Crisis Management & 6 Degrees of Separation

(This post I meant to publish April 24th, but accidentally posted it to my personal WordPress dashboard!)

Up until two days ago, we have been concerned about the attendance of our event being that other teams events have not had substantial turnouts. This has caused major freak-outs but it pushed us to manage our crisis by sending mass e-mails out to Rhode Islanders beyond our Providence College network. This worked! One basketball coach from Barrington High School responded to Lauren’s e-mail about attending our event and spreading the word. We hit a home-run because he said he would forward our flyer to all of the coaches in Rhode Island because he is a member of a coach association. He also said he would love to attend because, not to our knowledge, he was a PC alum. (Yay six degrees of separation!) So we encourage teams to do whatever you think it takes to market your event. Even if you don’t think it will do anything, you truly don’t know who you e-mail and their potential connections until you try.

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Heart & Soul: The Ed Cooley Story

On Wednesday, we met for three hours for what we considered to be “Crisis Management.” At this point in time, we were pretty much done inviting new people, because it was getting to be last minute, and we needed to focus on the event. We couldn’t afford to throw a marshmallow on top of the spaghetti on Thursday. Maria came to our meeting and helped us to calm down and think logically, as well as helped to put her input in.

During this meeting, we drew out a diagram of the gym, wrote out where we would be, where we wanted our volunteers to be standing, and where everything would be set up. We contacted physical plant for tables and laid out where they would be. We also went through an itinerary of what time we would meet, set up, what supplies we would bring (paper, tape, sharpies, staplers), and we went through possible scenarios based on the size and participation of the crowd. For the half court competition, if a lot of people signed up, we would have them all come down to the floor, and if only a handful did, we were going to call them down individually.

This itinerary is attached here: Itinerary for Heart & Soul Event 4-23-14

When we had arrived, we talked to Cooley about what our anticipated crowd was, and how we could raise more money. He came up with the idea of auctioning off a pizza party, which went very well. One family said they would pay $300, the other said they would pay $400, and Cooley said that he would do both. We raised $700 off of Cooley being a commodity, basically.

Overall, the event ran very smoothly. Cooley took charge of emceeing the half court shot competition, and a little boy won by making a 3 pointer (we let smaller kids do three pointers). Everyone I talked to enjoyed the event.

We chose to have a $5 suggested donation, which I think was a good idea. Someone gave $20, another gave $250, some gave whatever they had. However, it brought students into the gym, and once they were there, there were ways to get more money (raffles, the pizza party, etc.), so we made our money’s worth. We averaged out to getting more than $5 a person at the end of the day. Some of our attendees also came from an event on the turf, where the basketball players were working for community service.

Overall Evaluation: 

It was mentioned in class on Thursday that “people do not want to hear speakers,” and I beg to respectfully disagree. In our scenario, it worked in our favor that we had a very relevant speaker. I believe that we went where the “flow” was, in that there was a demand for people wanting to hear his story, and it was something that hadn’t been done on campus before.

Overall, I think our event was a success, but that is relative to other factors. In combination with Fundly, donors, and the event, we raised just about $3,000. This is great, and our community partner verified this, saying how proud she was for our efforts in such a short amount of time. 150 people attended, many of which were from the public.

Our word definitely got out. Our tweets were retweeted by the Women’s Basketball Coach and Assistant Coaches, but the friar ticket office, by a Fox Boston news anchor, and some big time PCBB accounts. There was an email sent via athletics to season ticket holders. Some big PCBB fans and bloggers showed up to our event. Cox came to film it. However, for all of the resources it reached, we were a little disappointed with the number of students who came. But where were students such as those from Friar Faithful? Where were the season ticket holders? The people and students who did go enjoyed it and it didn’t take up too much time, and I do understand that it was a busy week, but the word reached a decent amount of people. There could have even been more people from the public. While we were happy with the outcome and with our marketing efforts, there was little we could do beyond Wednesday night to get more people to come. The word was out there.

