Rebranding CTAUN

Mass Communications Students Work Towards Rebranding Local Non-Profits

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12:15 pm on June 29th, 2015

by Sydney Phillips ’15, Mass Communications Major

What does the Barnum Museum, The Discovery Museum, and the Downtown Cabaret Theatre have in common? They all have been clients of the University of Bridgeport’s Advertising and PR Campaign or Publicity Methods class. Led by Professor Susan Katz, these classes work meticulously on building a real-world media kit for nonprofits in need of some help with rebranding their image.

Students go to college to gain experience for working in the real world, but with both of these classes offered at UB every year, the real world comes to them. Since 2002, Katz has reached out into the greater Bridgeport community to find businesses who would benefit from having a full class help build their traditional and digital media presence. “We assess the needs of the client, and then we prepare a production schedule where we match the needs of the client to the skillsets of the class,” explains Katz.

More on Susan Katz here

THE CLASSESsk_instagram

Each class is comprised of 28-30 upperclassmen ranging from Mass Communications to Graphic Designers. The class is managed by Katz, but is mainly run by the students. In each class there is an executive assistant, Professor Katz’s right hand, who helps manage the departments chaired by other students. All of the work produced is proofed by these chairs and once complete, is passed on to Katz for final looks before it is ready to be presented. After all of the collateral is packaged up and ready to go, the class hosts a presentation at UB for the client to showcase all of the hard work the students have created throughout the semester.

A few of the past clients of these classes include:

Former class Public Relations chair student Ricky Grasso explains how challenging being the chair of a department is. As a second-semester senior who has been in multiple classes and worked on these projects before, he knows all too well about the amount of work which goes into a campaign. “You go into the class and immediately begin writing press releases, or making billboards which you pour your heart and soul into, and once you think you’ve made something wonderful and get it proofed, it gets sent back and you’re told it can be better.” All for good reason though. Katz expects the best quality possible from her students because their work is going out to real clients who may possibly incorporate the material into their business.

THE CLIENT

For the first time since 2002, the Publicity Methods class is working with a client located out of the Bridgeport area who is affiliated with a very important group. The Committee on Teaching About the United Nations (CTAUN) is a non-government organization (NGO) which focuses on teaching children about a world made increasingly interdependent by globalization. CTAUN exists to engage educators and support them through a variety of programs, including annual conferences, and is the perfect client for this spring’s Publicity Methods class.

This semester, four committees have been formed within the class to tackle the task of building a media kit for CTAUN. The Press and Public Relations, Art and Design, Video/Audio/Photography and Social Media departments have been working tirelessly since January on producing high-end work to meet the April 28 presentation deadline. Katz explains the talent in the class by stating, “Every class is different, so if we have a lot of illustrators in the class we’ll do a lot of schematics of what things could look like.” With the wide array of students from different majors, having the talent to produce quality work for CTAUN comes from everywhere.

Learn more about the Press and PR production schedule here

sk_timelineTHE TAKEAWAY

So what makes a great campaign? “When you walk away and feel proud of what you created it’s an amazing feeling,” claims Katz. “Receiving good feedback from the client also justifies your work because if the client’s happy, then we’re happy.”

Anne-Marie Carlson, the chair of CTAUN, is enthusiastic about the partnership with this year’s Publicity Methods class. “We especially appreciate the creativity and enthusiasm that the students have brought to our project under the leadership and expertise of Professor Katz.  Working with them has been a delight as we’ve seen more and more new creations emerge.”

So what makes a great campaign? “When you walk away and feel proud of what you created it’s an amazing feeling,” claims Katz. “Receiving good feedback from the client also justifies your work because if the client’s happy, then we’re happy.”

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