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How to Manage Real Client
Work in the Classroom
University of Louisville
Benefits of Client Work for Classes
Case Study: The Breeders’ Cup x FrebergPR (University of
Lessons from Client Work
Best Practices + Resources
Higher Ed = Perception + Reputation Crisis
With professionals in the industry (ex. Gary Vee) and others saying
higher education is “not relevant” or preparing our students in the
workplace, it is crucial to show others we are.
The way to do this is to provide real-world applied experiences for our
classes with client work.
Benefits of Real Client Work
● Hands on experience for the students.
● Connecting with the community (on campus and/or off
● Opportunities for real world content and materials to
showcase in job interviews, internships and future
● Create a partnership with university and client.
● Brand exposure for students, university, and professor.
Client Work Checklist
○ Group Leaders + Roles
○ Communication + Branding Expectations
○ Time dedication for class project
○ Visits to Class for Introduction to Client Work + Final Projects
○ Owned Media (ex. websites)
○ Social Media (ex. Channels, hashtags, etc)
○ Earned Media (ex. Press coverage, blog posts, influencer posts, etc)
The Breeders’ Cup x
Overview of Partnership
● Official class client for the semester.
● Deliverables for the semester:
○ Situational analysis of brand on social media
○ Competitive analysis
○ Media analysis
○ Event coverage
■ Influencers at Churchill Downs
■ BC Festival (October 2018)
■ #BC18 (November 2018)
● Official press release of partnership between The
Breeders’ Cup and #FrebergPRKAREN FREBERG
Class Client Deliverables (Assignments)
Main Project: Strategic Plan
● Midterm Report (Background, Research, + Situational Analysis)
● Final Report and Presentation (Strategies, Key Messages, Evaluation, Recommendation)
ContentCreation, Planning+ Management(ongoingprojects + assignments)
● Listening and monitoring reports (Talkwalker + Zoomph)
● Establishing brand voice for Breeders’ Cup Festival accounts
● Community and Content Management (Sprout Social)
● Creative Content Creation (Adobe RUSH, Adobe Spark, Canva, etc)
● Each message needs to be approved, scheduled and evaluated
● Planning, Brainstorming + Executing Ideas for all channels
● Influencer Marketing Event, Breeders’ Cup Festival, and The Breeders’ Cup
● 9/29: Downs After Dark was held at Churchill Downs to
promote the upcoming Breeders’ Cup.
● Students tasked with an influencer activation assignment
for Breeders’ Cup.
● Had three weeks to complete (realistic time span for
● Research on IM using Zoomph, Talkwalker, and Klear
● Student responsibilities:
○ Research influencers
○ Reach out to influencers
○ Create contract for influencers
○ Host on-site
○ Coordinate with Churchill Downs
○ Analyze social media content
○ Create after action report
● Deliverables: Report + Takeaways, Recommendations for
future IM items, and Mini Presentation
Examples of Influencers at Churchill Downs
Students gained valuable experience in actual influencer marketing
initiatives from beginning to end from research to creative execution.
BC gained valuable insight into influencer marketing and opportunities
to explore this for future events.
It was a WIN-WIN situation for all!
What is NEXT?
● Begins next week!
● Two events, four days
● Students will be creating and
executing content for The
Breeders’ Cup on November
2nd + 3rd.
● Conducting listening and
monitoring initiatives before,
during, and after event.
● Present final recommendations
and results to BC at the end of
Lessons from Real
For Portfolios, Internships,
Networking Opportunities, and
By providing students with real
world client experiences, they are
able to provide actual work
Provide a range from tactical work
to strategic thinking assets.
Creating items that are valued and
appreciated/expected by the
Educating the industry on what
students are REALLY learning in
Client work helps show industry
folks we ARE working on preparing
students for the workplace.
REALLY walking the walk and
talking the talk.
Opportunity to not just tell industry
professionals what we are doing, but
showing them as well.
A direct connection from the outside
to the classroom to help foster
Higher education (professors and
students) need more industry
Higher education is facing an image
and reputation crisis for not being
“relevant,” - we can create our own
community ambassadors for our
We need industry advocates and
ambassadors - clients and industry
professionals can help out with this.
We got to take back control over the
narrative about our profession.
As industry becomes more competitive, we need to work
With client work in and out of the classroom, we can overcome the vast
gap between education and industry.
Resources + Professors to Look at
○ Kelli Matthews (University of Oregon) - Assignments + Clients
○ Matt Kushin (Shepherd University) - Assignments + Campus Client
○ Carolyn Mae Kim (Biola University) - Client Work
○ Lin Humphrey (FIU) - Certifications
○ Karen Sutherland (USC - Australia) - Client Management + Projects
○ Hootsuite Education Program
○ HubSpot Education Partner Program
○ Stukent Simulations
○ #SMprofs Community Group on Facebook