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Experiential Update: working with an active Indy nonprofit

This past semester, as a requirement for a public relations course at IUPUI, myself and three other IUPUI students created a public relations plan for the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA, http://www.indymoca.org). The creation of this plan involved analysis of the organization, its key stakeholders, and the public relations situation at hand – a lack of awareness of the organization and its exhibitions around the city of Indianapolis.

In addition to those analyses, research was conducted in the form of a survey and tactics, goals, and objectives were established in order to help the organization increase its event attendance and Indianapolis residents’ overall awareness of the organization. Linked at the bottom of this entry are the slides as they were presented to the iMOCA staff representative we collaborated with on this project.

This assignment was created over the span of three months, according to both what iMOCA required as an outside entity and to what the professor of the course, Fred Bagg, had asked of us. The work was divided equally among all members of our team, which consisted of myself, Lindsey Stafford, Morgan Holian, and Leslie Salazar.

I greatly appreciated this experience, as a young professional who is interested in the nonprofit sector of public relations and communications. I am excited to continue building my PR skillset over the course of my career and see where that budding interest takes me.

Copy of iMOCA Presentation

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Mock Press Release: iMOCA Special Event

Below is an example press release written as part of a group project in collaboration with the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA). Event accreditation belongs to iMOCA – http://www.indymoca.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
CONTACT: Marissa Smith
(e) ms204@umail.iu.edu
(p) 765-555-5555
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ATTEND AN EXCLUSIVE DEMONSTRATION WITH ONE OF INDY’S HOTTEST ARTISTS

Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art presents: Glass Artist Benjamin Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, MARCH 13, 2017 – The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art will be hosting the Benjamin Johnson Spacetime Catalog Release and Demonstration on Saturday, April 8 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Indianapolis Art Center. It will be an opportunity for 30 ticket holders to watch a glass-blowing demonstration and listen to the artist discuss the creation of Spacetime, a series of prints of the moon’s lunar cycle.

Tickets are $50.00 each and the perks of attendance include: a glow in the dark pint glass handmade by featured artist Benjamin Johnson and a copy of the Spacetime exhibit catalogue. Guests will also enjoy Sun King Beer and light hors d’oeuvres from Black Plate catering.  Mr. Johnson will do a glass blowing demonstration and discuss how he created his Spacetime prints of the moon’s lunar cycle.

Interested persons may purchase tickets by going to www.indymoca.org and selecting the Spacetime event page. Event capacity is limited to 30 attendees, so be sure to purchase your ticket before they are sold out.

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About Spacetime:

Spacetime depicts imagery of the moon throughout the lunar cycle via 20 vitreography prints and 7 glass panels. The exhibition also features a nine by fourteen foot installation of hand-pulled hot glass cane created with UV reactive materials and lit using special UV LED lighting, which makes the entire piece glow in the window space.

About the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA):

iMOCA is Indianapolis’s only museum dedicated solely to showing and advancing contemporary art. As a non-collecting institution, iMOCA’s mission is to bring contemporary exhibitions and programs to the Indianapolis community to stimulate minds, inspire new discoveries and demonstrate the vital connections between visual culture and life.

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Why keeping busy over summer break is important to me

Today I finished the last class of my sophomore year of college, marking the halfway point in my journey to a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. I am looking forward to spending the next four months (approximately) away from coursework and curriculum, but I will not be taking the summer off – not completely. Many of the people in my life have shared a sigh of relief with me when I have announced the end of my semester, usually nodding and replying something like “well, I bet you’re happy to have some time off and just relax.”

I am happy to have a break.

This past semester was particularly mentally draining for me, as I did not enjoy a lot of courses and could often be found in a state of distress over it. However, as I have mentioned before on this blog, I will still be holding three positions over the summer which will amount to roughly thirty hours of work per week. This schedule will hopefully still allow me plenty of time to spend summer relaxing and doing some of the things I’ve had it in my head to do (road trip, anyone?) It also serves an important purpose – to give me structure. When informed of the tasks ahead of me, the people who were nodding and happy for me replace their smiles with looks of pity, “wow, you can’t catch a break, can you?

In previous years, summer breaks have often meant that my mental health has taken a dive. It wasn’t until last year that I started to realize why this pattern had developed: a lack of mental stimulation during the summer months. Prior to this self-reflection, summer days were often spent sitting alone, unsure of what to do to pass the time, and a vicious cycle reared its head.

The more I did not do anything, the more I felt like doing nothing at all.

My brain and body just function better whenever I have a daily routine to follow. Due to this realization, I believe that I’m better at managing this issue and will be able to use it to my advantage, keeping active and getting work done over the summer.

So, not only am I getting some amazing professional experience and allowing time for some personal days, I’m taking care of myself.

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Hosting my first community service event

A short post on the importance of loving and positive spaces

I hosted my first community service event this morning and only half of the people who originally signed up actually attended – but I’m not disappointed.

When the day began and people started to back out via text message, I was concerned that my first event wouldn’t go well. I had put a lot of pressure on myself to make this the best event possible, and in the process I managed to forget one of the most integral rules of event planning – you can plan every single detail, but there’s no way to guarantee it will go like you thought it would. Just so you know, that’s okay.

As soon as my volunteers began to show, a large part of my concern dissolved. I had a group of students that were happy to be where they were, and though some were timid, we all had an easy time making conversation.

A positive attitude can make or break an experience.

The event took place at a no-kill cat sanctuary in Indianapolis called Cats Haven (I high encourage you to give them a visit). This meant that we spent our time in a facility that houses over 120  felines, most of which are elderly or special needs.

It takes an especially big heart to dedicate one’s life to caring for such animals, and that much was immediately apparent in the women who operate Cats Haven.

We were welcomed by people who were eager to share their space with us (and by kitties who were eager to be petted). I couldn’t have asked for a more positive atmosphere. At that point any concern I had left melted away. The women at Cats Haven have an immense amount of love for the cats, and they hosted us IUPUI students just as warmly.

Overall, the positive energy in the house was just as tangible as the cat hair, which is what made the event special, not the number of attendees.