UNION, N.J. – Kean University public relations students are helping Union County nonprofit organizations tell their stories to the world.
The students in Lecturer Jeremiah Sullivan’s PR Campaigns class are developing public relations strategies for the nonprofits to help build their brands and expand their reach.
“Students in the class immerse themselves in developing actual public relations campaigns for organizations that need the expertise and support,” Sullivan said. “By working with nonprofit organizations, they also have a service learning opportunity.”
The process starts at the beginning of the semester and reflects the demands of working at a public relations firm. Students are put into two-person teams, and then two teams compete against each other to create the best overall campaign for their assigned nonprofit organization.
The students are working with the New Jersey Small Business Development Center on Kean’s Union campus, the Westfield United Fund in Westfield, St. Joseph’s Social Service Center in Elizabeth, and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County in Plainfield.
Habitat for Humanity’s partnership with Kean’s PR students is mutually beneficial, said Kamili Williams, president and chief executive officer of the organization.
“Someone coming onboard with significant experience is astounding, and it is why we come to Kean University,” she said. “We also create internship opportunities with the students at the end of the semester to continue working with them.”
The teams will present their campaigns to fellow students and their clients for a final grade in the last two weeks of the semester and be judged on their methods, tactics and creativity.
“When you think of PR, you think of big corporations,” said Genesis Algaba, a senior public relations student from Elizabeth. “Because the organizations are nonprofit, it gives us a chance to think outside the box due to a different dynamic in play.”
Working with nonprofits forces students to work within tight budgets, said Hannah Friedman, a senior from Colonia.
“Without a budget, the PR campaign is entirely reliant on our creative approach, efforts and skills. It makes us want to help our local communities even more, so we can see how what we are learning in class can benefit local nonprofits.”
Nonprofit organizations interested in partnering with students in the PR Campaign class should contact Jeremiah Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.