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Nonprofits selected to receive free marketing communications help through CreateAthon

Posted: Aug. 25, 2014; Updated Sept. 25, 2014
By: Megan Sexton, Public Relations

Eight nonprofits will receive pro bono marketing services from the University of South Carolina through CreateAthon@USC 2014, a massive 24-hour talent blitz where Gamecocks donate their time and talent to help deserving South Carolina nonprofits.

CreateAthon@USC gives students a chance to learn and give back at the same time. Advertising professor Karen Mallia and her fall Creative Leadership class will manage strategic communications planning, client relations, fundraising and the creative process. They will work with other Carolina student volunteers and professional mentors to give the eight charities the strategic communications they need — from logos and identities to advertising, posters, brochures, PR and Web strategies.

The nonprofits selected are: Columbia's Cooking!, The Arc, Epworth Children's Home, Hidden Wounds, PASOs (S.C. Educational Foundation), SCORE Association, Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services (PAALS) and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Columbia. The eight were selected from 29 applicants to receive the pro bono marketing services.

The CreateAthon@USC management team includes School of Journalism and Mass Communications instructor Scott Farrand. This year, Farrand and Mallia are joined by Haylee Mercado and her Sports and Entertainment Management class, who will coordinate CreateAthon@USC event logistics.

The team is now recruiting student volunteers and professional mentors to join them for 24 hours of nonstop creativity and camaraderie Nov. 7-8. To participate, apply online at by Sept. 30. Those who cannot give their time or talent are asked to donate food, beverages or funds to help keep the troops going through the marathon of pro bono service.

The university's first CreateAthon was launched in 2013, bringing together 13 student leaders, 62 student volunteers and 13 professional mentors from among the advertising and design community, faculty, staff and alumni. CreateAthon@USC delivered nearly $150,000 worth of marketing communications to six South Carolina nonprofits. The work included communications of every kind, websites, brochures, press releases, social media plans, posters and more. See last year's work on the CreateAthon@USC website.

CreateAthon on Campus was founded by Peyton Rowe and is an outgrowth of the national CreateAthon professional network created in 1998 by Riggs Partners. Since then, over 80 agencies have participated, and delivered more than 1,275 nonprofits with projects valued at over $15 million.


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