Sample Public Relations Project (PRP)


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This is a Public Relations Project that Micah Melling led during his junior year of high school. This paper can serve as a model for how to format and develop written papers for DECA competition.

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Sample Public Relations Project (PRP)

  1. 1. I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The goal of this project was to create awareness about the dangers of texting Project 21: Stop Texting and Driving is a while driving for all ages. Clinton DECAPublic Relations Project. The project was then set out to show the need for changingorganized and carried out by the Clinton DECA Chapter. Missouri‘s texting and driving law.Missouri Representative Scott Lipke introduced a crime bill — passed and signed by Gov. JayNixon on July 9, 2009 — regarding texting and driving. Texting while driving is now againstthe law in Missouri. Texting specifically involves sending, reading, and writing text to othersusing a cell phone. The Missouri law stops short of holding all drivers responsible. Under thecurrent law, tickets are only given to drivers under the age of 21.Missouri‘s texting and driving law is a serious issue that Clinton DECA deemed worthy toaddress, and the chapter determined the law ultimately needs to be changed. The chapterbelieves that the law needs to be changed to make it illegal to text and drive for every Missouricitizen, regardless of age.The two goals of Clinton DECA‘s Project 21 are:1. To create an interest in changing the Missouri law to hold all drivers responsible and2. To increase awareness about the dangers of texting and driving.In regard to changing the law, Clinton DECA created a petition to be promoted statewidethrough the Association of Missouri DECA. DECA chapters throughout the state were used as avehicle to get signatures on the petitions. The signed petitions from all over the state werereturned to Project 21 headquarters, Clinton DECA, in the middle of January. In turn, ClintonDECA gave them to State Representative Scott Largent. Representative Largent then gave thepetitions to other Missouri Representatives.Regarding awareness about the dangers of texting and driving, Clinton DECA surveyed andfound many did not realize the extreme dangers created by texting while driving. Several studiesshow that texting while driving is more dangerous than drinking while driving. To increaseawareness of the dangers, Clinton DECA assembled a full-scale promotional plan using a mix offive different forms of media:  Print Media  Broadcast Media  Online Media  Billboard Media  Event MediaThrough the massive public relations campaign,Project 21: Stop Texting and Driving, ClintonDECA has made a significant impact on creatingawareness and influencing a change in the law. 1
  2. 2. II. CAMPAIGN THEME OR FOCUS A. Statement and description of the issue to be addressedKevin Miller, Clinton, Missouri Chief of Police - ―Twenty-one isn‘t a magic number that saysyou can text and drive. The law should actually be for people over 21. Those under 21 havegreat texting skills. They may not be better drivers, but they are much better texters.‖ Texting has become a phenomenon; nearly every teenager and young adult sends textmessages. The first text message was sent in 1989 by Edward Lantz, a NASA employee. It wassent through a Motorola beeper. The text consisted of numbers read upside down in order todecipher the message (1). In 1992, an SMS message (text message) was sent in a UnitedKingdom commercial using a desktop computer. The message read ―Merry Christmas‖ and wasdelivered to a handset device (2). Some believe this to be the first true text message ever sent. Texting was not widely used throughout the nineties; it was mostly utilized for the deaf(2). However, in the year 2000, AT&T became one of the first major carriers to bring textmessaging to the United States (1). Since then, texting has become a habit for many Americans.In 2008, Americans sent 1 trillion text messages, meaning that 3.5 billion texts were senteveryday (3). In the first half of 2009, there were 740 billion texts sent in the US (4). Teens are the biggest user of the texting phenomenon. In the fourth quarter of 2008,teens sent an average of 2,272 texts a month (5). Due to the habit forming text-messaging byfrequent texters, some claim that it is addictive. Some studies even show that texting can be asaddictive as smoking cigarettes (1). Since texting is a habit and even addictive to some, people will answer a message nomatter where they are, even if they are driving. Therefore, people often text while driving. 2
  3. 3. In fact, in a printed survey of 400 Clinton High School (CHS) drivers, 72% of thosesurveyed have sent a text message while driving, which proves this is a critical issue that needsto be addressed. (Survey results are found on page 16). On August 28, 2009, Missouri‘s law against texting and driving was put into effect. Thelaw makes it illegal for people under the age of 21 to text while driving. The law is part of anomnibus crime bill passed by Missouri legislators earlier in 2009. Those under 21 caught textingwhile driving will receive a $200 fine for the offense. The law cites texting while driving as aprimary offense, meaning that drivers can be stopped by law enforcement officers based solelyon suspicion (6). According to William Bremer of the Missouri Highway Patrol, law enforcerseven have the right to check text message history to see if someone was texting before they werepulled over. The major problem with this law is that it only affects people under the age of 21;therefore, it does not completely protect Missouri drivers and passengers from the dangers oftexting and driving, which is another issue that needs to be addressed. B. Rationale for selecting the issue The rationale for Clinton DECA selecting the issue of texting and driving is based on twomain reasons. Reason 1: Texting and driving is dangerous. Studies show that texting while drivingcauses a 400% increase in time spent with one‘s eyes off the road (7). This particular statistictells just how dangerous texting and driving is – if someone is not watching the road, safety is ata minimum. Here are more facts about the dangers of texting and driving:  Teenagers say that texting is their number one distraction while driving (7).  