Marketing class tours TV station to sharpen skills for competition

Getting a look behind-the-scenes of a live television newscast is something TV watchers rarely get to see. The talent and hard work that goes into bringing a live 30 minute broadcast to life twice a day is more than it appears.  From the director, producer, and cameraperson, to the on-air talent and the technical crew in the control booth, this team makes it look seamless and perfect when the on-air talent begins to deliver the news each day.

For the students in the Advertising and Sales Promotion Management class that toured WTAE television station, behind-the-scenes meant more than watching what goes on in the control booth, it meant discovering the strategy behind the Neilsen Ratings, why particular commercials are placed at particular times, and producing quality commercials for broadcast.

?This field trip to WTAE television station provided an opportunity for the students in the Advertising and Sales Promotion Management class to learn about the strategy and research that goes into the timing and placement of commercials based upon a targeted demographic and market,? said Andrzej Kobylanski, assistant professor of marketing at Penn State Greater Allegheny. ?It also demonstrated the importance of team work and good communication skills.?

The class (Advertising and Sales Promotion Management) is a projects based course, where students apply theoretical knowledge into practice. Some of the projects that the students are currently working on include designing a billboard for Penn State Greater Allegheny; working with the Environmental Club, under the supervision of Dr. Eric Lipsky, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, to design posters, fliers, and informational labels that will be posted on recycling bins on campus; and taking part in the worldwide competition, ?Google Online Marketing Challenge 2012.?

In addition, four other students, who are members of the campus? Marketing Club, are also competing in the 2012 Smeal Case Competition, sponsored by the Kohl?s Department Stores. The Smeal Case Competition is an undergraduate competition that challenges students' knowledge, problem solving abilities, and teamwork skills to solve realistic business problems in a demanding twenty-four hour format. As a team ?Penn State Greater Allegheny,? students Ben Michaux, Steven Pro, Luiza Sarbu, and Michael Vay have been chosen as one of the 16 teams that would compete in this challenge on March 22-24 at University Park, chosen from 40 teams that submitted entries (160 students, 31 teams from UP and 9 from Commonwealth campuses).

?The Smeal Case Competition is an excellent way for students to test their business knowledge in a competitive and challenging environment,? said Kobylanski, who advised the campus team along with Michelle Hough, associate professor of business administration. ?Hopefully, the time spent working with the other clubs on campus and the trip to the television station will remind the students of the challenge that it takes to remain competitive.?