New class gives PR students real world experience

By Sarah Cutler, Staff Writer

A group of 11 students is contributing individual skills to work on three projects this semester in a new communication class, which is run as a public relations agency with jobs to complete for real clients.

The students work in different aspects to create marketing plans, including graphic design, writing, event planning, photography, project management, Web design and strategic planning.

“It seemed like it would be a good opportunity to get some actual skills in the field before I stepped out in the big, bad world,” said Katie Stankiewicz, a senior in mass communication. The communication department invited departmental majors during the first week of Spring Semester to apply for a position in the class. Stankiewicz applied, citing her skills in Web design and strategic communication.

“It’s fun to be a part of actually creating a brand and developing a product for the University of Utah,” said Jeff Horne, a senior in mass communication in the class.

As their first task, students created a logo for the new agency that future students and clients will recognize. They sat down with their instructor, Kevin Bischoff, to develop the brand that will be unveiled Thursday.

The group also created a mission statement based on how the students’ PR agency is innovative and will benefit companies needing a marketing plan.

Students created a pamphlet listing nearby restaurants, important phone numbers on campus and basic information about the U as their remaining project for new students to have at orientations.

The students, who did all of the writing, designing, editing and layout for the product, are finishing up last-minute details before sending it to the printing press.

“I would definitely recommend it to other students, because it gives you an opportunity to learn things you don’t learn in class,” Horne said. “You get experience.”

The class will be offered in the future but the workload will vary every year depending on the projects presented to the department.

“Students need to be prepared to show up and be an active part of the class,” Stankiewicz said. “It’s good to be in that group setting and learn to work with people from different backgrounds.”

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