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Samaritan’s Feet Turns to Butler Students for Social Media Plan: College of Communication students to aid global nonprofit

INDIANAPOLIS (June 29, 2010)—The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and Rise Innovations has been chosen to develop and implement the first social media plan for the globally known nonprofit, Samaritan’s Feet.  The plan will be developed to aid the “Barefoot Coaches” campaign this winter.

Samaritan’s Feet is a nonprofit organization founded by Emmanuel (Manny) Ohonme in 2003. Nigerian-born Ohonme was nine years old when he received a pair of shoes from a “Good Samaritan.” He created the organization with the goal to provide shoes to 10 million impoverished individuals in the next 10 years with a message of hope. Samaritan’s Feet collects shoes to be distributed around the world. Individuals receiving shoes are told a biblical story of faith, hope, and love while having their feet washed.

“Barefoot Coaches” started in 2008 when IUPUI men’s basketball coach, Ron Hunter, agreed to coach a game barefoot to raise awareness and collect shoes for Samaritan’s Feet. Hunter’s efforts encouraged other basketball coaches “to go barefoot” including Butler men’s basketball coach, Brad Stevens, who has participated the past two years. The campaign has received national press and thousands more college and high school coaches continue to join each year.

PRSSA and Rise Innovations were chosen for this project due to their close relationship with the city of Indianapolis and respected student programs.

“Samaritan’s Feet is thrilled to be partnering with the Butler University PRSSA and Rise Innovations to grow our influence among college campuses and universities,” said Ohonme. “We envision this project to be a student –created, student-developed, and student-implemented campaign providing real-world experience and nationwide recognition for both Butler University and Samaritan’s Feet.”

Ohonme continues, “with the support of both Butler University students and Butler Coach Brad Stevens, we anticipate expanding our impact nationwide, allowing us to increase the number of children in need who will benefit from new athletic shoes through Samaritan’s Feet.”

PRSSA and Rise Innovations plans to use various forms of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and podcasts as well as partner with the Butler community, city of Indianapolis and other campuses across the country.   Planning has already begun and program tactics will be introduced in fall 2010.

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About the Public Relations Society of America

Butler University’s chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is a pre-professional public relations organization designed to provide students with real communication experiences building on classroom teachings. PRSSA membership benefits include scholarships, networking, and opportunities to develop a professional portfolio.

Headquartered in New York City, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the world’s pre-eminent, pre-professional public relations organization. Founded in 1968 by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the organization has grown to more than 10,000 members at 300 Chapters across the United States and one Chapter in Argentina. PRSSA membership benefits include scholarships and awards as well as internships, jobs and professional development opportunities.

About Rise Innovations
Rise Innovations is a student run integrated marketing communications firm at Butler University founded in 2010 and is composed of students in Butler University’s Public Relations Student Society of America. Rise Innovations provides professional communications services to its clients, while furthering its members’ educations through real-life experiences. For more information, visit www.riseinnovations.com.

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