The month of April serves as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, or SAAM as my team and I have come to affectionately call it.
Since taking over as the account executive for the Kankakee County Center Against Sexual Assault (KC-CASA), our local sexual assault crisis center, every thing that we have done for our client has been leading up to this month. Proposals, event planning, brainstorms, advertising/marketing, weekly meetings, late night creative brain dumps; all of it has led us here.
On Saturday night April 1, to kick off SAAM, KC-CASA hosted a Lip-Sync battle at the Knights of Columbus in downtown Kankakee. It serves as the first of many events that are to come this month. In addition to helping our client with the normal PR stuff – canvasing posters, media pitches to local newspapers, Facebook post sharing – we were presented with the opportunity to actually participate in the event as one of the eight acts set to face-off in the second annual lip-sync battle.
We had a BLAST!
Performing under the name PR Muses, we lip synced for our LIVES by performing “Zero to Hero” from the Disney classic, Hercules. We were the final act of an incredible night, going up against groups singing classics such as “Sisters” from White Christmas, “Proud Mary” that was sung by a guy who walked on dressed as Ike but walked off dressed like Tina, “Go Cubs Go”, and even an appearance from the T-Birds with “Greased Lightning”. It was an evening for the books!
As the evening went on, I began to think about the significance of why it’s so important that my team and I participated. Sure, it was fun and a great time for us to bond, but ultimately it was because the mission of what the event supported: Fighting to end sexual assault through awareness.
Something I feel we often overlook in PR is how important it is that we support what our clients represent. Yes, this is why developing agency/client relationships is so critical, but when you have a client with a mission as powerful as KC-CASA’s, it’s important that you and your team support them with the same passion that they have.
I could look at the analytics of last night and do a perfect SWOT of what went right and what went wrong, but ultimately what is going to be remembered is the passion that my team showed when we got up there in support of raising funds and awareness for what KC-CASA is fighting against. At the end of the day, PR is a whole lot of external relations and brand management, but it is equally shared with what the internal relationship looks like between you and your client. If you can’t give your client the assurance of support, then everything else you do is in vain.
As the newly hired agency director of Inspired Strategies Agency, I am going to encourage that under my leadership, my account executives are working to support the business and/or mission of the brands they represent. In the past, we have seen this come to fruition with The Exploration Station when we saw the AE assign volunteer hours as one of their requirements to work on that team. This is the model I hope to see utilized in the semesters to come.
I am glad that we were given the chance to have so much fun supporting our client. At the end of the night, from the voting alone, the LSB raised over 2,600 dollars for their organization. A good start to SAAM, if I do say so myself!
By Kate Cox, Account Executive, Kankakee County Center Against Sexual Assault (KC-CASA)