As we are finishing up our last semester and first project with a real-life client, St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn, we have finally had a chance to reflect on this valuable journey. It’s been a struggle, but I would say that we are all proud of the work we have achieved and the awareness we have been able to spread about our client. One of the biggest struggles we faced was timing. In order to achieve our event and campaign goals, we had to communicate with professionals during work hours, which proved to be very difficult given our schedules as students. Finding time to meet with each other was a huge challenge as well. We quickly learned that we would have to come very prepared to every meeting, because each minute we were all free to meet was incredible valuable. In the weeks before we found our stride, timing set us back. However, as we got a few weeks into the semester, we hustled to make sure that we would accomplish the goals our client expressed interest in. We each distributed surveys to students to ensure that we could prove that our work made a difference on LSU’s campus. We used every contact we had to secure an event location, time, speaker and sponsors. After stressing over unknown factors for quite a while, we had survey results, event details and a little peace of mind.
After many meetings, countless cups of coffee and a seemingly endless GroupMe conversation, we finally had a plan to help us reach our goals. We hosted Ferris Bueller’s Night Off, a movie night featuring free food, a movie and a presentation to spread awareness about St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn’s. The event attracted about 45 attendees who now know more about St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn’s mission and value to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Of those attendees, nearly half signed up to participate in the event. Those sign up’s reflect a possible $2400 toward St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn’s fundraising goal of $62,000. After learning so much about the great work that St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn, it felt great knowing that our work helped such a worthy cause.
As another valuable results, our client was beyond pleased with the results. The St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn team continued to compliment the results of our hard work over the semester. It was valuable to each of us to see that we had accomplished work for a real-life client, as a professional public relations team would have done. While that pressure had caused us quite a bit of stress throughout the process, accomplishing professional level work while still in school has given each of us more confidence going into the professional world.