Collegians Study Cable Marketing

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Marketing students at California State University Fullerton — tired of seeing the same old recruiters and hearing the same superficial pitch — are developing an in-depth cable marketing program to give students a better look at the opportunities available in that industry.

The Orange County university's American Marketing Association chapter has started a cable marketing program designed to attract students to off-campus tours and tutorials at cable operators and related vendors.

John Barry — president of the campus' AMA chapter, one of the 35-year-old organization's 500 worldwide chapters — said that even though students watch cable TV, they don't know anything about "the pipe."

"This program will offer details on the breadth of directions for career paths in cable," he said. It could be of interest to students who study advertising, marketing or general business.

And the program's not like class work, in which students receive book learning, but aren't taught about day-to-day life in the cable business.

The program was created after one of the AMA members, Nadia Martinez, served as an intern at Irvine-based marketing firm SCDRG Inc.

"I personally did not know much about the industry until I had my internship," Martinez said. "I was able to meet with clients about campaigns and see the advertising and marketing parts of the business.

"There are so many different components where you can implement your marketing knowledge, such as networks, operators and technology providers," she said.

'CABLE TECH 101'

Students who join the program can participate in off-campus events, such as an Oct. 12 meeting at Cox Communications Inc.'s Orange County system. Cox staffers — including marketing and public-affairs executives — plan to offer such sessions as "Cable Technology 101," "Cable Marketing 101" and "Cable PR."

Plans for later in the year include a visit to the Western Show in Anaheim and tutorials on branding and customer loyalty at Time Warner Cable in Orange County, along with a video presentation from AOL Time Warner Inc.

If students show enough interest in the AMA program, Barry said, the organization could work through campus advisor Dr. Stephen Koernig to urge the university to add for-credit courses in cable topics.

The AMA chapter is promoting the program as campus organizations participate in "rush," the drive to sign up students for fraternities, sororities and clubs.

"We've seen a lot of positive interest," Barry said. Barry himself may be one of the participants.

"I'm definitely leaving all my options open. I'm highly interested in this one," he said.

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