Students in Frank's Strategic Marketing course
Catawba students in Dr. Phillip Frank's spring Strategic Marketing course had the opportunity to apply their learning from the classroom into the real world when they were assigned to develop a strategic marketing plan for Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC), which represents the 2011 affiliation of Lutheran Family Services (LFS) and Lutheran Services for the Aging (LSA).
Based in Salisbury, the organization provides care management, skilled nursing care, rehabilitation, assisted living, and retirement options to seniors in North Carolina as well as foster care, adoption, veterans' services, mental health services, refugee resettlement, disaster response, and residential care for people with disabilities in both North and South Carolina.
Frank's students were asked to develop the marketing plan to assist LSC in organizing the consolidation efforts of LFS and LSA operations. At the heart of this assignment was the notion of strategic branding communication: How could LSC maintain a cohesive branding message that incorporates the visions, missions and operations from both the LFS and LSA without confusing potential customers or partners?
Students in the course met with key executives and administrators and participated in an offsite visit to one of the local senior living communities (Trinity Oaks), where they gained insight from executives, employees and clients of the various agencies. Students learned about each of the programs and potential clients, developing knowledge they used when developing their strategic plan.
During a presentation ceremony held May 8 in Tom Smith Auditorium on campus, students presented their findings to key personnel. Students proposed various insights including re-branding the corporate website to allow for cohesive messages, co-branding with potential businesses in the Southeast to provide additional exposure to the various programs. They also suggested ways to promote community events at each local establishment, such as Trinity Oaks, as a way of further involving community residents with the various causes.
Frank said of his students' work on the marketing plan for LSC, "This project allowed students, primarily seniors who will be entering the workforce, the opportunity to see how the marketing material we teach in the classroom is applicable both in profit-oriented as well as not-for-profit-oriented organizations."
Students in Frank's Strategic Marketing class included Jacob Breig, Quaneasia Coleman, Sara Handy, Emerson Hughes, Jacob Jester, Kimberley McConnery, Trevor Sieracki, Savannah Tomlinson and Hannah Wunschel.
While Frank's students were developing the strategic marketing plan for LSC, students in Professor Dana Lanham's Advertising and Promotions class at Catawba completed a semester-long video project for the organization. In class, students learned about organizing as an agency and how an agency functions in relationship to its client. They were then separated into specific areas within the agency they created, "Collective Minds."
Student Jacob Jester (left) interviews Trinity
Glen employee, Carleth Fleming
The account team was responsible for communicating with the client, Katie Scarvey, a communications specialist for LSC, and with the rest of the agency team to ensure timely delivery of the video to the client. The research/media team analyzed competitive services within LSC's market, and looked at different channels of communication. And finally, the creative strategy and execution team created the script and provided direction for the video.
Segments in the video were photographed onsite in Salisbury and Clemmons, at the LSC headquarters and the new Trinity Glen senior living community. The final edit of the video, which may be used as a recruitment and retainment video for LSC, is a compilation of still and motion photography that encompasses the staff and spirit of the LSC. The theme of this video and the related print advertising is "We Believe."
The students met and videotaped LSC employees in their place of work, recording statements about why they work for Lutheran Services Carolinas. The common theme was how much the employees care and that working for LSC is a "calling." Colorful and branded graphics were created with a bed of inspirational music to support the theme, voice over, video and images.
Lanham said in regards to her project, "in the classroom we learned how to organize like an agency, and design a creative brief for the project, but outside of the classroom, the LSC project provided us with a real client, and real experience as we created and executed a recruitment and retention video for their staff, giving students a taste of the real world."
The students presented the video to the client May 8 to positive response. Ms. Scarvey had specific comments, and the video editor, Savannah Tomlinson, a graduating senior, agreed to make final edits based on those comments and provide the finished product.
"Lutheran Services Carolinas has always enjoyed its relationship with Catawba College, and we had a lot of fun working with the students on these projects," Scarvey said. "We are certainly open to future partnerships, and we hope to be able to offer some internship opportunities for Catawba marketing students."
Students working on the video project included Madison Kennedy and Kimberly McConnery (Account Team), Chelsea Hammill and Hannah Wunschel (Research Team) Jacob Jester and Ebony Mills (Creative Strategy Team), Savannah Tomlinson and Quaneasia Coleman (Creative Direction, video and print advertising).