Faith 4 Sports

Not All Good Things Must Come to an End, Especially in PR!

Working with Istrouma Baptist Church for the past couple of months has been a wonderful experience! Our event that was held on April 1, 2012 at Istrouma was a major success. From the time that we arrived at the church that morning, the entire welcomed us and appeared intrigued with our setup for our event. After the church services were over, we were able to attract some parents to sign up for the sports camp, as well as, we able to distribute many pamphlets, flyers and other information about the camp. On those various documents, were information about the camps; such as, registration information, age groups, the diversity of sports, the mission statement for the camps and etc.

After we greeted many of the parents and the children, we took the event inside where we had a room set up with pizza, chips, cookies and chips for the families to enjoy. We decorated the room with very attractive poster boards filled with information and pictures of coaches, kids and their families all participating in and supporting the camps. After everyone finished eating, we separated the families and children into separate locations. The parents went into a room with some of my fellow classmates and ML Woodruff, who had supervised us throughout the year, and the children went with the rest of the students into the gym where we had a list of activities and games planned for them. ML explained the mission of Istrouma Sports Organization; he particularly emphasized the importance of  the sports camp is a non-competitive but more focused on the fundamentals of playing sports. The parents asked lots of questions and we got more children signed up for the camps. I think it was an all around success!!

Although our event with the church has passed, we have not finished working with them. We are working on making their website better, enhancing their Facebook page, compiling a campaign book and have other recommendations and suggestions for them, in attempt to help better their program and modes of communication. We also look forward to keeping in touch with the church and their programs to see if they used our suggestions and to keep a good and continuous relationship with them.

I am excited to see how Istrouma Sports Organization progresses in the upcoming years! It was more than a pleasure working with them.

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It’s About that Time!

Most times when an awareness event is taking place it is to help the organization gain supporters and to hopefully explain the entire purpose and goals of the organization. For the past couple of months, my group and I have planned an event for Istrouma Baptist Church. The event is an event to help raise awareness about Istrouma’s Sports Organization, ISO; which is a recreational sports organization that fosters and bestows the importance of cooperative and fundamentally sound athletics through faith.

Our event is Sunday April 1, 2012 at Istrouma Baptist Church located off the Airline exit in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and once the service is finished, the event will begin. We will set up between the main church and the building with the gym, where the children attend Sunday school. At first we were thinking of cooking or catering jambalaya, but we decided to keep it simple; and we are ordering pizza and providing soda and water. We are not quite sure how many people we are expecting. We sent out about 500 invitations via the church’s email list, we publicized in their church pamphlets and we hope to have your flyer on their jumbotrons which are located in the various areas of the church and inside of the worship area; and we have only heard definite back from about 1/20 of the people. Although we have not received that many “Yes, I’m attending,” we still are excited for our event and figure that many more people, who did not RSVP, will show up.

For the event, we made poster boards that contain all Istrouma’s Sports Organization’s information, pictures of activities throughout the year and earlier years, as well as other aesthetically attractive things to attract both the parents and children. We have even planned some games that will show some of the qualities and goals of ISO; such as, games that need teamwork, coöperation, and hard-work. Also, we are making feedback/comment cards for the people who attend to see if our event was effective and if not, what else we could have done to have made it more effective. We are also going to have registration forms for the attendants to fill out and if they do not wish to fill out a form there, we will show them how to reach the forms via Istrouma’s website. We are excited to see how the event turns out! We hope to see you at the event!

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The majority of people do not understand all the logistics and steps that go into planning an event. When most people see an event they think a few phone calls are made and a fabulous production is put into place; but that is not the case. Planning an event takes a lot of planning, dedication, work and time. Also, an aspect of planning an event that most people disregard is the importance of the social responsibility of the planners. To me, being socially responsible means that people should act ethically and behave with sincere sensitivity towards issues regarding the public. My group and I first-handedly experienced this responsibility when we were creating our surveys. We thought and rethought about different ways to ask certain questions to make sure that we did not offend a particular demographic. This was difficult because there were certain things that we wanted to say that would get our point across perfectly, but we could not because it left a possibility for someone or some people to read it and take it the wrong way. Eventually, we devised the perfect way to ask each question that also allowed us to convey the message we wanted without offending anyone.

