Live Oak Communications Agency Launches in School of Communications

The Elon University School of Communications is launching a full-service communications agency this fall that will allow students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it to real client situations.

Live Oak Communications will function like a real agency, working with paying clients across North Carolina and on campus. In 2008, the agency plans to move into office space located on Williamson Avenue, across from the School of Communications.

"We are excited about launching Live Oak Communications," said Paul Parsons, dean of the School of Communications."This offers students a quality, hands-on agency experience similar to on-campus media organizations such as The Pendulum student newspaper, WSOE-FM and ESTV student television. Live Oak also will provide high-caliber communications solutions to clients."

Drawing from fresh ideas and a young perspective, Live Oak will create and execute communications campaigns and programs including public relations, advertising, special event marketing, branded entertainment, web design, video production and viral marketing.  In addition to working with clients on its own, Live Oak will also be partnering with local agencies for professional mentoring and coordinated projects.

"Our goal is to develop fresh solutions to some of the traditional communications challenges that businesses and organizations face," said Lee Bush, assistant professor in the School of Communications and the agency’s faculty director.  "These students are living in the midst of a new media culture and can bring a unique perspective to clients looking for something a little different."

Live Oak Communications is comprised of 21 staff members, consisting of a director, assistant director, four account team leaders and 15 account executives.  Staff members were selected through a competitive application process and represent a variety of majors and interests.

Agency director Emily Romans, a senior Corporate Communications major, has experience working in public relations and marketing internationally with Purple PR in London, as well as nationally with organizations such as the American Legacy Foundation and National Jean Company.  Sara Portoghese, assistant director, is a junior Corporate Communications major who has held a variety of internships, including two with Rollins College and a summer internship at Florida Hospital.

Bush has 20 years of national and international PR and advertising agency experience.  She was formerly senior vice president at Ketchum Communications in Chicago and at Ogilvy PR in Chicago and London.

Live Oak Communications is temporarily housed in McEwen 009 at Elon until moving into its new offices on Williamson Avenue in 2008.  The agency can be contacted at 336-278-5031or


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