Moving forward, we have many “thank you’s” to write and a final project to finish. We recorded the whole event, so we will be able to re-watch it, since we were busy throughout a lot of it.

My freshman friend, Andrew Konnerth, took photos for us with people and the Big East Trophy, which was a big hit. Check them out here!

If anyone wants to comment with positive/negative feedback on the event, please feel free to do so.

 

Our Saving Grace…

Today we met to finalize some more logistics. This is what we came up with for how we want our event to be planned out:

6:45: Doors Open
6:45-7:20: Raffle tickets/Half Court shots/Photo booth
7:20-7:30: Katje Speaks
7:30: Cooley speaks
8:05: Q&A begins
8:20: Announce raffle winners, thank yous, and sponsors
8:30: Event ends/photobooth continues till people leave.

We all are a little stressed, and we’re worried more college students are planning to show (and “planning” is never a solid word when it comes to college kids) than younger kids. Due to this minor crisis, we searched local high school coaches names on Google and emailed them. While I emailed a few and a few athletic directors, I emailed Barrington High School’s coach, who is also a guidance counselor there, mainly because Barrington is the first town in Rhode Island when listed alphabetically. So I reached out to him, wrote a description of our event, and concluded with this paragraph:
“As a basketball coach, I was hoping that you would consider attending this event and perhaps helping us to spread the word to other coaches and to your team to help us get the word out. I have attached our flyer for your convenience.
I thank you in advance for helping us to reach our goals. We appreciate your support and consideration!”

I got his response tonight, and it’s luckier than I had expected.

Lauren,

Good job putting this together.  I will definitely spread the word.  Did you send this out to all of the high school coaches in RI?  If not, I can forward this to the coaches association that I am a member of.  I will be in attendance. Anything to help out my alma mater (class of 1997), and specifically the basketball program.  I’m sure the entire PC student body realize how lucky they are to have Coach Cooley.   Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.  Take care.

Patrick Sullivan
Head Boys Basketball Coach
Barrington High School

Not only did I unintentionally network, but I opened up a whole book of resources that should benefit us by Thursday! I’d like to believe that our event is something that people want; it’s in demand, in a way, and by knowing peoples’ wants, it’s making marketing these events easier.

 

Spring Cleaning Debrief

We had our Spring Cleaning event on Tuesday before we left campus.

While we don’t have our exact number of clothing donations (we asked BBBSOS for the number, and we are waiting for them to get back to us), it was not as successful as we had hoped. Because of our Heart and Soul event coming up, we did not market this event nearly as well as we could have, for we were focusing our attentions on that. It was also raining, and Security had promised to block off parking spaces for the truck. I had made sure that this was done by calling them, but apparently, when the truck came, it couldn’t fit– so it moved behind McVinney. This obviously has a lot less foot traffic than from being outside Concannon. Because donations weren’t coming frequently, the truck driver left around 3:30 or 4:00.

For future classes, I would suggest not putting on too many events. We didn’t want to exhaust our resources, so we didn’t market the event as much as our main event. Hopefully, this will benefit us in the long run for our other event, but with PC messing up the parking spot (it was more of a miscommunication, I guess… I told them a truck was coming and they only reserved one spot), it was more unsuccessful than we had hoped.

However, I was able to get a good few donations. The Miss PC Pageant that happened a few weeks ago collected clothing donations, and they have been in the Congress office ever since. I texted the girl who was in charge of the event on Monday, and she said that she planned to donate them to BBBSOS. The foundation had told them to wait until the truck was on campus, so I told the girl when it was coming, and someone made sure that it got from the office to the truck. We utilized our resources then, because we helped another group accomplish something (they didn’t know when the truck was coming), and we capitalized off of their event to assist us with our event. This is one reason why it’s great to have connections and to communicate with the people on campus!

I believe we got about 6 “bags of clothes,” but that doesn’t give us an exact number of articles of clothing.

