Sunday, December 1, 2013

Making a PR Campaign

By Jake Bogosian

Maria Caputo, owner of the local Aunt Mia's Sweets, a gourmet cookie shop, gives neighboring college students a real life chance to use their Public Relations skills. The small business owner in Orangeburg NY worked extensively this fall with the St. Thomas Aquinas College public relations class to research, plan, and organize team work to put a real life public relations plan into play.

Maria took time out of her busy schedule of running her own business to come to the local college to explain her business plan to the students. She gave the students a chance to ask questions, creating an interview situation where she answered everything they asked, sharing her PR goals so they would know the real expectations of a PR campaign. Then the students came up with their own campaigns and pitched them to her.

By giving the students real life event planning, it gets them ready for on the job situations they will face as PR professionals. She also taught the students how to use social media platforms to coordinate all the information related to the PR campaign. This is extremely important for the seniors in the class who need this hands-on experience in the field they are hoping to get a job in, after graduating in six months. Maria really enriched the learning experience, helping the students to understand the world of Public Relations communication through a live experience.

When Maria was asked about why she would take time out of her busy schedule to help a the local students, she said, “It feels really good to give back to the community that supports me; being able to give a hand to the next generation of PR professionals is the least I could do.” When the students were asked about how much what Maria is doing for the class, one student summed it up: “Not only is this practice essential for us to succeed in the field of PR, but is a huge resume point that could get me the job over the next person.”

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