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VCU Robertson School Launches Student-Led PR Agency Set to Aid Area Nonprofits

This year the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture estimates it will provide nearly $30,000 of free public relations work through a new student-led initiative. Agency, the newly named senior–level public relations course, launches this semester with three classes and 46 students. In its inaugural semester, the program is already serving three area nonprofits who applied to the program over the summer.

“In Agency each class is tailored to the specific needs of a single client, ensuring individualized attention is given to our clients by the students and faculty,” said public relations professor and Agency Executive Director, Joshua J. Smith, M.S.

In addition to the community service impact, the goal of the course, Smith added, is to “prepare students for the fast-paced, demanding nature of the public relations industry by immersing them in real client work during their senior semester.”

“This new Agency course offers an excellent opportunity for our students to learn through working with real clients and by providing meaningful pro-bono community service,” said Hong Cheng, Ph.D., director of the Robertson School. “While this PR faculty-designed innovative course addresses a strong need in the sequence's curriculum now, I have no doubt it will become a signature PR course of the School soon.”

Additionally, Agency is a designated service-learning course, which means every participating student must complete a minimum of 20 hours of community work during the semester.

Read the full VCU News article.