Marketing Strategy Workshop Recap


Attendees from Enroll Alabama waiting for the training to begin!

Last Thursday, December 3rd, The Office of Public Service hosted its final partner training of 2015.  This interactive training gave attendees the chance to examine their marketing strategies and determine any changes or updates they might want to make to address their goals for 2016.  We talked about what marketing is, why you need it, and how it can be essential for any organization.  The workshop focused on 5 steps to developing a marketing strategy:

  1. Developing a mission statement
  2. Knowing your target market
  3. Knowing your product or service
  4. Positioning your product or service
  5. Defining your marketing methods.

All of these steps were highlighted in Janie’s presentation, and everyone had time to ask questions and fill out their workbooks to put their plans and ideas on paper.

Along with working on a marketing strategy packet, everyone had the chance to use our netbooks to google their organizations to see what they could find.  This is a great exercise to measure the effectiveness of a marketing strategy implementation.  Want to try it yourself?  Just pull up Google, search the name of your organization in quotation marks, and see how many results you get.  After you implement your marketing strategy, do the same thing and see if the number changes.  A bigger number generally means that you have done a great job with your new marketing strategy!  This is just one of the helpful tips our facilitator Janie Echols-brown gave to the attendees.

If you want to know when we are having trainings in 2016, visit  and use your Auburn University login to join our network!  We have some exciting programs in the works for the spring, including a strategic planning workshop in January and our annual Volunteer Fair at the student center on January 15th from 10am-1pm.  As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Would you like to be featured on the Public Service blog?  I would love to know what you are doing to bring the community and the university together!  Contact me at if you want to share a story or post an event to the Auburn serves network.

Until next time!


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Interactive Marketing Strategies Workshop


Come out to our Final Training of 2015!  Our facilitator Janie Echols-Brown is a Specialist III in Art Design for Auburn University Outreach in the Office of Public Service. Janie has a B.S. in Commerce & Business Administration from the University of Alabama majoring in marketing with concentrations in market research and sales management. With
over 25 years of experience, she has worked in the newspaper industry managing creative services and has been a graphic designer at Auburn University since 2000.

Devan Quinn, who is a student in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business – Auburn University, has prepared a short presentation on options in Online Marketing Strategy. Devan works in the Office of Public Service in Auburn University Outreach. Devan is originally from Ridgewood, New Jersey and will be graduating in the spring of 2016. He plans to move to Australia after graduation.

Space is limited!  If you would like to reserve your spot, please contact me at See you there!

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Sweet Potatoes, Alabama History, and Critical Reflections


Good afternoon from the Office of Public Service!  Last week was a busy time at the office!  With everything from the Alabama Stories Luncheon at the Hotel at Auburn University, finalizing the programing for our marketing strategy workshop, the Faculty Colloquia, AND bagging thousands of pounds of potatoes for the Wesley Foundation sweet potato drop! But before I go into that, I would like to thank you for reading, and officially introduce myself.

I am Christina Spence, and I am serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) with the Auburn University Office of Public Service.   For the next year, I will be working with local non-profits, working on grants, and organizing volunteer fairs, partner trainings, and lunch and learn activities (and sharing my experiences here!).  I also serve as an advisor for the student led group Campus Kitchens Project.

A little bit about how I got here.  I am originally from Wilmington, North Carolina.   I completed my bachelor’s degree in psychology at Appalachian State University in Boone North Carolina.   After college I moved to Greenville, NC where I completed my Masters of Social Work degree from East Carolina University.  As a graduate student, I worked with the local United Way on collective community impact initiatives and grant management systems.   The work I did with United Way sparked my passion for volunteerism and led to my belief in the importance and strength of true partnerships in a community.  I wanted to do something to give back to the world, and found myself as a VISTA!  (Not to be neglected is my love for dogs, adventures, and cooking)  So that is the short story. I am passionate about service, I love what I do, and I want to share it with you.  I hope you will stay tuned as I post each week and that you will learn just a little bit about the Auburn community and what we do at the Office of Public Service.

That leads me my week at the Office of Public Service!

On November 10th I attended the Alabama Stories Symposium at the Hotel at Auburn University.  The event was in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities.  It was a wonderful presentation of history and remembrance.  Dr. Mark Wilson, director of the center, welcomed the attendees and introduced the wonderful guest speakers. Dr. Birch Hitchcock, Dr. Kathryn Braund, and Dr. Wayne Flint told little known stories about Alabama history.  Stories of similarities in different times, recognition of Alabama writers, and lost Native American history.  The keynote address was given by Dr. William Ferris.  His presentation reflected contents of his book “The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists.”  The program was followed by the grand re-opening of Pebble Hill, a local historical landmark.  Pebble Hill and its history reflects the history of Auburn itself–its founding, its growth, and its development. It was a powerful series, and I am glad I got to be a part of the growing history of Auburn.

As if there wasn’t enough going on last week, we also hosted our Faculty Colloquia on Thursday November 12th.  We welcomed Dr. Mark Wilson, Rachel Naftel, and Cristin Foster and had conversations about service learning and critical reflection.   The conversations were meaningful, powerful, and exciting.  Dr. Mark Wilson, Director of Civic Learning Initiatives in the College of Liberal arts, spoke to us about his civic engagement course which utilizes in-service learning and critical reflections as vital aspects of the learning process.  The course requires students to spend time volunteering at the Lee County Youth Development Center and to reflect on their learning experiences through weekly journal entries.  Dr. Wilson challenges his students to think deeply about the “What,” “So what,” and “Now what” of their experiences at the center.  His questions are intentional, and encourage a deeper analysis of the learning experiences.  Rachel Naftel, a doctoral candidate in the Public Administration and Policy program at Auburn, who works as Dr. Wilson’s graduate assistant, also contributed to the conversation. She spoke to her experience in Dr. Wilson’s class and pointed out how the experiences she had felt like more than an assignment.  She ended her class with more than a grade; she had an experience that she will never forget.  Rachel will be leading a service learning course with Dr. Wilson in the spring.

