This fall, advertising students will participate in the ProtectAmericaCares “Pay It Forward” Challenge. The challenge, which requires eight participating student teams to select a real non-profit and/or charity client for which to develop a comprehensive campaign, kicks off this week in Professor Dave Regan’s ADV 486 Integrated Campaigns classes.
Initially conceived last spring by Regan and ProtectAmericaCares with help from Advertising and Public Relations alum Adam Grant, the concept for the challenge has been to utilize the MSU advertising students’ knowledge to address the fundraising and promotional needs of local charitable organizations by implementing a real, integrated multimedia promotions campaign.
“This challenge gives the perfect opportunity for students to learn from real life experiences while building positive relationships within the community and throughout the MSU campus.” Protect America’s Shawne Groves said, “A lot of times we find the charities have never even had a marketing plan or materials. This leaves a great opportunity for not only the students to display their knowledge, but also the charity to benefit.”
ProtectAmericaCares (the charitable arm of Protect America, Inc.) supplies each team with a $500 stipend to use toward their campaign and a video camera to document their journey.
“I’ve always enjoyed working on the big brand ad campaigns, but this time, we can help smaller, more needy businesses and hopefully do a lot of good things for them in the process,” Regan said.
Upon the conclusion of the initial challenge this past spring semester, the seven teams raised over $10,000 for their organizations as well as had their proposed campaign materials and techniques implemented by their clients.
“This opportunity is a perfect example of ‘paying it forward’—our students are exposed to real world interactions and experiences with actual clients, and the charities receive a strategic marketing campaign, which will result in funding to continue to grow,” said Dean Pamela Whitten. “This project truly benefits all parties involved; it’s a wonderful partnership.”
Regan views the challenge as an enriching experience for students on both a professional and personal level.
“Protect America is valuable as real company experience with executives following and critiquing student work as professionals", Regan said. “I think this project makes our students feel very proud as they leave something positive behind in their collegiate career.”
Participating students will present their campaigns at the conclusion of the semester in front of Regan, Protect America marketing and PR executives and representatives from the benefitting charities.
The kick-off for the challenge will be held tomorrow, Thursday, September 6 from 12:40-2:30 p.m. in Rm. 308 of the Communication Arts & Sciences Building (404 Wilson Rd., East Lansing, Mich.). For more information about Protect America Cares and the “Pay It Forward” Challenge, visit ProtectAmericaCares “Pay It Forward” Challenge website or follow the conversation on Facebook or on Twitter at @PASecurity/#pacpayitforward.