Public Relations Strategies for Big Buddy Program

By Frances Baumler and Grant Tarleton, co-strategy directors

In order to carry out an effective public relations campaign, an organization must have a plan of action. This overall plan that determines what a brand wants its campaign to achieve and how it wants to achieve it can be defined as the campaign’s strategy. According to Ronald D. Smith’s “Strategic Planning for Public Relations,” strategy offers direction in theme, source, content and tone.


The first phase in strategic planning in any public relations campaign is to research.

According to the Houston Chronicle, research in crucial in providing unbiased information, organizational strengths and weaknesses, public relations communications tips and gaining feedback.

Image courtesy of Business News Daily

In the research phase, it is important for an agency to perform a situational analysis on the organization in order to better understand the opportunity or obstacle that needs improvement. A SWOT test identifies the strengths, weaknesses, obstacles, and threats of an organization. This step looks at the organization’s internal and external environment and its reputation to the public. Considering the public’s perception of the organization is important because it pinpoints the wants, needs and expectations of the organization’s issue. Big Buddy has an advantage, in regards to public perception, because our research shows that Big Buddy is viewed positively in the community.

Image courtesy of pixabay.

The second phase in strategic planning is to develop a plan, or a strategy. Having a plan is important because it provides a means to address particular public relations situations. Establishing goals revolves around long-term outcomes. A goal that many are trying to currently accomplish is to become the next president of the United States. The objectives are short term. It is crucial to determine the audience when establishing outcomes so that the campaign is communicating with the appropriate groups. Once the goals and objectives are defined it is time to formulate an action and response. This step narrows down the wide variety of actions available to a campaign and allows a plan to respond to different situations. The final part of the second phase is developing the message. It is important to consider what the message is, who is delivering the message, and how it is being delivered.


The third phase in strategic planning is to utilize appropriate communication tactics. Again, the organization and its publics must be taken into consideration. Who is the target audience? What message is the organization trying to get across?


It is important to think of the costs associated with implementing a tactic and determining whether it is an appropriate route of communication for the organization to take. While a smaller organization, perhaps a nonprofit, may utilize interpersonal communication to interact with and involve stakeholders; a larger company may have the means to invest in advertising and promotional media to connect with their audience. Lagniappe Public Relations has found out that often times a nonprofit budget varies depending on the tactic.


Certain organizational media tactics, such as social media, should be utilized by both corporations and nonprofits because of the broad audience range, user interactivity, and low cost associated. Today, 65% of American adults use at least one form of social media, while 90% of young adults ages 18-29 are consistently using social sites. The Big Buddy Program uses social media platforms to reach and engage this demographic.


The final phase in strategic planning is to evaluate the campaign. Once all the other phases are completed it’s important for a campaign to evaluate how successful they were. A big part of this phase is determining if the campaign objectives have been met. During this phase, the brand or client may decide if they need to modify their communication strategy in the future. A brand needs to make sure they use effective methods to measure each of their tactics. Kapil Arya of Ketchum points out that clients expect to be able to see that their money was well spent and created change. A client or brand can expect to spend 4-7% of their budget on measurement. With the growth of social media and the Internet, there are new tools available to evaluate a campaign. Websites such as TweetReach and SharedCount give practitioners access to social media metrics.
The mission of Big Buddy Program is to provide access to positive role models and learning experiences to children who lack these valuable resources in the Greater Baton Rouge community.

For more information, or to contact Lagniappe Public Relations, please email us at For more information on Big Buddy Program, visit their website or Facebook.


Frances is a senior pursuing a degree in mass communication and a minor in business administration at Louisiana State University. She is a Florida native, and is naturally an avid beach-goer and warm weather enthusiast. Frances currently interns for Community Coffee Company. When she is not writing about coffee, she is taking SnapChats on her front porch of her coffee. After graduation, Frances plans to pursue a career in the communications field. Location? To be decided.


Grant is a senior mass communications major at LSU. He loves to have fun and be spontaneous. His dream job would be to host a talk show but becoming a real estate developer will do as well.


PR Research and Big Buddy Program

By Caroline Beslin, Research Director

Research efforts in public relations can be used to measure different aspects of a company or brand.  One of the most important measurements to take is the level of trust between you and your audience.  “It doesn’t matter if it is your truth or theirs, you have to deal with the public perception” – Leslie Rasmussen.  In order to be successful, a brand must be constantly aware of their audience’s opinions.  People base most of their purchasing decisions on what they hear from others.  A brand’s ultimate measure of achievement is gaining their customers trust.

Image courtesy of Space Coast FPRA


As public relations professionals, it is our job to maintain a positive image of the company, individual, or entity that we represent.  We have to look at the whole picture to see how a brand is perceived.  Trust leads to financial success.  If a brand wants to make changes that will affect their audience; it would be wise to conduct research to see how customers would possible react.  Paine Publishing discusses a trust measurement checklist that will help you determine the necessary steps to take with your research.   

Image courtesy of Heinz Marketing

Netflix underwent changes in their pricing options in 2011.  They did not give their customers fair warning before they changed the prices of their online streaming service and DVD home delivery service.  The move was poorly received, and if Netflix had done their research they could have avoided not only the trust issues that ensued, but financial problems as well.  

As mentioned earlier, it is  important to know your audience.  Netflix’s appeal was their low price, immediacy, and wide range of movie options.  When they altered the expected $10 a month service, Netflix lost the trust of their customers.  Not only was this a poor use of communication, but they also did not adequately relay the meaning for this decision and the value it would bring to the service.  Netflix tried to make the focus on their loss and their rising expenses.  The customer should always be considered.

