LPR’s Service Learning Experience with Big Buddy Program- Video Blog

By Laura Avilés, Writing Director

This campaigns course has given us the experience of a lifetime. Lagniappe Public Relations had the opportunity to work with Big Buddy Program, a great nonprofit that works to improve the lives of the youth in Baton Rouge.

We were fortunate enough to experience Big Buddy first hand through service learning. According to Fayetteville State University , service learning is a “teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.” Working for an organization such as Big Buddy has been a humbling experience. We were able to volunteer at various Big Buddy events throughout the semester. These events let us experience, first hand, how a nonprofit organization is run.

Image courtesy of Big Buddy

Our goal was to help Big Buddy obtain a cohesive group of volunteers. LPR worked closely with Big Buddy Program to find successful ways to gain volunteers. We hope that Big Buddy will be able to take our suggestions and use them to achieve their goal. We cannot wait to check back with Big Buddy to see how our ideas have helped their organization grow.

LPR collaborated with Big Buddy to plan Big Buddy’s annual Pre-Dancing for Big Buddy Networking Event. Since this year was the 10th anniversary of Dancing for Big Buddy, the organization wanted the event to be extra special. We were able to host the event at the Old Governor’s Mansion and it was a huge success. Guests enjoyed champagne, delicious food and great giveaways. We are incredibly thankful for the local business that donated items for our event. Their generosity brought our event to the next level.

Image courtesy of Big Buddy
Image courtesy of Big Buddy

Through our campaigns class, we’ve learned an array of valuable lessons that will help us throughout our professional careers. We’ve experienced everything from putting on an event to building client relationship. Perhaps the most important lesson we’ve learned is teamwork. We have successfully worked together as a group to achieve every single one of our goals. The last semester of college can be very stressful; but, we were always willing to offer each other a helping hand with all of our campaigns’ project. We are also very thankful for being grouped together for this project. We may have started out as classmates, but we have become the best of friends.

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 lagniappe relations@gmail.com. For more information on Big Buddy Program, visit their website or Facebook.

Attached is our final blog post for LPR highlighting what we’ve learned throughout this course and how we’ve applied it to both our campaign and our professional skills.

LPR – Video Blog

-Lagniappe Public Relations


Erinn Sala -Account Executive

Frances Baumler– Co-Strategy Director

Grant Tarleton– Co-Strategy Director

Caroline Beslin– Research Director

Emily Guidroz– Design Director

Ashley Martin– Event Director

Laura Avilés– Writing Director



Maintaining PR Professionalism and Ethics with the Big Buddy Program

By Ashley Martin, Event Director

If you want to make it in the public relations industry, professionalism and maintaining a code of ethics is a must. No matter how much you try to keep your client in a positive light or get them out of a sticky situation, you must never damaging your overall goal of protecting your client’s integrity long-term and maintaining public trust.

Image courtesy of Stephens Strategic Communications, Inc.

Professionalism and ethics fall under the professional values and competencies we have learned throughout the semester. Every public relations practitioner is expected to follow the PRSA Code of Ethics, which was developed by the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS). The Code lists principles and guidelines that align with the values of ethical public relations, which include advocacy, honesty, loyalty, professional development and objectivity.


I’m sure every PR student can agree that we have heard these five terms since our first class in the Manship school, but what do they truly mean?


According to the PRSA Code of Ethics, advocacy includes “providing a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.” In other words, serve as a responsible representative of your client. Become passionate with their mission statement and goals, and work to align your client’s image with these goals.

Image courtesy of Deep Green Permaculture

Like the popular saying our parents and teachers stored in our head’s growing up, “honesty is the best policy.” Be accurate and truthful with whom you’re representing and when you communicate with the public. Fortunately, this is becoming a trend in the PR world, with PR Daily’s article recognizing that “most PR pros are ethical and honest.” Good job you guys!


Loyalty goes a long way in the business world. Build a relationship with your clients and assure them that you’re trustworthy enough to represent them. In a recent article from Liquid Communications, some of the country’s top public relation firms give their personal tips on building loyalty and enhancing a company’s brand.


Professional development and ethics fall hand in hand in public relations. It’s important that practitioners are constantly evolving with today’s trends and technology growing at a rapid pace. In a recent article publish by Harvard, the importance of professional development is considered one of the top skills every PR professional should have.


Lastly, objectivity is essential for the credibility of PR professionals. It’s important to outline a plan and establish objectives for your client, and even more so to see that these objectives are carried out.


Overall, Lagniappe Public Relations has strived to maintain professionalism and ethics when developing Big Buddy Program’s campaign this semester. We strive to represent them in the best light possible, and to always be truthful and loyal when establishing our objectives for the organization’s upcoming year.

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 lagniapperelations@gmail.com. For more information on Big Buddy Program, visit their website or Facebook.


Ashley Martin

Upcoming May 2016 graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, majoring in mass communication with a minor in business administration. Highly motivated to launch professional career relating to marketing communication or public relations in the New Orleans, LA area beginning summer/fall of 2016. Pinterest enthusiast and proud owner of a yellow labrador retriever.

