Passionate and proud: A look into the GWCC/WCU Marketing Partnership Program


Statue of Rammy on WCU campus.

Most businesses would agree that the one area they always need help with – but may not have the budget for – is marketing. In 2019, the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce teamed up with West Chester University to create the GWCC/WCU Marketing Partnership Program.

The GWCC/WCU Marketing Partnership Program was launched to provide students and local business owners the opportunity to collaborate on real-life marketing strategies. Designed to provide business owners a structured avenue to work with students without establishing a formal internship program, students receive classroom instruction from university professor Tom Elmer on specific marketing topics and then perform marketing research and create a formal recommendation for their assigned business owner. The program is meant to benefit both parties – business owners now have a structured marketing plan, while students earn experience while working with real-world challenges.

The Charleston Firm in West Whiteland was one of the businesses selected for the GWCC/WCU Marketing Partnership Program’s inaugural launch in September of 2019. Previously, the Charleston Firm relied solely on word-of-mouth to attract clients, and they participated in the program with the hope of reaching more in the local community and making their presence known to their neighbors.

“Professor Elmer and his students were great! They were really passionate about the project, took the job seriously, and took pride in their end results,” said April Charleston, owner of the Charleston Firm. “They helped us find where our flaws were in marketing, how to streamline our message to the public, and the value of photography in our website and on our social media.

“We’ve started implementing some of the suggestions, and we plan to continue to use the marketing plan provided by the students as a guide,” continued Charleston. “I would highly recommend this Chamber program for any business looking to garner a fresh perspective.”

Now in its second semester, the program will take a look at marketing challenges for a wide variety of local businesses, including Dave’s Automotive Repair Enterprises, LLC and TONO Group.

For more information on the GWCC/WCU Marketing Partnership Program, please contact the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce at 610-696-4046 or