Ashland University Students Partner with Local Businesses

Ashland University Students Partner with Local Businesses
The PR Campaigns student agency team of (left to right) Kaitlyn Dailey, Nuri Lee, Megan Furby, and Susanna Savage for the Ashland University Writing Center makes their presentation to clients and classmates. Photo Credit Amanda J. Weed

6/5/17 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University students of the Communication 474: Public Relations Campaigns course, led by Visiting Instructor Amanda Weed, partnered with local Ashland businesses and university organizations in the spring semester as part of the capstone course for the Ashland University Public Relations and Strategic Communication major.

Student agency teams designed and implemented public relations campaigns for their clients to provide positive outcomes for each organization.  The student team for Associated Charities of Ashland County managed a donation event that gained more than 500 donations for the Kids Closet program, which provides clothing to local families-in-need.  The student’s campaign nearly doubled Associated Charities clothing inventory in just one day.  "Our team did an outstanding job from start to finish. They saw what our need was and away they went with it. Their ads on social media were right on target with the goal,” said Shirley Bonfiglio, Assistant Director and Events Coordinator for Associated Charities.

No Pawz Left Behind, a local animal welfare organization that works in cooperation with the Ashland County Dog Shelter, worked with their student team to earn supply and monetary donations valued at more than $300.  As an added bonus to the campaign, an adoptable dog found its “fur-ever” home during the two-weekend event.  The student agency team also succeeded in creating more public awareness of No Pawz Left Behind through a social media boost that provided adoption information.

The Ashland University Writing Center also partnered with a student agency team to build awareness of its services among student athletes.  Through a targeted campaign that integrated social media and educational presentations with AU sports teams, Writing Center appointments among athletes increased 57% over the previous three months. “The students who chose the Writing Center for their project did fantastic work. They had a solid plan, which they executed very well with minimum resources. I am planning to use their promotional model next year and am so grateful for their time and hard work,” said Dr. Maura Grady, director of the AU Writing Center.

The students who worked with Donate Life Ohio, in cooperation with Ashland University Eagle Wellness, made it their goal to better educate other students on the impact organ donation can have on other people’s lives. The group hosted a public lecture for their guest speaker, Ashland University Professor and organ donation recipient Dr. Mark Hamilton, who discussed how organ donation helped save his life.

“We knew our client needed to create more public awareness with students to show the value of organ donation as well as how to become a donor. We also knew a lot of students loved having Dr. Hamilton for class so we saw the impact he could have by sharing his personal story with students,” said Tyler Starr, a junior double-major in Public Relations & Strategic Communication and Sports Communication, who worked on the campaign.

The Department of Communication Studies at Ashland University is committed to creating real-life opportunities for students to demonstrate what they have learned in the classroom. Each of the local Ashland businesses and Ashland University organizations benefitted from the work done by the students in the public relations campaigns course.

by Nathaniel Urban ’18

Students of the Public Relations Campaigns, Photo Credit Amanda J. Weed

Back Row, L to R: Amy Shuster, Megan Furby, Tiarra Kick, Nuri Lee, Kaleigh Shank, Nathaniel Urban, Trent Balduff, Andrew Rucker, Jordan Martinez, Torin Wetzel, Tyler Starr

Front Row, L to R: Susanna Savage, Kimberly Stoops, Kaitlyn Dailey, Christine Goldsmith, Samantha Solanics, Jenna Marsh, Erin Staley, Emily Donnersbach, Reagan Wheeler, Morgan Bittengle

Not pictured: Natalie Antonio, MacKenzie Fischer