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BC Communication Students Organize PR Firm

Dr. Billy Wooten, Berea College assistant professor of communication, and twenty-two students in his course “Organizational Communication,” are devoting their semester to helping raise awareness about two local organizations, while building their image within the community.

On Sunday, March 13, the students are organizing a Saint Patrick's Day celebration with free food, fun-filled activities, and door prizes as well as as well as an information booth promoting the services of Mountain Maternal Health League, a local chapter of Planned Parenthood Inc. The celebration will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Acton Folk Center. All are invited to attend.

The students also will be working with the Madison County Safety Coalition. Wooten said he hopes the projects will produce great results for both the community and students as well. He chose to integrate this service-learning aspect into the class curriculum, he said, "to provide students knowledge, sensitivity, skills and awareness of value issues to increase their ability to survive, thrive and institute change in organizations.”

Instead of the students simply studying a textbook, Wooten envisioned the class resembling a student-led public relations firm. To accomplish this, the class, with Wooten as CEO, has formed Students Organizing Community Relation, or S.O.C.R., a non-profit, student-operated PR firm that promotes community awareness through service-learning collaborations with community organizations. S.O.C.R. aims to support networking in the community, while helping organizations maximize their potential and build the best possible media image.

*This article was written by Melissa Buchanan and Emily Puckett.

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