CMA Trip Brings Real-World Pitch Experience

Dec 13, 2017

All semester long, advertising and public relations students in the APR campaigns class (APR 433) completed projects for pitching to the Country Music Association (CMA). Students took their final project to Nashville to propose their final integrated communication campaigns.

The class, which all seniors in APR take, integrates the public relations and advertising students in order to provide a well-rounded project culture during the course. Professors selected CMA as the client that the students work for all semester.

“The CMA staff was incredible,” said Collin Burwinkel, a senior in public relations from Houston, Texas. “For them to take time out of their schedule and allow us to pitch ideas to them is why they are considered role models and leaders in the industry.”

C&IS departments work hard to ensure students receive real industry experience before graduating. The student experience is marked by connections with professionals during their undergraduate years.

“It is a real-world experiential learning opportunity,” said Teri Henley, instructor for advertising and public relations. “It gives students real-world challenges but also the opportunity to network with professionals in the music industry.”

Students traveled with professors to CMA headquarters in Nashville to provide a realistic pitch experience. They presented their projects to marketing and communication executives at CMA. The students got a special surprise when Garth Brooks, CMA Hall of Fame and singer-songwriter, popped in to tell them hello during their pitches.

“Classes like this are what make The University of Alabama’s public relations program so strong, and why I chose to attend this university from out of state,” said Burwinkel. “It’s hard to find other programs in the country that offer experiences and opportunities like this.”

Instructors for the course include Dr. Kenon Brown, Randall Huffaker and Teri Henley.