Disability, My Life, Student Life

Being Media Representatives

This post is about my experience as a Media Representative at a local charity, Birmingham Phab Camps and at my college —for my non-UK followers, college is, a unique form of education after secondary (high) school but before you can go to university.

Media Representative—Bournville College

Being a wheelchair user and a media student allowed me to promote the disability services at my college. One of the ways I was able to do that was by having my photograph taken and a quote about my experience displayed on a major wall at the college—though, at the time, I was unaware they were going to display it on the wall—I thought leaflets or something.

I was given the choice of just having the photo and a general quote or the quote about my experience. I chose my experience. I had no problem with this as I loved my time at Bournville College and I was happy to promote them. The only issue was, I didn’t know how to sum my feelings up in a few simple sentences. I managed to come up with something but I’m not sure if it shows how happy I was at college. I hope it does.

When I realised that they printed the photograph and quote onto a board and displayed it not only on a major wall but in one of the corridors I visited on a daily basis, I was shocked, surprised and embarrassed. As my comment was media related, the board was up in the media corridor. This caused more embarrassment as all my friends saw it and laughed.

My comment and photo were also featured in the next college prospectus and the college magazine. This caused me to have a lot of recognition at the college.

Birmingham PHAB Camps – Media Ambassador

Birmingham Phab Camps is a charity that takes disabled children and young adults on holiday with able-bodied children. Myself and a few friends have been participants on the action-packed holidays in the past.

Being a media student and having media experience, Birmingham PHAB Camps enlisted my help to promote the charity, in the hope this would increase the funds. I also agreed to help, as it would be very beneficial to me. Knowing what I did about the charity, I began to construct strategies on the best way to approach this.

First, I compiled the crucial information that best showcased the charity, including examples such as the activities that took place and what they could do to help.

Next, I thought about what platform within the media would be most effective when targeting the ideal audience. The audience being parents, companies and other possible sponsors.

Now came the difficult part, even if I contacted a great number of possible sponsors, companies or organisations, there was no guarantee that I would get a reply, let alone a response showing interest.

After many failed attempts, I finally had my first breakthrough. Edgbaston GEM, a local magazine agreed to publish an article on the charity.

The article was published in the November 2012 addition. The charity was delighted. Pleased, I continued to search for other ways to promote the charity. A second breakthrough came in the same year when I discovered that Children In Need had supported Birmingham PHAB Camps for the past three years.

The charity’s chairperson asked me to attend a radio interview to put forward a case for why that sponsorship should continue.

This allowed me to express my own personal experience and feelings as well as the crucial information of the charity, including the benefits of the charity and its effect on its participants.

This helped me on a personal level, as I was able to meet a radio presenter as well as observe how a live radio show operated. Something that would benefit me later when I went to De Montfort University.  It also supplied me with a useful contact for the future, whether that is for further publicity or for personal use.

After a short time, I came across another form of advertisement. On Champney’s website was a chance to put forth a charity to receive money to purchase any equipment needed.

Knowing Birmingham PHAB Camps needed all the help they could get, I put their case forward. Not hearing from them, I thought I was unsuccessful. About to find another way to showcase, Champney’s responded, saying that there may be a possibility that they could support the charity.

They requested for me to send them a list of equipment that is needed for Champney’s to supply them with.

The Guest Charity Donation proposal is ongoing. I am still awaiting their correspondence regarding their approval and further details…

The most recent and possibly the most rewarding so far was when I was contacted by Edgbaston GEM magazine in 2014, the original publisher of my PHAB article, asking me to be interviewed for a follow-up article that would be featured in another issue.

This meant that the magazine was still interested to support the charity, giving us more recognition as well as financial backing. My work with Birmingham PHAB Camps is ongoing. I am determined to raise awareness as well as money for the charity that holds a very dear place in my heart.

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