Communication students participate in energy challenge

Rachel Calhoun, Contributor

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Robert Morris University (RMU) had previously been selected to participate in an advertising competition this spring against many other schools throughout the United States in the America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) Collegiate Energy Challenge.

RMU faculty member, Dick Roberts’, Advertising and Communications Strategy class has become a marketing agency called Colonial Communications Consultants (CCC). The students are competing for a chance to present their creative ideas to industry leaders from ANGA at the end of this semester.

If selected, they will be given $3,000 dollars to bring their plans to life and have the opportunity to give a formal presentation to a client summarizing their campaign and results in order to measure the success of their marketing plan.

The students’ job is to research and put together a marketing campaign to inform students and others in the community on the benefits of natural gas as an energy source. In order to strategically make their campaign, CCC used research surveys and other tools to learn more about ANGA’s target audiences.

CCC was required by ANGA to have at least one event to advertise their campaign.  The students hosted two events on campus to implement their strategy and raise awareness of the benefits of natural gas. Their first event featured an attempt to get people to sign a pledge to learn more about natural gas on April 11 in the cafeteria.

“We had many pictures to show off our campaign, and they attracted the students to come over to our table to see exactly what we were advertising,” explained sophomore team member, Carly Maloney.

“There were many large posters hanging around the cafeteria with interesting facts that no one would ever think about that explained how natural gas can help the environment,” stated Katie Norman, a fellow team member.

“The pledge was very successful because we always had countless people around our table throughout the entire event and everyone learned at least one thing about natural gas,” said Maloney.

“We had 130 people to sign our pledge, we handed out candy to the students, and we raffled off a $15 Sheetz gift card,” explained sophomore team member Shanice Cooke.

The second event CCC held was in the rotunda on Wednesday, April 11 and helped to promote their campaign.

Their team raffled off items that had been donated by people around the area, and they had another table where students were able to decorate Giant Eagle bags. There was also free food given out right next to a large trifold board of information about natural gas.

“This event was in such a perfect spot because the rotunda is such a high traffic area, and there were always people walking through,” explained junior Gabrielle Gasparich.

“Our event grabbed people’s attention because there was a ton of free food and really nice prizes,” stated Norman.

CCC will be giving their final presentation for the ANGA competition in early May.

“I am very confident in our team to nail the presentation because we are all very talented and well rounded,” stated Maloney.

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