TCU advertising and public relations students will soon have the opportunity to gain real world experience while contributing to Fort Worth’s nonprofit organizations, said the director for the Schieffer School of Journalism.The journalism school’s newest internship program, Real World Integrated Marketing Communications, was created with the goal of giving advertising/public relations students professional experience in a teaching environment, wrote Tommy Thomason, director of the Schieffer School of Journalism, in a overview of the program.
Thomason said the agency began out of frustration that advertising/public relations students had to rely on outside internships to gain needed experience.
Broadcast journalism and news-editorial journalism students have the opportunities to work for student-operated programs such as TCU News Now and the TCU Daily Skiff, and radio-TV-film students can work for TCU’s radio station KTCU-FM 88.7. However, advertising/public relations students were unable to access a similar program at TCU.
William Slater, dean of the College of Communication, said the planning of this type of program has been in the works for about four or five years.
Real World was awarded a $350,000 grant through Chancellor Victor Boschini’s Vision in Action program, which will provide funding for the next three years, said Jack Raskopf, director for Real World Integrated Marketing Communications.
Grants from VIA are awarded based upon two important factors: the program must be something new and original, and there must be a real need within the community, Raskopf said.
While there will be professional supervision, Real World will comprise student interns, who will primarily operate the agency, he said.
Raskopf said positions within the agency are limited and highly competitive.
“We will have a full staff identical to an independent commercial agency,” Raskopf said.
He also said Real World will have account executives, copy writers, two copy chiefs and layout designers.
According to the Real World internship application, students will be expected to maintain the professional skills, general ethics, attitude, demeanor and work ethic of a professional agency.
To keep from putting themselves in competition with commercial clients, Real World will instead work with nonprofit organizations, Thomason said.
Raskopf said Real World will also exclude work with political groups.
Thomason said organizers of Real World saw a need in the nonprofit community because of the many organizations that had advertising and public relations needs but could not afford to hire an agency.
“Though we work with nonprofits, our services are not free. The nonprofit groups will pay a nominal fee in which they can afford,” Raskopf said.