FIU’S new “unconventional” ad & PR firm is officially launched

Lauren Williams's picture

The FIU School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) has announced a new venture, Bold, a student-run, faculty-guided advertising and public relations firm. Bold held its launch event on Wednesday, October 23, at Cardona Medical Center in Miami. The idea for the agency started in late August in a classroom of advertising, journalism and PR students looking to get real-world work experience in their field.

"The student-run Bold agency fits into the SJMC's innovative teaching hospital model for training students in mass communications. The agency gives our students the chance to practice what they learn, immersed in a real-world workplace environment, all while being supervised and taught by an industry professional," said SJMC Dean Raul Reis.

Based at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus, Bold is a class project supervised by SJMC visiting instructor Victoria Shorten, who previously founded her own firm, Power PR International, in her hometown of Ireland.

“There is no book on how to start an agency, and if there were, I’d throw it out the window,” said Shorten. “I want to show these students that they can create a career for themselves and their peers in an economy where job opportunities are limited.” The agency is currently run by 20 students enrolled in the SJMC program.

“Bold is not just an innovative project, it is a real life experience that as a senior journalism student I am grateful but also prepared to have received as part of my education at FIU," said student Avigail Benhayoun. “These types of real world challenges have helped me improve my skills on the field, acquire new ones, and keep with the emerging media world."

In their first semester alone, the students have worked with high-profile clients such as MasterCard, Discovery Latin America, Tierra Nueva Cocoa, More than Lux, and the manager of global advertising operations for Google and former Apprentice participant, Panos Zambetakis. As an academic course, Bold will have new staff members, the students, every three months.

“We at Google strive to be at the forefront of innovation and this agency is a truly impressive step forward for education and for giving clients like us an opportunity to tap in to the fresh and creative nature of this demographic,” said Zambetakis.

The Bold Agency welcomes new clients. To learn more about them visit or on Facebook, by searching Bold Agency.

School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) at Florida International University is at the forefront of global and strategic communications education. With more than 2,100 students, 82 percent minority, the school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs in advertising, journalism, and public relations – including its Spanish-language Journalism master’s program, the first of its kind in the United States. As one of only 25% of all communication schools in the country fully accredited by ACEJMC, the SJMC is rated in the Top 3 nationally for undergraduate communication degrees awarded to Hispanics. The School’s master’s program in Global Strategic Communications emphasizes global decision making and has rapidly become a model for other such graduate programs in the country, underscoring the importance of global learning initiatives and international citizenship.