Finalizing Logistics

Sharon Hay of SAIL was a little concerned about the people I was inviting (in terms of numbers), so I had to contact College Events, someone in the Media department and Security about both detailing the event and being prepared to have people and potential news crews coming into the school. I emailed them all today basically with a description of our event, and to contact me if they have any questions.

I also emailed two alum that I know, one of which is a season ticket holder and parent of a fellow 2015 classmate (my freshman year roommates’s dad) and the other who graduated with my father and is now a news anchor for Fox in Boston. In both of those emails, I invited them and asked them to help spread the word to other alum. For the news anchor, Mark Ockerbloom, I asked him if he would emcee the half court competition, and to help spread the word, even if it is just sending out a tweet about the event. Using our resources and connections should take us a long way! My old roommates father would be very interested in attending, according to her, as long as he is free.

Contacting all of these people will get us the security detail we need, assistance with media people and crowd control, and hopefully a crowd of (hopefully wealthy) alumni that are both interested in what Cooley has to say and who have money to make donations!

4 Tickets to a Home Basketball Game Donated

   Recently, my team and I came up with some great ideas on items to raffle off at our event. We believe this would be a great way to raise additional proceeds towards our cause. With that being said, I stopped into Steve Napolilo’s office, the Associate AD and director of external relations, and he gave us some more items and ideas of what to raffle off. He was very helpful, giving us some Friar winter hat and gloves, some Friar golf balls, and 4 tickets to any home game for next season! I am very excited because if we get people to our event, the raffle items we have could help us generate a ton of money. I am very pleased with the way my teammates and I have taken what we have read about networking, and applied that in a way to get resources for our event. Now, it is on to another challenge, which is the way we are going to market our event. We look forward to embracing this challenge and making our event very successful! 

Publicity part 2

I have honestly lost track of the amount of people I have contacted regarding this event. Our community partner emailed us this link; it is huge!

Friar Basketball Website

I received a phone call from a 2013 grad who is now working at a school. I’m not sure how she got my number or from what website, but the word is spreading! I emailed her our waiver, because according to SAIL, everyone under 18 needs a waiver signed from a parent, which poses an issue for people coming with friends, but we’re hoping to get the waiver out with plenty of time. Our community partner has them.

Also, Athletics said they would send an email out to season ticket holders and to their list of emails, so that will be great. They also donated a Friar Prize Pack, which I will pick up when I get back to school.

Katje, our partner, is going to bring raffle tickets and money to give as change. I also have about 10 student congress members who are volunteering to help out, one of which who is taking photos for us.

In short, networking and communicating and using resources helps. A lot.

Email to Nike !

   Tom has always told us to utilize our resources to the best of our abilities and to always be “reaching”, in terms of unrealistic goals for ourselves. Therefore, although I have never met him or talked to him before, I chose to reach out to my fathers cousin who is the VP of Apparel at Nike. I emailed him last night asking if there was anything he or his company could do to help with our event or anything that he could give. Personally I was very excited to finally get in contact with him and hopeful to met and network with him one day. The full email that we sent out is copy and pasted below… what do you guys think?!

Hello John,
 This is Anthony Notar, Paul’s youngest son and a junior here at Providence College. It is a pleasure to finally talk to you. Currently, I am studying Business Management and working as a student-manager for the men’s basketball team. This semester, I am taking a class entitled Organizational Theory. At the beginning of the semester, the class was broken up in small groups and were told to pick a cause or a charity that we wanted to help make a difference for. The goal for this class is for our specific teams to organize and run a major event that will both raise money and awareness for the causes we have picked, which, in effect, will give us some experience and insight into the business world. My teammates and I chose to work with our community partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, to help make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children in the Providence community. The event that my teammates and I are in the process of running is a night in which Coach Ed Cooley (Providence Mens Head Basketball Coach) is going to give a motivational speech about leadership, mentorship and his life journey of getting where he is today. If you are not aware of his story, Coach Cooley in fact grew up in poverty in inner-city Providence. Therefore, we feel as if he is the perfect role model for the kids we are trying to target and help support. In addition to Coach Cooley’s speech, we are also going to have a half court shooting competition, lots of raffles, and photo opportunities in which attendees can take a photo with the Big East Championship trophy. (You can read more about the event in the attachments provided).

