Community Partners Program

2017 Application (.doc)

2017 Application (.pdf)

2017 Fact Sheet (.pdf)

Ann Carden, associate professor

The application period for the spring 2017 Community Partners Program is now OPEN.  

The Community Partners Program is a project of the public relations major capstone course, Public Relations Campaigns, which is offered each spring and occasionally in the fall. In this course, senior students get “real life” experience by developing comprehensive public relations plans that will benefit one or more nonprofit, community-based organizations. At the beginning of the semester, students divide into groups that act as public relations “firms.” Each group then works throughout the semester to develop a strategic public relations plan for the selected organization(s); this includes conducting research and developing goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and creative materials based on research findings. At the end of the semester, groups “pitch” their plans to the client for implementation; the nonprofit partners are given all materials at the end of the semester.  The Community Partners Program has assisted 33 nonprofit organizations since it began in 2001.  The Community Partners Program is overseen by Ann Carden, associate professor of communication.

Information on 2017 Program

We are currently taking applications from Chautauqua County (or nearby) nonprofit agencies that could benefit from public relations help. Two agencies will be selected based on their public relations situation and need for assistance; preference will be given to agencies that do not have access to hired or volunteer public relations staff. Selected organizations will have full use of the research, plan and campaign materials developed by the students.  In return, the organizations are required to participate in the following ways:

  • Present information on the agency and its public relations situation (Tuesday, Jan. 31, 12:30 to 1:50 p.m.)
  • Be accessible to students throughout the semester to answer questions and provide materials/info
  • Attend students’ presentations at the end of the term (Thursday, April 27, or Tuesday, May 2, 12:30 to 1:50 p.m.) 
  • Prepare an evaluation on how each group’s plan met your organization’s needs (by Monday, May 8)

Please note that dates and times cannot be changed; please do not apply if you are not available at these times. All events will take place at Fredonia.

Students in the Community Partners Program do not implement the plans they develop. Organizations needing assistance in implementing their existing public relations plans might consider participating in the internship program, where organizations can benefit from volunteer help while students gain experience in their chosen field.

To apply for the Community Partners Program, complete the application and return no later than Monday, Jan. 18 at noon.  The application has been provided in two formats: a Word file and a PDF file, either of which can be completed and emailed to,   

Organizations not selected for the spring semester may be considered for the fall semester, if the program is held.

Communication Department

324 McEwen Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3410