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COM Students Raise $ 1,100 For Mom's House




   Taking a four week summer school course can be interesting and fun, can benefit a community organization and you might even get to squeeze in a round of golf during all the learning.


   The bundle of experiences unfolded for the students in the Communications Department’s Public Relations Practicum course (COM 284-11) as students were guided through the hands on skills of organizing, launching and publicizing a benefit event.      


   Putting public relations theory into practice ended up raising $1,100 to benefit Mom’s House, a local organization that supports single parents looking to continue their education.


   “This experience helps our students prepare to work at an intense pace where you must put an event together and create public awareness in a very short time frame,” said Tim Skinner, instructor for the course, who guided the students through the organizing, planning and promotion of a June 29th mini-golf tournament at Chuckster’s in Vestal.


   “We learned how to advertise and promote an event effectively and we helped a local organization that really needs support,” said Maureen McDermott, a SUNY Broome student who is planning to graduate in December with her degree in Communications and Media Arts. “The experiences I’ve had in this course are definitely going to help me after graduation.”


   Instructor Skinner guided the PR Practicum students through a multi-faceted, fast track program to develop and promote the event. Tasks included a meeting with the owners of Chuckster’s to establish what the fundraising event would be. Students also locked in small business sponsorships for many of the holes on the mini golf course.


   Skinner said promoting the event was significant as the students pulled together a multi media promotional campaign which included an internet web site and promotional spots in the local media. The students also worked in teams to distribute and post hundreds of flyers to promote the event.


   On June 29, students also shared in the experience of the event, being on hand to help in hosting the mini-golf tournament as dozens of other adults and children played rounds of mini-golf.


   “It was really rewarding to see people enjoying something that we put together,” said Amy Hogan, one of the PR Practicum students. “We worked very hard to pull everything together, but we were able to have a lot of fun at the event because the energy and enthusiasm of everyone participating was infectious.”


   “This was reflective of a real world Public Relations environment,” said Skinner. “The students from this course are not going to be surprised by a real situation of having to create and deliver a project in three or four weeks.”

-By Ed Evans - COM Dept Instructor