Students from the public relations and television broadcasting programs have joined efforts with the Ottawa Police Service to create 10 videos that raise awareness about violence against women.
It’s the fifth year Algonquin students have presented their videos in order to participate in the annual competition. The winner will be featured in the next Ottawa Police Service’s campaign addressing this social issue.
“It all started five years ago when we worked with the OC Transpo on a series of public service announcements for cooperative seating and it was really successful,” said Stephen Heckbert, public relations program coordinator.
Heckbert, along with the television broadcasting program coordinator Jeremy Atherton have been working together to choose the topic for this year’s campaign that would fit both programs.
The students were divided into 10 teams of 11 people and worked for six weeks to deliver the videos that target different audiences.
The Ottawa police joined the students in the classroom and outlined the problems and sensitivities that they had about this topic, said Atherton.
“Then the students would go away and work together on the creative and the PR side of the video and then they pitch it to Ottawa police,” he added.
Kayla Spagnoli was one of the public relations students who participated in the campaign.
Her team has created a video entitled “EndTheCycle” that shows that if he beats you, doesn’t mean he likes you.
Due to her background in feminism, Spagnoli helped the television broadcasting students guide the video to deliver the clear message.
“I learned that making people watch a video that’s even one minute long is a hard work,” said Spagnoli. “It was really exciting to be able to work on a campaign on something I am really passionate about,” she added.
Despite the fact that the videos were aimed to help the community, the main focus was to teach the students from two different programs how to cooperate with each other on a professional level.
“Our students are going to work with public relations people when they graduate and public relations students will have to work with creative people in television production community,” said Atherton. “If they get a chance inside college to understand each others work through their different points of view and come up with a superior product, they will be better prepared for when they graduate.”
According to Heckbert, the most important thing that the public relations students have learned from this experience was the realization that it’s not all about them.
“Students often come to things because they have been sort of the centre of the program and the centre of their own universe, ” said Heckbert.
“The best part of it is that we’ve got two programs and each of them has been trained to do something,” Heckbert added. “They sometimes clash and it’s not terrible for them to learn how to built respectful working professional relationships and they have to appreciate what everyone brings to the table,”
The winner of the competition will be chosen by the Ottawa Police Service and will be announced on April 6 at the Elgin police station.