Public relations professional actively seeks more ways to recruit volunteers for a golf tournament during COVID-19

From the WRBL Internship Assignment Desk

This story was produced as part of the WRBL 2020 Summer Intern program

“Williams and the event directors organize and hand out raffle prizes.”

One of few public relations volunteers for the annual Cecil A. Pittman Golf Tournament, Jamie Williams is struggling to advertise the golf tournament in Georgia due to COVID-19.

Since the start of COVID-19, many public relations managers have had a difficult time producing
content and advertisements for their brand. For this golf tournament, the main source of advertisement is speaking to people directly, without an intermediary.

For the last four years, Williams has done an extraordinary job recruiting people to be involved in the tournament, each year having more members than the one before.

Williams said she has had to reach out to people on Facebook and other social media platforms now more than ever.
The main way to attract people to get involved is talk to them, according to Williams.

Williams is an insurance agent at The Complete Insurance Source and speaks with people on Zoom despite the distance.

“I listen to some of the things they are interested in if they happen to mention it and if I catch a hint that they potentially could have a significant part in the tournament, I tell them a little about it and do a follow-up with them soon after,” Williams said.

Williams’ weekly job for the tournament is to find people to play or volunteer in the tournament, join the preparation committee or donate personally or from their business to help raise money for the Lewybody Dementia Association.

“We usually do billboards and advertisement partnerships with people, so this has taught me how to advertise on different platforms. It has made me better as the leader for the public relations committee,” Williams said.

Williams does not plan to give up her outreach for the tournament because she strongly believes fundraising for the cause makes a difference.

“It’s usually not difficult, especially when you know many people around the area,” Williams said, “but COVID is making it more difficult to find new people, because our main goal each year is to add new volunteers or players. It’s hard to extend out to people when you can’t actually meet them.”

The team meets once a month to discuss plans, members, volunteers and finances. The amount of members and volunteers have not been as high as years before, which affect the plans and finances.

Williams is hopeful that cases of the virus will drop tremendously by November.

“Many of our volunteers are older, they were actually friends of Mr. [Cecil] Pittman. So with that, it would be extremely difficult for them to want to come to this congested tournament with many people when this virus is still serious,” Williams said.

Williams believes the amount of cases near November will be the depending factor of the outcome of the tournament.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in March, it has already gotten easier for Williams and the team to advertise, which gives her hope for a successful tournament in November.

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