West Virginia University students in the P.I. Reed School of Journalism are applying skills learned in the classroom to increase public awareness of a local nonprofit organization.

Nine students in Dr. Rita Colistra’s public relations campaigns course are working with Garth Lindley, founder of Green Earth Event Services, formerly known as Eco Race Events, to launch a campaign to promote the importance of environmental waste diversion before, during and after events.

The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of GEES’ services, which involve working with event and race coordinators to ensure that all event waste is recycled, composted or used for other environmentally friendly methods by using a single-stream system.

“The environment isn’t going to conserve itself,” Lindley said. “Statistics show that the average person walks somewhere around 19 steps with a piece of trash before dropping it. We want to show people that recycling, composting and reusing waste doesn’t have to be a complicated matter. The students are playing an integral role in getting our message out.”

The students have been working with Lindley throughout the spring semester to develop the organization’s mission and vision, to conduct extensive survey research and in-depth interviews with race coordinators, and to create a strong brand to further raise awareness of GEES.

“Our first step was to help Garth come up with a new, better-fitting name for his organization,” said Brittany Crossetti, public relations senior and campaign account executive. “We have also designed a new logo and built a website so more people can learn about GEES and its services. I’m pleased with our progress so far.”

In addition to the newly launched Green Earth Event Services website, the students are designing a mobile version to appeal to smartphone users. The team is currently examining their research to determine the best approach to reach race coordinators in order to further promote the organization. They’re also hoping to gain information to set up a pricing structure for the company’s services.

Beyond research, development and branding, the students volunteered with GEES during the Empty Bowls event held at Mylan Park in February. They’re also working with Lindley to promote an Earth Day 5K run at White Park in late April.

In recent years, campaigns executed in Colistra’s capstone have won awards from the West Virginia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

“This group of students has done an excellent job with helping to further develop a local organization and to establish its brand image,” Colistra said. “This real-world experience will serve them well because it is the same type of work they will be doing once they graduate. Plus, they’re doing some real good within the community.”

For more information about Green Earth Event Services, contact Garth Lindley at greeneartheventservices@gmail.com, like the Green Earth Event Service on Facebook or visit greeneartheventservices.org.



CONTACT: Jessica Cloonan, Green Earth Event Services
304.671.4319, Jcloonan@mix.wvu.edu

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