Millikin students help local organizations with communication needs
Developing a communication plan can help an organization reach its target audience and raise awareness about a particular event, 项目或组织本身. Recently, a number of nonprofit organizations in Decatur, Ill., have identified marketing and communications as an area of need. 为了满足这些需求, the local nonprofits reached out to Millikin University's 沟通 Department to work directly with the organizations and craft communication plans.
在2017年初, the Human Service Agency Consortium (HSAC) of Decatur dissolved as their own standalone nonprofit and became partners with Forefront, a state association for nonprofits and grantmakers. The HSAC is comprised of many different service organizations in Decatur and Macon County including Old King's Orchard 社区 Center, 统一的方式, 梅肯县保护基金会, Webster-Cantrell Hall and Macon County CASA.
通过伙伴关系, the HSAC worked with Forefront on different types of professional development. Forefront decided that marketing and communications was an area that many of the nonprofits needed to improve.
"We reached out to the 沟通 Department at Millikin to see if their faculty would be interested in serving as facilitators for the topic area,莎拉·泰普斯科特说, 福方的全州主管. "After much discussion with Millikin we decided that it would be a great opportunity not only for the members of HSAC, 还有学生. It would give them real life experiences working directly with the local nonprofits on their various communications needs."
Dr. 南希·科廷, chair of the 沟通 Department and associate professor of communication at Millikin, attended an HSAC meeting in March 2017 to gather information about the HSAC's needs. 从那时起，她开始制定计划.
博士的学生. Curtin's Survey of Organizational 沟通 class were involved with the project this past semester. Dr. 科廷还联系了医生. 艾伦Duesterhaus, assistant professor of marketing at Millikin, to brainstorm and collaborate on the project.
"Dr. Duesterhaus' 市场营销 200 class provided a couple students who volunteered to help out," Dr. 科廷说. "The students have worked hard to contribute useful, quality work for the organizations."
The Millikin students were divided up into groups for various projects. One group facilitated two different workshops on creating and implementing a communication plan. 另外, five other Millikin groups were assigned to five nonprofits within the community working on specific marketing and communication projects.
作为沟通需求的一部分, the nonprofits wanted to reach several different audiences including donors, 志愿者, 资助者和公众.
"Since the audiences were so diverse we went with the strategy of helping the nonprofits create a detailed communications calendar, which many nonprofits admitted they did not have,”泰普斯科特说.
Students Tyler Pygon, a junior communication major from Orland Park, Ill.; Breana Bagley, a junior communication major from Mt. 锡安,生病了.; and Austin Mosier, a senior digital media marketing major from Decatur, recently showed members of the HSAC how to utilize the communication calendar during a presentation at Millikin's University Commons on Dec. 7.
“艾尚体育app网站需要建立一个使命宣言, 你的目标受众是谁, what message are you sending to the audience, 你是如何接触到观众的,巴格利说:. "We found that a communication calendar is a very useful way to keep yourself organized and keep track of what tasks need to be completed."
The students showed an example of a communication calendar from the Make-A-Wish Foundation with events ranging from a marathon to a fashion show. The calendar gave HSAC members a clear-cut example of how the plan would work.
"The companies needed help because they either did not know how to keep 志愿者, 保持组织, or know how to go about developing a communication plan,奥斯汀·莫西尔说. "I really feel we gained a much needed experience helping real organizations with the difficulty of adapting to their issues."
Tapscott says Forefront and the HSAC will evaluate the first go around of the communication plan to make sure the partnership was mutually beneficial for the nonprofits and Millikin. 从那里, they will decide if it's something they will consider trying again during a different semester.
"I think the students have a better understanding and increased exposure to the nonprofit sector and specific needs within the community,”泰普斯科特说. "It is my hope that they all saw that working within the nonprofit sector is very rewarding despite some of the challenges we may face."
Dr. 科廷加, “这是一个学习的过程, and I certainly hope the organizations implement what the students completed."