Of all cell phone related tasks, which include talking, dialing, or even just reaching for the phone, texting while driving is the most dangerous (7). 3
  4. 4.  Texting and driving takes away a driver‘s focus for an average of 4.6 seconds. If traveling 55 mph, that is enough time to cover the distance of a football field (8).  A study by Clemson University showed that texting and using iPods while driving caused drivers to drift out of their lanes 10% more often (8).  Texting while driving is more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol (9).  The reaction time of a person while texting and driving deteriorates by approximately 35%. That is much worse than a person at the legal drinking limit, whose reaction slows by 12%. It was also worse than someone who had smoked cannabis, whose reactions are 21% slower (9).  Drivers who text have 90% less control of their steering wheel (10). Clinton DECA believes there is a need to make people aware of these dangers because,although it is currently illegal for people under 21 to text and drive, this law is difficult toenforce. Representative Largent agreed, ―It‘s a very hard law to enforce. It‘s more about makinga point. I find it hard to believe that police officers sit on the side of the road and try to catchpeople who appear to be under 21 texting and driving.‖ In fact, according to Clinton Chief of Police Kevin Miller, Clinton police have not issuedany citations for texting and driving. Enforcement is difficult. The law may not be enough to keep people from texting whiledriving. Therefore, people need to be educated in order to understand how dangerous textingand driving really is and make a decision not to text while driving. Reason 2: Missouri’s texting and driving law needs to be changed. Missouri‘s lawagainst texting and driving currently only makes it illegal for those under the age of 21 to textand drive. Texting is also prevalent among people over 21, and many will answer a text nomatter what the circumstances. For example, many adults constantly text or send emails that arework related. People under 21 are not the only ones who text and drive. 4
  5. 5. Concerning this topic, Sergeant William Bremer of the Missouri Highway Patrol said,―People over 21 are just as likely to be involved in an accident while texting and driving. It‘sdistracted driving no matter which way you look at it. If someone under 21 is affected by it,everyone should be affected by it.‖ Amending the law to make texting while driving illegal for every Missouri citizen wouldcertainly be a major step to ensuring more safety on Missouri‘s roads and would put Missouri ina more responsible position for guarding against deaths caused by texting while driving. Representative Largent further said, ―I certainly think that changing the law to includeeveryone would go a long way to make roads safer, and that was the original intent – to makeroads safer. When the original bill came out, it got a lot of push back because it applied to a lotof legislators. Therefore, it didn‘t get a lot of support. No one wants to pass a law that impedeswhat you do. They found an age where they had enough support to get a law passed which stillretained most of the original law.‖ This statement by Representative Largent is what is most disturbing about the law as itis – legislators know that texting while driving is dangerous for all ages, but they chose to passthe law for only a specific group of people. Representative Largent continued, ―A lot of times on new legislations you have to take ita step at a time and stagger it out. But in this case, I wish they would have made it illegal foreveryone right off the bat. I can‘t see a good reason why it‘s legal for those who aren‘t as goodat texting. They may be better drivers but not better ‗texters.‘‖ To truly make an impact, this Missouri law needs to include everyone and not just aspecific group of citizens. Representative Ron Wells may have summed it up best. ―That‘s like 5
  6. 6. saying, ‗You can kill yourself if you‘re over 21.‘ Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road.‖ (11) C. Description of the target population (such as community, school, etc) Project 21: Stop Texting and Driving targets people in the community of Clinton, Missouri, the State of Missouri, and many DECA members across the US. Therefore, the focus of this project is to reach as many people as possible because the chapter believes that texting while driving is dangerous for everyone everywhere. Clinton DECA even gained some national exposure by getting an article published in the DECA Dimensions. The primary, secondary, and tertiary targets are described in this chart. Target Reach People Reached PopulationPrimary (Clinton  The most awareness about the dangers  There is the potential to reach an audienceResidents and of texting while driving was raised in of 10,000 people in Clinton and informMissouri Law the community of Clinton. them about the message of Project 