After each team presents its idea, the business will choose which it likes the most and that campaign will actually be implemented by the client.
Clients that students have worked on campaigns for include Antawn Jamison, the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and, most recently, Bullies 2 the Rescue.
Bullies 2 the Rescue is a nonprofit organization that rescues, re-homes and rehabs English bulldogs.
“I’m so excited this semester that we have the bulldog rescue mission,” Freeman said. “It was the talk of the school for a few days.”
Courtney Vaux, the president and founder of Bullies 2 the Rescue, visited the class earlier in the semester and gave the students an idea of what she is hoping to get from their campaign ideas.
“We’re interested in getting a different perspective on things we need to do, maybe a younger perspective,” Vaux said.
The class took on the challenge immediately.
“It was excellent,” Vaux said. “We had a great time, and the class was asking great questions.”
Despite the students’ eagerness to create a unique campaign for Bullies 2 the Rescue, they face challenges in the project, too.
Senior Korey Butler is working on the Bullies 2 The Rescue campaign and said the biggest struggle is the getting what the clients truly need.
With over $98,000 spent last year to help the bulldogs, finding enough money is one of the many obstacles Bullies 2 the Rescue faces.
A lack of foster and permanent homes is an issue as well.
“We are trying to open a ranch, so we don’t have to worry about turning dogs away,” Vaux said.
Although the students are still in the early developing stages of the campaign, Freeman is excited to see the work students do with Bullies 2 the Rescue.
Essentially, the students are working as mini PR firms by dealing with actual clients and gaining real world experience.
“Hopefully, this will help them get the job,” Freeman said. “And how to perform when they actually get the job.”
As a senior, Butler is able to use all of the knowledge and resources she has accumulated at UNC for this class.
“There’s a realness to what we’ve been taught,” she said. “Until you do it, you don’t really realize its value.”
Although the students won’t see the end product until April, they’re able to see how the bits of knowledge they have from different classes go hand in hand.
“If I didn’t have a class like 434, I wouldn’t know how all the pieces fit together,” Butler said.
Learning to implement what has been taught inside the classroom to the outside world is one of the main goals of the class.
“The students do such amazing work,” Freeman said.
Each student in the class heard the same presentation about the problems that Bullies 2 the Rescue faces, but come April, the solutions will all be different.
“We’re all going to present it in a different way,” Butler said. “And that’s the beauty of PR.”