East Lansing, Michigan (PressExposure) December 08, 2012 -- Song Bird Media, a team of advertising students from Michigan State University, have been named winners of the Protect America Pay It Forward Challenge.
Started at MSU in 2011, the Pay It Forward Challenge was created to match local charities with advertising and marketing students at top universities. These students were organized into teams and encouraged to raise funds and awareness for a charity of their choosing. Students were then graded by MSU professor David Reagan and representatives from Protect America, one of the nation's largest home security companies and organizer of the Challenge.
"We were really impressed with what the MSU students were able to accomplish," said Melissa Walker, a spokeswoman for Protect America that traveled to Lansing. "This is only the second semester we've done this and we're already astonished by the level of professionalism these students have demonstrated. It was hard to pick a winner but Song Bird Media flew higher than the rest."
As part of the Challenge, students created their own "companies" that sought ways to help a specific charity through marketing and advertising. Though many teams raised funds and donated items, special consideration was given to long lasting impact. Song Bird Media was selected as the winner based on the strength of their search engine optimization efforts for Pet Support Services, Inc., a charity that helps Lansing residents with disabilities care for their pets.
"There's no limit to what these students can do for local organizations," Walker added. "They raised money and awareness for charities that needed the help. And their ingenuity and low-cost approach has been really inspiring."
Protect America provided each team with a $500 in startup funds. They were also given a video camera to document their experiences. Teams participating in the Challenge help their charities by creating or updating websites, running extensive social media campaigns, and attracting local media attention. Teams attracted a wide range of donations, including an $850 bike rack, an XBOX, and over 1200 books. In total, the Pay It Forward Challenge raised more than $11,000 for Lansing charities.
About Protect America, Inc.
Founded in 1992, Protect America Home Security employs approximately 300 people. A pioneer of the self-install wireless home security system, Protect America provides protection against fire, carbon monoxide, flooding, and more. Please visit DoYouPayItForward.com for more information about the Pay It Forward Challenge.