Cristin Foster, executive director of the David Matthews Center for Civic life in Montevallo Alabama, spoke to the power of critical reflection in communities.  The Matthews Center works to provide civic engagement by hosting community conversations, or deliberations, across Alabama.  Cristin spends her days traveling and talking to people all over Alabama about topics in their communities. The Matthews Center believes, “changing the way people talk can change the way they relate to each other and their problems – and that can eventually change the community.”  It is a great undertaking, and one we hope to play a larger part of in the future.  For more information about the Matthews Center and what they are doing, Click here!

Next, we can’t forget about our upcoming interactive marketing strategies workshop on December 3rd.  The training will be held from 1-2:30pm at the Auburn Chamber of commerce.  The training will be led by our very own Janie Echols-Brown.  She will cover topics in mission statements, target markets, product/service positioning, and marketing methods. We will also cover strategies in internet marketing.  You will leave this workshop with an outline for your organizations’ marketing strategy, as well as the tools needed to build a marketing tool kit.  Keep an eye out for the flyer, I will post it later this week!

Last but not least, this week I participated in my first ever Sweet Potato Drop.  Dozens of volunteers came out to the Wesley foundation parking lot to help bag thousands of pounds of sweet potatoes that would have been buried in a landfill because they were too big, small, or oddly shaped to be distributed for sale.  Just in time for the holidays, the bags were distributed to the food bank and other organizations in the community.  So I ended the week fighting hunger, reducing food waste, and volunteering for a good cause.  What a great and exciting week!

Until Next time!

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Campus Kitchens Project at Auburn University begins Nutrition Education Program at Our House

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Last week, Wednesday November 4th,  the Campus Kitchen at Auburn University held a nutrition education program at Our House.  Our House is an after school community center where school aged kids can go to get homework done, read, and have a heathy afternoon snack.  Our House even has a computer lab for students who have online homework that can also be utilized by parents who may be looking for jobs or other opportunities.

The purpose of the event was to educate the kids that go to Our House about nutrition and the importance of eating food of good nutritious value.  We also prepared a meal for the kids that incorporated many of the aspects of our lesson.  The lesson focused on visualizing what a nutritious meal looks like. We taught them the main types of food they should seek to eat at each meal, which are a protein, grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy.  We also played a game in which we gave them cards with different foods on them, and they had to organize the cards on a plate with proper portions of each type of food on the plate.  There were a variety of different food options for each of the categories of food, so we emphasized that they could pick out food that they liked to eat to show that eating healthy can taste good too.  The food that we prepared was a tuna casserole, which by itself provided protein, vegetables, and grains.

We had 3 volunteers attend (Daniel, Rachael, and Emily), and there were about 15 kids and 2 parents in attendance.

Keep an eye out for more from the Office of Public Service!

Until next time!

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Auburn’s K-12 Outreach and Honors College host free Pre-Calculus summer day camp, June 8-26, 2015

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Registration is now open for a free three-week Pre-Calculus summer day camp for high school students. The camp will meet on the Auburn University campus in room 3345 Haley Center, Monday through Friday June 8-26 from 8 a.m. to Noon. The camp is sponsored by the university’s K-12 Outreach office and the Honors College, and funded through a SENCER subaward from the National Science Foundation. The three week camp will offer students hands-on activities in high tech Smart classrooms for data collection, mathematical analysis, and constructing and solving mathematical models from real-world applications. Space is very limited. To register, email Leah Mathison,

Click here to view the camp flyer.

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Community Partner Training with Kristina Scott- “Communication Strategies”

IMG_0331Community partners braved the unseasonal chilly temperatures to congregate at Auburn University’s Student Center in pursuits of obtaining communication strategies to further their organization’s development. These eager leaders of the community were attentive as the session’s speaker, Kristina Scott, gave her presentation on communication strategies. Ms. Scott is the executive director of Alabama Possible, which works to reduce poverty through education, collaboration and advocacy. Her experience as a seasoned coalition builder and attorney form a strategic combination of communications and analytical skills which contributes to her foundation of success.

Ms. Scott’s presentation was engaging and provided the right atmosphere for interaction. When asked pointed questions about their organizations goals, issues, and image, the community leaders answered with similar answers: obtaining donors, retaining volunteers, brand awareness, and community engagement, to name a few. Ms. Scott addressed these issue very directly with each community leader, tailored to the specific organization she was addressing. Overall, the the Community Partner Training was resourceful and insightful to the community partners who attended.

If these partners believe this training was beneficial in advancing their organizations, then there is no doubt that other community organizations can benefit, as well. The dedication demonstrated by these community leaders is unmatched because their passion for their work is the driving force for their success.

For any further information about the AuburnServes network and how Auburn University’s Office of Public Service can help in the development and utilization of your organization, please contact Liz Harbin at

Question of the Session: What is your story? Continue reading

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Full Life Ahead Parent Workshop

Full Life Ahead Parent Workshop

This workshop is hosted by Lee County Autism Resource & Advocacy. For more information, please call 334-742-2694.

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