Inspired Strategies Agency Student Impact

Inspired Strategies Agency Launches to Help Community Partners
Olivet Students launch Public Relations and Strategic Communication Agency

Bourbonnais, Ill. (February 5, 2016) – Inspired Strategies Agency (ISA) was launched in the Fall of 2015 to provide public relations and strategic communication services to community partners while concurrently affording undergraduate students at Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) professional experience.

Elizabeth Kerns, Assistant Professor of Communication at Olivet, said, “Our goal is to leave Kankakee County a better place than when our students arrived. This outreach is a win-win partnership where the students can gain experience while in college and local businesses or organizations will gain a strategic public relations campaign from young professionals.”

Olivet Nazarene University launched a new Public Relations and Strategic Communication major in August 2015 and hired Kerns to help build the program.  Students take courses relating to public relations, team building, leadership, multimedia storytelling, professional communication, and writing while participating in extracurricular opportunities such as the Public Relations Student Society of America club and Inspired Strategies Agency.

Kate Cox, Account Executive for Inspired Strategies Agency, elaborated about the professional benefits when she said, “I believe that this opportunity is the stepping stone to any future professional.  School is a place for us to learn and receive a solid education, but ISA provides us with a real world experience that rounds out our marketability after graduation.  It helps us learn first hand about the PR industry and how to interact with business leaders.  Olivet is preparing us professionally which many other schools do not do as well.”

Student-run, strategic communication agencies are not a new concept nationally.  The National office of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) states that there are many advantages of these types of firms including: “building client relationships and meeting professionals, learning how to lead and work as a team, creating résumé/portfolio material, getting hands-on public relations experience, learning to balance tasks and handle numerous duties and applying theories learned in the classroom.”

Alexis Smith, Student Director of Inspired Strategies Agency, said, “We fully support Dr. Bowling and Olivet’s community outreach initiative.  The agency is a way to not only get closer to our community, but also make it a better place.  Very few college students receive the opportunity to gain professional experience through running a PR firm.”

ISA is currently working with two community clients and plan on taking applications for interested businesses and organizations.  The Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce and the Kankakee Symphony Orchestra have been working with ISA since December 2015.

“ISA is an incredible opportunity for Olivet students to gain real life experience working with clients in the community.  The advantage of graduating college with a few years of experience will set us apart in the professional world,” said Rachel Schramm, Account Executive for Inspired Strategies Agency.

Hira Uddin, Account Executive for Inspired Strategies Agency, said, “We gain experience in the agency through hands-on experiential learning.  We get exposure to real-world clients and by experiencing the challenges of client relations and managing a team, we learn how to handle these challenges professionally.”

The mission of Inspired Strategies Agency is PR education with a Christian purpose at Olivet Nazarene University through four pillars: 1) Professional development through experiential learning; 2) Faith centered ethics, 3) Servant leadership by way of community outreach and 4) Business literacy cultivated through education.

“I am proud of the accomplishments our students have already achieved in founding a professional agency and building relationships throughout Kankakee County since we started this endeavor in October.  Their work ethic and vision for the future of the agency demonstrates their dedication to leaving a legacy to future Olivet students,” said, Kerns.

Businesses or organization interested in learning more about Inspired Strategies Agency or to apply for consideration of services are encouraged to visit https://inspiredstrategiesagency.wordpress.com or contact Professor Kerns at EDKerns@olivet.edu.

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About Inspired Strategies Agency

Inspired Strategies Agency is Olivet Nazarene University’s student-run, strategic communication agency and offers services to clients from throughout the campus and community. More information on Inspired Strategies Agency can be found at https://inspiredstrategiesagency.wordpress.com.

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