Nonprofits chosen for CreateAthon@USC
By Megan Sexton, firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-777-1421
Six South Carolina nonprofits have been chosen to receive pro bono advertising and marketing communications support as part of the first CreateAthon@USC.
The Edgefield County Theatre Company, Federation of Families of South Carolina, Harvest Hope Food Bank, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, Sistercare Inc. and Tutor Eau Claire will receive an array of free creative services from the University of South Carolina community.
Students within the School of Journalism and Mass Communications will hold the 24-hour pro bono marketing event Oct. 25–26. The event will be orchestrated by the Creative Leadership class taught this fall by USC associate professor Karen Mallia.
"I am thrilled to work with all these deserving groups who contribute so much to our community, and help them achieve their communication goals,” Mallia said. “CreateAthon volunteers are going to help each one of them share their unique and powerful stories. I can't wait to see what ideas our CreateAthon team members come up with!"
The students enrolled in Creative Leadership class this fall will be CreateAthon Team Leaders, managing the communication strategy planning for the six clients as well as the event. They will recruit their peers in advertising, public relations, design, photography and video to help develop the nonprofits’ communications. Professional mentors from USC faculty and staff and the advertising and public relations community will work hand-in-hand with the students to bring ideas to life, Mallia said.
"CreateAthon is an amazing opportunity for students to gain real-world experience in developing marketing communication strategies and powerful creative work — and working under pressure,” Mallia said. “They will share their growing professional talents doing much needed community service. At the same time, nonprofits experience the benefits of effective marketing as a tool to help support their missions and the work they do in our community.”
Riggs Partners of Columbia, the founding organization of CreateAthon, will hold its 16th annual event the same week as USC.
Riggs Partners began CreateAthon began in 1997 as a new way to provide pro bono services to nonprofits. The program has achieved significant impact since its national launch in 2002, attracting more than 80 agencies, universities, professional organizations and corporate marketing departments throughout North America as CreateAthon partners. In total, the program has served more than 1,275 nonprofit organizations with pro bono marketing projects valued at more than $15 million.
USC is the fourth university in the country to integrate the CreateAthon marathon model into undergraduate curriculum for students in marketing and the communicating arts. Developed at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008, the program has been adopted by University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as well as James Madison University.