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VISCOM students create PR plan for veterans organization


September 25, 2012

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KANSAS CITY, Mo - As communications professor Linda Strelluf put it, it’s always good to receive feedback on a project that lets it be known it’s successful.

Avila professor and students with members of the HVWPStrelluf’s students in her corporate communications seminar last spring just recently received such feedback. A few months ago, the students were assigned the task of updating and re-designing the marketing and public relations plans of the Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project (HVWP), a project which for 60 years has published writings by veterans through Veterans’ Voices magazine.

“They came to us and said what they were doing was outdated,” Strelluf said. “They wanted to reach a younger audience.”

Veterans’ Voices was established shortly after World War II, when a group of volunteers found VA hospitals filled with returning soldiers and sailors with time on their hands and little to do. The magazine was first published in 1952 and is published three times a year by an all-volunteer staff. It is the only publication devoted exclusively to the writings of hospitalized veterans.

The students called their campaign, Writing from the Soul – For the Soul. Components of the campaign included a new tagline, Facebook page, brochure and billboards. They also re-designed the HVWP Web site, showing visitors how to submit writing – short stories, both fiction and non-fiction, and poetry as well as some photos and art.

Strelluf recently learned that the board of directors at the HVWP accepted the class’s communications plan. They plan to launch it in October at the World War I Museum in downtown Kansas City, and the students all have been asked to come and participate.

“They liked what we did,” Stelluf said. “We presented to their communications person and president, and they then presented it to their board and are in the process of implementing it.

“We’re all real proud of (the students) around here.”

For additional information, visit the Web site at www.veteransvoices.org.



Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.