For the last 6 months I worked on a public relations campaign for a nonprofit called With Purpose. They focus on conquering childhood cancer through the funding of treatments. It was the most exciting and stressful time of my entire college experience. It was also a rewarding experience because we feel like we made a difference in our community. I was one of five members chosen to compete in what is known as the Bateman Competition. Basically, we planned and executed a plan for our client, With Purpose, and I'm happy to share that we made it to the top 3 out of 81 other schools that competed in the U.S. In May we will be going to South Carolina to present our work. 

Read below for more details of our campaign written by our friend and LB student, Luis D. Marquez. 

- Diana Martinez

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written by Luis D. Marquez

It's been a rewarding five months filled with purpose for the Long Beach State University (LBSU) Bateman team. On March 15, the team wrapped up their successful public relations campaign for client With Purpose, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conquering childhood cancer.

The month-long local campaign, With Purpose Long Beach, raised more than $3,000 for With Purpose and its mission to conquer childhood cancer by improving the number of treatment options for children specifically. Shockingly, the National Cancer Institute only designates about 4 percent of its research budget to all forms of childhood cancer.

From February 15 to March 15, the LBSU Bateman team hosted community events in collaboration with local businesses and well-known Long Beach organizations such as the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center (JJCCC) at MemorialCare Miller Children's Hospital.

To kick off the campaign, the team partnered with the LBSU Dirtbags to host Play With Purpose, a special baseball event on February 18 at Blair Field. A patient from JJCCC was invited to throw the ceremonial first pitch and attendees were treated to a special V.I.P (Very Important Purpose) area where they could enjoy food and games, and learn more about childhood cancer. Play With Purpose garnered an enthusiastic crowd of 2,239 who showed their full support for the fight to strikeout childhood cancer — a telling sign that With Purpose Long Beach was off to a promising start.

True to the campaign name, numerous Long Beach businesses and high schools also lent their support for the With Purpose mission. Local favorites Zero Express and Café Bene both hosted three-day fundraisers with 20 percent of sales benefitting With Purpose; Long Beach coffee staple Recreational Coffee donated 100 percent of all sticker sales; Ambiance Skin Care in Belmont Heights graciously donated 5 percent of all proceeds from the campaign duration; and popular eateries Pizzanista, Chipotle and Deli News Pizza each dedicated a fundraising night to support With Purpose.

Community involvement was a vital component of the team’s campaign. To rally community support, each With Purpose Long Beach event featured an interactive chalkboard wall prompting people to answer the question: “What’s your purpose?” People of all ages shared their purpose on the chalkboard, with answers ranging from “to have a good day” to “to make a difference in someone’s life.” During each event, the team also made sure to educate audiences on With Purpose and the issues surrounding childhood cancer, through infographics, informational sheets, and one-on-one purposeful conversations.

 L to R: Christian Barel, Hetty La, Bianca Granado, Diana C. Martinez, Kevin Olivares at the Create With Purpose art show. 

L to R: Christian Barel, Hetty La, Bianca Granado, Diana C. Martinez, Kevin Olivares at the Create With Purpose art show. 

To wrap up the campaign, the Bateman team once again joined forces with JJCCC to host Create With Purpose, a charity children’s art show that featured artwork created by patients of JJCCC. Held at local art studio Inspyr Arts, Create With Purpose gathered the community for an evening of art with a purpose. Attendees were invited to sign letters to Congress lobbying for legislative action to advance childhood cancer research. All the artwork was available for purchase, with 100 percent of the proceeds donated evenly between MemorialCare Miller Children’s Hospital and With Purpose. The event proved highly successful. By the end of the night, all artwork was sold and over 80 letters were signed. Create With Purpose even garnered a special visit from LBSU President Jane Close Conoley, who personally donated to the cause. This closing event touched people the most, as they got a firsthand look into the minds of the young patients and saw the struggles they have endured at such a young age.

Through With Purpose Long Beach, the Bateman team managed to reach an entire community who would otherwise likely have little to no awareness of the issues surrounding childhood cancer. Now let’s wish them luck as they submit their campaign to the Public Relations Student Society of America to be judged against other university campaigns across the nation. #GoBeach