University of Southern California

Undergraduates Help Market a Holiday Classic
USC Marshall Students Get the Word Out for LA Ballet's 2009 'Nutcracker' Performances
December 24, 2009 • by Dia Turner

As the opening strands of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Overture transports another Los Angeles Ballet (LAB) audience into the magical dream world of "The Nutcracker," 20 USC undergraduate students take pride that their efforts helped to put that audience in place.

The students, participanted in a "Writing for Business" class led by Assistant Professor of Management Communication Sharoni Little, having spent the semester engaged as consultants for the Los Angeles Ballet. The project began with a needs assessment which led the students to focus on patron outreach – helping market the Holiday favorite to residents of Pasadena, Glendale and the South Bay.

Broken up into four groups, the students used marketing strategies which included Twitter, Facebook, community partnerships and local media outreach to get the word out. At the project's completion, the group will also have completed a broad analysis of successful outreach efforts of other major cultural institutions, which the LAB can utilize in planning future efforts.

The experience is a win for both the students and the LAB. As a not-for-profit organization, the LAB found great value in receiving the information and marketing assistance, and the students gained real world experience in marketing, consulting and project management. USC student Lacey Hulsey summed it all up, "having worked with LAB, I now not only understand the level of professionalism and communication required for long-term success but the steps required to get there."

As the students and the LAB enjoy the fruit of their labor, there is still time to enjoy the final performances of this season's "The Nutcracker." The final shows are at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Redondo Beach, CA 90278 on Saturday, December 26 – 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm and Sunday, December 27 – 2:00 pm. For more information or to purchase tickets go to or call (310) 477-7411.

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.