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Creating a buzz about education.

In 1998, a colleague of mine sent me the following quote: "The [nonprofit] sector enhances our creativity, enlivens our communities, nurtures individual responsibility, stirs life at the grassroots, and reminds us that we were born free'--John W. Gardner, longtime activist and former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare for Lyndon Johnson. Prior to becoming the Public Relations Manager with the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), I was a Marketing Coordinator with a large law firm. I had worked in the corporate legal profession for over eight years and I wanted a change. As cliched as it may sound, I wanted to contribute to society on a daily basis--not just a couple of hours a week.

John Gardner's message was my light bulb moment. It is said that effective communication is 20 percent what you know and 80 percent how you feel about what you know. I firmly believe that effective marketing is generated by interest and enthusiasm. I was able to put this theory to the test when I was asked to assist an organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect with the marketing aspect of their capital campaign. Although a startling transition from my corporate environment, my work was tangible. I could see that I was making a difference by educating the public and thereby maintaining the mission of the organization. That is the essence of marketing--using your imagination and research to figure out how to create, and maintain, a "buzz."

I am very excited to be a member of the ACEI organization. For generations, the educators in my family have passed down a belief in advocating for the inherent rights of all children to learn successfully and fulfill their potential. My grandmother (a former school teacher) and three aunts (former schoolteachers and a principal) were strong advocates for the importance of education and public service. These women taught me that a great teacher is someone who challenges you to act upon your dreams while inspiring you to reach beyond them.

ACEI is dedicated to the development of the whole child, from birth to adolescence. It is my role, along with the ACEI members, to inspire the community, at home and globally, to action by promoting our mission. The best exposure comes from good old-fashioned word of mouth. The best way to generate "buzz" is to get, and keep, people talking. This is a major role for ACEI members. Positive publicity opportunities are garnered when we talk about ACEI--its activities, mission, and purpose. When you use your words to advocate educational issues, mention ACEI. If we keep ACEI in the forefront of our consciousness, we will accomplish two goals keeping the public informed and "educated" and generating good media exposure.

"A wise person speaks carefully and with truth, for every word that passes between one's teeth is meant for something.'--Molefi Kete Asante (Educator, 1942)

Upcoming ACEI Activities: Trick or Treat for UNICEF (October 2005). This service project offers children and adults the chance to learn about the challenges faced by other children while collecting coins to help children worldwide during Halloween festivities.

Week of the Classroom Teacher (October 2-8) & World Teachers' Day (October 5). Help us honor teachers and celebrate their contributions to society, nationwide and globally.

--Jana Pauldin, Public Relations Manager
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Title Annotation:Public Relations
Author:Pauldin, Jana
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Calendar
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2005
Words:550
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