PLANO, Texas, -- As part of the Company's ongoing commitment to increasing the value of inclusion and diversity, J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP 28.79, -0.02, -0.07%) was the principal sponsor of the 14th Annual American Advertising Federation's (AAF) Most Promising Minority Students Program. The three-day event held in early February in New York City showcased the academic achievements of 50 outstanding minority college graduates in the areas of marketing, advertising, media and communications.
Through the program's learning and networking experience, students received an exclusive industry immersion tour of the recently opened JCPenney store in Manhattan. Participants learned first-hand the advertising and promotional execution surrounding the 2009 grand opening from those directly involved within the JCPenney marketing team as well as Saatchi & Saatchi, the Company's national advertising agency.
JCPenney plans ongoing support of this program as part of a robust recruiting strategy to attract diverse talent with innovative ideas on how to strategically market the Company to an ever-changing demographic of American consumers. JCPenney will extend employment offers to five candidates recognized in the Most Promising Minority Students Program so they may begin their marketing career at JCPenney's Home Office upon graduation.
"Embracing diversity is more than just building a company culture that assembles the finest talent representing various personal and professional backgrounds, skills and experiences," said Mike Boylson, chief marketing officer for JCPenney. "It is also about understanding the diversity of our customers and ensuring that our marketing resonates across a multicultural audience."
The AAF forum provided the opportunity to gauge students' creative abilities in promoting JCPenney products and services through unique viral campaigns. As new technologies emerge and the growth of smart phones and social networks are rapidly becoming the preferred method for communication, JCPenney recognizes that digital platforms play a key role in marketing execution. Whether the shopping experience begins in stores, catalogs or jcp.com, it is becoming increasingly important to use compelling marketing tools to break through the messaging clutter and introduce new customers to the JCPenney brand.
A key strategy to the Company's Long-Range Plan includes retaining, attracting and developing the best people by becoming the preferred choice for a retail career. Advancing a customer-centric Company that emphasizes a "WINNING TOGETHER" culture of highly engaged Associates requires a diverse workforce who understands the dynamics of a changing media landscape.
SOURCE: J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
JCPenney Media Relations
Daphne Avila, 972-431-3400