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The wheelchair basketball PR plan
The wheelchair basketball PR plan
The wheelchair basketball PR plan
The wheelchair basketball PR plan
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The wheelchair basketball PR plan
The wheelchair basketball PR plan
The wheelchair basketball PR plan
The wheelchair basketball PR plan
The wheelchair basketball PR plan
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The wheelchair basketball PR plan
The wheelchair basketball PR plan
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The wheelchair basketball PR plan

  1.   2   Table of Contents Executive summary 3 Statement of principles/philosophy statement 3 Summary of organization 4 Situation analysis 4 Target market analysis 5 Strategic recommendations 6 Message recommendations 9 Schedule 10 Budget 11 Evaluation plan 11
  2.   3   Executive Summary Our organization named Sports Inspiration mainly aims to provide specific PR Plan for UIUC Men’s Wheelchair basketball team. The situation it is facing is the insufficient public awareness, which needs better improvements of publicity. We will provide situation and target market analysis, strategic recommendations, message recommendations, budget as well as evaluation plans for the team to solve the issue. Statement of Principles/ Philosophy Statement 1. Know your client and their business. Our business is to make sure you research every part of their service, product, people and history inside out. 2. Know your media contacts and their needs. Know what they are looking for, know what their point of difference is and know how you can feed them the right materials, at the time they need it. 3. Know your target audience and their interests. PR is finding that perfect harmony between the two – matching key messages with an interesting, relevant news angle. 4. Know your purpose and desired result. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the possibilities for your client, but often it is better to know where your restraints might be. This realistic approach will help to put parameters around how much time you spend on various activities. 5. Know your pitch and respect if it won’t work. You only have one chance to grab audience’s attention. Don’t push it, but accept and politely move on instead. Relationships always come first. In our point of view, Public Relations is aimed to improve the publicity of an organization and attract more attention from the public. For the UIUC Men’s Wheelchair basketball team, the situation it is now facing is lacking of attention gained from the public. To address the current situation, PR is aimed to use various tactics and strategies such as setting up various activities and giving out more information about the organization.
  3.   4   Summary of Organization The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team was founded in 1948 named Gizz Kids, which was the first collegiate wheelchair basketball team in the United States. The team has won 15 National Wheelchair Basketball tournaments since 1949. In 1970, the UIUC Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team was founded and known as Ms. Kids. The team has won 14 National Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Championships and held the record for winning five consecutive national titles. The primary purpose for the wheelchair basketball program was to allow students with disabilities to participate in the same extracurricular activities offered to their classmates. Camps started in the late 1980s with all sports camps on campus. It developed in the 1990s to include basketball and track camps. Elite camp was introduced in the early 2000s and has grown to international popularity. The coach of UIUC Men’s wheelchair basketball team is Matt Buchi, a former Illinois Men’s wheelchair basketball team member. The team’s full season runs from October 1st to the second weekend of March. They train five days a week starting at 6:30 a. m. and play about 35 games per season—often playing several games in one weekend. Attendance is small, consisting mostly of family and friends of players, and seats are limited as they play in the ARC—there are only two to four stands. In 2013, the team hosted a tournament January 17-18 and also played in a tournament February 7-8. They hope to compete in nationals March 5-9 in Texas. Admission to all games is free. The Illinois Men’s wheelchair basketball team is competitive in the external environment. It is very well regarded as the only oldest college men’s wheelchair basketball program and was the first one in the U.S. Besides; it has a lot of chances to attend competitions around the world to obtain experience. However, it does not have high social support such as technology and economics. Situation Analysis The main situation of UIUC Wheelchair Basketball Team is that the public, especially the government and the university know and care little about this team: for example, the university only considers this team a club not a sport-team. The causes of these situations are that no PR person in the group can help propagandize its competitions to improve the public’s awareness and the team doesn’t have any efficient methods such as using social media to do self-promotion.
  4.   5   The history of this situation is that all members in the team have always been focusing on the practice of the basketball, and they ignore the importance of self-promotion. In addition, since the team has only one coach, it is impossible for him to do both the training and the PR management. It is hard for the team to get enough social supports from the government or the university. Without high exposure to the public, the team faces the problem of recruiting new members. The biggest competitor is Illinois Fighting Illini Men’s basketball team, which is an NCAA college basketball team competing in Big Ten Conference. Illinois Fighting Illini Men’s basketball team is also one of the most famous and influential organizations on campus. Other organizations that compete on this issue include Fighting Illini Men’s baseball, football, cheerleading, golf and gymnastics team. These teams have great public awareness and popularity. The mission of UIUC Wheelchair basketball team is to provide chances for disabilities to have a better future development. However, because of this situation, the team encounters difficulties to achieve this goal: It cannot get enough fund or recruit more members until the situation is solved; what’s worse, because of this situation, the public doesn’t know this organization has the mission mentioned above. Target Market Analysis Key Publics Our latent publics are UIUC students who are interested in sport especially basketball games; apathetic public are all the students, professors, employees around the campus who might spend some time to watch the game; aware and active publics are the friends and parents of the team members who strongly support the game and willing to watch the games. Our key publics are UIUC students aged from 18-22. They love sports and willing to involve into school activities. They like to attend sports game on campus and enjoy the fascination of sports. What our key publics want or need is interesting basketball games as well as an unforgettable experience of sports events. They expect to see the differences between wheelchair basketball game and normal basketball game. They also want to enjoy a wonderful game.
