The Temple News
Two student-run companies allow advertising and public relations students to gain first-hand experience and a hand up on the competitive market.
The Creative Services Workshop emerged as Temple’s first student-run advertising agency in the mid-1980s. After a short hiatus, advertising professor James Marra and some ambitious students revamped the agency and adopted the name Diamond Edge Communications in 2003.
“There are only six to seven student-run ad agencies in the country, which makes the program very unique,” Marra said.
In contrast to a typical classroom setting, “the DEC program allows students to work with real people, real clients, real money and the real world,” Marra said.
Some of those “real clients” have included SEPTA, Empyreal Chocolates and the U.S. Department of State.
“[Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice actually reviewed some of DEC’s work,” Marra said.
The agency is presently working with Aldelphia restaurant and bar in Deptford, N.J. and High Two Music Recordings in Philadelphia.
Senior advertising major Dan Yeager is the executive copy director for DEC. It took Yeager until the spring of his junior year to choose advertising as his career path, but he said he’s glad he did.
“I really like the creative element of advertising, and DEC offers the convenience of an internship right on campus,” Yeager said.
“By no means is this a cop out for an internship,” said DEC’s public relations director and senior advertising major Shelly Lavar. “Even though it’s on campus, not only are you representing yourself, but you’re representing Temple and the client.”
Both Yeager and Lavar said DEC has given them the confidence they need to enter the work force.
Temple alumna and former DEC member Alison Gregory has already experienced the benefits of the DEC program.
“At interviews for internships and jobs, employers are always interested in DEC because it’s different from a classic internship,” Gregory said. “I really think that’s the one thing that gave me an edge over other applicants.”
She now works at Harmelin Media as a media planner and buyer. The Philadelphia-based company is responsible for the ‘T’ Means More campaign.
The success of DEC is something the new student-run public relations firm PRowl already seems to be experiencing.
Senior public relations major Natalie Prazenica said she started the firm at the beginning of the semester in an effort to give public relations students a feel for the real world.
Eighteen staff members worked with Prazenica, the firm director, to create a blog and get the firm up and running. They gained clientele almost immediately.
“We developed and executed two plans in two to four weeks as opposed to a class like senior capstone, where it takes the entire semester to create a plan and there is no execution,” Prazenica said.
PRowl’s two main clients include Dynasty, Temple’s modeling troupe, and the Rebecca Davis Dance Company.
“We work to find out how to reach people through research and surveys, and then do our best to reach them,” Prazenica said. “I love seeing the differences between audience and client’s perceptions of what people want.”
And the clients are typically pleased with PRowl’s performance.
“Our upcoming ballet, Darfur, is an important issue for college students,” client Rebecca Davis said. “PRowl showed the most interest and had the best follow-through when we were looking for PR.”
Jaime Scofield is PRowl’s assistant firm director and is apprenticing to take over the firm next year.
“I learn more from [Prazenica] than I do in classes,” the marketing and public relations major said.
PRowl is a non-profit organization, and although they have been offered compensation for their work, Prazenica said, “the most important thing is the learning aspect.”
Mary Hagenbach can be reached at email@example.com.