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Graduate Student Publishes Research on the ‘Reinvention of Ronald McDonald’

Posted on March 18, 2013.

HPU High Point UniversityHIGH POINT, N.C., March 18, 2013 – Matt Ritter, a graduate student studying strategic communication, recently had an article accepted for publication in “Advertising & Society Review.” The publication is a peer-reviewed academic online journal that publishes articles, essays, and other scholarship about advertising in society, culture, history and the economy.

Ritter’s article, “Nobody Can Do it Like McDonald’s Can: The Reinvention of Ronald McDonald,” is an exploration of the McDonald’s Ronald McDonald marketing campaign from a historical frame. He wrote the article as part of a class assignment for his “Persuasion and Media Effects” class, taught by Dr. Julie Wiest, assistant professor of strategic communication.

“While researching articles for the class, I noticed that there was a lot of information about the campaign, but no succinct timeline which also discussed the way the company phased out of its use of Ronald McDonald,” Ritter says. “My article filled that gap by describing the origins of the campaign in the early 1960s all the way through its dissolution in the most recent decade. The article draws from dozens of sources to create a historical narrative.”

Ritter says that he’s honored to have his work featured in such a distinguished journal. “I’m very thankful that my professors and classmates here at HPU have played such an influential role in my career development,” Ritter says. “The publication of this article is a testament to the success of the university in training and preparing students for prominent roles in the field of communication.”

“Matt worked so hard – both for the class assignment and later, shaping it into a piece for publication,” adds Wiest. “He is an outstanding student and scholar, and this accomplishment is not only much-deserved, but I’m sure only a preview of many more to come.”

Ritter worked for more than a decade as a journalist, most recently as managing editor at WXII-12 in Winston-Salem. He plans to graduate in May and is exploring doctoral programs, and also hopes to teach undergraduate courses in journalism and digital media.

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