By Jordan Beach
With planes taking off and landing outside a conference room lined mostly with windows, this was not a typical college presentation.
Dr. Dana Hall’s digital marketing students from Reinhardt University connected with the Cherokee County Regional Airport to develop digital marketing strategies to increase the company’s presence online, an important presence to maintain, according to the business students. Most of the class did not know the airport was just a few miles from campus, which partly reflected the need for their presentations.
“We all learned a lot from the class with our hands-on assignments, so it was relatively easy to put something together for them to help grow their business,” said Joshua Teague ’20. “I felt it helped my learning experience, as well helping the airport.”
The senior level business course split into two groups to complete research and provide innovative ways for the airport to promote its resources and value to pilots and the community. The presentations included comparisons to other local organizations with strong online presences, such as Goshen Valley Boys Ranch and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
Vice Chair for Cherokee County Airport Authority Board David Pitts appreciated the input shared from Reinhardt’s McCamish School of Business & Sport Studies students.
“Both groups did a great job, we are very appreciative of their recommendations,” said Pitts. “They captured what we intend to show people, and we have a lot to learn about how we can take some of the things they captured and help us to advertise and promote our organization and our airport.”
Others who attended the presentation included Jimmy Garland, co-owner of S&S Aviation, Dick Hall, Cherokee County Airport Authority board member, Phil Eberly, President of Lead Edge Design Group and Keena Pope, S&S Aviation Terminal Manager. Provost Mark Roberts and dean of the McCamish School, Dr. Steve Morse, also joined Hall’s class in the airport’s conference room.
“This is a wonderful example of how Reinhardt students get experience with out-of-class projects connecting with organizations in our area,” Morse said. “As a result of this project, Reinhardt business students win by gaining real-world experience and expanding their portfolio of professional work, and local organizations like the Cherokee Co. Regional Airport win by receiving needed marketing analysis for their growth.”
The McCamish School of Business & Sport Studies often connects with the community to offer students real-world experiences while they work to earn their undergraduate degree. After recently completing an economic impact study of the airport, Hall saw the opportunity for a high impact learning experience.
“Students not only learned about digital marketing strategies, they also learned about general aviation and the contribution of community/county airports to the overall economic growth, and the awareness-building and public relations opportunities provided through the strategic use of social media,” she said.
Teague felt he learned a lot and was grateful for the opportunity.
“Connecting with a real business was very good experience for me, so that I know what to expect, what they’re looking for and what I can do in the future to help other businesses and myself,” said Teague. “I would definitely recommend for other classes to have the same kind of final presentations.”