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Mardi Gras Professor

Thursday, February 23, 2017

At this year's Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Ann Jabro will be parading with the Krewe of Orpheus, one of the largest parade foundations in the city. "I'll get to be on their float wearing a Mardi Gras costume," Jabro says. "It's a big deal."

The university professor of communication is researching the relationship between the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation and the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. In March, Jabro was awarded a $5,000 competitive grant from the foundation to conduct a content analysis of 46 years of media coverage of the festival. For six weeks in the summer, Jabro focused on the brand association between the foundation and the festival, using media clippings and scrapbooks from the '60s and '70s. She analyzed PR tactics used to market the festival, as well as conflict management and resolution strategies employed by the foundation when dealing with performers.

Jabro recently received a second $5,000 grant to continue her research on the tactics of the foundation and festival between 2000 and 2009 and the impact of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “The festival lost a crazy amount of money because of the disaster and partnered with a global event planning company to move forward. In a proud and culture-rich community, these actions had the potential to kill the foundation,” Jabro said. She will return in May for that part of her research. In the end, Jabro hopes to help the foundation develop stronger fundraising, public relations, and marketing strategies.

Written by Megan DeArmit