Cal Poly’s Mustang Media Group Wins 15 National Awards at CMBAM

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Mustang Media Group (MMG), the Cal Poly Journalism Department’s student-run media group, received national recognition with 15 awards during the College Media Business and Advertising Managers (CMBAM) annual 2018 awards ceremony.
Three of the awards — including two first-place titles — went to individual Cal Poly students.

“Over the past 12 years Mustang Media Group has established itself as one of the top advertising, marketing and business programs in the nation,” said Paul Bittick, MMG general manager. “These awards confirm that standing and attest to the quality of the student media group.”
This year, the two first-place individual awards went to journalism senior Hannah Avdalovic of Folsom, California, who was named Best Marketing and Public Relations Manager in the nation; and communications studies senior Emily Manos of Irvine, California, who was named Best Advertising Manager in the nation.
Manos started with MMG three years ago as an advertising consultant and now serves as advertising manager. Avdalovic, who started in 2015 as a community outreach coordinator, also handles marketing as the outreach student assistant for Associated Students Inc. and is the editor-in-chief of online publication Her Campus Cal Poly.
“It is such an honor to get recognized on a national platform after years of work with Mustang Media Group,” Avdalovic said. “I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented individuals because of this experience, and for that I am eternally grateful.”
Journalism junior Bianka Pantoja of Arvin, California, took home a second-place award for Best Sales Representative in the nation. She has worked as an advertising consultant for MMG for the past year.
“Student media not only aligns with my career goals, it also matters to me because it allowed me to find a sense of belonging here at Cal Poly,” Pantoja said.
With more than 125-member schools nationwide, CMBAM serves to foster leadership development and strives for the highest standards in industry knowledge. MMG received the awards at the national convention in Kansas City, Missouri, in March.
MMG received 12 other awards:
-First Place: Best Digital Sales Increase
-First Place: Best Audience Engagement Strategy
-First Place: Best Social Media Strategy
-Second Place: Best Sales Program
-Second Place: Best Sales Increase of a Special Section
-Third Place: Best College Media Group
-Third Place: Best Digital Sales Program
-Third Place: Best Training Program
-Third Place: Best Sponsored Content or Native Advertising
-Third Place: Best Print Ad Campaign
-Third Place: Best College Media Marketing/PR Program
-Honorable Mention: Best Display Ad Color Quarter Page or Smaller
CMBAM was founded in 1972 with a small group of schools meeting in Chicago each spring to share their knowledge of the college newspaper business. Since its inception, the CMBAM annual convention has welcomed and aimed to assist students and advisers involved in the business and advertising operations of student newspapers.
During the last 12 years, Bittick said, 20 Cal Poly students have been recognized as Advertising Manager, Sales Representative, Designer or Marketing/PR Manager of the Year. MMG has also been named Media Company of the Year four times, in addition to one second-place and one third-place award.
“We have a lot to be proud of with this program,” he said, “especially since there is not an advertising major or program as part of the curriculum at Cal Poly.”
 Leaders of Cal Poly’s student-run Mustang Media Group show their awards following the College Media Business and Advertising Managers annual awards ceremony in Kansas City, Missouri, in March.ournalism senior Hannah Avdalovic;Communications studies senior Emily Manos; Journalism junior Bianka Pantoja.
Learn more about the Cal Poly Journalism Department at Learn more about CMBAM at

Contact: Mary Glick

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