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Thursday, December 13, 2018

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Need Help Promoting Your Business?

SDSU's student-run media group seeks alumni clients.
By Tobin Vaughn

Erika DiProfio (’00) teaches a class called “Media Agency and Incubator.” Part of SDSU’s School of Journalism and Media Studies, the class gives graduate and senior undergraduate students real-world experience running a media agency, teaching them the basics of starting their own media companies.

The agency, named Arrow Media Group, has had clients including nonprofits, corporations and small businesses. Students work in teams to help clients with public relations, advertising, marketing communications, digital media and more.

The special course is offered only in the spring, so DiProfio is lining up clients now and reaching out to Aztec alumni whose businesses have as much to gain as to teach. She seeks clients with a couple of hours a week to teach the students more about their business in order to create marketing and PR plans the students will execute.

"We are looking for a client who believes in marketing and has time to invest in working alongside our agency to create results for their company,” said DiProfio, who is an SDSU lecturer and also vice president of marketing and public relations for Slater’s 50/50.

Blown away

Cedros Design District Association President Cindy Cruz called on Arrow Media Group last spring when she needed help promoting the businesses along the popular Solana Beach entertainment and shopping avenue. Four agency students helped her plan and run a two-day “sample and shop” event that exceeded her most optimistic projections.

“I couldn't believe how great they were,” she said. “They took it and really ran with it for me. They were so professional and so on top of it. I am such a cheerleader for them.”

“I think clients were blown away and I think we exceeded their expectations on the results we were able to provide," DiProfio said. Some businesses don’t have the resources for promotion, so clients are pleasantly surprised by just how effective the students can be.

“A lot of the clients we’re talking to just have never had a budget to hire an outside freelancer or agency to come in and do marketing or PR for them,” she said, “so we’re providing that resource.”  

Providing perspective

Arrow Media Group also provided services for the SDSU Children’s Center last spring. Staci Reidinger (’14) was one of the students who helped with the center’s “A is for Art” sneak peek and gala fundraising events.

A United States Marine Corps major, Reidinger is the deputy director of public affairs for the First Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Pendleton. She said she gained a great deal from the class.

“Working for the government in more of a public sector-type of position, I wasn’t familiar with what it was like to work in a public relations agency and/or work in any type of news agency setting,” she explained,”so what it provided for me was that perspective of what it’s like to work for an agency where you have different clients.”

Reidinger said she appreciated the collaborative approach taken by students both in and outside of the classroom. She said the class gave her “a better understanding of the array of social media and distribution channels that are out there and how to use those as engagement tools” with her own staff.

DiProfio said anyone with a business considering Arrow Media Group to assist with marketing or public relations should contact her via e-mail no later than January 15 for the spring semester.

“Media Agency and Incubator” is funded by a donation from SDSU Journalism and Media Studies alumnus Scott Pansky, co-founder of public relations firm Allison+Partners.