StratCom students jet to Hong Kong for spring break intercultural consulting trip
By Cassidy Selep
For the first time in the history of the journalism school, a group of its students traveled to Hong Kong during spring break to collaborate with students from other cultures to solve public relations problems.
Scripps students and faculty, along with students and faculty from Hong Kong Baptist University and Germany’s Leipzig University, spent spring break in Hong Kong working on media consulting projects.
The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism is a part of a triangular membership with Hong Kong Baptist University and Leipzig University in Germany. Last fall, students from the two schools came to Athens. This time it was Ohio University students’ turn to go abroad.
In the past, most study-abroad trips were targeted toward news and information majors. This year, instructor Chuck Borghese led the trip, which was geared toward strategic communication majors.
“Dr. Stewart sees the importance of our school’s working with schools in other cultures and that is important for news and information students and strategic communication students,” Borghese said.
Students interested in attending the trip had to write two short essays about working with people from around the world and how the experience will impact their educations and careers.
Junior Erin McMahon wanted to go on the trip to gain a new perspective on the public relations world and develop her leadership skills.
“[I wanted] to be able to have that hands-on experience and be able to communicate with cultures all over,” McMahon said. “[To see] how [communication] differs between borders was something I wanted to experience first-hand.”
McMahon is the supervisor of the travel and tourism accounts for ImPRessions, the school’s student-run public relations firm. Through her experience abroad, she wants to contribute a global perspective to the firm.
The trip was planned to create a multiplatform campaign that would emotional connect the Microsoft brand to consumers. The students were divided into groups, each of which consisted of one person from each university.
McMahon’s group played off of negative perceptions of Microsoft. The group’s tagline was “Microsoft is enough.”
“Microsoft was enough to launch a rocket into space,” McMahon said. “And Microsoft is … enough to write amazing stories that can be shared around the world in different languages.”
McMahon worked well with her diverse group, leveraging their different strengths and perspectives to come up with the final project.
Borghese was impressed with the OU students’ collaborating with the students from Germany and China.
“They were truly collaborative in the work that came out of it. You could see how each different culture had a hand in it and everyone came out with really great ideas,” Borghese said.