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Principles of Pr helps local organization


Published: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Updated: Sunday, January 19, 2014 15:01


Students in Dr. Sherice Gearhart’s Principles of Public Relations class at the University of Nebraska at Omaha are working with a local improv group to create a communication plan for their upcoming event.

88improv, a local improvisation acting group which started in 2003, is known for their “good, clean, comedy” style of improv. The group had the opportunity to work with UNO students to work on the promotional pieces.

The class is broken into four groups and each gets to create a strategic communication plan for the client. Elements of the plan include a fact sheet, backgrounder, promotional information and other materials. 

“I think that being able to have an actual client that you’re working with who actually views you as a professional and not just another group of students has really been a benefit of this course,” said Joey Wolfe, a senior journalism major. 

EPIC IMPROV, the event the students are promoting for the group, is “a combination of improvised music, in-the-moment background and unscripted comedy is brand new to Omaha.” The event will be Dec. 13 and 14 at the 402 Arts Collective off 60th and Maple streets and will feature an improvised background by Tracie Mauk, improvised music by Zach Short and an improvised story by 88improv.

“The most difficult thing is the same as what is the best thing about the project which is having the pressure of creating something for a real company to use rather turning in a  project  that will have no real benefit to anyone,” Wolfe said.

While 88improv has attempted to improve their communication plan and public image in the past, its members all have full-time jobs outside the group. The founders are trying to make 88improv a priority but finding the time to create something as professional as they need has been challenging.

Timothy Schoenfeld, one of the founders of 88improv, said working with the class has been a great experience and that they have already implemented several of their solutions.

“The opportunity to have a bunch of PR-minded individuals scrutinizing our brand forces us to re-evaluate our public image, how we interact with our audience, and our future plans,” Schoenfeld said. 

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