21.Makers)  The petitions were specifically aimed  When introduced to Missouri lawmakers, at getting Missouri law makers‘ the petitions could possibly influence a attention. change in the law.Secondary Getting the texting while driving law By reaching out to all Missouri DECA(Missouri DECA changed was a statewide endeavor. Chapters, there is the potential to reach nearlyMembers and Missouri DECA Chapters were informed 10,000 students. The 1,250 Missouri citizensCitizens) about the petitions via email. Willing who signed the petitions were also reached by chapters helped get petition signatures the message of Project 21. However, all from Missouri citizens around the state. citizens will be affected if these petitions contribute to getting the law changed.Tertiary (National An article about the project was DECA National President Ryan DyckDECA Members) published in the January edition of estimates that the Dimensions has a DECA Dimensions, DECA‘s National readership of nearly 230,000. Magazine. 6
  7. 7. III. LOCAL MEDIA AND OTHER PROMOTIONAL POSSIBILITIES A. Local print and broadcast media available Anthony Robbins, motivational speaker and writer – ―To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.‖ Clinton DECA wanted a media mix to reach as many people as possible with the messageof Project 21 and found the above statement from Anthony Robbins, an expert communicator, toguide their decisions for media. When a message is targeted at a large audience, the media mustbe varied to appeal to as many as possible. For this reason, Clinton DECA evaluated five formsof media and selected the best mix for communicating the message to the target markets. Print Media Available. The Clinton Daily Democrat is a well-established newspaper inthe Clinton community and is the primary form of print media available to the Clintoncommunity. The Democrat has a circulation of 4,250 that reaches people in and around Clinton.The paper accepts and scrutinizes submitted articles to be published along with having a staff ofwriters. Together, this comprises the content of the paper. The Kayo is another newspaper based out of Clinton; it has a circulation of 14,792. TheKayo, though widely distributed, is less likely to be read by the target audience as it is primarilyused for advertisements. The CHS Wildcard is Clinton High School‘s newspaper. It reaches over 600 students,faculty, and parents every three weeks. Broadcast Media Available. KDKD FM is a country radio station based out of Clinton;KDKD also has an AM station that plays music from the 60s and 70s. Established in 1951, thestation has grown into a popular listening spot for at least 62,500 listeners each week on both the 7
  8. 8. AM and FM. KDKD is community oriented and, in addition to playing music, KDKD sponsorsand carries out these events:  Broadcasting all CHS football, basketball, and baseball games  A local ―Speak Out‖ Program to create public awareness about upcoming events  The Colgate Country Showdown  A Bridal Expo  A Home Show Due to these many community oriented events, KDKD has a favorable image in the eyesof the community and continues its excellence on a daily basis. Putting a brief message about texting while driving on Clinton High School‘s dailyannouncements is another form of broadcast media. Additionally, having the high school‘s TVproduction class, Card TV, feature a story offers an additional option. B. Other possible promotion activity(ies) Web Media. With the internet becoming increasingly popular, online media is one of thenewest and most effective forms of media (12). Starting a project website would be an option totake advantage of utilizing online media. Social Networking Media. Online social networking sites are also becoming a trend.Sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter all have several million users. Promoting the intentsof the project on one of these sites may also be an effective way to advance the project‘smessage. Billboard Media. Billboard media is one of the oldest and most effective forms ofpromotion (12). Putting messages on digital billboards around town or posting fliers inbusinesses is an option for promotion. Event Media. Hosting or organizing an event is another useful way of promotion andcommunication. During an event, direct communication is experienced; face-to-face 8
  9. 9. conversation is the most effective way to engage people into a certain cause. Having a school-wide assembly or speaking at adult organizations are possibilities to exercise this most effectiveform of media promotion. Presentations. Making a presentation at the state capitol in Jefferson City is a possibilityto directly contact those who can help Clinton DECA meet their goal of contributing to changeMissouri‘s texting and driving law. Petitions. Although petitions may be focused on getting the law changed, everyone whosigns a petition and everyone that sees a petition would be more informed about the message ofthe project. Surveys. Even though surveys are meant to collect data and to measure results, anyonewho sees or fills out a survey is further informed about the project. Specialty Media. Specialty media consists of tangible goods printed with an imprintedmessage. Examples include key chains, bracelets, paper pads, and T-shirts (12). Utilizingspecialty media to convey the message of Project 21 is a possibility for Clinton DECA. Other Forms of Media. Other possible promotional activities include getting NationalDECA to declare a National No Texting and Driving Week, making a DVD about the dangers oftexting and driving, and putting fliers on windshields of cars in the Clinton High School parkinglot. C. Media mix and rationale for media and other promotional activity(ies) Clinton DECA carefully chose the media outlets of the possibilities listed above thatwould be used to most effectively communicate their message. They created a step-by-stepmedia mix they believed would help them reach their goals for the campaign. 9
