Classroom efforts reap local benefits


A UNF public relations class, taught by professor Bobbi Doggett, is taking classroom assignments into the real world.

The course’s main purpose is to act as a PR agency, raising awareness and funds for the company and cause they choose through the development of new PR strategies. The class chooses a different non-profit client to assist every semester, Doggett said.

The spring 2009 class chose the Northeast Florida Boys and Girls Club.

As the class is limited to 25 seats, students must bring in their resumes and apply for different positions or roles in the class.

This is the last class PR students take,” Doggett said. “It sums up everything they have been taught so far.”

The class spent the entire spring 2009 semester developing a campaign for the Boys and Girls Club, he said.

And several members of the non-profit organization gathered April 16 in the Recital Hall to watch the campaign presentation—the accumulation of 25 students’ entire semesters’ worth of effort.

Everyone at the Boys and Girls Club was impressed with the presentation,” Megan Seery said, spokesperson for the Boys and Girls club.

In the presentation, the students brought several ideas to the table, such as a new commercial, multiple press releases, updated fund raising approaches and public service announcements that would ideally be broadcast on local radio stations.

The officials of the Boys and Girls Club in attendance especially liked the commercial the class developed, as well as the different ways to increase fund raising, Seery said.

The help they received from the PUR 4800 class is exactly what the organization needs, due to private and corporate donations lagging because of the economy, president of the Boys and Girls Club Shannon Perry said.

I hope to get those donors back,” she said.

But until then, the information given in the presentation will help put the organization back on their feet, Perry said.

It will take us a few days to sort through all of the information,” Seery said. “We were just blown away [by the presentation.]”

In the fall 2008 semester, the class worked with Hubbard House, who decided to implement a direct mail piece designed by the class. Hubbard House sent the mail to local Jacksonville zip codes, Doggett said.

Even though students do not receive any internship credit for the class, students are sometimes hired as interns after the class, she said.

The course was pretty fun,” public relations senior Troy Torrey said. “Everyone is doing well.”