Students listening in classStudents Promote Good, Clean, Fair Food

Working for real-world clients, Diederich College students in a combined Advertising and Public Relations capstone class have the chance to make a real difference in the world.

Students from Linda Menck’s Advertising Campaigns class and Dr. Gee Ekachai’s Public Relations Campaigns class are joining to create campaigns for two nonprofit organizations, Slow Food Wisconsin Southeast and Growing Power.

Both organizations link the pleasures of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

“We’re helping our clients promote their philosophy of healthy living and equal access to high-quality, safe and affordable food,” Menck says. “It’s a timely, exciting subject.”

Working in teams structured like small agencies, students are using social media and digital storytelling as well as traditional advertising and PR tools to build awareness of the Slow Food movement, promote a campus chapter and raise funds for Growing Power.

“This is a capstone class, the chance for students to apply everything they’ve learned in their other courses,” Menck says. “Students are developing strategies and tactics and even producing some of the campaign components they propose.”

Each of the eight teams is mentored by members of Spreenkler, an association of Milwaukee marketing, creative and technical professionals. Mentors meet regularly with the students, answer their questions and review their work.

Menck says students appreciate the opportunity to network with community professionals, and the nonprofit organizations value the work they receive.

Above all, she says, students are eager to change the way people think about the food on their plate.

“Working with nonprofits aligns with Marquette’s mission,” Menck says. “Students are using their education to help people, and they’re motivated by the opportunity.”