Campus News

UGA Grady College student-faculty teams sweep 2012 direct marketing competition

Athens, Ga. – Three student teams led by faculty from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication swept this year’s Direct Marketing Educational Foundation Collegiate ECHO Challenge out of approximately 120 worldwide entries. This year’s competition involved marketing campaigns for SkyMall magazine, a Delta Air Lines/SkyTeam publication.

Led by Grady College faculty members Jennifer Griffith, Cindy Reynolds and Jooyoung Kim, the teams took the gold, silver and bronze awards respectively. This is the first time in ECHO Challenge history in which the medal podium was filled with representatives from one university.

“DMEF’s competition is very tough to win much less place first, second and third,” said Tom Reichert, head of the Grady College’s advertising and public relations department. “These results are unprecedented and showcase the student talent at the University of Georgia. Needless to say, we’re very proud of our students and their terrific work.”

The ECHO Challenge allows students to apply their studies and knowledge to real world projects and campaigns. Each year, a different company sponsors the ECHO competition and develops a unique challenge for students to undertake. Teams of two to four students are required to submit marketing plans, which include qualitative and quantitative research summaries, strategy outlines and detailed analytics. Teams may participate in either the fall or spring semesters, with results being released in the summer after all entries are reviewed.

“Opportunities like the ECHO Challenge are a great way to introduce students to projects in the workplace,” said Reichert. “Any chance to apply classroom lessons to real world situations is extremely beneficial to students, both on an experience and growth level.”

The 2012 ECHO Challenge medalists from UGA are:

Students: Jessica Berresse, Clayton Cousens, Caroline McConnell and Jessilyn Stoks
Faculty Adviser: Jennifer Griffith

Students: Baily Davis, Caroline Eddleman, Morgan Masey and Julianna Simonini
Faculty Adviser: Cindy Reynolds

Students: Nicole Brabender, Ariel Fenster, Melissa Jackson and Thuong Le
Faculty Adviser: Jooyoung Kim

About the Grady College: Established in 1915, the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in journalism, advertising, public relations, digital and broadcast journalism, and mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.

About the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation: Founded in 1917, the Direct Marketing Association is the leading global trade organization of businesses and nonprofit groups using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. Today, DMA represents more than 3,000 companies in the U.S. and 50 other nations, including the majority of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as nonprofit organizations. The mission of the organization’s educational foundation, which sponsors the ECHO competition, is to attract, educate and place college students in direct/interactive marketing careers, thereby expanding and enriching the talent pool of trained and ready marketers.