Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Bateman experience

For the third time, I'm advising UGA's Bateman team. The client this year is Family Caregiving 101, which is basically a Web site for caregivers, a corporate social responsibility initiative for a pharmaceutical company. The primary goals given to us were promoting the site and getting helpful information out to caregivers. I selected the team following a competitive application and interview process.

PRSSA designates February as the "event" month--all events have to take place by the 28th. We've been silent in the finest PR tradition of guarding our campaign secrets. But with only a week to go, we figure it's safe to start talking.

What I truly love about this group is that they're stretching themselves to learn on behalf of their client and their team. Nikki, who knew nothing about Web design, created a new Web site for the local campaign. Molly, selected primarily for her media relations expertise, is asking herself tough questions about measuring PR success. Kaitlyn, who's not a big fan of graphic design, did most of the work on layouts for flyers, bus cards and other items. But she's wondering about blogging as a tool for caregivers. Anna, queen of marketing and PR research, turns out to have a crafty bent (FC101 magnets, anyone?). Janna, who set out to be "the glue that holds the team together," is not only keeping the team organized but also has shown a creative flair in coming up with the team's slogan/rallying cry.

Each time I've advised a team, I've told them that trying to win the competition is only part of their task. This group has taken that message to heart: they're educating people about an important issue, and they're developing important skills, not the least of which is teamwork.

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"More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given" --Bertrand Russell

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