  5.   6   The media habits of our key publics includes social net works such as Facebook, twitter and official website. They like to gain and share information efficiently through these social networks. The potential public activities including sharing videos on the official website and holding info sessions about the team. Current and desired Position The current position of Wheelchair basketball in the public’s minds is an organization that supports sports activities of disabilities, but lack of public awareness. The position we are seeking for this public is a well-known organization that supports sports activities, mainly wheelchair basketball on campus and within the Champaign-Urbana area. We are aiming to become a number one organization that attracts most people to join and supports people with disabilities and spread out more information about it. Strategic Recommendations (Goals, objectives, strategies, tactics) Our public of Men’s wheelchair basketball team will be all the students on campus who love sports and are willing to attend on-campus event. To draw the public attention, we position ourselves as a well-known organization that supports sports activities, mainly wheelchair basketball on campus and within the Champaign-Urbana area. We are aiming to become a number one organization that attracts most people to join and supports people with disabilities and spread out more information about it. Based on our public, we developed following goals, strategies and tactics. I. Relationship Management Goal: Maintain and enhance the relationship between the organization and the public, school faculty and staff alumni and donors as well as the whole community. a. Objective: increase the community involvement of the wheelchair basketball team by 15 percent. i. Strategy: Develop relationship with other local organizations; build up programs, sponsorships and alliances with them. -Tactic: Develop relationship with local disability organization; selling game ticket for three dollars and all the money donate to local disability organizations. -Tactic: Hold exhibition game for local high school and church; allow question session after game. ii. Strategy: Develop relationship with campus organization, students and faculty. -Tactic: Open PR, marketing intern position for U of I students.
  6.   7   -Tactic: Perform for game of Illinois basketball team during halftime to increase the exposure. -Tactic: Cooperate with Illinois Cheerleader team and ask them to perform for game opening. -Tactic: Hold conference with College of Applied health student and discuss issue about disable people on campus. iii. Strategy: Active social media use and encourage students participate in the conversation. -Tactic: Activate Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account and constantly post and share interesting pictures and story on them. -Tactic: Constantly post interactive question on page to encourage communication between basketball team and public. b. Objective: Increase audience attendance by 20% by end of 2014Fall semester. i. Strategy: Increase the exposure of game information through social media. 1. Tactic: Make permanent Facebook event page for game and update it weekly. 2. Tactic: Like other on-campus sports organization page and let other sports team public pages share/like our events, photos and videos. ii. Strategy: Spread game information through non-traditional media and special event. 1. Tactic: Make poster with calendar that has game dates on it. 2. Tactic: Publish and sell wheelchair basketball planner with game dates on it. 3. Tactic: Design banner ads and post them on U of I official website. 4. Tactic: Give away free ticket with date and location of game when people purchase men’s basketball game tickets. II. Reputation Management Goal The reputation goal of Wheelchair basketball is to enhance the organization’s identity and perception, and thus gain more awareness and reputation in the public. a. Objective: enhance the understanding of positive image of wheelchair basketball team by 20% by end of 2014. i. Strategy: Start direct conversation between team players and public. 1.Tactic: Host open session where people can attend their training session and allow people ask athletes questions. 2. Tactic: Practice outside and 3. Tactic: Start online chat through twitter. People can ask questions by @uiucmenswheelchairbasketballteam.
  7.   8   ii. Strategy: Use local media to promote the story of our team and emphasis on the spirit and positive image of team. 1. Tactic: Make connection with local radio station and invite 2-3 athletes to talk show and talk about individual experience related to wheelchair basketball. 2. Tactic: Publish article on local newspaper such as News Gazette and Daily Illini to highlight star athletes. 3. Tactic: Film a documentary about ‘a day of wheelchair basketball athlete’ with local TV station. 4. Tactic: Design and print out brochure about men’s wheelchair basketball team b. Objective: Identify a positive distinguishable image among public. i. Strategy: Build up our unique and distinguishable visual 1. Tactic: Design our very own logo 2. Tactic: Film one-minute promotion video. 3. Tactic: Design event posters with fixed and recognizable style. III. Task Management Goal: Wheelchair basketball’s task goal concerns staff getting certain things done on time. a. Objective: Increase staff meeting time about PR plan accomplishment by 20% at the end of 2015 school year. i. Strategy: Being strict to PR plan 1. Tactic: set meeting time ahead of time to ensure everyone is noticed about it. 2. Tactic: Put schedule in detail and assign certain time for certain things done. 3. Tactic: Assign oral report for what they have done for certain period of time. ii. Strategy: Reward policy 1. Tactic: Have end of semester party every semester with all team members 2. Tactic: Reward the most active member at the end of year 3. Tactic: Evaluate progress at each period of time to examine result so that staffs know that their effort is paid off. Objective: To have an effect on the awareness of the wheelchair basketball team, specifically to increase the understanding of the wheelchair basketball for students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by 40% in two months. I strongly recommend a combination of public and goal, with the priority being that which as the highest number of components. For example, if you have more goals than public, organize by goal, then list publics, objectives, strategies and tactics, in that order. If you have more publics than goals, organize by public, then list goals, objectives, strategies and tactics, in that order.