  10. 10. Print Media. Selected Media/Promotion RationaleThe Clinton Daily Democrat The Clinton Daily Democrat reaches over 4,000 people in  Articles about the project the Clinton community. Therefore, by publishing multiple articles, Clinton DECA was able to effectively reach their primary target market with a recurrent theme.Inserts in the program of a Clinton High Hundreds of high school students and community membersSchool football game attend Clinton High School‘s football games. Putting inserts in the program of a game was an effective way to inform hundreds of people in the primary market about the dangers of texting while driving.DECA Dimensions DECA Dimensions has the potential to reach 230,000  Article about the project national DECA Members and alumni, which effectively reaches the tertiary market.Hardcopy Petitions Petitions to get the law changed were sent to DECA chapters throughout the state and these chapters were informed to promote the petitions in their communities. After the petitions were finished being signed, they were given to State Representative Scott Largent who then gave them to other Missouri Representatives. Furthermore, anyone who saw or signed a petition may have been reminded about the dangers of texting while driving. This activity helped reach both the primary and secondary target markets.CHS Wildcard The CHS Wildcard is Clinton High School‘s newspaper. The  Editorial Wildcard reaches over 600 students, faculty, and parents  Article about the project every three weeks, which reaches the primary target market of Project 21.Surveys Clinton DECA conducted two surveys of Clinton High School students to collect data and measure results. Anyone who saw or filled out a survey was more informed about the project and may have been reminded about the dangers of texting while driving. 10
  11. 11. Broadcast Media. Selected Media/Promotion RationaleKDKD Radio Station KDKD Radio reaches over 60,000 people a week. Through  Public Service Announcement using KDKD, Clinton DECA reached several thousand  ―Speak Out‖ people in the primary market with the same message  Air time during basketball games multiple times by using the three promotional tools found on the left side of this chart. Online Media. Selected Media/Promotion RationaleWebsite To help make the public aware of upcoming project events and details, a project website was started ( com/site/stoptextinganddriving/home).Online Petition In order to make petition signings more accessible, an online petition was started ( petition.html).Facebook Group To create awareness for the project website and the online petition, a Facebook Group was started to remind its members to check the website and sign the petition. Billboard Media. Selected Media/Promotion RationaleGolden Valley Memorial Hospital Billboard Clinton‘s hospital lies on the corner of Highways 7 and 13, two busy highways. The hospital has a digital billboard that makes several hundred impressions a day on the primary and even secondary target markets.Hawthorn Bank Billboard Hawthorn Bank in Clinton has a digital billboard located on one of the busiest streets in town. Having a promotional message on this billboard makes impressions on many people in the primary market.Fliers Clinton DECA members put fliers about the project in several businesses around Clinton. Many people in the primary market saw these fliers in multiple places around town, thus making a recurrent impression. 11
  12. 12. Event Media. Selected Media/Promotion RationaleSchool-Wide Assembly There are 600 students and faculty in Clinton High School. By having an assembly about the dangers of texting while driving, 600 people in the primary market directly learned about the dangers of texting while driving.Speaking at the Rotary Club Speaking at their January 7, 2010 meeting made some of the most influential people in the Clinton community aware of Clinton DECA‘s project. Therefore, it further created awareness in the primary market.Speaking at Sunrise Optimist Speaking at their weekly meeting on January 7, 2010 also created further awareness in the primary market.Presentation at the State Capitol Having Project 21 Chairperson Micah Melling visit the Missouri State Capitol and speak about the project directly impacted Missouri lawmakers, which is a portion of the primary target. Further rationale for the media mix includes a few available media options which were considered but not selected to be a part of Project 21’s media mix for the following reasons.  Articles were put in The Democrat as opposed to The Kayo for the simple fact that The Kayo is not as well-received and, therefore, is not as effective of an option.  Clinton DECA chose Facebook over Myspace and Twitter. Myspace is less popular among the primary market and Twitter is more for constant updates. Neither MySpace nor Twitter were not deemed as effective choices.  Project Chairperson Micah Melling endeavored to get Card TV to do a story about the project; however, due to the reasons of it being a monthly program where only certain stories are covered, it did not occur. 12
