Robert Day School marketing workshop encourages students to craft persuasive stories

A marketing, strategy, and communication workshop was held Nov. 5, 6 at The Robert Day School of Economics and Finance that encouraged students to consider “context” and think outside the box. 

The two-part workshop (“Marketing New Ventures”) was held in the Kravis Center’s Freeberg Forum and was co-facilitated by Jumana Abu-Ghazela '92, the Founder of and Christine Crockett, Associate Director of CMC's Center for Writing and Public Discourse.

During the first part of the workshop, students were exposed to concepts relating to the “what” and the “how” of entrepreneurship. By framing marketing and communication in the context of storytelling, the facilitators demonstrated how students could use the concepts of pathos (creating an emotional connection), logos (providing reasoning & logic) and ethos (establishing credibility) to craft a persuasive story. 

Participants also learned that their strategy served as a roadmap to identify the resources necessary for a compelling story and to outline the best way to deploy these resources in stories that are memorable, relatable, and impactful.

On the second day of the workshop, students had the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gained on the first day by evaluating presentations of new ventures that were given by students affiliated with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

Following the presentations, Ms. Abu-Ghazela worked with all of the students to provide concrete feedback for the presenters which enabled them to enhance the stories that were included in their presentations. 

“I thought the workshops contributed to the students’ development by providing them with a framework for thinking strategically about effective forms of communication and marketing,” said Brian Dennis, Director, Administration and Programs at The Robert Day School. “Jumana’s expertise in strategy and marketing combined with Christine’s knowledge of impactful communication practices enabled the students to leave the workshop with a more sophisticated understanding of marketing, strategy and communication.”

According to Wade Sias M’16, the workshops were a chance to think outside the box. “I really enjoyed working with students who were building their companies and who genuinely appreciated – and hopefully benefitted – from the feedback the class gave,” he said. “I also was reminded of the power of the story and it was something I'll keep in mind and use in the business world.”

Jumana Abu-Ghazaleh, a 1992 CMC graduate and a Board member of CMC’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is the founder of, a networking platform that helps people better tell their stories and collide with the people and resources they need to succeed. Abu-Ghazaleh gained her reputation as the strategic force behind some of the world’s best brands: turning Yahoo into a “Life Engine,” helping Hilton Hotels “take you places,” and first posing the question “What’s in your wallet?” for Capital One. She also built the strategy for Ally Bank (one of the most successful bank launches in history) during one of the worst economic recessions.

Christine Crockett is a Visiting Professor of Literature and the Associate Director of the Center for Writing and Public Discourse at Claremont McKenna College. Her research interests include 18th century literature and culture, Gothic literature, medical history and writing studies. As the Associate Director of the CWPD, Christine encourages students from all disciplines to communicate effectively and to be mindful of the ways in which their writing is part of public discourse. She finds it exciting and profoundly rewarding to be actively involved in the writing life, both as a scholar and as a resource for other writers at the college where she earned her undergraduate degree.