For immediate release
March 25, 2004
The City of Abilene has a new slogan thanks to a class of Abilene Christian University students. The new motto -- "Abilene, The Friendly Frontier" -- was chosen through a citywide contest in which more than 1,000 entries were submitted to the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau and chosen by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce branding committee to create a more effective marketing slogan for Abilene.
Contributed by a group of students enrolled in the 2003 spring semester of ACU's journalism and mass communication course, Integrated Marketing Communications Campaigns, the slogan was created as part of a class project. The project involved submitting a full promotional plan to the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"This is the capstone, senior-level course for students majoring in integrated marketing communications, commonly referred to as advertising and public relations," said Dave Hogan, professor of the course. "Each semester, the students take on a semester-long project to create a full-featured promotional campaign for a real client. At the end of each semester, the students present their campaign to the client."
Christi Hilligoss Stark, now the advertising manager for The Optimist, was one of the students enrolled in the class that created the winning promotional plan for the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau last year. "We knew we gave a strong presentation, but you just never know," said Stark. "To actually see our work come to fruition within the community is a great feeling."
ACU students enrolled in the course this semester will be creating a promotional campaign for Frontier Texas! scheduled to open April 3. The historical attraction, which combines education and amusement will contribute to downtown renovation efforts. It will also complement the slogan created only one year ago by the peers of the ACU students currently laboring over its promotional campaign.
Students enrolled in the class say they feel the course requirements are demanding, but a necessary part of their education. "I think it's our first real opportunity to actually implement what we've learned," said Chez Parker, senior integrated marketing communications major from Allen. "All our past projects have dealt with hypothetical situations, but this is a chance for us to wrap our brains around something real, something that will have a lasting effect on the community."
The class will present their promotional plan before the board of directors for Frontier Texas! on April 15.
"The grade is important," said Courtney McInnis, integrated marketing communications major from Sugar Land, "but because this is a real product, with accomplished business professionals as our superiors, our focus is on the work we produce."
Only time will tell if this year's students will receive the same honor from Frontier Texas! as their former fellow classmates did from the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, but the students say the reward is in the process rather than the result.
"It's exciting because everything we've worked toward for four years is finally beginning to pay off," said McInnis.
If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, media relations coordinator.
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