As an ambassador to the global advertising industry, Radford University's Andrea Stanaland recently enjoyed high-level access to the corner offices, studios and meeting rooms where strategy is mapped out and campaigns are created.
Stanaland, an associate professor of marketing, was one of 16 professors to participate as a Fellow in the Advertising Educational Foundation's (AEF) Visiting Professor Program. For two weeks in June, she and colleagues from universities across the country, including Boston College and the universities of Virginia, Colorado and California-Berkeley, attended sessions at renowned global agencies and firms including Deutsch Inc., Google, Ogilvy & Mather, and R/GA.
"There is a lot of collaboration by energetic, smart people with a wide range of expertise in areas like analytics, creative and media," said Stanaland, who was embedded for 10 days at the global headquarters of Euro RSCG Worldwide, an agency specializing in advertising, digital, marketing services, health care, public relations and corporate communications for a wide range of clients including Volvo, Charles Schwab, Dos Equis and Evian. "How they work and the work they produce is impressive."
While participating in client strategy sessions, observing operations and generally talking shop about digital-age marketing with Euro RSCG staff and executives, she also gave a presentation titled "Corporate Social Responsibility 2.0" to more than 50 agency staffers. "The concept of corporate social responsibility is an important part of the culture embraced at the highest levels of the agency, and they welcomed an academic perspective," she said.
Her welcome included an extended conference with the Global Chairman George Gallate of Euro RSCG 4D, Euro’s digital agency, during which they discussed the evolving world of digital marketing communications. Stanaland also accompanied the firm's Group Digital creative director, John Rea, as he taught a class on advertising and integration at Manhattan's School of Visual Arts.
"It was valuable to see the cutting edge in the marketing communications field and talk with such high-level professionals about career paths and opportunities for our students interested in the industry," said Stanaland, who was selected from a pool of 78 candidates for the fellowship opportunity.
AEF is a nonprofit foundation, supported by ad agencies, advertisers and media companies, whose mission is to enrich the understanding of advertising and its role in culture, society and the economy by stimulating a balanced dialogue, creating and distributing educational content and attracting the highest level of talent to the industry. The visiting professor program gives host companies an opportunity to develop closer ties to academia while professors gain greater understanding of the industry.