Measuring Success

By Jennifer Janicki

As we near our final project deadline, it’s important to establish guidelines for evaluating the performance of our suggestions. Although we won’t be performing the evaluation ourselves, we want to ensure we give a complete package to our client, Caritas of Waco, and make it easy for them to measure the success of the campaign.

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Video by Bloomberg

To measure the increase in awareness for Hidden Treasures, Caritas can calculate how many customers the Back to School Bash brought in, how many stories about Caritas circulated the news after implementing the campaign and how much communication to supporters increased.

Both Hidden Treasures locations average about 68 customers per day, so a successful event would bring in about 200 people to the store. Since the end goal is awareness, the amount of people at the event is more important than sales volume. Similarly, an increase of 5 percent in media presence and 15 percent in supporter communication would also indicate this first goal of community awareness has been accomplished.

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Photo by Andrew Bryngelson

Next, to see if the customer base has been expanded, Caritas could review the results from a perception survey. If the perception has positively improved by five percent, we would have met one of our objectives. Measuring if store traffic has increased by 20 people per week and if print advertising has increased by five percent, would also show if we successfully expanded Caritas’ customer base.

Finally, to show improvement on social media, Hidden Treasures Facebook page likes and engagement should increase by 10 percent, and each post should feature an appealing photo or graphic.

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Photo of Hidden Treasures Facebook Page

Overall, an assessment of each of these goals will help Caritas determine if our campaign helped further their mission. Though we attempted to make strategic, attainable suggestions, only time will tell if our plan will have an impact on Caritas, and consequently the Waco community.

Planning Ahead: Establishing Goals & Objectives

By Jennifer Janicki

I’m excited by the progress we’ve made on our campaign so far. Caritas of Waco does such important work in the community and we are eager to contribute to the organization by using our public relations skills. We’ve completed a SWOT analysis, wrote vision and mission statements, and established our key publics.

To help us stay organized and on track with our campaign, we created goals and objectives for the project. First, we defined what we wanted to accomplish into three goals. Our team included goals aimed to manage reputation, relationships and tasks.

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Video by Study.com

Keeping them broad, we decided to work toward increasing awareness for Hidden Treasures by Caritas, expanding the customer base for the stores and improving social media use. Next, we set measurable objectives to reach our goals in a timely manner.

We tried to use numbers or percentages and make everything quantifiable. Some examples include, increase media coverage of the stores by five percent, increase Facebook page likes by 10 percent and increase advertising presence by five percent.

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Photo by Waco Chamber of Commerce

Then, we laid out some tactics to achieve our objectives. These were very specific and focused like, plan and execute a new annual event, promote higher-end merchandise, and consolidate the two Facebook pages into one.

By planning and prioritizing what we hope to accomplish, we will head into the next steps of the project informed and prepared. We now have an idea of what’s to be done and how that will hopefully, positively affect Caritas.

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Photo by Jennifer Janicki

As we develop our new event, it will be important to keep these goals at the forefront of our thinking and make sure each decision relates back to our original purpose for the campaign.

We learned in class how goals are important for every organization. While they vary significantly for each, all are essential for progress and eventual success.

Some Initial Thoughts

This semester, I will be working with a team of classmates to develop a PR campaign for Caritas of Waco. Caritas provides urgent support to people in need in the community through an emergency assistance food pantry, case management program, SNAP benefits assistance program and more.

Our team will be focusing on creating a new event to bring awareness and attention to the recently rebranded thrift stores, Hidden Treasures by Caritas. While the rebranding is a positive change long-term, it could cause some confusion for past customers and prove to be a challenge for the event.

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Photo by Ann Owen

Some other weaknesses we identified for Caritas in our SWOT analysis, that could also impact the success of a new event, include an outdated website, logistical challenges (Caritas’ services are spread across 3 locations) and almost too much differentiation of services which could mean current clients are unaware of the retail store operations.

But, Caritas has been serving the community for almost 50 years and has many strengths as well: name recognition in the Waco community, an extensive fundraising network, services that meet the needs of the clients and help them toward self-sufficiency, an experienced and involved Board of Directors, a strong social media presence and lasting partnerships with compatible agencies in the area.

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Video by KWKT Fox 44 and Greg May Honda

All these strengths will greatly benefit our team in the planning process. We can count on the fundraising network, strong social media presence and name recognition to aid in the promotion of the event.

Additionally, Caritas’ location will greatly impact the success of our proposed event. Being located next to a university and several religious organizations positions Caritas to have a large pool of potential event attendees or volunteers. With a poverty rate of close to 30 percent in Waco, we are guaranteed to have a large population interested in an event centered around significantly discounted apparel and goods.

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Photo by Waco Chamber of Commerce

Our main focuses moving forward will include event logistics and creating a marketing plan. We want to ensure we present Ann Owen and the rest of the Caritas team an event that is feasible, but also of interest to the community. With suggested fliers and social media posts, we can effectively show our client how a new event could be introduced to Caritas.