Some agricultural communications courses at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are service-learning oriented in keeping with the mission of the land grant university to provide public service in addition to education and research. Students work with agricultural-, food-, or natural resources-related businesses, organizations, and nonprofits to develop critical thinking and communication skills, while providing much-needed services and materials to the community partners/clients.
To identify partners for these courses, the Agricultural Communications Program invites proposals under an annual/semi-annual competitive application process, for projects that can be completed by University of Illinois agricultural communications students during the academic year. Projects will be accepted for work during the spring and fall semesters each year.
The project idea and/or organization MUST be somehow related to agriculture, broadly defined. Some topics include: food, livestock, pets, wildlife, environment/natural resources, any farming related topic, human nutrition or health, youth development related to ag (FFA, 4-H, and any environmental-oriented ones), rural life or issues, gardening/horticulture, and many more.
There is no financial charge for the services and deliverables the students provide as part of the class, except for expenses related directly to the project. These potential expenses include “pro” accounts for online tools (Wordpress, Hootsuite) and any color printing the client/partner desires. These costs will vary, but will not exceed $300. To date, no client has incurred these associated class expenses, but it is a possibility.
If you desire work above and beyond what is required of the students in class, this becomes an agreement between your organization and the student(s) and is no longer under the responsibility of the University of Illinois.
At the end of the semester, the client may be invited to a celebration dinner with the students at a restaurant near campus. It is typical that the client pays for part or all of the dinner, but it is not required.
AGCM 320 Educational Campaign Planning Scope of Work/Deliverables
Course focuses primarily on social marketing or educational campaigns rather than solely business or product promotion campaigns with some exceptions.
a. Communication issue/opportunity analysis
b. Marketing research report (some limitations here due to University of Illinois Institutional Review Board)
c. Communication/campaign plan
d. Integrated marketing communications toolkit (5 or more items based on student research and planning: brochures, fact sheets, ads, blogs, social media plans, website sketch and plan, videos, etc.)
e. Formal presentation of their plan
There is potential to work with our students through the Illini chapter of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow to provide them professional development opportunities. Typically, this is done through a donation to the chapter in return for their work, however, the organization will be asked to provide help and mentorship along with the advisors of the club. Currently, for example, the club is partnered with the Illinois Agri-Women and helps them with the public relations for their Women Changing the Face of Agriculture annual conference. Interested in this avenue instead? Contact Jennifer Shike (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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