As PR and marketing professionals, great communication is at the core of what we do. A powerfully persuasive pitch, a quippy headline, even a pun-filled hashtag can make all the difference in raising awareness for our clients. But even more so, as individuals, many of us found our way to this profession based on a love for writing.
As we move through our careers, our ability to write in various forms and styles, is a skill we can take with us anywhere and one that helps differentiate us drive results, as well as express our own point-of-view and reflect on our personal experiences.
As such, empowering the next generation of writers to be able to express themselves, encouraging critical thinking and self-expression through writing is is important to us at PR Couture, and why we chose WriteGirl as our charitable partner for the first Bespoke Communication Awards.
WriteGirl is a creative writing and mentoring organization that promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills to empower teen girls. The Los Angeles-based non-profit was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. since 2001, 100% of graduating seniors have entered college, many on full or partial scholarships.
With judging for the BCAs is full swing, we took a break and caught up with Executive Director Keren Taylor.
Tell us about yourself!
In the fall of 2001, I found myself compelled to want to not only do meaningful work, but also build community between teens and women writers. I launched WriteGirl with a handful of women writers – some were my personal friends, and some responded to an announcement I put out on the web. Some of those women are still involved with WriteGirl, 16 years later!
I have had experience in a variety of fields, from public relations, to sales, to performing with my own band for 15 years, but creating and growing WriteGirl into a thriving community and mentoring program for teen girls is by far my most exciting and rewarding endeavor. We started with a simple idea of inspiring teen girls to develop their creative writing skills and write about their emotions and stories, but we found that they also needed help and support on their path to college. I’m always very proud to say that we have maintained a 100% success rate in each of our 16 seasons in guiding our teen girls in the Core Mentoring Program to enroll in college!
What does WriteGirl do? And who do you serve?
WriteGirl matches at-risk teen girls with professional women writer volunteers who mentor them in weekly, one-on-one mentoring sessions and in groups at our monthly workshops. Since 2001, WriteGirl has grown into a nationally-recognized creative writing and mentoring organization serving more than 350 underserved teen girls annually, mainly from LA’s high-density, low-income neighborhoods. We present full-day writing workshops every month in some of the city’s most inspiring artistic venues and museums, giving girls a chance to write and develop their voices, supported by professional women writer/mentors.
I’m always very proud to say that we have maintained a 100% success rate in each of our 16 seasons in guiding our teen girls in the Core Mentoring Program to enroll in college!
WriteGirl envisions a world where girls live, write, and speak boldly as they become inspiring, transformative leaders, driven to effect positive change in their communities. By leveraging the skills and experience of LA’s women writers, WriteGirl helps girls develop confidence, communication skills, creativity and an expanded view of themselves and their futures. In 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama presented WriteGirl with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the highest national honor awarded to exemplary out-of-school time programs from across the country.
Share a bit about your outreach strategy
We’re always trying to get the word out about the work we are doing. We work with a team of public relations volunteers to promote fundraising campaigns, public events and recruitment campaigns to the public. We use social media, press releases, e-newsletters, public listings, the WriteGirl website and blog, and partnerships within the community to spread the word about WriteGirl events and campaigns. Our volunteers also act as ambassadors for our organization and help promote WriteGirl to their networks of potential supporters. We offer volunteer trainings several times each year, to fully prepare women writers to be effective mentors to teen girls.
Why did you decide to partner with the BCAs?
As an organization that focuses on the power of a girl and her pen, WriteGirl is thrilled to be a partner of the 2017 Bespoke Communication Awards. We know the impact that compelling communication can have on the world and we are excited to celebrate the honorees and their creative work.
How can people get involved and support WriteGirl?
WriteGirl is seeking PR professionals who can offer their services pro bono. With a small staff and limited resources, we are always seeking professionals who could help us gain national exposure through media coverage and/or pro bono advertising that will help us expand our list of supporters. Our greatest need is for funding to support our programs, so our public relations efforts are often tailored toward reaching potential new donors.
We also welcome guest speaking opportunities. I’ve got some terrific stories about creating an organization from the ground up, building community and sustaining powerful partnerships.
If you do reach out and become involved in WriteGirl do let us know! For more information, interview requests or speaking engagements, contact Communications Manager Katie Geyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-253-2655.