I’ll admit it. I don’t know anything about flash mobs. But I guess I’ll find out Wednesday at Kent State. Here’s the story.
One of the great things about teaching is to see students take an idea in the classroom and then make it come alive. And that’s what’s happening with an independent study class of public relations majors who are participating in the Do It Now College Challenge, a campaign sponsored by Donate Life Ohio. The goal of the campaign is to recruit 400,000 new organ donors in Ohio.
The college challenge is a statewide competition involving 14 colleges and universities. And the Kent State Do It Now team is organizing a flash mob Wednesday afternoon at 2:15 on the Kent campus in the Risman Plaza between the Student Center and Library. The idea is to present information about organ donations — and give students and others the opportunity to register to become organ donors. And while I’m certain Kent’s public relations students will win this competition — it won’t hurt to give them a little support and help. Right?
If you’re on campus. Stop by. Here’s an example of what you’ll see.
And at Kent State we work hard to give students the opportunity to gain professional experience while still in the classroom. Here’s a story about the Do It Now College Challenge written by Jillana Gall, an English major working this semester with Flash Communications, our student-run public relations agency. So if you’re not on campus, this gives you more background and ways to support Kent’s public relations team.
The “Do It Now” College Challenge
Save a Life. Be a Donor.
Kent State public relations students are hard at work promoting an important issue and competing with students at other Ohio universities as part of the “Do It Now” College Challenge.
In Ohio today there are nearly 2,500 people waiting for an organ transplant, and one Ohioan will die every other day because not enough organs are available. And Donate Life Ohio, a statewide division of Donate Life America, is helping to meet a national goal of increasing registered organ donors from 60 million to 100 million by teaming up with college campuses across Ohio for the “Do It Now” College Challenge.
Kent State’s campaign to increase organ donors was developed in the fall 2007 Public Relations Campaigns class and is now being implemented by seven junior public relations students who are participating in an independent study created by Assistant Professor of Public Relations Michele Ewing. The students on the campaign team are Julie McKinney, Deborah Pritchard, Lyndsay Elliott, Brittany Thoma, Jackie Lloyd, Katelyn Luysterborg and Brandi Neloms. There are 14 Ohio universities participating in the campaign and it is financed by The Second Chance Trust Fund and Ohio’s organ procurement agencies.
The challenge to the student teams competing at 14 Ohio universities is to register as many new donors as possible by May. Each university has its own predetermined registration goal, based on its surrounding population. The goal for Kent State is set at 14,571, and there have been 7,429 donors registered as of late March.
Kent’s PR students are using a variety of tactics to increase donor registration, but one of the innovative ways they are increasing awareness for this campaign is through the social networking site Facebook. Students have created a Facebook page to inform other students and peers about the campaign.
The page provides general information about the campaign, as well as links to the Donate Life Ohio and Do It Now Web sites. There is also a discussion board where members are invited to talk about what influenced their decisions to become organ donors. This is an open group, so any Facebook member is eligible to join. If you are interested in viewing this page, visit http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8182077415.
The Kent State Donate Life Ohio team look forward to a busy month in April, which is National Donate Life Month. They will be holding registration drives on campus, attending Kent State events to increase awareness for the campaign and implementing other online tactics to drive people to the registration site.
The Kent team will present its plan and results May 14 to the DLO Advisory Council. An overall winner will be selected among the 14 universities and awarded a donation of $5,000 to a campus student organization. If the Kent State DLO team wins, the money will go to the Public Relations Student Society of America. Other awards include a $250 donation to the best plan and most creative tactic implementation. Individual students on the winning teams will get the opportunity to have an interview for an internship at select Ohio marketing and public relations firms or with regional organ procurement organizations. Team members also receive reference letters from Donate Life Ohio.
If you are interested in becoming an organ donor, you can register by completing a paper enrollment at one of the Kent State DLO events or visiting http://www.doitnowohio.org/kent/. You can access additional information about “Do It Now” College Challenge at this site. The DLO Kent team needs volunteers to assist at events. If interested, visit the Kent DLO Facebook page.