  13. 13.  Announcements on the school intercom are limited to only a few subjects due to time restraints; therefore, a message on the intercom could not occur. Specialty media was eliminated as it is an expensive way of promotion that Clinton DECA was unable to afford while covering other essential expenses. Project chairperson Micah Melling talked with DECA National President Ryan Dyck about having him declare a National No Texting and Driving Week for DECA members. Ryan researched the possibility of doing this but informed Micah that it needed to be cleared with DECA‘s Board of Directors and would be difficult to get something like this to occur. The idea of making and distributing a DVD about the dangers of texting and driving was discarded as Clinton DECA had concerns about how many people would actually watch the DVD. The possibility of putting fliers on the windshields of cars was seriously considered but was decided against in an effort to keep Project 21 as eco-friendly as possible. 13
  14. 14. IV. CAMPAIGN ORGANIZATION AND IMPLEMENTATION A. Organizational chart, member involvement and job description Phil Jackson, NBA basketball coach - ―The strength of the team is each individual member...the strength of each member is the team.‖ Chapter Advisors: Janell Allred and Cindy Perry Project Chairperson: Micah Melling Activities Coordinator: Website Director: Head of Research: Brogan McWilliams Hayden Lowe Malori McGhee DECA Members The quality of a public relations project and impact of its message is only as strong asthose who organize and implement it. With solid effort, leadership, and participation from theDECA Advisors, Project Chairperson, Clinton DECA, and Missouri DECA Members, theproject was a well orchestrated campaign. Chapter Advisors Cindy Perry and Janell Allred oversaw and approved all activities ofProject 21: Stop Texting and Driving. They were also both instrumental in arranging manypromotional aspects, such as (1) ―Speak Out‖ and the public service announcement on KDKD,(2) promotional messages on Hawthorn Bank‘s and GVMH Medical Plaza‘s billboards, and (3)speaking to the Rotary Club and the Sunrise Optimist Club. The Project Chairperson, Micah Melling, actively coordinated and helped carry out everyaspect of the campaign. His list of responsibilities included: 14
  15. 15.  Choosing the media mix  Choosing promotional activities  Coordinating each activity  Recruiting other DECA members to help with the project  Working with State Representative Scott Largent to start the petitions  Promoting the petitions on a statewide level Due to the magnitude of this project, Micah assembled a leadership team of DECAmembers to help him coordinate the many phases of the project. Brogan McWilliams helped coordinate promotional activities. His main responsibilitiesincluded submitting articles to The Clinton Daily Democrat and organizing the distribution offliers. Hayden Lowe‘s main responsibility was organizing and keeping the project websiteupdated. He updated the website frequently to make certain the site would be most accurate andhelpful to those who visited. Malori McGhee researched information on the structure of a petition and how toeffectively promote a petition. She collaborated with Micah and Representative Largent to startthe petitions and gain support and signatures from people in the Clinton community. The following are additional activities assigned to and carried out by chapter members.  Putting inserts in the programs of a Clinton High School football game  Distributing fliers to businesses around town  Encouraging residents to sign the petitions  Showing general support and enthusiasm for the project B. Description of the campaign and documentation The following charts describe how Clinton DECA worked towards meeting their goalsfor Project 21: Stop Texting and Driving. 15
  16. 16. Clinton DECA‘s first activity was conducting a print survey of 500 Clinton High School students (400 of whom were drivers) that helped them obtain data and determine how to most efficiently approach this project. Results from the survey are as follows:  72% of CHS drivers have sent a text message while driving  80% of CHS students are aware of Missouri‘s law against texting and driving  72% of CHS students are aware of the $200 fine if caught texting and driving  53% of CHS students think Missouri‘s texting and driving law is unfair  81% of CHS students think the law should apply to all Missouri citizens  21% of CHS students think the law will significantly change the number of people under 21 who text while driving  18% of CHS drivers will no longer text while driving because of the law  35% of CHS drivers will text less while driving because of the law  47% of CHS drivers say the law will in no way affect their texting while driving habits This chart describes how Clinton DECA worked to meet the project goal of creating awareness about the dangers of texting while driving.Activity Name Description DocumentationClinton Daily An article about the dangers of textingDemocrat Article while driving and the project was#1 submitted and published in The Clinton Daily Democrat on November 9, 2009. 16
  17. 17. Inserts in a CHS An insert about the dangers of textingfootball game and driving was put in each programprogram of the Clinton High School home football game on October 16, 2009.DECA An article about the project wasDimensions published in the January edition on theArticle DECA Dimensions.CHS Wildcard Project Chairperson Micah Melling,Article #1 who is also on the high school‘s newspaper staff, wrote an editorial about texting and driving, urging students to refrain from doing it. He wrote this article as publicity for one of the main goals of the project - creating awareness about the dangers of texting while driving. 17
