Public Relations Campaigns

In Kelly Vibber's CMM 461 course, students worked directly with non-profit clients in the community and campus-based departments. Students did the necessary research on their specific client, the issue, and the key public audience. They then developed a campaign plan that they pitched to their client. After the client reviewed and approved the plan, the students implemented and evaluated the campaign. Vibber used the ELIFF grant of $300 to satisfy the constraint that the clients have little to no budget for campaigns. The grant allowed students a little flexibility in delivering quality campaigns for their clients. The grant added to the students'  learning experience in managing and effectively using a limited budget when running a campaign.

The course learning outcomes encompassed being able to run an effect strategic campaign on behalf of a client. This included learning the various steps of running a strategic campaign, which involved careful and effective management of resources, as well as creative problem solving skills. The experiential learning activity was largely self-guided as the students made up their own teams that acted as independent public relations agencies. Vibber served as a guide and facilitator to give the students direction and independence. 

Students submitted a final report to the client in which they evaluated the impact of their campaign and reflected on key learning points. The students then discussed  what tactics were effective in addressing the issue, which were not, and things they would do differently. Their findings were explained to the client in verbal and written form at the close of the class. 

Vibber assessed the effectiveness of her activity in multiple ways throughout the semester. The students' campaigns all had key objectives they are trying to achieve and Vibber evaluated those objectives specifically. In addition, she assessed the learning of the students individually through tests to see if they effectively learned the process of running a strategic campaign. Vibber reviewed student self-reflections and had conversations between herself and the clients. Through doing these things, she assessed the impact of their experiential learning on their comprehension of the campaign process and the understanding of running campaigns and working with clients that they would possibly take with them when they leave the class. 


Name & Title
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Kelly Vibber

Assistant Professor


Email: Kelly Vibber

Full-Time Faculty
College of Arts and Sciences: Communication