University of Alabama PR students work to help 11 nonprofits through CreateAthon

University of Alabama PR students work to help 11 nonprofits through CreateAthon
CreateAthon brought nonprofits and University of Alabama PR students together. (Alabama NewsCenter)

Amazing what can be accomplished in just one day.

Over 24 hours this past weekend, the University of Alabama’s student-run communication firm, Capstone Agency,  put its collective, creative juices on a crash course to support 11 Tuscaloosa and Birmingham nonprofits.

During the 24-hour marathon marketing campaign known as CreateAthon, 75 Capstone Agency volunteers divided into 11 teams to create marketing materials for the nonprofits. Working on tasks such as communication strategy, graphic design and event planning, Capstone Agency members donated over $59,600 in marketing services.

University of Alabama students participate in CreateAthon to provide needed PR services to nonprofits from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

It is the second year in a row the Capstone Agency participated in CreateAthon. The agency was among five selected nationwide by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) for the event, in which professional and student agencies donate their time and energy to provide pro bono marketing support.

“It is such an honor for Capstone Agency to be selected by PRSSA for the second year,” said Lindsay Rudoff, director of Capstone Agency’s CreateAthon. “I was so excited to see what our talented members could create for our 11 nonprofits.”

The Capstone Agency boosted the value of its donated work by $29,000 compared to last year. On Saturday, at the end of the 24-hour marathon, the teams presented their finished work product to the nonprofits.

“We thought it was wonderful last year, but this group has just gone above and beyond what our expectations were,” said Mary Calhoun of the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter (TMAS). “It makes me feel excited to get out there and get some of this stuff implemented. I can tell they worked really, really hard.”


CreateAthon, a national nonprofit organization, has partnered with more than 100 marketing and communications firms over the past two decades, implementing 24-hour marketing marathons that have benefited more than 1,500 nonprofits in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. For the past two years, PRSSA selected student-run firms to host CreateAthons of their own. The goal: to give students the opportunity to gain real-world experiences and create portfolio pieces while bringing fresh insights to the communication plans of local nonprofits.

In addition to TMAS, participating in this year’s CreateAthon in Tuscaloosa were: Alabama Writers Conclave, Boys & Girls Club of West Alabama, Family Counseling Service, JC’s Place, Lifeline Children’s Services, West Alabama Food Bank, Camp Fire Alabama, FOCUS on Senior Citizens, Child Abuse Prevention Services of Tuscaloosa and the Freshwater Land Trust.

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