Meghan in front of Newhouse 3Applied Public Relations Takes the Prize

When Meghan Rimol (PC ’16) embarked on her  Capstone journey with advisor, Professor Rochelle L. Ford, she had no way of knowing where the trip would end. Happily, her project, “Using Applied Public Relations to Develop the Londonderry Rail Trail,” earned the top prize for Capstones in the Professional category.

Meghan had previously worked with nonprofit group Londonderry Trailways, creating Facebook and Twitter pages to share news and information about their Rail Trail project. For her Capstone Project Meghan decided to pursue a full-scale public relations campaign to develop public awareness and support as well as fundraising for the Londonderry Rail Trail’s continued development. The program targeted two key publics: Londonderry citizens who would use the trail, and business owners who could become donors. She focused efforts on social media outreach, redesigning the organization’s website, and hosting public events, all the while staying under a $1,000 budget. Her advisor reports that she accomplished this despite some unexpected setbacks; Meghan Rimol overcame these with hard work and independent decisions. The resulting campaign exceeded social media response targets and far exceeded donation targets.Meghan with Prof. Ford outside Hendricks Chapelbike parked at trail head