Students collaborate on a Valentine’s Day chocolate booth and PR promotion


By Jack McClellan

Students had the chance to stop by the Hamilton Hall student lounge to check out the “Cynificant Other” pop-up chocolate booth and try some free samples and buy some treats.

Jack Mcclellan

Students in PR 321 have partnered with the Cardinal and Gold student advertising agency to create an inclusive love Valentine’s Day promotion coined “Cynificant Other.” The promotion encourages students to abandon the typical Valentine’s Day ideals and focus on the wider spectrum of love experienced between everyone people care for.

Along with the promotion, the PR 321 class has partnered with Chocolaterie Stam to host a pop-up chocolate booth for students and faculty looking for a tasty treat or looking to extend their gratitude to the significant individuals in their lives. The booth is located in the student lounge of Hamilton Hall and will be open on Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..

Joanna Schroeder, an assistant teaching professor at Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication, teaches the PR 321 class which came up with the idea for this Valentine’s Day promotion.

“This year I decided to have a client, and so Chocolaterie Stam was our client, and he came in and did a presentation just about the history of the company and the students like oh, should do a fundraising promotion for Valentine’s Day,” Schroeder said. “They came up with this idea of ‘you’re significant to me’ with ‘Cy’.”

The goal is to move beyond the idea of Valentine’s Day being solely a couple’s holiday, opening up the holiday to all the lonely people out there.

“We’re getting a really great response,” Schroeder said. “And a lot of students have said they love this idea and they’re buying the majority of the chocolate that the club and the students have sold is going to people to give it to friends.”

For the PR students and Cardinal and Gold club members, this promotion is not just about renewing the Valentine’s Day spirit, but offers an opportunity for real-world experience in their prospective field.

“One of the things that Greenlee is known for is that our students actually get to engage, right,” Schroeder said. “It’s not just sitting in the classroom and hearing like, well, this is how you write a press release or this is how you do media relations. The students actually came up with the idea, they’re executing the idea, they’re calling the reporters, you know, they’re sitting at the booth and manning the booth and putting everything together.”

Cardinal and Gold is a club at Iowa State functioning as a real ad agency, working with real clients like local businesses, students and other clubs at Iowa State.

“That’s our goal with our club is we want to get as much real-world experience as we can build ourselves up, especially considering how competitive the field is,” said Julie Nagel, president of Cardinal & Gold and a senior in Public Relations. “This semester, we’re also doing certification workshops… We contacted Hootsuite, and they are going to be donating their certifications on how to learn their software, which Hootsuite is a big software company, specifically, so it’s gonna be really exciting.”

Joel Chambers, a sophomore in Public Relations and member of the PR 321 class which started “Cynificant Other,” pointed out the value of this experience.

“I think that’s what I love most about being a PR major itself is like the Greenlee School isn’t just, you know, going to class doing assignments, writing papers, group projects and stuff like that, but it’s almost like we’re getting experience while we’re here,” Chambers said. “Not having an internship and we’re still getting that real-world experience here.”

The “Cynificant Other” chocolate booth will be open one more day on Tuesday, Feb. 15, with all the funds going back into the organizations to help support future activities. For more information on Cardinal & Gold visit their website on the Greenlee webpage.