One of the things that my teammates and I have learned throughout this process is that we need to utilize our resources to the best of our abilities. In addition, our professor implores us to reach beyond what we know, to always be an “unrealistic” thinker, and that we never know what things could be possible. With that being said, the reason I am emailing you is to see if you, or your company, would be interested in making any sort of donation to help support our event or our cause. Whether it be a merchandise pack, gift card, or a monetary donation, any way you could help us would be appreciated. I also understand that Coach Cooley is sponsored by Nike, so we thought it would be good publicity for your company at this type of event. I would really appreciate anything you could do to help us because we are very passionate about this project. I look forward to hearing from and you, and I am very hopeful to potentially meet you in the future. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions. 

Go Friars!

Thanks, 
Anthony Notar

 

Publicity

Look for us on the ProJo website for our event: Heart & Soul: The Ed Cooley Story

I submitted us to RI Monthly’s Philanthropic Events Calendar, but that is still pending approval.

Then check us out in the SAIL Digest:

Spring Cleaning! 12pm, Outside Slavin

Want to save room in your suitcase? You can donate your gently used or new clothes outside Slavin to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters truck. It’s a great time to donate your winter clothes instead of taking them home!  Sponsored by Organizational Theory class.

I went to LaSalle Bakery’s website, and just filled out a donation request form with this comment:

“We are supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State (BBBSOS) because we are truly passionate about the state we live in and supporting the underprivileged children that live in it. Giving the children of Rhode Island the encouragement they deserve to succeed in this world is important to us.
That being said, we are hosting an event in the Mullaney Gym at the Providence College campus where Coach Cooley will give a motivational speech to the children of BBBSOS, students of nearby elementary schools, their families, students of Providence College and alumni of Providence College. It will be held on Thursday, April 24th at 7:00 PM and we are expecting at least five hundred people to be in attendance.

We are writing today to respectfully request a donated gift card of any amount to raffle off. Proceeds will go directly to BBBSOS programming.
In appreciation for your donation we will:
• Announce your donation at the event
• Provide a large display of your company logo”

I want to contact the bookstore tomorrow for a Friar Prize Pack.

I contacted someone from Friar Faithful, who gave me Katie Judge’s email (in Sports Marketing here), and I asked her for a friar prize pack and to see if she could send out an email closer to the event to students, season ticket holders, and even the RI community if she has access to it. He also invited me to their meeting on Tuesday, where hopefully, we can announce our event to them.

I will also contact members of Relay for Life to see who their contacts were that donated items. (Liz- any ideas?)

I contacted SAIL to use our event description and image in Table Tents in Ray and for next week’s SAIL Digest. I also emailed someone on PCTV with the image to include on PC TV’s station that plays in Slavin and around campus.

Katje contacted the Cranston newspaper about our event, which was awesome of her!

Finally, we’re currently at $530 on our Fundly account. We’re over 50% of the way to our online raising goal!

 

 

Troubleshooting

Today I went to get our flyer approved by SAIL. Apparently, the “Rhode Island Community is less finite than just inviting the Boys and Girls Club.” I thought we had addressed this, but she wants to see if there are “liability loopholes,” so we are meeting at 10:30 on Tuesday. Children under 18 need a waiver signed to be on campus, but I’m not sure how that works, since no one signs a waiver to be at a Women’s Basketball Game, for example. If worse comes to worse, I think we can just have waivers to sign when people are being admitted at the event. In the mean time, though, she approved the flyer to be put up around campus. The printer was empty on Toner while printing the Spring Cleaning ones, so I need to print and approve those.

I emailed Paul Calle, Sharon Hay, and contacted Jessica Ho- the senior photographer, but I still need to email security for Tuesday and the Photo Club president.