Library of Congress
With the Veteran’s Administration estimating WW2 veterans are dying at a rate of 550 per day, the Library of Congress is anxious to record these veterans’ histories ASAP.
As an Account Director for Bradley PR, I managed our account with the Library of Congress. We were tasked with creating a ready-to-implement program for colleges nationwide to gather local veterans’ histories in video format.
From our research, including multiple focus groups, we found that 18-25 year-old college students like to feel like they’re making an impact in their community. However, they prefer service opportunities that take less than half an hour and are visible to others.
From our research of veterans, we found that most enjoy teaching younger generations lessons they learned from war. Since some of their experiences are highly personal though, they prefer sharing their stories in more private environments.
Our research presented two big hurdles:
1. College students want their service to be visible, but veterans want to share their experiences in private environments.
2. College students want their service to not take up too much time, but veterans don't want to feel rushed when sharing their stories.
We created a plan for veterans to visit a local college campus and record their histories in large photo booths. The photo booths’ closed-off feeling would help veterans feel comfortable and allow students to publicize their service by taking pictures at the end of an interview.
Students could go in a booth for 20-30 minutes and ask a veteran questions (cue cards provided) about their service. This time window fit within the ideal service duration for students, while still allowing enough time for veterans to share meaningful stories.
This was a unique project since we were strictly assigned to model a campaign for others to execute. It was also unique as it provided the opportunity for cross-functional collaboration with BYU’s Adlab. As a history buff, I found this project intellectually appealing, and on a personal level, it reminded me of the importance of recording my grandparents’ stories.
It Matters. Once I decided, I never looked back. Being accepted into BYU’s nationally-ranked-top-five PR program was exciting, but the day I decided to dive fully into the program was pivotal. I was 100% confident that the way the program would teach me to problem solve, strategize, communicate, and write was exactly what I needed. I left the college chair’s office, walked down two flights of stairs and into the student-run PR firm, Bradley PR. I walked straight up to the lab manager, a seasoned professional and the only full-time employee in the lab, and told him I wanted to learn everything I could from him and his agency. That’s when I met one of my lifetime mentors, as well as my new home. I’d go to the lab to attend client and team meetings, brainstorm creative side projects with friends, get insights from upperclassmen and eventually share insights as an upperclassman. The Bradley lab was the greatest constant throughout my exciting-but-always-changing college experience. It was a home for me.