Gaylord Project with Discover Arezzo

BY Liliana Macias
July 6, 2021

The goal of their project this summer is to have the Gaylord students design a marketing campaign for the Fondazione to highlight the diverse variety of tourist events available throughout Arezzo. This grants the Fondazione an opportunity to pinpoint which particular activities should be promoted throughout the region and receive some meaningful feedback. Earlier this month, the Gaylord students split up into groups to participate in several of the tourist activities. This includes kayaking, e-bike rides, fresco painting, horseback riding, and learning about the Saracino Joust. While these activities were an incredible experience for the Gaylord students, they also enjoyed working on this project as a whole throughout their stay in Arezzo. Rachel Orland, a senior Public Relations major stated, "It was such an amazing opportunity to be able to work with an international company and interact with different perspectives. I feel like we were also able to provide [Fondazione Intour] some good insight into this project after living in Arezzo for a month and experiencing Italy through hands-on activities."

Tackling a project of this scale with real-life impact can be an incredibly daunting task, especially as students navigate various experiences abroad in a foreign country over a short period. However, with the guidance of Ray Claxton, the professor for the Gaylord 360°: Storytelling without Walls course, the support of Fondazione Intour, and the collaboration of each student partaking this summer, this class provided an exclusive experience in executing professional multimedia campaigns on a global, regional, and local scale. The Gaylord students also interacted through cross-cultural communication and discovered more about the intricacies of researching information for an organization outside of their own culture and language. Professor Claxton stated, "The ability to connect with others is a key tool of being a good marketer, communicator, and storyteller. Working with Fondazione Intour and Discover Arezzo has allowed our students to connect with new people, places, and events in an engaging, inter-disciplinary, and inter-cultural environment. This experience will prove invaluable to them as they return to their lives in the States, as well as when they pursue their professional careers".

On Monday, July 5th, the students gave their final presentation to the President of the Foundation, the Project Manager, and other staff members in order to provide the organization with a comprehensive understanding of their research findings. Martina Meozzi, the Project Coordinator at Fondazione Intour, highlighted the significance of the Gaylord Project and the collaboration between the Fondazione Intour and Gaylord students by saying, "The newfound understanding that was brought to the table by the students provided [Fondazione Intour] with a profound and fresh perspective." All the interactions that Martina and the Fondazione staff had with the students were always "clear, passionate, and incredibly interesting," and Martina accentuated, "There are no words to describe how valuable this collaboration has been [to us]. It presents the Fondazione with a way to see Arezzo from an outside viewpoint while allowing us to see how people outside of Italy talk about Arezzo as a tourist location."

Fondazione Intour will now begin implementing the Gaylord students' findings and timelines, and they hope to add in all the objects they were offered through this presentation. OU in Arezzo could not be more excited to see what is yet to come from this incredible collaboration. The interaction between students and the local Arezzo community has reignited as OU students are in Arezzo once again!