The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) selected Capstone Agency to participate in CreateAThon, a marketing marathon for local nonprofits, last weekend.
CreateAThon is a 24-hour pro bono marathon during which participants work through the night on campaigns that promote local nonprofit organizations, assisting their needs in communication solutions. Capstone Agency is one of two student-run agencies chosen to participate in PRSSA’s inaugural CreateAThon.
Because Capstone Agency is a self-funding organization, they primarily do work for paying clients. These clients help to fund the costs of the agency and provide student development opportunities that would otherwise be impossible.
“The chance to step back and do some meaningful work for so many clients at one time and produce deliverables in 24 hours is a good feeling and a service to these deserving nonprofits,” said Teri Henley, Capstone Agency Adviser. “It’s something I believe that we as communication professionals have a responsibility to do.”
During their CreateAThon, Capstone Agency completed work for seven local nonprofits, including: Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa, Alabama SPCA, Good Samaritan Clinic, Arts ‘n Autism, Alabama Writer’s Conclave and Camp Fire Alabama. In all, students worked a collective 960 hours, an estimated $27,600 worth of client work.
“Our students are often running from the agency, to class, to work and managing their lives on their mobile devices,” said Henley. “For 24 hours the stepped away from all their obligations and truly focused face-to-face on the tasks at hand. I believe in that 24 hours they did some of the best work I have seen from our students.”
PRSSA’s CreateAThon started on Friday, March 3 and carried on until the following morning, when students presented their work. Website overhauls, communication toolkits, informational campaigns and an annual report were all constructed by students for clients in less than 24 hours.
“In every nonprofit presentation I saw, someone cried—in one case, it was me. The nonprofits were so thrilled and grateful for the help,” said Katie Gatti, firm director of Capstone Agency. “It was perhaps most exciting that each nonprofit partner felt we had accurately captured their vision and exceeded their expectations. That’s a big accomplishment for anyone, let alone a student group.”