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Ryan Strength, a public relations and advertising senior at Point Park, was a member of the team that won the 2011 "The Pitch" competition, sponsored by the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation.

Strength says her Point Park education served her well on the project.

"I realized that I was able to contribute to all parts of the team effort because of my creative, broad-based education," Strength said. "Some participants from universities not as comprehensive could offer expertise in only one area."

Watch the winning team's video

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"The Pitch" is an annual competition among local college juniors and seniors studying advertising and related fields. Teams of students are each assigned to a Pittsburgh advertising agency where they put together an entire integrated marketing communications plan, including a video, for a real client in one day. Top professionals then judge and select the winning team.

This year's client was local nonprofit GlobalPittsburgh, which works to improve the region's competitiveness by connecting Pittsburgh communities with international leaders and influencers. "The Pitch" team Strength participated on specifically looked at how to reach international students living and working at universities across the region.

The team's plan and video outlined marketing communications for social media campaigns and other targeted efforts.

"The competition is great experience," said Strength, a Beaver County native. "I networked with agency people and I put my skills to the test as part of a creative team."

Two other Point Park seniors, Maggie Harpur and Katie Gordon, also participated in "The Pitch" in 2011. It is the second year for Strength, who was also part of a winning team in 2010.

In addition to Point Park, universities represented included Duquesne University, Geneva College, Grove City College, Penn State University, St. Vincent College and the University of Pittsburgh.

The five participating agencies were Brunner, Chemistry, MARC USA, Mullen and Smith Brothers. Strength and other members of the winning team worked with MARC USA.

"I would encourage any Point Park student to participate," Strength said. "It was a good opportunity and absolutely, my Point Park education prepared me well."