Gannon Students Pitch Like Professionals
Posted: November 15, 2013
Senior-level students in Gannon University's advertising
communications program will be pitching promotional campaign plans
for WQLN TV and Radio on Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. in the Waldron Campus
Center room 219. The students enrolled in the program's Campaigns
class will present their semester-long projects in a 35- to
45-minute pitch to four WQLN representatives.
For the past several years, the curriculum for the 400-level
class taught by advertising instructor Anne O'Neill has required
students to research, conceptualize and create promotional
initiatives for local organizations in preparation of entering into
"The class is constructed this way to simulate the real world in
which the students will have to pitch their work and ad agency to
perspective organizations," said O'Neill.
Gannon's Director of Community and Government Relations, Erica
Ramalho and Director of Service Learning, Gretchen Fairly presented
the class with several interested non-profit organizations, from
which the students then chose to develop plans for WQLN.
The class was split into two "ad agencies," named Xangro and Ace
in the Hole. The agencies were required to apply their knowledge of
marketing, advertising, public relations and communications in
order to create a comprehensive promotional campaign for the
Two Gannon graduates acted as "account supervisors" to the two
agencies. Sarah Gudgeon, who works in public affairs for Erie's
Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Sonya Pyle Whitman, a
practice manager at Hertel and Brown Physical Therapy, are both
advertising communications graduates who have taken the Campaigns
class within the past 10 years.
As account supervisors, the women provided guidance and support
through advice, suggestions, constructive criticism and feedback as
the students worked through the rough drafts of their project. They
were also able to share their professional experiences to spark
creative ideas for the students.
"Having taken this very class, I have always valued the
experience that came with this project. The whole thing had a great
impact on preparing me for both graduate school and for a 'real
world' job, so it's actually an honor to be a part of this class
and their project from another perspective now," said Whitman.
After taking the information back to the organization and much
deliberating, a WQLN representative will return to the Campaigns
class on Nov. 20 to give feedback to the students on their pitches,
and ultimately award the account to one of the two ad agencies.
WQLN is given permission to use the students' ideas to implement