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PR professor helps create international McDonald’s menu

Sep 20, 2019

Posted in: News

Mariam Alkazemi enjoying her Tiramisu For Breakfast collaboration for McDonald's
Dr. Mariam Alkazemi collaborated on a project for McDonald's.

Robertson School professor Dr. Mariam Alkazemi recently teamed up with Tiramisu for Breakfast, an award-winning, local communication agency. The agency, which owned by Robertson School alumna Christina Dick, has consecutively won the Virginia Public Relations award over the past four years and its client list includes Kinis, Patient First,  the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and McDonald’s.

Dick asked Alkazemi, who has lived in Kuwait and London, to collaborate on a campaign for McDonald’s for a limited run international menu of food favored worldwide.

“As we brainstormed, we realized that we have different experiences, and we thought of ways to bring them together,” Alkazemi said.

She moved to Richmond a year ago, from a university overseas, and said that “pitching a press release was a great opportunity to learn about the local media outlets.”

“Her experience from actually living in and experiencing countries all over the world brought an invaluable perspective to our research,” Dick said. “Working with influencers in our local community is how we bring a unique advantage to the brand."

Christina Dick enjoying her collaboration on McDonald's with Mariam Alkazemi
Tiramisu For Breakfast owner and Robertson School alumna Christina Dick.

The team co-sponsored an event and screened Australian film “The Merger” at The Byrd Theatre, which is about a community that works with refugees to develop a strong football team that eventually wins a championship. The event was attended by approximately 70 people, including members of a local Australian football club. 

The McDonald’s Australian menu item of cheesy bacon fries was served to guests. Dick and Alkazemi also hired Robertson School graduate Brian Vliet to design flyers for the film event.

“As an academic, I usually work on very serious social problems,” Alkazemi said. “It was quite fun to research and partner with local influencers on social media that may have followers who enjoy McDonald’s.”

Dick and Alkazemi said their academic-industry partnership is what VCU’s Make It Real initiative is all about and plan to collaborate again in the future.