#RockTheFirm: Inspire Public Relations
Posted At: November 24, 2013 2:30 p.m.
by Kristine McFadden and Liz Lafferty
Inspire Public Relations is The University of Iowa’s student-run PR firm that consists of 53 members. Our clientele includes six local businesses and two nonprofit organizations looking for innovative PR, marketing, and promotion strategies to build awareness surrounding their brand or mission; we have also included a fundraising committee dedicated to raising funds for our PRSSA chapter.
At Inspire PR we strive for excellence. We have successfully branded and marketed numerous clients over the past 6 years. Our commitment to the community is evident in our ability to both retain and continuously gain new clients in the Iowa City area. At Inspire, we challenge our members to represent established and brand new companies professionally.
Perhaps what is most intriguing about Inspire is our students’ ambition and commitment to promoting their community’s image. Over the past year, Inspire has taken Iowa City by storm. We have been honored to represent Iowa City’s very own Molly’s Cupcakes branch. The company also calls Chicago and New York its home. Since its initiation in 2012, Molly’s Cupcakes of Iowa City has been promoted by our firm’s PR efforts. This account’s success has had a great impact on Molly’s overall outreach, sales, and national image. The promotions done by the Inspire team for Molly’s Cupcakes span every holiday and the days in between. Such efforts include, but are not limited to, Instagram contests, Facebook trivia, costume contests and other online and in-house promotions.
“As an exchange student, I feel that Inspire has truly enhanced my year abroad experience. It has given me the opportunity to get involved with the wider university community as well giving me experience working with real businesses. Inspire is a great organization that provides students with valuable skills for the PR world,” said Amy Roberson, a junior American Studies major and Molly’s Cupcakes account executive.
Furthermore, we have had the privilege to represent IowaWatch, a watchdog and investigative journalism nonprofit, founded in the heart of Iowa City. On October 3, 2013, our members promoted and hosted a banquet/fundraiser for the Iowa Center for Investigative Journalism (a 501©(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization). The event was a huge success, and featured nationally renowned speakers, such as executive director of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Andy Hall.
This year has been a big “growing” year for the firm. We have brought on multiple new clients not mentioned above. They include a new apparel shop coming to the area and a local thrifty clothing store, Revival. We have also maintained clients from previous years including three nonprofits: Elderly Services, Systems Unlimited and Polar Plunge Iowa City. We are already in the process of bringing in a couple more to add to our profile. With more than 40 members on our roster, we strive to offer them many opportunities via professional work and professional workshops.
“Inspire has quickly inspired me to really make the most out of my time here at Iowa by getting involved, and getting to work with local businesses in a way that helps them while also helping yourself gain experience,” said Yasenia Darting, Revival team representative.
Yet, our accomplishments are only possible because we strive to create an inviting and creative environment within our firm. This year we have implemented a new executive board position specified for the Inspire PR Firm that is dedicated to assisting the teams, branding the firm and creating a fun, professional environment.
One of our favorite activities is to hand out “Kudos” brand granola bars to members that have gone above and beyond for their client or for their group members. This fun way of recognizing students promotes hard work ethic and motivation among members. It’s the necessary morale boost we all desire when diligently working late every Wednesday night.
“Pleasing your client is the most important thing about Inspire, but I really enjoy being rewarded with treats too!” said Shelby Cronk, firm co-director.
The growth and possibilities are endless for our firm. We cannot wait to see what the future holds. In the not-so-distant future we see it expanding and becoming bigger and better than ever.