Robert Anservitz believes in his students, and that through real-world opportunities, encouragement and setting high expectations, students thrive and perform to their highest potential.
“To really know the subject, you must be able to use the concepts,” said the assistant professor of marketing.
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Anservitz’s students have used marketing concepts to create more than $2 million in deliverables for Georgia non-profits over the course of his 28-year career.
For each non-profit client, his students develop an integrated marketing communications strategy that serves as the blueprint for coordinated deliverables created to meet client needs. The experience helps students expand skill sets and build portfolios.
“One student had never worked in Web design before and ultimately got her dream job in Web design management directly due to this class,” Anservitz said. “It gives students confidence in their approach to networking, and meeting and presenting to clients.”
“Prof. Anservitz has infused real-world techniques into his class so his students’ exercise is much more comprehensive than a paper assignment,” said Joni Smith, development director for Atlanta Children’s Shelter, a recent non-profit client. “They were well-prepared and their final presentation was as professional as a seasoned marketing team.”
The Red Cross of Northeast Georgia was so impressed with its materials that it paid tribute to Anservitz and his 2013 promotions class at its 2014 Volunteer Appreciation and Recognition Dinner.
“I am totally humbled and give full credit to my students,” Anservitz said of receiving the Red Cross 2014 Good Neighbor Award. “The astronomical caliber of the deliverables and their willingness to go far beyond the extra mile in developing them deeply impressed me.”
The students delivered a comprehensive marketing plan to help the Red Cross increase its volunteer pool, raise regional awareness and promote a positive community image.
Deliverables included a holiday invitation, assistance with holiday light and table displays, a modifiable table display, a banner, redesign of a golf tournament brochure, a press release on an international measles initiative, and assistance with promoting and starting Red Cross clubs in area schools. The students also created a 12-minute video featuring a fire victim and former Red Cross volunteer, and a DVD of Red Cross video clips.
The total package would have cost about $140,000, had it been developed by an agency.
“The deliverables far exceeded our expectations,” said Tammy Nicholson, Red Cross volunteer specialist and regional POC for Volunteer Connection. “Bob is at the top of his game at all times and creates future leaders who are motivated and have a strong desire to produce impactful outcomes.”
This year, the Red Cross became the first non-profit to be selected as a promotions class client twice. Anservitz considers prospective non-profits based on specific criteria including the organization’s rating with Charity Navigator. Also, the client’s promotional needs must be significant enough that all class members can “own” a major part of the deliverables. The client must also respond to the students’ requests for information and engagement in the process.
The 2012 client was Noah’s Ark, a sanctuary for abused, unwanted and neglected animals. Anservitz’s students developed a new logo, tagline, banners, maps, signage, online applications, profit-making calendars, a fundraising video, TV spots, a membership lure built on becoming an “Ark-e-ologist,” and social media programs. The project’s estimated value was about $175,000.
Some deliverables have been exceptionally creative, such as a “dog house” donation box for Ahimsa House, the only Atlanta organization helping human and animal victims of domestic violence reach safety together. Another client received a custom floor cloth for display in its lobby area.
Students even created a custom postage stamp for Children’s Restoration Network, a shelter annually serving 4,000 homeless children and their mothers at 130 metro Atlanta shelters and group homes. The class also developed the tagline, “Every Child Deserves a Childhood,” and applied it to items including brochures, a video, magnets and a Facebook page.
“It was obvious the class put many hours of hard work along with hearts and souls into the effort,” said Jim Cox, president and co-founder of CRN. “We were all extremely impressed with the flair, creativity and professionalism of the students and the products they developed.”
“GGC’s program shaped my opinion of marketing, transforming it from a simple subsidiary of the general business curriculum into a solid field of legitimate opportunity,” said Keith Bryan, a 2013 GGC graduate who worked on the CRN project. “The classes I had with Professor Anservitz really enlivened my passion for the art of marketing, a craft he has mastered. And learning from a master is the way I prefer to be educated.”
“My students’ charitable spirits never cease to amaze me,” Anservitz said. “During the Ahimsa House project, they secretly purchased a much-needed microwave oven for the center’s break room and surprised the clients – and me – during the project presentation.”
Anservitz believes there are no students – only professionals who happen to be in his class. It is with that frame of mind that he leads his classes to create such impactful projects, leaving a profound effect on the community and his students.