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Marketing students from the University of North Florida (UNF) prove they believe Second Chances Matter during a recent class project supporting Operation New Hope. For the semester-long group project – Understanding Market Segments of Social Service Consumers: Operation New Hope, students were asked to develop marketing campaigns for the local nonprofit. The assignment was to design marketing collateral to target potential clients, employment partners, and donors. And the results are fantastic!
Dr. Courtney Nations Azzari, Assistant Professor of Marketing from the Coggin College of Business at UNF, developed the project as a unique way to challenge students to think beyond just marketing for paying consumers. “Social services present a unique case in marketing in several ways,” said Dr. Azzari. “First, the people who use/consume their services (clients/recipients) are often different than the people paying for and supporting those services (donors/firms/government). Second, because social service firms are typically not-for-profit, they must be creative in reaching consumers usually with a limited budget.”
“I have been blown away by the professional quality of the campaigns produced by the students,” said Amanda Mahan, Director of Marketing and Communications at Operation New Hope. “I was really excited when Dr. Azzari first pitched the idea for the partnership. I thought it was a great opportunity to educate college students about the important reentry services we provide to the community and a creative challenge for them to think about marketing in a different context. But what I’m most thankful for are the terrific projects that the students produced. I can’t wait to use some of the ideas in our future marketing efforts.”
“Diversity and inclusion are core values of the UNF culture,” added Dr. Azzari, “and we place a great deal of emphasis on incorporating these into all aspects of the UNF experience. When the opportunity to partner with Operation New Hope for a class project presented itself, I knew it was the perfect way for students to simultaneously hone their marketing skills and grapple with issues of diversity and inclusion. It is well-documented that the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts people of color, and Operation New Hope looks to provide support and resources for these individuals in order to reduce that impact. This collaboration allowed our students to see the world from the eyes of consumers who may differ from them, as they considered how to make a genuine connection between Operation New Hope’s mission and its target user groups, through marketing efforts.”
Thank you to Dr. Azzari, her wonderful group of marketing students, and the University of North Florida for being Second Chance Supporters. We appreciate their support of our mission to build stronger communities by helping people return to work and stop the cycle of incarceration and poverty. It is great community partnerships like these that help us build Cities of Second Chances.