CASE STUDY: THE URBAN ALLIANCE

Overview

The Urban Alliance (UA) is a non-profit organization committed to placing low-income students in meaningful internships with Fortune 500 companies, top-tier organizations, and high-profile non-profits. The Urban Alliance came to SJSC requesting internal communications support as the organization searched for a new communications lead. SJSC supplied requested support and, in doing so, identified new problems (and solutions) to help UA grow and develop better relationships with current and future partners.

SJSC-Identified Goals:

  • Maintain internal communications between UA staff and leadership
  • Provide communications support for UA
  • Develop and implement a communications process between UA and its internship partners
  • Create messaging and communications opportunities for UA to leverage relationships with internship partners

The Plan:

  • Conduct an assessment to identify goals, “holes,” and needs for UA internal communications through interviews with key staff
  • Develop internal communications processes
  • Identify ways to leverage opportunities with UA internship placement partners
  • Engage partners through calls and in-depth interviews
  • Write a report for UA leadership outlining next steps, specifics, and suggested direction for partnership development

The Details:

  • In April 2016, SJSC was hired by retainer to provide internal communications support for the Urban Alliance. SJSC maintained this client until September of 2016.
  • Initial communications support consisted of communications management, email correspondence, and providing counsel on media and public relations initiatives. SJSC also drafted and disseminated press releases and other media materials
  • While completing initial communications work, SJSC noticed that the Urban Alliance was not leveraging all opportunities with its key partners. Opportunities included co-branding of events and press happenings, social media campaign work, cross promotion of websites and digital platforms, and synergistic messaging and image promotion.
  • SJSC suggested the Urban Alliance complete an in-depth audit of its current partnerships to discover and develop ways to expand them. SJSC held 10 calls with high-profile partners to gauge relationship status, identify needs, and suggest steps for moving forward.
  • SJSC developed a three-prong system – the 3 Ms – for partnership development and provided the organization with a document outlining ways to leverage partnerships. The Urban Alliance implemented several of these recommendations and have since strengthened partnerships, identified new ones, and broadened its own image as a non-profit.