Class Profile: Gutenberg course on advertising provides lessons for life

Associate professor of management Jeffrey Gutenberg’s passion for his work shined as he spoke about the role of advertising and promotions in his career as a professor at Geneseo. 

Gutenberg has taught as a professor at Geneseo for over 35 years, taking on a variety of classes. More recently, he has taught Advertising and Promotions. This class is a required course for marketing majors only offered in the fall and its objective is to expose students to essential skills they will need in the marketing world following graduation. 

Gutenberg became a professor because he has a passion for sharing his knowledge and his experiences with students. He claims that what initially sparked his interest regarding a career in academia was his ability to easily interact and communicate effectively with students and colleagues. 

“I would like [students] to understand the importance of having an organized process of identifying whom they want to communicate with and what their communication objectives are,” Gutenberg said. “That does not mean to imply that it’s just a one-way communication process; your communication objectives could be to have procedures that assist in listening to your customers more efficiently. It is important to know whom you are trying to reach, and what messages you want to effectively deliver to them.”

Business administration major senior Justin McGowan is currently enrolled in Advertising and Promotions to fulfill a class requirement for his marketing minor. He commends Gutenberg for his deviation from a traditional classroom teaching approach, toward a more realistic and useful approach. 

“I enjoy the professor’s effort to expose students to real-life professionals in the advertising field,” McGowan said. “Gutenberg’s unconventional approach to teaching lends students a glimpse into life after college.” 

Gutenberg has had the opportunity to work with more than 100 firms over the years, ranging from big firms like Kodak, to non-profits and small firms in Rochester. He tries to implement his real-world experiences into the curriculum. Beyond his own experiences, Gutenberg invites guest speakers to provide more insights.

This semester, Gutenberg is working on changing Geneseo’s watermark with Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Gail Glover. By inviting Glover to speak to the class about the tactics and marketing research that she has done to improve the watermark, she was able to give students an impression into a career they could potentially pursue after college. 

Through his class, Gutenberg makes a conscious effort to immerse his students in the world of advertising and promotions. Once leaving his class and graduating from Geneseo, students will be equipped with pivotal skills and will be ready to enter the marketing world.