move

By Amanda Stefanik                                                                                                                                                                Associate, OHIO Performing Arts Series

Up Til Dawn account members have been working hard throughout fall quarter to plan, promote, and publicize their upcoming event to raise awareness about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

During fall quarter, account members primarily focused on planning OhioMoves. OhioMoves is Up Til Dawn’s letter-sending party, which will take place on Feb. 27. Account members have been making contacts to host or perform at the event.

Another area that Up Til Dawn focused a large amount of time on fall quarter was the creation of a YouTube video to publicize OhioMoves.  Up Til Dawn co-account executive Colleen Veeley said the account members are creating the video with a specific goal in mind. “Our goal has been to create a YouTube video that will inspire performers at the event and people who are choosing to sign up as a team,” Veeley said.

The account members have recorded four entertainers for the video, one of them being the OU Tapcats. The Up Til Dawn members are currently working on editing the video, which is set to be completed by week four of winter quarter.

The account members also worked to raise awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by passing out “50 Names Fast” forms. The form is for people to write addresses of 50 friends and family members. Then, those people will be sent a letter asking them to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Up Til Dawn members have continued to plan for OhioMoves over winter intersession. “Over the break, team members are contacting national companies for sponsorship of the event,” Veeley said. “Since we are communicating with them earlier, I expect more donations to St. Jude.”

The account members have a lot lined up for winter quarter. Veeley said that it will be their “busiest and most important quarter.” Along with launching the YouTube video for OhioMoves, the account members will continue to promote it.

After the video launches they will focus on the OhioMoves event itself by trying to register as many teams as possible. Veeley said, “Our goal is 200 people and we will be raising money for a prize for the best performer at the event.”

Lasting ImPRessions

By Kylie Whittaker                                                                                                                                                                               Associate, Athens County Humane Society

Rustling through my things in my cramped dorm room, the nerves began to set in. I had already attended the larger ImPRessions meeting during which we were introduced to the many accounts. Luckily I was placed into my first choice, the Athens County Humane Society. Now, I was on my way to the first meeting with my fellow Humane Society account members, not at all knowing what to expect.

I was the fourth or fifth person to enter the room. I was apprehensive, nervous, excited and unsure if I was ready to embark on this task I had brought upon myself. It was the beginning of my first quarter at Ohio University and my first experience with a student organization. Needless to say, it was new ground.

By the time the meeting began there were about twelve students sitting around a square table. We introduced ourselves, shared some personal history, and then tossed around some ideas of how we could most effectively execute our tasks throughout the quarter. As the meeting took shape, my nerves eased and excitement took over. We were all here, working together for one of the best student-run public relations firms in the country, and it was going to be a great experience.

Throughout fall quarter, my account helped plan the ACHS Centennial Celebration, a Halloween event for Friendly Paws Pet Supplies and Grooming and began work on the ACHS calendar. Our weekly meetings laid out our tasks to be completed for the next meeting.

Each member was given a job title, and mine was Multimedia Director. My job was to run the ACHS YouTube account, where we plan to post “Pet profiles” of animals in need of adoption. I took pictures at both of our events and wrote blogs for the ACHS website. Account members also took turns writing press releases which was a first-time experience for most. I was getting my first taste of real-life public relations and it was only my first quarter with ImPRessions. (Check out the ACHS YouTube channel, set to be launched winter quarter 2011.)

Going to college to get an education is a funny thing. The degree is what we are after, but in the end, it is experience that gets us ahead. Plenty of experience is readily available on the Ohio University campus, waiting for anyone who has the initiative to explore it.

ImPRessions is not a class room, lecture hall and does not involve note taking. It is action, networking and real public relations work. I not only got a sense of what my career in PR could be, but I also gained an irreplaceable foundation on which I am building my public relations skill set.

One extremely valuable aspect of ImPRessions, and any student organization for that matter, is the interaction between the students involved. Within ImPRessions, I met some of my closest friends and fellow aspiring Scripps applicants. Without these people, applying to one of the best journalism schools in the nation would have been terribly intimidating.

My interaction with Journalism school students and those planning to apply brought a confidence in myself and the choices I was making. I have no doubt that joining ImPRessions was the best choice I made fall quarter of 2010, and the personal and tangible benefits are more than I could have imagined.