I’m taking a “Special Topics in Communication” course and the instructor, who works as Carnegie Mellon’s School of Engineering Media Relations Director, was recently approached by the owners of Oakmont Bakery to have students develop innovative ideas and drive new business. I have to say, I’m pretty excited about the idea, since this bakery is very well-known in Pittsburgh, but also across the nation. (I mean, this place is huge…not to mention the fact they make outstanding cakes).
My first thought was why this multi-million dollar bakery would trust a group of undergraduates to develop some creative ideas? He explained that his daughter was an alum. He told us about how the one thing he truly regretted was not being able to complete his bachelors degree. He had four other kids and they all went to school. Somewhere along the line, it dawned on me that even very seasoned professionals need outsider perspective. This opportunity served two basic purposes: a free consulting gig for him and a learning experience for us.
It will be interesting to see what other students come up with for ideas. The bakery recently started a coffee business, offering drip and espresso drinks, to completement their dessert menu. They have seating for 30, a full coffee bar and own the movie theatre across the street. (I see late night coffee and treats in thieir future). They also wanted to have an acoustic group or poetry readings some evenings, to draw a “sit and stay” crowd. I’m sure that will tie in nicely with their “attitude cupcakes.”
Personally, I don’t need to eat another paistry as long as I live. I love the taste but hate the gym time that comes along with it. I’m hoping this will be a great learning experience with decent results. (Who knew I’d be pushing dougnuts?)
I also read today that communications consultants are pretty content when a blog “finds its voice” within a year. I’m hoping I get my “voice” a little sooner. In the meantime, thanks for reading. E-mail me topics you’d like to hear something about and comments are always welcome.