At Miami it is required that every Senior complete a Senior Capstone project. This project is meant to bring together all that you have learned over the previous four years. Although Laws, Hall, & Associates is listed as a capstone course it did not count for my Strategic Communication Major. Therefore I was required to take on a second capstone, Advanced Public Relations. This capstone ended up being a great experience because within the course we were given the semester long assignment to choose an Oxford business and create a public relations campaign for them. My team chose to work with a new Oxford business, Iggie’s Gelato. Iggie’s offered a unique product to the Oxford Community, but struggled from little funding and a less than ideal location.
After a semester of researching, speaking with our client, and testing different ideas we created a full campaign for Iggie’s. We created a campaign overview book for them to keep and hopefully implement the following year and also gave a 30 minute presentation to persuade our professor, class and client on why our campaign should be implemented. Our book and presentation included: the current situation at Iggie’s, our key findings after reasearch, who we believed the key publics Iggie’s should target were, the overall goal of the campaign, the campaign objectives, the strategy to achieve those objectives, and the messages we wanted to convey. Some of the tactics we included to reach our overall goal included creating coupons and discount cards, creating a to-go menu for the shop, and hosting events such as Family Fun Thursday’s. Our presentation was a success and our client and professor were very impressed with our overall campaign.
This experience was great because it forced us all to think through a public relations campaign from start to finish. Also by working with a real client we got to experience the actual difficulties and roadblocks that are faced when working in the real world. Working with a real client also showed us the importance of consulting and finding out the real problems and solutions facing a business rather than what may be the easiest or the most fun to work with.
In the fall of 2007 I participated in an Advertising Practice Course entitled Laws, Hall & Associates. Within this course a real client hires Miami University to make an advertising campaign for one of its products. The class is split into three teams who compete to create the winning campaign. The semester I participated in this program our client was Perfetti Van Melle and we were giving the task to create a grassroots marketing campaign for Mentos. Each team was made up of 11 students complete with 6 marketing students, 2 graphic design, 2 mass communication and one public relations. I was accepted to this course to take on the role of public relations specialist for Team B. After a semester of hard work including campus visits for research, sleepless nights and hours of editing our team was chosen as the winner of the competition. Here is the link to the finalized campaign overview booklet that we created to present to Perfetti Van Melle
Since I took on the role of Public Relations Specialist, it was my duty to fuse together the marketing, graphic design and mass communication elements of our campaign and make it not only relevant to our client but a campaign that would go over well with our publics. I also composed much of the written materials needed throughout the campaign, edited our final copies, presented our creative freeze presentation to our professors, and helped create and present our final 30 minute presentation. This course solidified for me the desire to work in a creative communication environment. I loved all aspects of this course from the research, to the writing, editing and brainstorming we all took part in. The sleepless nights were even enjoyable now seeing the success we achieved through all of our efforts.
In an effort to make my thoughts and work known, I Erika von Borcke have decided to join the blogging world. I will not deny that I was initially skeptical of this entire community and its impact on the world as we know it, but as blogs have become more popular and their writings more influential I have found myself regularly visiting blog sites, being drawn in by what people have to say. So here I am now, sharing my voice as well. I plan to use this blog as not only a place to share my thoughts and views, but also as an online portfolio of sorts to list my writings and projects as well as anything that is to come. So sit back, relax and enjoy.