I have worked with the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Alamance County (SABGC) on two separate occasions and with very different experiences. SABGC (originally called the Salvation Army Frank S. Holt, Jr. Boys & Girls Club) offers national programing and childcare for youths between the ages of 6 and 19. It focuses of enabling the youth to become successful community members through having an impact on their experiences on academic, healthy living and citizenship levels. I first worked with SABGC as part of a service learning class in which my group created a PR campaign focusing around the building the SABGC’s online identity. One year later I became their Social Media Consultant and was able to implement the work I had done in 2012.
In my first experience with SABGC, I worked in a group of potential public relations practitioners. Our main deliverable for the course and for Executive Director Sherri Henderson was a campaign (or RACE) paper complete with website mockups. During the project my group relied heavily on literacy writing. Literacy refers to writers who do not utilize those around them for feedback and basically complete their work in isolation. This is not only due to the groups relationship with SABGC, but the internal relationship of the group. The campaign was very divided in work despite constantly keeping email communications. Internal relations within the group stemmed from a separation of interests and unequal priorities. Although the group had five members, only three of us were focused on the completion of the paper and were able to edit one another’s work. This was especially important since our communication with SABGC was restricted to emails.
However, in my second experience with SABGC, I was working in-house and was able to practice orality over literacy. Orality has been the ideal method for product creation because the organization staff is small enough that their has been plenty of opportunities to call for assistance and approval. While I’m independent in the design and have the freedom as their social media consultant to create my own projects, I make it a priority to have approval of products prior to publication to order to learn more about the organization I work to enhance.
Between these two experience I was able to develop personal authority. Although I went through the application process for the social media consultant job, my constant contact with staff members in the past and deep discussion on the subject of website management and social media usage had given me an edge. I was seen as being able to relate and write in the same voice of the organization and write coherent and interesting materials for SABGC’s audience: board members, Alamance County community members, community youth.
The Summer Camp flyers were made for digital and print publishing and exemplify my ability to create projects with little instruction. I communicated with a community member to receive a Spanish translation for the flyer, thereby opening up member basis for SABGC to youths with parents who’s first language is Spanish. The color choices reflected colors used in past SABGC summer products.
The basketball announcements were
In working with SABGC I have been able to learn marketing choices from inside the organization. Part of the communication process I’m trying to encourage through SABGC Facebook is articulation. Social media is a tool well known for it’s easy accessibility to argumentation and discussion. What we are trying to accomplish through the use of Facebook is to determine how the online audience views our Facebook/online identity. One of our main uses of Facebook currently is basketball announcements and reminders; one to two messages are posted per day in order to keep the SABGC on the newsfeed of it’s followers without overfilling the page.