Manship students received second place in the National Organ Donation Awareness Competition (NODAC), Nov. 9, for creating and executing a campaign for Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) to spread awareness of organ donation across campus.
“This award would not have been possible without the support of our professor, Dr. Jinx Broussard or LOPA’s Community Educator, Lori Steele,” said Francesca Brewer, 2015 Manship School graduate. “We are honored to represent this organization and look forward to making an impact as organ donor ambassadors. The most powerful gift anyone can give is the gift of life.”
As part of the service-learning course MC 4005 Campaigns taught by Dr. Jinx Broussard, eight Manship seniors formed Impact Communications, a student-run public relations firm, partnering with LOPA to run a semester-long educational and awareness campaign. LOPA educates the public of the importance of organ and tissue donation. Impact Communications dedicated spring 2015 to raising awareness about the importance of organ donation and increase Louisiana’s organ donor registry.
Organ and tissue transplants can save lives, prevent complications from diseases and improve the quality of life. More than 60 lives can potentially be saved or enhanced through organ and tissue donation. The group of Manship students found it important to share the message that more than 1,900 Louisiana residents are in need of an organ. The organs that can be recovered include the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and small intestine.
“When my class won the first place award in 2014, the students and I were ecstatic,” LSU Professor Jinx Broussard said. “This year’s second place award is further confirmation of the strength of our public relations area and the talented and hard-working students I and my colleagues have the privilege of teaching every day. The campaigns the students have been conducting for the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency for the past four years have raised awareness of the need for organ donation and have registered hundreds of donors.”
Impact Communications held a free on-campus event, Live to Give, to educate LSU students on how to participate in an organ donation. The Live to Give campaign also included stewardship efforts including Rabalais Run for Life poster and t-shirt design, Road Scholars Institute of Driving car wrap design, and Reginelli’s at Northgate fundraising night.
Over the 20 events the student-run public relations firm held or participated in, Impact Communications registered 139 people for organ donation. After completing the MC 4005 Campaigns course, Impact Communications represented the concentration of public relations in the 2015 Manship School Capstone Colloquium. Manship seniors Courtney McGuffee, Francesca Brewer, Bradley Williams, Maddie Duhon, Sean-Patrick King, Rebecca Herring, Ellen Wagner, and Ariana Carter created and implemented the campaign in spring 2015.
The NODAC award was presented at the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The national conference is a professional development and networking event for students in the public relations field. Over 1,000 students attended from universities nationwide. Of these students, 12 are members of PRSSA at LSU.
PRSSA at LSU is a pre-professional organization that allows members to network and gain insight from leading professionals around Louisiana. It is one of more than 300 chapters of PRSSA National. For more information about the organization, visit www.prssalsu.com.