Kean PRSSA making a splash in partnership with local homeless shelter


KUPRSSA President Stacey Cooney (Right) and Vice President Lauren Spain (Left) are collecting toiletries for KUPRSSA’s latest campaign

By Ryan Norton

Within the last five years, the use of social media has become one of the most powerful and effective tools in running a successful public relations campaign. Whether it is on television, smartphones, or computers, it’s almost impossible not to see a hashtag somewhere on the screen.

In staying with the current trend, Morris Ave. PR, Kean University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (KUPRSSA), continues their partnership with the Covenant House, a homeless shelter in Newark, with a new social media campaign named “Splish Splash.”

The idea of this campaign is to donate basic toiletries, such as shampoo, tissues, and soap to the Covenant House. Donators are encouraged to take photos of items they brought, and post them on social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags “#covlove” and “#splishsplash.”

“We want to get these hashtags trending,” KUPRSSA Vice President Lauren Spain said. “That way, more people know about it, more people donate, and they get as much attention as possible.”

According to their website, Covenant House New Jersey was founded in 1989. Their main goal is to provide food, shelter, and care to homeless and runaway men and women between the ages of 18 to 21. Serving nearly 60,000 young people, Covenant House has 21 locations throughout North America and Latin America.

This is the second campaign Morris Ave. PR is hosting for the Covenant House. Their first campaign was the “Rock Your Socks” campaign that took place last semester. A total of 300 pairs of new socks were collected, just in time for the holiday season.

The KUPRSSA is still in its early stages since it started last year in September. With 65 fully paid members, the PRSSA considers it a medium-sized chapter.

Suzanne Schwab, a public relations professor at Kean, serves as the faculty advisor. While she does oversee operations, she feels the PR firm would be most beneficial when it is strictly student-run.

“My goal is always to help the students get as much practical experience as possible,” said Schwab. “Yes, I teach the foundations and theories behind public relations, but it would be remiss of me not to allow the students to create and execute their own ideas.  That’s how they learn to be ready and prepared for a career in PR.”

Collections for the “Splish Splash” campaign began on March 25 and ends April 10. Donations can be dropped off in the communications office, located in the CAS building in room 402, or the PRSSA office in CAS 412.

For anyone interested in joining the Kean’s chapter of the PRSSA, meetings are every Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in CAS 412. In order to become a full member, you must pay a yearly fee of $65, at the beginning of either the spring or fall semester.

To see updates on Morris Ave. PR’s social media campaigns, they can be followed on Twitter and Instagram using the handle, @MorrisAvePR.

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