Another aspect of planning an event most people do not realize is that, someone does not simply pitch an idea and it is unanimously accepted; as most people assume. Planning an event takes a lot of brainstorming, adding and tweaking of the pitched ideas, constant revising, and then the final idea is generated.  My group is full of lively, intelligent and opinionated people who all have great ideas; but not every idea can be used. We are constantly adding and subtracting to what we already have and each time we devise a better one. Additionally, when working with a group of people or an organization to plan something like an event, everyone must understand that the end result is the main goal. With that being said, I think it is important for people to realize that their idea might not always be accepted or used, and they will most likely experience their ideas being neglected or dismissed a couple of times. But none of those gestures should be taken, in the least bit, personally. When my group and I propose an idea to the director of the non-profit organization, Istrouma Sports Organization, that we are working with, and it gets disapproved no offense is ever taken; but instead we work on improving the idea so that it can be approved the next time. So, in short, the important thing in working with a group is the essentiality of a collaborative effort and respect for one another.


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On the journey to success!

At the beginning of the semester, I was nervous about this project. Simply because, I was worried about whether my group members and I would be able to cooperate in a cohesive way. I wasn’t necessarily apprehensive about whether there would be personality clashes; rather, I was more concerned about whether our schedules would be able to work out since I was well aware of the fact that each of us are extremely occupied and have demanding schedules. Fortunately, all of my concerns no longer exist because we have clearly found ways to convieniently meet and be productive.

After a couple of meetings with my group, we have successfully devised what our focus will be for our event. After concluding that, we started focusing on the research aspect of our project. We knew that in order for us to adequately organize and coordinate a successful event, we must first do some research and figure out who we want to reach, why, what has been done, past evaluations, previous problems and etcetera. Since we knew that Istrouma wanted to increase their church member participation percentages within the ISO Sports Program, we knew that current members and children were one of our targets. Upon determining that, we decided that we needed to see what other demographics we wanted to focus on.

Compiling our research report was quite beneficial and helpful. It allowed us to asses our client in detail as well as our situation at hand and our target audiences. While compiling our survey questions, we thought of the most concise and efficient way to conduct the survey. We thought of simple yet important questions, and we also made sure to eliminate the negative parts and nuisances of surveys that we, as individuals, do not like. After that, we thought about the most effective way to administer the survey in order to receive the most accurate and impactful feedback. We thought that the most effective way to reach the church members would be to make an announcement during their announcement part of their sermon and tell the members that, “there is a survey that, we students of Louisiana State University, would like to administer for our class project.” Collectively, we all thought it was a great idea and  are very to see what the turnout and the feedback from the surveys will be.

I’m enthusiastic and anticipating our turnout and the feedback we receive because are working with a great nonprofit organization and I think that we will be able to help them reach some of their objectives and better their sports program for the future.


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Blog 1

Today was the first day my group and I met with our non-profit organization, Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Istrouma Baptist Church. We met primarily with the Sports Outreach Director, ML Woodruff, for most of the meeting; although, the head Pastor did come in and speak with us briefly. From the moment we entered the meeting room, it was nothing less than a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. After we sat down, were asked to state our names, hometowns and something extra about each of us. After Woodruff knowledgably referenced something or someone to our hometowns, we all mingled and then got to business. As we looked over the outline that was handed to us at the beginning of the meeting, Woodruff repeatedly stated that this program isn’t for the church to profit from, nor is it for the church to attain more members; it simply was for the benefit and the enjoyment of kids and their families. While listening to the director speak about their already planned events from now until the summer, I couldn’t help but to notice his sincere desire to have a new event this year that will really top all others. Both the director and the head Pastor’s enthusiasm and passion for the wellbeing of mankind, especially kids, were exceedingly prevalent throughout the entire meeting.

One statement that really stuck out to me during today’s meeting was that “only 20% of the kids that participate in the church’s Sports Outreach Program attend the actual church.”  When we asked him, why was it so that the church had such low participation from their own members and he simply said “transportation.” That statement made me think about the fact that the public transportation system in Baton Rouge is incredibly unsatisfactory; and maybe if it was not so poor, that participation percentage of kids from the church could potentially be higher. That only leaves me to wonder and think about, if the inadequate public transportation system in Baton Rouge hinders children and their families from participating in extracurricular activities, it should be safe for me to assume that they are probably hindered in handling a lot of other tasks. Not only is transportation a hassle, the Church is located off Airline highway and is often hard to maneuver through the lanes to get to the Church if coming from I-10 west which also creates another hindrance in the ability to obtain active participants to join.

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