  18. 18. KDKD Public A public service announcement about PSA ScriptService texting and driving was recorded at Stephanie: ―Hey Micah, why did it take you so longAnnouncement KDKD radio station in October 2009 and to answer my text the other day?‖ will remain on the air until May 2010. Micah: ―I was driving.‖ Stephanie: ―Why did that stop you? It hasn‘t before.‖ Micah: ―Don‘t you know? There‘s a new law that makes it illegal for people under 21 to text and drive.‖ Stephanie: ―I hadn‘t heard that. But isn‘t texting and driving dangerous for everybody, not just people under 21?‖ Micah: ―It sure is. So no matter what age you are, don‘t text and drive.‖Golden Valley The message ―Texting and Driving:Memorial Dangerous for All‖ was run on GoldenHospital Valley Memorial Hospital‘s digitalBillboard billboard.Hawthorn Bank Another message was displayed on theBillboard digital billboard at Hawthorn Bank in Clinton. (Please note that only the first slide of the message is being displayed). The rest of the slides comprised the message ―Texting and driving causes crashes. Make the decision to not text and drive, no matter what age you may be.‖ 18
  19. 19. School-Wide An assembly was held for all ClintonAssembly High School students about the dangers of texting and driving. On January 13, 2010, three highway patrolmen made a presentation about the dangers of texting while driving. The presentation included a PowerPoint of video clips, statistics, and group studies. The following chart describes how Clinton DECA strove to meet the project goal of creating an interest in changing the Missouri law against texting and driving to include every Missouri citizen.Activity Name Description DocumentationOnline Petitions The online petitions were an extension of the hardcopy petitions. This made the petitions accessible to people who couldn‘t find an opportunity to sign a hardcopy petition. 19
  20. 20. Hardcopy Throughout discussion with StatePetitions Representative Scott Largent, Clinton DECA concluded that the most effective way to get legislators‘ attention was to start a petition. Being able to show Missouri lawmakers the signatures of thousands of people in their state who disagree with one of their laws makes a profound statement. Therefore, Clinton DECA initiated a petition to change Missouri‘s texting and driving law and make texting while driving illegal for every Missouri citizen. Clinton DECA displayed the petitions in several locations in their town, such as a supermarket, a bank, the high school, and the hospital. In order to make the largest impact, the petitions were promoted around the State of Missouri. Clinton DECA used other Missouri DECA chapters as a vehicle to get signatures. A statewide email was sent to all Missouri DECA chapters which explained the petitions and requested their help in getting signatures. (A copy of the petition was attached to the email). Project Chairperson Micah Melling used his position as a DECA State Officer to recruit the help of the other 15 Missouri DECA State Officers. Micah sent an email to them and requested their help. He requested that the District Vice-Presidents heavily promote these petitions in their district. He also requested that the four executive officers (President, Vice- President, Secretary, and Reporter) use their leadership positions to promote the petitions around the state. Micah, who is the District 4 Vice- President, strongly promoted the petitions in his district. 20
  21. 21. This chart describes activities that were aimed at creating general awareness about the project and the petitions.Activity Name Description DocumentationProject Website A project website was started to inform Please refer to the URL people about the dangers of texting while stoptextinganddriving/home. driving. The site also provided information about upcoming project events.Clinton Daily An article about the petitions, where toDemocrat Article sign them, and why to sign them was#2 submitted and published in The Clinton Daily Democrat on December 7, 2009.CHS Wildcard An article about Project 21: StopArticle #2 Texting and Driving was written and published in The CHS Wildcard on November 20, 2009. 21
  22. 22. Clinton Daily A third article about texting and drivingDemocrat Article appeared in The Democrat on#3 December 14, 2009. The article included an interview with Clinton Chief of Police Kevin Miller and discussed the dangers of texting and driving as well as the project.KDKD ―Speak KDKD has a weekly program whereOut‖ Program community members can speak about upcoming events. Project Chairperson Micah Melling took advantage of this opportunity and spoke about the campaign on ―Speak Out‖ on November 30, 2009.Air Time During KDKD Radio broadcasts both ClintonBasketball Games High School boys‘ and girls‘ basketball games. Micah is the sportscaster for all the girls‘ games and some of the boys‘ games. During the halftime show of the games, he frequently gave updates on the project and gave information on where citizens could sign the petitions. 22
  23. 23. Facebook Group A project Facebook Group was created to increase awareness for the online petitions and the project website. Micah would post links and reminders on the group‘s page where its members were reminded to visit the project website and sign the online petition.Fliers Fliers were put around town in businesses, restaurants, and supermarkets with the dual purpose of creating awareness about the dangers of texting while driving and promoting the online petitions. 23
