Ball State’s Cardinal Communications To Participate in 24-hour CreateAthon

Cardinal Communications members from last year's successful CreateAthon.  Photo provided.Cardinal Communications members from last year's successful CreateAthon.  Photo provided.

By: Melissa Kraman—

 Muncie, IN—As part of Ball State University’s “Better Together” initiative, Cardinal Communications will provide free communications support to area non-profits through a national initiative called CreateAthon from 8 a.m. April 6, to 8 a.m. April 7 in the Holden Strategic Communications Center. In a short 24-hour period, the student-run public relations agency will create plans and materials for three area non-profits: The Back to School Teachers Store, Hillcroft Services, Inc. and Project Purse Indianapolis.

CreateAthon began in 1998 with a simple idea: Change the world. Today it has evolved into a world-wide event. With a mission to generate social change, CreateAthon’s purpose is to give back to the community by donating time and talents. During this 24- hour process, teams will work to produce a variety of different strategic pieces of communications content.

“CreateAthon is one more way that Cardinal Communications members can give back to the community and gain valuable experience at the same time,” said Dr. Debbie Davis ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, assistant professor and agency adviser. “For more than 40 years, students have helped nonprofits achieve their communication goals. This allows students to do the same, but in a compressed time frame.”

Cardinal Communications was one of five Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)-affiliated student-run agencies from across the country who were selected to participate in the event.

Last year, Cardinal Communications was one of two collegiate firms to pilot CreateAthon in partnership with PRSSA. More than 20 students worked through the event in teams, catering to the needs of three local nonprofits. Students created strategic communications plans, extensive research reports, graphic designs, social media content calendars, press releases, event promotion plans and materials and more. During the final hour of the event, students presented their work to their respective clients. The teams provided more than $18,000 worth of services to the clients.

In all, CreateAthon has donated $20 million worth of marketing services to thousands of nonprofits all over the world.

“Participating in last year’s CreateAthon gave me an opportunity to give back to the Muncie community while utilizing the skills I’ve learned in the classroom. The 24-hour marathon was a great mix of learning, hard work and fun, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to participate again this year,” said Caroline Owens, junior public relations major at Ball State and Cardinal Communications account director.

Updates from the students can be found on Cardinal Communications social media pages on Facebook and Twitter: @cardinalcomm.


Cardinal Communications is a student-run creative communications agency located in Ball State University’s Department of Journalism and housed in the Holden Strategic Communications Center. Established in 1976, we have been providing the full-services of a traditional agency, while creating opportunities for their members.