Some students merely study public relations. At IWU they also do it. Last fall students in the new public service team of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) learned a great idea can even pay for itself.
The team proposed an art show promoting local talent, designed to bring more people to downtown Marion. During the whole month of December, people walked through the stores in downtown Marion and viewed the artwork on display. It was called Made in Marion: A Christmastime Interactive Art Exhibition. Rilee Catalano, team leader and sophomore said, “It’s a creative way to bring people downtown and into businesses that they might not necessarily go into, and hopefully the traffic will generate some extra business.”
Marion’s Community School of the Arts was the primary partner with the public service team, along with 3-4 other businesses. Catalano also applied and won a grant from the Community Foundation of Marion to cover the cost of promotional materials, display tools and refreshments for guests at the debut.
The students and PRSSA faculty advisor, Dr. YoungAh Lee hope Made in Marion and similar kinds of events become trademarks of IWU’s PRSSA. “Dr. Lee and I both recognize that what sets apart our PRSSA chapter is our Christian affiliation. With that we recognize the importance of using our gifts to bless others, especially those in this community that desperately need blessing,” Catalano said.
The public service team has more projects planned for the 2013-14 school year and wants the team to be a regular arm of IWU’s PRSSA.