  24. 24. Speaking at the On January 7, 2010, Micah spoke atRotary Club Clinton‘s Rotary Club. The main focus of the presentation was creating awareness about the project and getting local citizens to sign the petition. He also requested that local business owners display a petition in their business establishments.Speaking at Micah also spoke to the Sunrise Optimist CSunrise Optimist Club on January 7, 2010 about Project 21 and the dangers of texting while driving. Clinton DECA conducted another print survey of 500 Clinton High School students at the end of the campaign to help measure their results. (The 400 CHS drivers who took the first survey were included in this survey). The results are as follows:  31% of CHS drivers who took the survey at the beginning of the year are now doing less texting while driving  53% of all CHS drivers say the assembly will cause them to text less while driving  53% of CHS students say that their attitude towards texting while driving has been changed  75% of CHS students feel they are more aware about the dangers of texting while driving than they were at the beginning of the school year  10% of CHS drivers who took the survey at the beginning of the year are now texting while driving more  59% of CHS drivers who took the survey at the beginning of the year are now texting while driving the same as before 24
  25. 25. In December, five Missouri legislators pre-filed to change Missouri‘s texting and drivinglaw and make texting while driving illegal for everyone. These bills are now in the committeestage of becoming a law. There are three committees that will decide which, if any of these, willbe voted upon by Missouri lawmakers to be put into effect for Missouri citizens. On February25, 2010, Project 21 Chairperson Micah Melling traveled to the State Capitol in Jefferson City totell Missouri lawmakers about Project 21. Micah told several Missouri lawmakers about theproject. The legislators to whom he talked included the Speaker of the House, Ron Richard, andState Representative Ron Wells. Representative Wells is one of the representatives who has filedto change the texting and driving law. According to Representative Largent, RepresentativeWells‘ piece of legislation has a realistic chance of being passed and becoming a law. C. Estimated impact on the target population Estimated impact to the primary target market. Clinton DECA‘s primary target wasClinton residents and Missouri lawmakers. Clinton DECA launched a full-scale media mix toinform residents of Clinton about the dangers of texting while driving. By having a repeatedmessage delivered through different forms of media, Clinton DECA informed or remindedpeople about the dangers of texting while driving. By doing this, Clinton DECA believes thatthese dangers are now more in the forefront of drivers‘ minds. In fact, 75% of Clinton HighSchool students are now more aware about the dangers of texting and driving, and 31% aretexting less while driving than they were at the beginning of the school year. (Survey resultsfound on page 24). The chapter believes they have also made an impact to Missouri‘s lawmakers‘ interest inchanging the law. According to Representative Largent, Clinton DECA‘s endeavors, along withthe actions of a few other groups throughout the state, have caught lawmakers‘ attention. By 25
  26. 26. collecting 1,250 signatures on their petitions, Clinton DECA‘s efforts may help factor into thedecisions of lawmakers when they decide whether or not to change the law. Estimated impact to the secondary market. Clinton DECA secondarily targetedMissouri DECA members and Missouri residents. Missouri DECA members were used as a toolto obtain petition signatures. Even though they were not necessarily exposed to the messageconcerning the dangers of texting and driving, signing a petition, or even seeing a petition, mayhave brought those dangers more to the forefronts of their minds. Both these groups have made an impact by working to change Missouri‘s texting anddriving law, which would make Missouri‘s roads safer than they are today. Estimated impact to the tertiary market. National DECA members made up thetertiary market. They were reached through an article in the DECA Dimensions. Clinton DECAbelieves the DECA members who read the article in the Dimensions are more informed about theproject and possibly more conscious about the dangers of texting while driving. V. EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS A. Evaluation of the process The evaluation process included: looking back objectively, adjusting, and moving forward successfully. In the words of Winston Churchill, "There is no use saying ‗we are doing our best.‘ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary." In evaluative retrospect, Clinton DECA believes they were successful in reaching thegoal to create awareness about the dangers of texting and driving. The residents of Clinton, partof the primary market, were exposed to the project and its message numerous times. Each formof print media reached hundreds of people every time something was published. KDKD Radiocontinues to play the public service announcement, thereby furthering the message. 26
