Marketing students assist Literacy Council

Pamela Thomas, the new director of The Literacy Connection of Rock County, immediately recognized the overture from two Marketing classes at Blackhawk Technical College as a “great opportunity for us.’’

In turn, instructors Cindy Leverenz and Eric Kuznacic saw an opportunity to introduce real world situations to their BTC Marketing classrooms.

The immediate result was a recent presentation by four of Leverenz’s Integrated Marketing and Communication students to Thomas and her staff entitled, “Making the Connection, An Integrated Marketing Communications Plan,’’ a detailed proposal on how The Literacy Connection can make new connections with current and future clients and supporters.

Next on the docket is an upcoming presentation from Kuznacic’s Website Administrator for Marketing class on how The Literacy Connection can update its website presentation.

“We needed a non-profit project,’’ Leverenz said.

“We needed a website project,’’ Kuznacic said.

Thomas was looking for an idea boost, as well. “We are a small non-profit and the money for us to do something like this is just not in our budget,’’ Thomas noted. “Something like this is wonderful.’’

“Everything came together nicely,’’ said Kuznacic, who also serves as The Literacy Connection’s president.

Following the website presentation, Thomas and her staff will decide what proposals from the two presentations The Literacy Connection will enact.

The Literacy Connection serves Rock County residents looking to improve their English skills, whether English is their first language or not. It offers one-on-one language instruction plus computer training, GED training in Spanish, math, reading and citizenship programs. It recently moved into new headquarters in the Olde Towne Mall, 20 S. Main St., Janesville.

Thomas listened attentively as students Shane Hall, Cody Schmidt, Kadi Klienschmidt and Laura Praedel dived into a one-year marketing campaign that dissected proposals regarding rebranding, attracting volunteers, fundraising event possibilities and planning, and public awareness print and social media campaigns.

“Something like this changes the feel of the class,’’ Klienschmidt said following the presentation. “The application is different, too. It takes a lot more time and energy.’’

The class’ recommendations to the organization included:

* Removing “TLC’’ from its logo because it is easily confused with other TLCs in the marketplace such as The Learning Channel or the popular phrase, Tender Loving Care.

Naming the figure on the current logo and add a likeness mascot to appear at public events.

* Continuing its current lineup of public events but push print and social media exposure to increase awareness.

* Attracting a younger generation of volunteers through effective use of social media such as Facebook and YouTube.

* Developing wider targeted print campaigns that use more color.