Monica Helms is a graduate of UCO with a degree in Mass Communications—Advertising. She has been involved with Ad2OKC since November 2009. She is currently a Business Development Specialist/Social Media Manager at OPUBCO, which she credits as being a result of her involvement with Ad2. She serves on the Ad2 board as Secretary. She is also a volunteer for the Central Oklahoma Humane Society when time allows.
Describe the mission of your non-profit:
Our mission is to connect with young professionals in the Oklahoma City advertising/marketing/communications industry and provide opportunities for education, networking, and community involvement. As part of our mission of public service, each year we select a local nonprofit with little/no marketing budget and create an ad campaign for them. Last year we worked with Midtown Rotary to help create buzz for their inaugural Spelling Bee(r) event, and this year we're working with Cancer Sucks (but what we're doing exactly is still top secret!). Upon completion of the campaign, we present it at the annual American Advertising Federation (AAF) National Conference in competition with other Ad2 clubs around the US.
How does it impact families and children, whether locally or elsewhere?
In terms of impact, we take more of a behind-the-scenes role, as we usually work with other nonprofits. For something like the Cancer Sucks project, our impact mostly has to do with building awareness of the organization. Cancer Sucks has a really strong support community attached to it, and we'd like to make people who have been affected by cancer more aware of the organization's existence. That way, these people can reach out to others who are going through the same things, whether it's the effects of radiation/chemo or even family members who are struggling with the situation. Cancer Sucks also spends a significant amount of time fundraising and donating those proceeds to organizations like American Cancer Society, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and more; we're hoping to help them identify even more opportunities to accomplish this.
What drives you to make this non-profit a success?
This is my first year to work with the public service campaign, and I can honestly say that's what drives me in this organization right now. It surprised me a little, but getting involved with Ad2 and being able to help a fellow nonprofit succeed in its mission has been really exciting to me. As a club, we all live and breathe advertising/marketing, but I guess I kind of forgot that isn't the case for everyone. It's nice to take a skill that we've all worked hard at developing and use it for the good of others.
What success stories or accomplishments has this non-profit achieved?
Last year, we worked with Midtown Rotary. We helped create, brand, and promote their Spelling Bee event, and in the end they raised more than $2,500, which was really exciting.
How can families and children help this non-profit?
If you're a marketing or ad pro (or if you just like marketing/advertising) and you're under age 32, then join us! We're happy to welcome new faces.
What led you to work for this nonprofit?
I got involved while still in college – I had a friend who was a member and who insisted that it was a great way to make connections for when it was time to start job hunting. But I got so much more out of it than a job… I've learned a lot, and I've made some great friends along the way.
What was your best day so far?
I would say winning the JAC award/scholarship from our parent club, OKC Ad Club – without Ad2, I wouldn't have known about the award at all and wouldn't have known to apply for it. I got recognition at the annual Career Day event, which felt really awesome. But without giving anything away, I definitely think the completion of the Cancer Sucks campaign is going to top that!