The Capstone Communications Laboratory, or CapComm Lab, is a student-run, faculty-advised integrated communications management agency that serves corporate, government, nonprofit, small for-profit and Howard University clients. CapComm Lab provides a rigorous professional challenge for students poised on the brink of entering the business world or moving on to graduate education. It also gives students a chance to round out their portfolios with examples of their best creative work and strategic thinking on behalf of “real world” clients that engage them to resolve actual advertising and public relations issues. Students are expected to deliver professional level services to their clients.
Established in 1990, CapComm Lab is the centerpiece of the capstone communications course for advertising and public relations students who have successfully completed all other required advertising and public relations courses. Under the advisement of faculty, clients are accepted to be a part of the CapComm Lab slate each semester. Clients pay a modest fee for the services provided by students, and most importantly, they bring actual “real world” challenges, problems or opportunities to the students to solve. Students are able to provide a number of services including, but not limited to, quantitative and qualitative research; advertising, community outreach and publicity campaigns; event planning and media relations.
CapComm Lab serves a wide variety of clients. Some are internal Howard University clients, and others are local or national entities from across the country, including the following:
Berries by Quicha
Center for Law and Social Work
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
The Crisis (NAACP)
Federation of American Scientists
Habitat for Humanity
National Black Child Development Institute
NOAA/National Weather Service
The Northwest Center
The Petey Greene Program
Trice Edney News Wire
The Washington Post
Washington Speed Skating Club
How CapComm Lab Works
At the beginning of each semester, students enrolled in the three-credit capstone course are organized into teams and assigned to clients. Students are given the opportunity to select their client as well as their specific role on their client’s team. Student roles include Account Executive, Public Relations Director, Copywriter or Art Director.
Each client is provided a full-scale strategic communication plan designed to meet their objectives and target their specific audiences. After the plan has been approved by a faculty advisor and by the client, the team moves forward with its execution. The team submits written weekly reports of its progress to the client and, through the Account Executive, it maintains continual communication with the client to ensure consistency with the objectives established in the plan. At the end of the semester, faculty and clients evaluate the team based on their ability to meet the plans objectives.
Although most of the teams’ work occurs outside of the classroom, students meet weekly for three hours. During class, students listen to presentations by staff of the semester’s selected “team-teach agencies.” Each semester, the faculty solicits the assistance of an outside advertising, public relations or integrated communications agency to provide presentations on selected topics designed to give insights into how a professional agency serves its clients. Past “team-teach agencies” included APCO Worldwide, Burson Cohn & Wolfe, CBS Corporation, Edelman, GMMB, Ketchum, LM&O Advertising, Porter Novelli, RP3 and Weber-Shandwick/Powell Tate. Also, lectures by faculty introduce new concepts, reinforce students’ understanding of advertising and public relations tactics and strategies and clarify information presented by the selected “team-teach agency.” Finally, students report on their progress meeting their clients’ objectives and receive feedback from faculty and other students.
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Our agency provides first-rate advertising and public relations services and our employees are equipped with raw talent and fresh innovative ideas to satisfy your every need.
Highlighted Services Include
- Advertising Design
- Advertising Campaigns
- Media Relations
- Publicity Campaigns
- Public Service Campaigns
- Social Media Campaigns
- Special Events Planning
- Develop full-scale advertising and public relations programs targeting specific audiences and fulfilling client objectives
- Increase client visibility among selected objectives
- Produce advertising layout for print and electronic media including copy writing and logo design
- Solicit positive media coverage and facilitate press conferences and interview requests
|Becoming a Client
Entities interested in becoming CapComm Lab clients should contact:
Dr. Tia C. M. Tyree