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Breeze Students Make Pitch To Lure Big Advertisers

By Alex Lefebvre ('10), Public Affairs

Breeze advertising students discuss their presentation

Emily Weidner (left), Chelsea White and Elliott Yousefian traveled to Chicago to present The Breeze to Newspaper Services of America, a company that researches and strategically places advertising in print media.


pdf version of presentation

Click the image above to see the PowerPoint part of their presentation.

The JMU student newspaper, The Breeze, gets lots of attention. It is read by thousands of students, staff and faculty each week and routinely wins awards for its stories and photographs.  But The Breeze gained recognition for another important part of its business recently, its outstanding advertising efforts.

Seniors Emily Weidner, Chelsea White and Elliott Yousefian traveled to Chicago to present The Breeze to Newspaper Services of America, a company that researches and strategically places advertising in print media for its clients.

"If their client wants to reach Harrisonburg or the Shenandoah Valley market, our purpose of going there was to get in the process to be selected for that," Yousefian said.

The Breeze held a competition among its advertising staff to see who would go to Chicago to present to NSA. Each of the nine students was given a potential client and had to present a pitch to a panel of judges: Cesi Myers, advertising adviser to The Breeze; Brad Jenkins, general manager of The Breeze; Rachael Walters of JMU Public Affairs; and Toni Mehling from the College of Business.

Following the competition, Weidner, White and Yousefian had two weeks to prepare, travel and present to a panel of 16 professionals.

"It was a lot of work in a little bit of time," Weidner said.  Research, charts and statistics had to be put together in a PowerPoint presentation so NSA could present to their clients. The NSA required as much information as possible about The Breeze. After presenting to NSA, the students pitched to three clients individually:  Walmart, Rite Aid and Kmart. 

The students were a great success, Jenkins said. "We have great students, and they just did such a great job. They took it seriously, and they really did their homework. I was floored when I saw some of their presentations. This experience has clearly helped them prepare to work in the business world."

The Breeze is still in the process of providing more information to NSA and it could take up to 18 months to see the fruits of their labor. However, the preparation that went into the presentation is already being used at The Breeze.

"What we did is getting applied to a lot of other groups in The Breeze so people can use the general outline of what we did to approach other companies that handle different clients," said Yousefian. Other Breeze advertising staffers traveled to Carlisle, Pa., and to a local Harrisonburg grocery store to implement the same strategy.

 

Published November 2009