Paying It Forward

Posted on: April 27, 2012

Some sort of human interaction.I am consistently surprised and impressed by not only the vast amount of talent and intelligence that resides in the students and faculty at the College of Communication Arts & Sciences, but also by their overwhelming compassion and willingness to give back. 

This semester, Professor Dave Regan's advertising class truly "Paid it Forward." 

Dave's class of 35 students split into seven teams two weeks into the semester, and with the sponsorship and support of Protect America, each team selected a charity of their choice to "Pay it Forward." Protect America provided the teams with $500 and a flip cam to photograph and document their experiences while working closely with their charities to conduct research and to strategize and implement a marketing plan to increase exposure and awareness of their charity. 

The teams researched the companies, their target markets, developed new logos, designed websites, executed social media A group of people pose.campaigns, created flyers, composed videos, coordinated event promotions and fundraisers to increase the exposure and reach to the charity's overall audience: those who can volunteer time or contribute support in funding. 

The seven charities selected were the Hosanna House of Michigan, Help a Willing Child Foundation (HAWK), For Better Independent Assistance Dogs, Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center, Haven House, Hungry Hands and Sleep Tight. 

The final product was presented this week to the client in front of Jeff Butler, director of marketing and Shawne Groves, public relations for Protect America. The teams collectively raised over $7,000 for their charities of choice and treated this project not just as a class assignment but as something they were each truly dedicated to and passionate about. 

Another group poses.Upon receiving their checks, each charity representative expressed their gratitude. They were all so impressed by the work the students had done and were excited about the effect that it would have on their charity's outreach. 

The students used their talent and skill to help better the community; they offered so much more than what was expected from them in this project and received outstanding praise from their professor, their charity and the Protect America team. The real world experience that the students gained took the class to the next level and their campaigns were not just a class project but were actually implemented to help market an existing business. 

This opportunity was a perfect example of paying it forward—the students received great exposure to real life marketing and the charities received a strategic marketing campaign and funding to continue to grow on their own. This project benefited all parties involved. 

A big thank you to Protect America for your contribution and sponsorship of the "Pay it Forward Challenge" and thank you to our students who worked so hard for such a great cause. I can assure you that as Spartans, we will continue to "Pay it Forward." 

Pamela Whitten

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