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we identified for Caritas in our SWOT analysis, that could also impact the success of a new event, include an outdated website, logistical challenges (Caritas’ services are spread across 3 locations) and almost too much differentiation of services which could mean current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