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Public Relations Students Create Campaign for California Cadet Corps

Throughout the past four academic quarters, students from Cal Poly’s Central Coast PRspectives team have been working closely with the California Cadet Corps (CACC) to recreate CACC’s image and how the organization connects to the public.

Central Coast PRspectives (CCPR) is an on-campus, student-run public relations firm founded by Cal Poly students in 2005. CCPR executives and staff members provide services to clients that need assistance in marketing communications, social media and web-based communications and public and media relations.

From left to right: Mariam Alamshahi,
Grace Edinboro (Exec. Officer of CACC),  
Audra Wright

CACC is a paramilitary organization that aims to create leadership opportunities for students ranging from elementary school to college.

“The goal of Cadet Corps is leadership development — to turn students into tomorrow’s leaders,” said Major Kirk Sturm of CACC.

Two CCPR students headed the campaign with CACC: Audra Wright and Mariam Alamshahi, both fourth-year journalism majors with a public relations concentration.

Wright says CACC was looking to change the public perception of their organization to attract a wider array of youth and their parents.

“When parents hear about California Cadet Corps, they think of it as a stepping-stone into the military or a program that is intended for children with behavioral issues,” said Wright. “We wanted these parents to understand that the choice is not military training or education, the CACC combines the two.”

Sturm says that each quarter the CCPR students have given recommendations to CACC on how to better demonstrate their organization’s goals.

“The CCPR students helped CACC refresh our mission statement and learn how to improve our relationship with students, parents and schools,” said Sturm.

Sturm says executives at CACC were so impressed with the work and recommendations from the CCPR students, that the organization decided to start their website over from scratch, implementing the theories and research the CCPR students urged CACC to utilize.

“Working with the Cadet Corps was very fulfilling,” said Alamshahi.

Cal Poly’s Journalism Department is known for its hand-on, Learn by Doing approach to education. Alamshahi worked with CCPR for a journalism course requirement, and says it was an important experience for her education and professional career.

“This is probably the most hands-on class that I have had for journalism, because this wasn’t a hypothetical campaign,” Alamshahi said. “I actually got to work with the Cadet Corps and implement a strategic plan for recruiting more cadets.”

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