By Erin Cook – For the past couple of years, Professor Shelly McVay’s Business 305 marketing course has partnered with a local Kansas City nonprofit for a service-learning project. This year, the class is providing advertising consultation to Veronica’s Voice. According to its website, the mission of Veronica’s Voice is “to empower women to exit from, to prevent the entry into, and to end all demand for prostitution/sex trafficking in the United States through survivor leadership.”
The class has broken into five consulting teams. Each team is tasked with researching the practices that Veronica’s Voice is currently using. Based on their research, each team is tasked with making recommendations about improvements regarding the organization’s marketing and promotion elements. Students are evaluating the organization’s target audience and how this audience might evolve in the future. Students are also analyzing promotion elements and considering the nature of a non-profit organization and its funding restrictions. These promotion elements include advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, and publicity. The groups are working to develop a new or improved brand logo, collateral items such as brochures, posters, banners, etc., public service announcements, social media plans and rationale, and a complete cost analysis of all the proposed pieces.
When asked, what is your favorite aspect about this course, Professor McVay responded, “I worked in marketing at Hallmark Cards for 30 years, so this is my passion! I really love engaging students in real-world companies and the bonus is that they are giving back to the community—to people who truly need help with their marketing and promotion—to get their message out.”