KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 29, 2022
Two Kennesaw State University marketing students are helping chart a new course for a Georgia nonprofit dedicated to helping women overcome sexual abuse.
Marketing seniors Grant Burrows and Caroline Anthony won first place in the 4th annual Digital Marketing Competition, hosted on the Kennesaw State campus by the Michael J. Coles College of Business. Teams of undergraduate students went head-to-head working on a rebranding effort for the event’s sponsor, Victoria’s Friends, a nonprofit organization assisting domestic sex trafficking and sex abuse victims.
“Sexual assault awareness and female growth are things that are very valuable to me,” Anthony said. “Being able to create something for an organization working towards those goals was the least I could do.”
Both Anthony and Burrows applied the knowledge gained in their marketing courses to excel in the competition, which tasked them with developing a strategy Victoria’s Friends can use to expand the scope of its offerings.
“This competition allowed me to take what I have learned over the past 4 months and apply it to a case study happening in real time,” Burrows said, adding that he and Anthony leveraged their understanding of concepts like search engine optimization (SEO), metadata tags, keywords, and blog optimization. “By supplying them this information, we were able to develop creative solutions for every challenge we identified.”
Victoria Teague, executive director and founder of Victoria’s Friends, is a sexual assault and trafficking survivor herself. She founded the organization in 2000 to provide therapy, education, life skill counseling, career readiness, and emergency funding to victims. Teague served as keynote speaker and a judge during the competition.
Teams had 15 minutes to present their proposals to the judges, who scored them based on organization, visual aids, stage presence, and creative solutions. Teague was happy to give students the chance gain experience while helping her organization reach more victims, donors, and volunteers. The students exceeded her expectations.
"I am impressed with the professionalism, expertise, and hard work that went into each presentation,” Teague said. “What was delivered was far more than I could have imagined. It was an honor to have these brilliant young minds rebrand our nonprofit.”
Tyra Burton, the Digital Media Competition’s organizer and a senior lecturer of marketing, started the competition in 2018. She values opportunities like this to help nonprofit organizations expand their scope.
"I think what nonprofits bring to the competition is the ability for students to make a difference,” Burton said. “Nonprofits often are in drastic need of help - particularly in the digital marketing space. Students can directly see the impact of their work, and it also plants the seed of giving back. Many nonprofits need volunteers to help with digital marketing and social media. I believe in #SocialMediaForGood."
Teague is thankful to the students and excited for the future of her organization, which has been renamed thanks to Burrows’ and Anthony’s rebranding efforts.
“My hope is that we reach many who desperately need help and healing,” Teague said. “That's what it is all about, reaching and restoring and pointing to healing. Thank you, KSU, for helping my dream of reaching not just hundreds but millions. With the digital and social media world we live in, it is more than possible. It's a reality."