PR Evaluation with Big Buddy Program

By Emily Guidroz, Design Director

Evaluation is arguably the most important part of any public relations campaign. After all, how will you, as a PR practitioner or your client, be able to gage what works and what does not work within a campaign? It is imperative to have this information when going forward with future campaigns. And the only way to get this valuable information is through successful evaluation practices.

Image courtesy of Lagniappe Public Relations

Today it is easier than ever to conduct different evaluation methods. In the past, the most frequently used method of evaluation research was to send out mail cards with a survey or distribute comment cards at the end of events. With the rapid growth in social and online media, however, it is quicker and much more efficient to send out materials, such as online surveys, to receive feedback for public relations tactics.

Image courtesy of Public Relations Institute of Australia

On social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, it is extremely easy to determine how far your post has reached, how many users have liked or shared it and generally how well it is being received. These sites will tell you this information on the post itself.


Specifically for the Big Buddy program, Lagniappe Public Relations suggests using a service such as Hootsuite to properly plan and examine analytics in regards to their Facebook and Twitter pages. Hootsuite is a great source for tracking all of a company’s social media reception and interaction in one place.


There are a variety of ways in which an evaluation can be conducted. The most familiar would probably be a survey taken by those who were directly impacted or influenced by the campaign. The important piece to remember about evaluation surveys is that they are only useful if a similar survey was conducted before campaign tactics were implemented. That way, you will have a clear numerical difference through which you can accurately judge your campaign’s success or failure.


Event success is another way to conduct an evaluation. Was the event successful? Did the planners receive positive feedback from guests and those involved in the event? These can all be use to evaluate what worked and what did not work in a campaign, specifically in an event, which can be a vital part of a campaign.


Conducting surveys and gathering feedback are important forms of evaluation that are a key part of implementing a successful campaign. Following our event for Big Buddy Program, our team gathered what was successful, unsuccessful and what could be improved upon in following events. This, along with our post event survey, will turn into an important resource for those planning next year’s event, which is exactly our intent.

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 lagniapperelations@gmail.com. For more information on Big Buddy Program, visit their website or Facebook.


Emily Guidroz is a senior at Louisiana State University, in May she will graduate with a degree in public relations and a minor in history. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in public relations in Chicago. In her spare time, Emily is an avid reader, coffee drinker, TV viewer and is always up for a discussion of the latest episode of her favorite shows.

Changes in PR tactics/channels with Big Buddy Program

By Frances Baumler and Grant Tarleton, co-strategy directors

Communication today is more important than ever before. Mobile phones are practically glued in our hands. The media and public relations tactics, such as social media, have become such prominent components in our lives that it’s almost hard to imagine a time without cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Before the spark of social media, public relations relied on the use of newspapers, television broadcasts and radio signals.


“The three main elements of public relations which are informing people, persuading people, and integrating people and integrating people with people are practically as old as society.” – Edward Bernays, father of public relations.


Today, public relations is relies heavily on the distribution of press releases, social campaigns and the spread of knowledge of events happening around the globe. Social media has become a vital role in the field of public relations and many companies have built campaigns entirely on social platforms. In 2013, Oreo took advantage of the Superbowl blackout and tweeted this image, which turned out to be one of the best uses of public relations in all time. The image was relevant, it generated 15,000 retweets, and it sparked a conversation. The real time response that social media offers creates more agility and ability to act immediately than forms of traditional media.

Image courtesy of Oreo

With the news at our fingertips, we are looking for constant updates on what is happening in the world. In an age of instant gratification, we want our news immediately. As the demand for information grows, so does need for someone to give it to us. Forms of public relations channels, such as social media platforms, may not be around forever, but they will still be heavily utilized until something more immediate or targeted replaces them.


Lagniappe Public Relations has had to adapt to the constantly changing tactics and channels in public relations to best serve Big Buddy Program. It is important to remember the traditional tactics and channels while also staying current. A Ogilvy Public Relations survey shows that although social media is popular, traditional media remains the most trusted source for information. Using this information LPR used a variety of each for Big Buddy.


The Big Buddy Program has great relationships with the media outlets in the Baton Rouge area. They have an active presence on TV, radio and newspaper. Big Buddy also utilizes direct mail and publications to distribute information. In terms of social media, they have Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as a blog. Email is a vital tool Big Buddy uses to engage all of their publics. It is important to utilize social media because it helps the organization have direct interaction with the public. Interaction is very helpful for a local nonprofit because it helps build relationships.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 2.36.28 PM
Image courtesy of Lagniappe Public Relations

Lagniappe Public Relations worked with Big Buddy to utilize all of their tools to best serve their needs. LPR helped enhance Big Buddy’s social media presence by making frequent posts as well as designing posts that show the program in the best light. In terms of print media, LPR has designed an invitation for Big Buddy as well as redesigned their monthly newsletter. Now Big Buddy has a great balance of traditional and new media.

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 lagniapperelations@gmail.com. For more information on Big Buddy Program, visit their website or Facebook.


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.


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.