Sometimes, it’s not just about the grade. Those class projects—the ones that make us groan—sometimes lead to bigger things. Just ask Becca Edwards.
Edwards’ conceptual publication relations campaign for a Hilton Head nonprofit organization now has been adopted by that organization for its official public outreach efforts.
During the 2010 Spring Quarter, Edwards enrolled in Professor Beth Concepcion’s Promotional Writing course. Concepcion requires students to choose a local nonprofit organization during the first week’s of the term that they would be willing to work with throughout the rest of the quarter. Once an organization has been chosen, she said, the students learn create promotional materials, such as press releases, brochures and advertisements, as part of a larger media strategy to promote the organization. The final involves presentation of a full media kit presented through a mock press conference.
Edwards adopted Friends of the Children (FOC), a Hilton Head, S.C. organization dedicated to increasing the community’s awareness of the resources available at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Research Institute. The organization accomplishes its mission through medical education, hospital referrals, outreach programs and fundraising.
Concepcion said that Edwards truly went above and beyond what the assignment description called for by becoming personally invested in the organization. Edwards credited Concepcion’s class design and teaching style with helping inspire her to succeed.
Edwards embodies the role of a non-traditional student. The second year graduate candidate in the writing program, who graduated ten years ago with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., balances a full class load with motherhood to two daughters, Ransom and Ruth Love. A third daughter is due January 2011. She’s taking votes on Facebook for the name of the latest addition to her family.
Edwards recognized that FOC did not have the type of outreach opportunities to increase its membership numbers, or the right kinds of materials needed to maximize public perception and fundraising efforts. Before Edwards’ involvement, FOC only accepted members who were mothers and grandmothers, aged 35 and up. After learning this, Edwards developed another membership category to tap into the market of young mothers like herself. She now is part of the organization’s steering committee as the membership coordinator, reaching out to and helping new members get started with the program.
Edwards is also in the process of revamping FOC’s website.Contact Angela Wilson.