As a member of Allen Hall Public Relations, I was assigned to a given client account based on my interests, resume, and goals for future public relations work. When I joined at the beginning of winter term, I was assigned to work with Eugene’s branch of the nonprofit organization, HIV Alliance. HIV alliance is dedicated to a future free of HIV/AIDS by providing the local community with support, prevention, and education regarding this issue. The support services offered are both comprehensive and holistic, and are available in Lane, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Jackson, Marrion, Klamath, and Lake Counties, while prevention and education services are offered throughout most of southern Oregon. Check out HIV Alliance’s website here.
When I found out I would be working closely with HIV Alliance’s administration and staff, I couldn’t have been more enthused, as working with nonprofits are my passion. I was excited to not only be paired with a nonprofit, but also to learn more about the topic of HIV and AIDS. Our work with HIV Alliance has mostly revolved around improving its social media presence in a way that portrays a strong, consistent message throughout Eugene’s community. My team and I chose to mainly focus on the organization’s social media strategy because it provides a great outlet for communication with the local community in an inexpensive yet effective way and allows HIV Alliance to reach a broad scope of its audience. All of these elements are important to consider when collaborating with a nonprofit because finances are stretched thin and increased community support is critical to securing financial donors that propel the business forward. Thus far, my AHPR team has put together a social media audit of HIV Alliance’s main social media outlets and the same of their competitors. The social media audit serves as an analysis of these outlets to evaluate effective techniques and those that have room for improvement. We then compared these techniques to those of the chosen competitors and made suggestions regarding how HIV Alliance can improve their presence on social media based on these comparisons. After the audit, we wrote up a “best practices” report in which my team and I analyzed similar nonprofits’ presences on social media that we deemed successful. Based on these analyses, we made further suggestions and changes to HIV Alliance’s social media strategy.
Overall, working with HIV Alliance has been both rewarding and beneficial to my experience as an aspiring public relations professional. Being able to apply the knowledge I’ve learned through classes to a “real world” client has allowed me to refine my skill set and add a new dimension to the work I produce.