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Live Oak Communications, Pace kick off Project Echo 

Elon University’s student-run strategic communications agency and the Greensboro-based content marketing firm hosted their first Echo Session on March 13, highlighting their new official partnership.

At last week’s Project Echo launch celebration, Cinnamon Pritchard (center), Pace’s group creative director, led a 25-minute presentation discussing content engagement marketing. 

​While introducing Project Echo at last week’s launch celebration, Hal Vincent incorporated the aphorism, “rising tides lift all boats,” to describe the new partnership between Elon University’s Live Oak Communications and Pace, the Greensboro-based professional content marketing agency.

The statement was a clear indication that Vincent, a lecturer in the School of Communications and faculty director of Elon’s student-run strategic communications agency, expects the formal collaboration will raise the visibility of the student organization, and demonstrate to the industry the strength of Elon’s curriculum and all of its communications students as prepared for real-world challenges upon graduation.

“For eight years, Elon’s Live Oak Communications has offered students the opportunity to apply their craft outside of the classroom for a variety of real-world organizations,” Vincent said prior to the March 13 event at the Greensboro Co//ab space. “Now, it is truly a special opportunity to partner with a leading content marketing agency like Pace to show off our students’ capabilities with global clients.”

Pace employees and members of Live Oak Communications gather for a photograph during the networking hour following last week’s Echo Session.

​​At its roots, Project Echo is a program aimed at developing unique insights and strategies to create genuine connections between brands and millennials. For Elon, the collaboration will provide Live Oak staff members invaluable experience working with real-world clients and projects, as well as networking opportunities and Pace-led educational sessions. Additionally, the partnership will offer Pace and the brands the agency represents more insight to the millennial population, gathering the perspectives of Elon students on how to connect to the young adult generation.

School of Communications Dean Paul Parsons and more than 20 Elon University students were on hand for the launch event, as well as nearly half a dozen Pace employees, including the firm’s president, Craig Waller. Photos of the kickoff event are available online.

Kevin Briody, Pace’s senior vice president of content marketing, welcomed the group to the partnership’s first educational night, or Echo Session, and provided a brief overview of Project Echo. Citing his recent blog post, Briody described Project Echo as “an intensive internship.” He said the program will be an opportunity for his agency to tap into the students’ expertise, which they have gained during their insightful work with Vincent, Live Oak Communications and the School of Communications.

Pace President Craig Waller (left) and School of Communications Dean Paul Parsons enjoy a conversation during the kickoff event.

​While addressing the group a moment later, Vincent asked the students to recall their COM 100 class, and how the printing press completely changed the course of communications. Television and the Internet have done the same, he pointed out, and the future of communications is an unknown.

“That’s one of the reasons we wanted to do this partnership,” Vincent said, alluding to the valuable educational and networking opportunities Project Echo provides Elon students who are about to enter the workforce. “As a school, you always grapple with how to stay ahead of the curve of where the mass communications industry is going. This whole partnership is really more than Pace and Live Oak, it really is a partnership for all of the School of Communications.”

Following Vincent’s comments, Cinnamon Pritchard, Pace’s group creative director, led a 25-minute presentation discussing content engagement marketing. The kickoff concluded with a networking hour, with students conversing with Pace employees. 

Tommy Kopetskie,
3/18/2015 8:25 AM