Protect America and MSU Students Teach Local Charities How To Fish

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Advertising students from MSU and home security company Protect America teamed up to provide Lansing charities with long-term fundraising and marketing solutions.

"This truly was a ‘win-win-win’ experience for all involved.”

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” This time honored parable found new life thanks to the Protect America Presents the Protect America Cares “Pay It Forward” Challenge.

A partnership between Protect America, Inc. and Michigan State University, the “Pay It Forward” Challenge sought to offer long-term assistance to Lansing charities by utilizing the marketing knowledge of advertising students. Under the guidance of MSU professor David Regan, the students formed their own marketing companies that created a comprehensive marketing, advertising, and fund raising plans for their chosen charity. The company, through its charitable arm, Protect America Cares, provided each team with a $500 stipend and a video camera so their good deeds could be recorded.

“The Protect America Cares ‘Pay It Forward’ Challenge was a unique and rewarding experience for my students, their clients, as well as myself,” said MSU advertising and marketing professor David Regan, who supervised the project. “Our students got real world experience working on an advertising/marketing plan for a charitable organization of their choosing. They could see how all of their efforts would help these organizations immediately through fund raising, social media, labor as well as helping to brand… This truly was a ‘win-win-win’ experience for all involved.”

The students used their tech savvy and advertising acumen to provide their charities with long term fundraising and marketing solutions. Top Hat Media, for example, designed and implemented a brand new website for the Help a Willing Kid (HAWK) Foundation. Another group, Five Star Media, redesigned the Facebook Page for the Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center and designed direct mail marketing materials that will promote future events for the charity.

“We didn’t just want to raise money for these charities,” said Shawne Groves, the director of public relations for Protect America. “We wanted to see how we could find ways to help after the project ended. It is all about paying it forward.”

On April 10, the students presented their plans and results to their professor and representatives of Protect America. Individual team results, along with their selected charity, are included below.

After the success of the Lansing project, the company is considering expanding the program to other colleges and universities. Despite the expansion, the emphasis will remain the same: getting college kids with valuable skills to help worthwhile local charities.

1.    Top Hat Media,
Help a Willing Kid (HAWK) Foundation
$3,175 plus 318 pounds of food.
2.    Five Star Media
Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center
3.    Evolve Media
Haven House
4.    Wanderlust Media
Sleep Tight
5.    Visionary Media
Hungry Hands
$813 and a large supply of food
6.    Movement Advertising
Hosanna House
7.    Infinite Solutions
For Better Independence Assistance Dogs

About Protect America, Inc.

Founded in 1992, Protect America is one of the nation’s largest home security companies. The company sells wireless home security systems that save customers time and money. In addition to security monitoring, Protect America also provides protection against fire, carbon monoxide, and flooding. Protect America Cares is the charitable side of the company that assists a broad range of charitable organizations, such as the American Red Cross, Operation Home Front, Austin Pets Alive, and National Night Out.

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Shawne Groves
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