Dr. Larry Fitzgerald (firstname.lastname@example.org or 325-673-6776), who has a long career of experience in media and PR, offers a unique, team-based internship opportunity in Abilene. It’s deeper than the typical internship, so here’s his two-page proposal:
In 2011, the Christian Service Center attempted to purchase property at the site of the former 21/21 Apartments. The announcement became a public relations nightmare. The residents near the proposed site wrote letters to the Abilene Reporter News, called news conferences and began threatening legal action to fight the relocation. Because of the reaction of the residents, the CSC announced that it would look for a different location. In early 2012, the leadership of the Woodlawn Church of Christ opened talks with the board of directors of the CSC about the possibility of sharing its campus with the organization. Some of the church members reacted negatively about the news. A type of church-split occurred within the membership resulting in some members leaving the congregation.
In the spring of 2013, the Woodlawn Church of Christ and the Christian Service Center of Abilene announced that the two organizations would be merging their campuses and would be assisting each other in their various ministries.
Larry Fitzgerald was hired in July 2013. One of his duties was to smooth the way for the transition of the CSC onto the campus of the Woodlawn Church.
1. Provide a smooth and accepting attitude among the nearby residents of the proposed site resulting in an acceptance and appreciation of the merger of the CSC at the church location. The goal is resulting positive attitude among the area residents toward both organizations.
2. Provide a smooth and accepting attitude among the remaining Woodlawn members and potential new church members of this new relationship.
3. Assist the Woodlawn church and the CSC with a proper “branding,” identity and “positioning.”
1. Research of attitudes and makeup of the Woodlawn neighborhood, the Woodlawn church, volunteers in CSC, and the city at large.
2. Research the makeup of the Woodlawn church and CSC volunteers and determine how to best incorporate the necessary changes.
3. Develop a comprehensive plan with immediate, 2-year and 5 year goals and methodology.
This program is open to all media in its approach including but not limited to – social media,
radio, television, internet, web, Twitter, Facebook, newsprint, etc.
Each JMC intern will be required to keep regular hours as determined by the student’s schedule and the needs of the Woodlawn Church and Christian Service Center. Each student will be assigned office space with access to office equipment and internet connection.
Each JMC intern will be given specific assignments with deadlines and goals. These could include research, writing and design, web design and development, social media, writing of news releases, assisting with the conducting of news conferences with local media, conducting town hall meetings, etc.
Each JMC intern will be required to attend a “Communications service meeting” on Sundays at 9 am at the Woodlawn church. The meeting will begin with a 10-15 minute devotional and will conclude with a 30 minute work and report session. Each JMC student will be required to attend the 10 am worship services of the Woodlawn church. This will help the student assess the attitudes and the make-up of the congregation. The JMC class will make a formal presentation to the church and the CSC in November about its proposed plan and progress on actions already taken. The students will be given holiday time off and time off for school events as required – as long as ACU’s minimum hourly requirements are met and each responsibility is covered. Time off must be approved by Dr. Fitzgerald.
Ideally, the intern candidate should be one who is a professing Christian who would like to use his or her talent for Christian-based organizations such as the Christian Service Center or a local church. However, the experience gained will help the student in both the non-profit and the corporate environments.
The JMC students are encouraged to invite volunteers from the university – along with volunteers from the other educational institutions to assist in this project. (Often public relations directors are called upon to develop volunteers within non-profit organizations.)