Students learn from filmmaker, public relations expert

The Magnet Tribune: William Rodriguez
A Texas State professor discusses the control room with VMT students.

A student filmmaker and advertising executive were feature at VMT’s day at Mass Communication Week at Texas State University in San Marcos, on Oct. 30.

The student filmmaker was Sergio Carvajal-Leoni, a Texas State graduate student who is working on a project called “Texas Italian Stories.”

He explained the idea behind the project, which features documentaries of descendants of Italians who moved to Texas in the 1800s.

When we create media, viewers are not the main customers, businesses are. ”

— Sergio Carvajal-Leoni

He said the project is community based, documents culture and gives people a sense of pride.

Carvajal-Leoni compared his project to a wagon wheel, in which many parts of creating and distributing videos is related to a community.

He said he seeks ways to ask, “What is the problem,” and then starts “solving the problem.”

“When we create media, viewers are not the main customers, businesses are,” Carvajal-Leoni said.

The other presenter is a public relations expert who discussed how her company creates relationships between people and businesses.

Mily Hernandez, senior vice president of COMSTAT, discusses how her company’s website “tries to have people relate to products and businesses.”

She said people are powered by emotions, and COMSTAT tries to take advantage by creating a relationship “between people and products.”

She gave as an example of creating this relationship by discussing Toyota cars in Puerto Rico. This was when the company was having problems with its vehicles in 2010, and the slogan, “Maneja Confiado,” or drive with confidence, was used in television commercials and on social media sites.

“The idea is to create a relationship that includes mystery, sensuality and intimacy,” Hernandez said.

VMT students in radio-television broadcasting and print journalism/online media were on their 10th Mass Communication Week trip, and also took tours of student media including the University Star newspaper, KTSW-FM and Bobcat Update television.

Students started the day with a tour of the brand new Gaillardia Hall, named for the Indian blanket flower that grows in the area.

The speaker was Corey Wheeler, residential hall director.

The environment for residents includes rooms grouped with their own restroom, and a courtyard for residents only.

Maria Bernal, sophomore radio-television student, said she was impressed with how business and communication were related.

“Ms. Hernandez not only talked about communications, but she also talked about business,” Bernal said.

Bernal said attending Mass Communication Week was “awesome.