  27. 27. The billboard media that was used was also overtly successful. Both Hawthorn Bank andGolden Valley Memorial Hospital displayed the messages for months. The speakingengagements at Sunrise Optimist and Rotary were well received, and the message of Project 21was greatly supported by those who heard it. The school-wide assembly was also well received.In fact, 53% of CHS drivers who were at the assembly say that it will cause them to text lesswhen driving. The Clinton DECA Chapter as a whole recognizes the success of both the website andFacebook Group. The potential reach for these two media outlets is extraordinary, and ClintonDECA is satisfied with the response to these two forms of media. Clinton DECA also believes that they were successful in reaching their goal of creatingan interest in changing Missouri‘s texting and driving law to be inclusive for every citizen. Bydoing this project and displaying support for a change in the law, an impact has been made.Representative Largent has talked about Clinton DECA‘s efforts to other representatives, makingthem aware of the support for a change in the law. Representative Largent has been a big proponent to the new texting and driving law,largely because Clinton DECA has spurred his action through their efforts. Collectively, throughboth their endeavors, a difference has been made in getting this law changed. Five amended versions of a new texting and driving law are currently in the committeestage of becoming a new law. According to Representative Largent, support for a change in thelaw is evident as there were multiple lawmakers who pre-filed for a change. Also, according toRepresentative Largent, the possibility of getting the law changed is realistic, which would maketexting while driving illegal for every Missouri citizen. 27
  28. 28. Clinton DECA was able to amass 1,250 petition signatures. The chapter feels that these petitions can help show Missouri lawmakers there is support for a change. Although Clinton DECA would have liked to have received more signatures, they believe 1,250 can still make an impact.State Representative Scott Largent presentsProject 21 Chairperson Micah Melling with a Representative Largent agreed, ―I think that theletter of recognition from Speaker of theHouse Ron Richard for his work on revising petitions have the potential to help get the law toMissouri‘s texting and driving law. apply to everyone. A lot of people who are under 21 feel a little disenfranchised because they feel they don‘t have anything to offer in the terms of legislation. This is an opportunity to see if Missouri‘s youth can overcome certain legislations; it shows that their opinions matter and that they can make a difference.‖ B. Recommendations for future campaigns Through working on this project, Clinton DECA has two main areas for recommendations for future Public Relations Campaigns. Recommendations for a Public Relations Project in General. Clinton DECA found that by utilizing the quote by Anthony Robbins to inspire them to use several different forms of media was a key to their success. Clinton DECA recommends that future campaigns take this same approach. The chapter also suggests creating a project Facebook Group and website. However, if that is done, it needs to be properly promoted. A large number of people need to be invited to join the Facebook Group. This can be done by having several DECA members invite all their Facebook friends to join the group. The chapter also believes the most effective way to promote the website is by word of mouth. Clinton DECA mentioned the website in several 28
  29. 29. promotions but never in a face-to-face encounter. Results can be found by mentioning thewebsite in newspaper articles or on the radio, but Clinton DECA believes direct contact wouldhave produced even better results. Recommendations for trying to change a law. This was Clinton DECA‘s firstexperience with trying to change a law. By looking back and reflecting on this goal, the chapterhas the following as recommendations. Clinton DECA does not recommend using an onlinepetition. Although it may sound effective, the chapter found it difficult to achieve resultsthrough an online petition. The chapter believes an online petition is also difficult to promote. Ifpromoted on the radio or in the newspaper, many are not near a computer to sign when it is freshin their mind. This also ties into the recommendation to effectively use online media. If theonline petition is effectively promoted through other online medias, more people may signbecause they were reminded to do so while online. To have a larger impact when trying to change a statewide law through a petition, it isimportant to get signatures from citizens throughout the state. Clinton DECA promoted thepetitions via email to DECA chapters throughout the state. While some chapters did get petitionsignatures, Clinton DECA had hoped for more of a response. Clinton DECA believes that moredirect contact, such as a phone call, should be used in place of email when attempting tostimulate a response as large as the chapter had wanted. Clinton DECA recommends for future students to continue to seize opportunities,research thoroughly, and to work diligently. This year, Clinton DECA was pleased and proud ofthe results of Project 21. Making a difference can be achieved. 29
  30. 30. VI. BIBLIOGRAPHY(1) ―Youth Culture and New Technologies.‖ Http:// M/Cyclopedia. Web. 16 Nov. 2009.(2) ―The History of Text Messaging.‖ Http:// Articlesbase. Web. 16 Nov. 2009.(3) Park, William. ―Americans Sent 1 Trillion SMS Text Messages in 2008!‖ Http:// IntoMobile. Web. 16 Nov. 2009.(4) ―How Many SMS Text Messages Sent in a Day in the US?‖ Http:// Tech Crunchies – Internet Statistics and Numbers. Web. 16 Nov. 2009.(5) Hafner, Katie. ―Texting May Be Taking a Toll.‖ Http:// New York Times. Web. 16 Nov. 2009.(6) Berg, Rebecca. ―New Texting-While-Driving Law Goes into Effect.‖ Http:// Missourian. Web. 18 Nov. 2009.(7) ―Car Accident Cell Phone Statistics.‖ Http:// Edgar Snyder. Web. 18 Nov. 2009.(8) ―Shocking Statistics and Video about Texting While Driving.‖ Http:// Web. 19 Nov. 2009.(9) Nugent, Helen. ―Texting While Driving is More Dangerous than Drunk-Driving.‖ Http:// TimesOnline. Web. 19 Nov. 2009.(10) ―Time to Hit ‗Send‘ on Texting Bans.‖ Kansas City Star. 11 Dec. 2009: A25. Print.(11) ―Missouri Proposes Banning Texting for All Drivers.‖ Http:// KCTV5 News. Web. 15 Dec 2009.(12) Farese, Schneider Lois. Marketing Essentials. New York: McGraw, 2006. Print. 30