RMIT public relations students have collaborated with a Melbourne based charity to help raise funds for the education of young girls in Africa.
In Sierra Leone, a girl is more likely to be sexually abused than she is to attend high school. As part of Public Relations Campaigns, final year students in the Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) have been working with Melbourne-based not-for-profit One Girl to help make a positive change to female education.
One Girl asked students for help to increase sales in its online store in the lead up to Christmas to help provide funds for scholarships, the construction and improvement of schools, the provision of sanitary pads for girls and start up loans for micro businesses.
Student research uncovered that every year, Australians give $700 million of unwanted Christmas presents. This shocking statistic started the students talking about all the ‘questionable’ gifts they’d given and received for Christmas and the idea for a campaign was born.
From this discussion, #giftswithadiff was born — a campaign aimed at encouraging One Girl’s social media community to post about quirky presents they have received over the years.
The goal was to stimulate consumers to stop and think about the presents they are buying and convince them there is an alternative option - the One Girl online shop, where gifts really do make a difference.
The students developed a social media content strategy aimed at increasing sales, a media relations strategy to complement the online strategy was also developed as well as ideas for a campaign for encouraging organisations to forgo mailing paper Christmas cards and instead make a donation to One Girl in return for an e-Christmas card.
Final year student Alanna Jarry said for many of the students working on this campaign the issue of women’s rights and education is a personal one.
“As university students in Australia we are so privileged and can often take our education for granted, but this is not the reality for every girl,” said Jarry.
Justin Rogers, Lecturer in the Public Relations program said the course aims to integrate the skills and knowledge learnt, and prepare students for the transition into the professional world.
“The students have demonstrated such a passion for this issue and have relished the opportunity to work with One Girl.
“They have blended creativity and strategic communication to develop a great result for the client. Using storytelling, and their knowledge of both traditional and digital media they have developed a content that the client can use to increase sales and ultimately educate more girls,” said Rogers.
Gifts to support the charity can be purchased online at the One Girl online shop.
Story: Wendy Little