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Strategic communications students partner with Duke Clinical Research Institute

During the fall 2015 semester, School of Communications students developed multi-platform strategies and tactics for the world’s largest medical academic research organization.

As part of their semester-long partnership with the Duke Clinical Research Institute, Elon students collaborated with Ana Quinn (left), DCRI’s associate director of business operations.

‚ÄčThirty-four students enrolled in two sections of the School of Communications’ “Strategic Campaigns” course partnered with the Duke Clinical Research Institute's (DCRI) Education division for a semester-long challenge.

The strategic communications majors engaged in research, planning and execution of communications strategies and tactics designed to drive physicians, clinicians and professionals engaged in medical clinical site trials to the DCRI Education Ecosystem. This platform develops and shares knowledge to improve the care of patients through innovative clinical research.

According to Hal Vincent, a lecturer in the School of Communications who taught the sections, the students explored communications pathways to help the organization achieve its goals. These objectives included effectively conducting medical research and disseminating findings to help speed up medical research advancements from tests to clinical application. Students also provided recommendations to communicate medical research activities and breakthroughs, build brand awareness and credibility, motivate internal audiences, and promote specific education platforms to niche audiences.

Throughout the fall 2015 semester, the students worked closely with Ana Quinn, DCRI’s associate director of business operations. Susan Landis, DCRI’s head of strategic communications, joined Quinn for the classes' final presentations.

Ciara' Dixon ’16 (left) and Claire Gibbons ’16 highlight the research and ideas their “Strategic Campaigns” class compiled during their final presentation with representatives from the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

‚Äč“It’s engagement with professionals and real-world experiences like this that further prepare School of Communications students for success, and is a hallmark of Elon’s commitment to experiential learning,” said Vincent, who also serves as director of Live Oak Communications, Elon’s student-run strategic communications agency. “These students tackled a complex challenge in healthcare, utilizing emerging technology platforms in the education sector, for a well-known client. Who wouldn’t want to hire a bright Elon student with experience like this under their belt.”

“The students were fascinating and, I must say, kept me on my toes,” said Quinn. “I was intrigued by their curiosity and desire to deliver positive results through thorough analysis and creative ideas. The final team recommendation presentation was an absolute highlight. I want to thank Elon … what an excellent partnership for all involved to learn, collaborate, contribute and provide a solid return on investment.”

DCRI, part of the Duke University School of Medicine, is known for conducting groundbreaking, multinational clinical trials, managing major national patient registries, and performing landmark outcomes research. Its mission is to develop and share knowledge that improves the care of patients around the world through innovative clinical research.

Tommy Kopetskie,
12/30/2015 10:20 AM