Public relations research is a valuable tool for all PR professionals to use.  Research helps to gain a clear view of your image and to understand what is and isn’t working for your company.  Netflix should have done more extensive research to gain an understanding of how their customers react to upcoming changes.  Modifications will always be made in business, but it is important to tread those waters lightly.  So much relies on the success of a company, and ignoring the proven effects of research will only lead to turmoil.  

The mission of Big Buddy Program is to provide access to positive role models and learning experiences to children who lack these valuable resources in the Greater Baton Rouge community.

For more information, or to contact Lagniappe Public Relations, please email us at For more information on Big Buddy Program, visit their website or Facebook.


Caroline Beslin is a senior studying mass communication at Louisiana State University.  She hopes to pursue a career in public relations in the New Orleans area after graduation.  Caroline is an avid runner and enjoys competing in races across the south.  She would love to one day combine her love of meeting new people, hearing their stories, and learning from others to create meaningful work in the PR world- while still having the time to bake the perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies.


PR Writing and Big Buddy Program

Written by Laura Aviles, Writing Director

PR professionals are groomed to be effective communicators. Perhaps our most valued skill set is writing. We have to be able use concise and creative words to persuade our audiences. Even though technology is constantly changing, writing is one form of communication that stays constant.

Image courtesy of Is For Profit

“Writing is an essential aspect of our industry, because it is the way we communicate with our key publics.”- Memorie Bailey

Many students do not realize how much writing goes into PR (I was one of those students). All the different rules that have to be memorized can be pretty intimidating. At first, it may seem like a turn off, but with plenty of practice, anyone can become an amazing writer and communicator. By the time PR students are ready to graduate, they have become masters of AP Style, inverted pyramid and press releases.

Image courtesy of

It is important to stress how essential AP Style is in PR writing. AP Style allows audiences to easily understand content. Below are some examples of AP Style rules courtesy of PR Daily:

  • Farther, further: Farther refers to physical distance; further refers to an extension of time or degree.
  • Numbers: Write out integers one through nine; use figures for 10 and higher. Spell out a number if it starts a sentence (unless it’s a year, such as 2014).
  • Months and seasons: When using a month with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec., and spell out when using alone or with only the year. The seasons—winter, spring, summer, autumn/fall—are not capitalized.
  • Dates and times: Write dates as June 4 and not June 4th and times as 9 a.m. rather than 9:00 AM. Always be careful with EDT vs. EST; simply using ET is a handy failsafe.

Nonprofit organizations, like Big Buddy Program, need to be mindful of how they communicate with their audience. According to Network for Good, nonprofits need to make sure that their writing is newsworthy. Nonprofits have to ensure that their writing is captivating enough to attract more people to the organization.

The mission of Big Buddy Program is to provide access to positive role models and learning experiences to children who lack these valuable resources in the Greater Baton Rouge community.

For more information, or to contact Lagniappe Public Relations, please email us at For more information on Big Buddy Program, visit their website or Facebook.


Laura Avilés is currently a senior at Louisiana State University majoring in public relations and minoring in business administration and art history. She is a native New Orleanian and a very proud Puerto Rican and Spaniard. She is a lover of all things art, soccer, travel, music and fashion. Her current life goal is to find a PR job in London.

Stewardship and Client Relations with Big Buddy Program

We have always heard that it takes two to tango, and the field of public relations is no exception. From devising a marketing content calendar to sustaining mutually beneficial relationships, all public relations practitioners should focus on one fundamental aspect: client relations 

Image courtesy of Lambton College

Whether you work in an agency, corporate office, or nonprofit, stewardship should remain at the forefront of all tasks. After all, public relations essentially revolves around the fostering of relationships.

“Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” Bill Bernbach , advertising pioneer and founder of DDB

Thus, this fast-paced, multi-faceted field relies heavily on the cultivation of stewardship and client relations. Although you may contribute an abundance of objectives, tactics and strategies for your organization, the relationship component proves to be the most invaluable. Forbes effectively outlines this in its “7 Best Practices for Building Client Relations.”

  1. Be patient with new relationships
  2. Get to know their industry and company
  3. Go the extra mile
  4. Treat every client as your most important
  5. Respond promptly
  6. Be more than an email address
  7. Always summarize the next steps


These best practices perfectly coincide with working for a nonprofit organization. It is vital for all public relations members to gain efficient knowledge on the nonprofit’s mission, respond quickly and with respect, and treat them on an equal basis along your other agency and corporate clients.

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Image courtesy of Ink House


The biggest take away from the Forbes article in relation to nonprofit work, however, derives from being more than an email account. Due to firsthand experience with Big Buddy Program, Lagniappe Public Relations has realized that face-to-face contact with nonprofits definitely adds that “lagniappe” to your client relations. By immersing yourself in the nonprofit’s mission and culture, you can identify more easily with the brand; thus, making your work as a public relations professional more meaningful.

The mission of Big Buddy Program is to provide access to positive role models and learning experiences to children who lack these valuable resources in the Greater Baton Rouge community.

For more information, or to contact Lagniappe Public Relations, please email us at For more information on Big Buddy Program, visit their website or Facebook.


Erinn Sala is currently a senior pursuing a dual-degree in mass communication and history at Louisiana State University. She plans to further her education by obtaining her MBA after graduation. Erinn currently interns for Visit Baton Rouge and LSU Executive Education. She enjoys Louisiana Saturday nights in Tiger Stadium and runs around the University Lakes. Erinn is a Show Me Your Mumu enthusiast and an avid Netflix watcher.