I.C. students scores big in marketing-communication competition in D.C.

06/24/2014

Contributed by Kurt Lichtmann

I.C. Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) majors, Lauren Denecke and Sara Harmon soared to a 2nd Place finish in the 2014 Washington Media Scholars Foundation's Media Plan Case Competition

Their 2nd Place finish brought with it partial scholarships of $2000 each. After the very competitive entry and semifinal stages, only six teams in the country made the final round. During a week-long all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC, Sara and Lauren met dozens of nationally recognized media industry leaders (David Leonhardt: NY Times, Tom Costello: NBC News Correspondent, Bret Baier: Fox News Anchor, "Special Report with Bret Baier" etc., etc.!) On June 12, Lauren and Sara presented their media plan to the judges. After their presentation, the stage crew was highly impressed, saying "The girls from Ithaca nailed it!" but there were two groups yet to go. All in all, Ithaca College is very proud of Lauren and Sara with a very dynamic #2 Final Round in this competition!

Laura and Sara's media plan presentation, "F.A.S.T. Brings a Promise of Speed," was an issue advocacy campaign - trying to get people to vote yes on "I-3", a bond initiative that would approve public funding for Boris Cole's company to build a NASCAR track just outside of Sound Beach. F.A.S.T. (Friends of a Sound Beach Track) is the organization he created to collect money.  Customized for the target audience, the presentation offered the rationale for the media choices, specific spending for each media vehicle and how they worked together, and the total number of impressions and gross rating points would be earned within the target audience after the month campaign. It was a "pulsing" campaign (pulsing: peak of spending), beginning in June, pulsing in July (peak NASCAR season ) and October (the last chance before the election to get the message out.)

Lauren (I.C. '16) is a member of the Ithaca College chapter of Lambda Pi Eta honor society as well as a Dean's List recipient. She also has been a Production Assistant Intern for Interactive Liquid. She is the I.C. Fitness Center Social Media Chairperson, and Climbing Wall Marketing Director. Lauren was one of eight semi-finalists in the Perialas Speech Competition.

Sara (I.C. '16) is the Vice President for the Ithaca College AAF Chapter, as well as a Park Peer Advisor. She is currently involved in the Leadership Scholars Mentoring Program and is a volunteer for Feeding Children Everywhere. Sara is also a volunteer Social Media Coordinator for the Central New York Area Health Education Center.

Competing students nationwide submit the first-round materials as a team, or as an individual. The first-round involves allocating a budget across given media outlets in an Excel sheet and a written explanation of the media choices. Following round one, 60 students are selected to move on to the second round, and those who competed as an individual will be assigned a partner. The second round gives competitors background information and a set of simulated data to use to create a media campaign. The final deliverables are a media flowchart, a 10-15 page paper, including graphics and a summary sheet.

The Washington Media Scholars Foundation started over 30 years ago. The competition was initiated in 2010. The goal is to give students an opportunity to look into the world of public-policy advertising and to meet leaders in the media industry. Many students involved have interned or worked for the people they met through the program. In addition to the competition, WSMF offers the Media Fellows Program, a scholarship awarded to undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career related to the public policy advertising industry. More information is available at www.mediascholars.org.

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