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Ottawa University Advertising Braves Marketing Firm

By Casey Schappaugh
On September 29, 2014

With a population of over 12 thousand people within the city you might not think Ottawa is large enough for an advertising firm for students to help local businesses. In fact, until 2013, Ottawa University did not have one.

Now into their second year, the Promotions and Campaigns class refers to themselves as Braves Marketing Firm.

The students within the class spend their time brainstorming in groups on ideas for their businesses or not for profits.

Firm Director Brandon Wilcox said that last year was their inaugural year as a firm. “We responded to our clients’ needs rather well. We rose to challenges as the needs of our clients arose and in some respects we responded excellently, with a lot of enthusiasm."

The firm is a way for the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) to raise money to send members to national conventions. Ottawa University is the only non-division school in Kansas to have a PRSSA chapter.

In 2012, professor Kara Cunningham and students Taylor Broers and Amy Hastings attended a National Convention for PRSSA members in Albuquerque, N.M.

At the convention they learned about other PRSSA chapters and schools which had student-run firms for advertising to help local businesses.

Taking the ideas from the convention, Cunningham and other students helped to change the Promotions and Campaigns class at Ottawa University.

The class went from just selling ads for the campus’ newspaper, to an organization that provides advertising and marketing services to local businesses and not for profits.

When asked about where the Braves Marketing Firm is heading in the next couple years, Kara Cunningham said that she hopes that it continues to do what their mission statement is: “to prepare students for careers in public relations and advertising by giving them a real world experience working with local businesses to develop marketing ideas and strategies.”

Past companies that the Braves Marketing Firm has teamed up with are El Sol Mexican Restaurant, Sun Studio Tanning, and Communities in Schools.

Junior Taylor Slavens, PRSSA’s president, said that she believes it was very successful. “We helped two businesses and a non-profit organization to the best of our abilities,” Slavens said. “They all seemed to have enjoyed working with us and happy with the work we all did for them.”

This years’ applications for the Braves Marketing Firm will be finalized and sent out to businesses within the next few weeks.

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