For two weeks this month, Black Hills State University faculty and students have been using their expertise to help local schools and small businesses create their own media campaign kit.
Recent BHSU graduate Evan Bruce is helping local businesswoman and life coach Leah Braun with a radio announcement during the recent Media Blitz.
The first ever Media Blitz series included students from Stevens High School in Rapid City, Belle Fourche High School and Sturgis Brown High School along with several business professionals seeking advice on the best ways to promote themselves and their events.
The event also included journalists from KEVN Black Hills Fox and South Dakota Public Broadcasting who spoke about the profession, the importance of good communication and how best to reach the public.
“The amount of energy and enthusiasm is always noticeable in these kinds of events where a group of people are creating media together with determination and purpose, as well as a sense of exploration and experimentation,” according to Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser, BHSU associate professor of mass communication. “The partnerships created with local media outlets from KEVN and SDPB radio are fantastic and give participants the chance to interact with these professionals, as well as recently graduated or current communication students who have become confident and proficient in the process and use of mediated communication.”
Not only did the Media Blitz events create hands-on opportunities with professionals in the field, it was also a great networking opportunity for both students and businesses, said Caton-Rosser. BHSU faculty and students helped the local schools and businesses develop a broad spectrum of promotional materials including press releases, graphics including posters, and an audio and video public service announcement.
“The experience is both informative and practical, involving awareness-raising sessions on media law and Associated Press style, as well as the creation of useful written, graphic, audio and visual pieces for each team's media kit. Bottomline, we are raising the level of media literacy, which is powerful stuff. “
Jenna Carda, recent graduate from the BHSU mass communication program, assisted in the public relation and marketing part of the blitzes. She spoke about how to best utilize social networking and search engine optimization. “Social media adds a human element,” she said. “It is important to develop a relationship with the demographic you are trying to reach.”
The Media Blitz event was the first in a series of summer academic camps designed to educate and inspire middle and high school students. Upcoming summer camps include creativity and critical thinking, photography and sustainability.
For more information on other upcoming summer camps at BHSU go to BHSU.edu/SummerCamps.