School of Communication Students Provide Free Services to Non-profits During PhilADthropy

February 04, 2013 —

During the fourth annual PhilADthropy event, approximately 100 University of Miami School of Communication students will work around-the clock for 25 hours straight to provide free advertising and public relations services to 16 South Florida nonprofit organizations, including Abandoned Pet Rescue, Easter Seals South Florida, and the Mystic Force Foundation. Over 200 non-profit organizations from Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties applied this year.

“This event clearly meets a need that exists in our community, and our students are ready, able and prepared to meet that need,” said Associate Professor Alyse Lancaster, Chair of the Department of Strategic Communication at UM. The marathon begins at 11 a.m. on Feb. 8 and goes through noon on Feb. 9. Students unveil their final projects during a reception for the organizations at the end of the 25th hour.

“PhilADthropy is an amazing event for our students and for our community. Not only do the students get the chance to give back to local non-profits who really need their expertise, but they also get the chance to showcase their skills in a way that truly makes an impact. The sense of accomplishment they achieve through this event is something that can’t be matched in a traditional classroom setting,” said Meryl Blau, an advertising professor and founder of this event.

Last year, the students worked on projects that included the creation of a vibrant ad campaign for the 100th anniversary of a local Salvation Army chapter, a billboard concept for Kill AIDS, a health charity, and a compelling social media campaign created for the Florida Poison Information Center, which was subsequently implemented nationally by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

“The students gave us a complete makeover. They changed the logos, changed the message, did everything. They were fantastic,” said Jay Meranchik, the founder of National K-9 Working Dog Inc., a nonprofit pushing for healthcare and rights in legislatures for K-9 service dogs. Meranchik adds that the student work produced during PhilADthropy increased the organization’s likes on Facebook from less than 400 to more than 2,000 in a year’s time.
PhilADthropy is organized by the school’s advertising program and hosted by AD Group.

“When we see our work being used in the real world and how sincerely happy the nonprofits are, we know we’ve made a huge impact in just one night,” said advertising student Katelyn Murray, president of AD Group. “The exhaustion is worth it and it ends up being the shortest 25 hours of your life.”

This year, PhilADthropy is sponsored by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Pasha’s, SapientNitro, Conill, Sergio’s Family Restaurants, Titan Reprographics, Ronin Advertising Group, Distraction Magazine, URAWk Energy Bars, ZICO Coconut Water, popchips, TCBY, LIME Fresh Mexican Grill, and Lionsden Creative, Inc.

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