An Interview with Emily Kudla
Account Executive, The Collegiate Times, Virginia Tech
Class of 2016
What were some challenges this year and how did you handle them?
As an Account Executive, it is challenging to form a sales pitch for advertisers. Many advertisers see that using their own social media is good enough, so it can be challenging to educate them on what differentiates their business from The Collegiate Times.
It is also important to encourage the long-term tradition between Virginia Tech., and the community, and how it’s important for their business to get more exposure by advertising to students.
What do you think student media will look like in five years?
With the industry declining, student media needs to be proactive and not reactive. To stay competitive, student media should take advantage of the internet while maintaining their core strategy.
Do you think papers need print editions and why?
Yes, it is important to have a tangible paper because distribution through in-person contact makes a difference. Although money will be from digital in the future, print issues should be kept for special issues and editions, but it shouldn’t be the primary focus.
How do you think papers should improve readership, print, and digital?
To improve, students should personally hand out copies of the paper and have the paper gain a greater presence on social media. Hosting campus events like The Collegiate Times did for a campus debate this year would benefit readership.
Another idea would be to go beyond reporting on the Virginia Tech. community. Students seem to be interested in what’s going on outside of campus and around the world.
Could you tell us more about the debate?
Virginia Tech. held a debate between students from Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian parties to debate various political issues. The Collegiate Times hosted the event that was attended by about 50 to 60 students so it was a great way to get our name out there.
How would you describe the mission of The Collegiate Times at Virginia Tech?
The ultimate mission is to provide news in a timely manner to the Virginia Tech. community. The vision would be to prosper and grow over time, and continue the tradition with the Virginia Tech. community.
Can you describe your staffing structure, including student, advisers, and professionals?
There are writers for the different columns, the editor-in-chief, media creators, the business manager, account executives, advisers, and MediaMate.
Do student receive credits for participating in student media?
Account executives can receive marketing electives as an internship.
What is your biggest wish for student media?
My greatest wish would be to involve students who are really passionate about the mission of The Collegiate Times. They should want to bring their talents to the newspaper and be very forward-thinking on making a positive impact. The Collegiate Times is special and a time-honored tradition, so it’s important to remember where the paper came from.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
The Collegiate Times is a positive experience for anyone interested in the media, communications, marketing, and business. It’s a great organization to be involved with. Looking back, I was so grateful to be part of it.
Can you describe MediaMate to other schools or to students who have not worked with us before, or don’t know what we do?
MediaMate is a company you can work with as a partner for campus advertising. Even though they aren't on campus, we learned from them different ways the paper can market itself through school events. MediaMate also took control of our lacking management system and fixed it. Now, not only do we have a training program, but they are also contacting advertisers in Blacksburg to bring awareness to The Collegiate Times.