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Students to develop marketing strategy for Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is collaborating with Miami students and faculty to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy designed to raise the public profile of the Freedom Center.

Students will create the strategy—for full course credit next spring—in a partnership with Laws, Hall & Associates, Miami’s student-run advertising agency, and the Freedom Center, which is scheduled to open on Cincinnati’s historic riverfront in 2003. Students will conduct market research, formulate strategies, produce electronic and print advertising, create Internet marketing programs and generate media relations campaigns focusing on heritage tourism. Past clients have implemented the strategies developed by the agency into national campaigns.

The Laws, Hall & Associates course provides students with real-world involvement in marketing and advertising for paying clients over a single semester of intense, hands-on work. It is taught by faculty from three disciplines: marketing, mass communication and art. The Freedom Center will be the program’s 63rd client in 28 years.

Dan Short (dean, Richard T. Farmer School of Business Administration) said the school’s collaboration with the Freedom Center represents an exciting new direction for Laws Hall.

"As a museum and distributive education center, the center will be unique as both a place for the study of history and a connecting point for historical research, scholarship and learning about freedom. For our students and faculty, helping the Freedom Center achieve its goals will be a rewarding and challenging experience," Short said.

Ed Rigaud, president and CEO of the Freedom Center, said the partnership with Miami is one of several collaborations with area universities.

"One of the center’s unique missions is to involve students, teachers and scholars in the process of designing and implementing programs that will broaden knowledge and understanding of the Underground Railroad and its relevance to today’s generations. We are very pleased that the creative energies of Miami’s students and faculty will be used to help promote our project," Rigaud said.

Miami’s business school, with support from Pamela Fox, dean of the School of Fine Arts, and John Skillings, acting dean of the College of Arts and Science, will provide funding for the center’s collaboration with Laws, Hall & Associates.

Freedom Center staff will begin meeting this fall with faculty to develop a specific charge for the students. Some 60 students are expected to take the course in the spring 2000 semester.

Date Published: 10/06/1999
Volume: 19   Number: 11

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