  8.   9   Message Recommendations We prefer to invite Angelina Jolie to be a spokesperson for the Wheelchair Basketball team. She is popular in the United States not only because of her movies but also because of her participations in some programs for public good such as donating money to children and disabilities around the world. She told the public that everyone should take care of others and establish a peaceful and lovely society. The key message for the Wheelchair Basketball team is that the Wheelchair Basketball team is a healthy, positive and professional basketball team, which would like to tell the public that disabilities also can contribute to the society. We believe that the public image of Angelina Jolie is perfectly matched with the key message of the Wheelchair Basketball team. Because there are some competitors at UIUC such as the Illini Basketball team and most students only know little about the Wheelchair Basketball team, it is hard to force people to like the Wheelchair Basketball team when they know about this team; in this case, we have to make our message both a rational appeal and an emotional appeal. For the rational appeal, we create a message like that the wheelchair basketball players are a group of people who are dedicated and enthusiastic in basketball and life; their efforts and hard-working present public the great and worth-watching competitions. For the emotional appeal, the Wheelchair Basketball team is a sport team composed of a group of special people; they perform equal exciting and professional games but put stronger dedication and more efforts than other basketball players – showing the public how much they put in basketball to make their life enjoyable and this spirit will appeal the public other than the basketball game itself. Our verbal message mentioned above is that we are professional; our dedication towards basketball can make us living a better life and make great achievements; we are learning not only how to play basketball but also how to work hard in all kinds of areas by the most positive attitude; we want to convey the information of being optimistic. Since the Wheelchair Basketball team is at UIUC, the team members always wear the UIUC t-shirts – orange and blue uniforms with the school logo. In addition, all supporters of the team, especially UIUC students who go to watch games always wear the similar t-shirts. We still can create a slogan for the team such as “Go Illini” to help encourage the team members to work harder. According to the nonverbal elements such as the UIUC t-shirts and the “Go Illini” slogan, we can make them stronger by attracting more people to watch the competitions and adding more
  9.   10   UIUC related elements. We can hold more training sessions to invite our publics to watch how they practice in order to promote a positive public image. Schedule Tactics When to implement Event listing Middle May Appeal letter Late May News release Late May Media Kit Early June Podcast Interview with each member Middle June Outdoor Campaign on MTD bus July Daily Illini advertising August Our tactics are basically used to increase the public’s awareness and acceptation. Because the Wheelchair Basketball team will hold summer camps from June to August, it is a good time to present the team to the public. In May, we will list all events online such as dates, fees and locations; we have to write several news releases in Daily Illini to announce the public that we have these activities; we also want to email or mail to students the appeal letter to tell them the information about the team. In June, we will help create the media kit and do the podcast for each team members. For the Media Kit part, we will create background for each team member, the Photo Opportunity and the Face sheet. Additionally, we will interview each member to do the podcast to let the public know how these members feel about their life.
  10.   11   Budget We will consider listing budget items by following six aspects: What we need How many Price for each Total Advertising Daily Illini and MTD) $300 $600 Materials (brochures) 1,000 $0.5 $500 Administrative Items $500 Labors 3 and 5*2*8 hours $10/hour $4200 Equipment costs (Printer, speaker…) $200 Total $6,000 Evaluation Plan In order to evaluate the success of the plan, we will measure the plan from the following three levels of objectives: awareness, acceptance and action. To evaluate awareness objectives, we should focus on the content of the message. We need to evaluate the message exposure (how many people in key publics are exposed to the message), the message content (is it accurate, timely or positive), readability measures (is the message easy to understand), and message recall (research participants who are exposed to a message, then ask how much they remember). We can post some advertising on social media to calculate how many people click the adverting and visit the wheelchair basketball team website. To evaluate acceptance objectives, we need to focus on how key publics’ reaction to the message. After one month of evaluating awareness objective, we can conduct some online surveys to collect audiences’ feedback. We can send emails to students on campus about their comments on the wheelchair basketball team. To evaluate action objectives, we need to focus on their actions. The easiest way to evaluate this objective is to directly observe how many students come to watch the games.
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