Student-Run Ad Agency Connects Clients to Community

By KBJR News 1

November 28, 2010 Updated Nov 29, 2010 at 9:10 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Corin Erickson is a senior at the College of St. Scholastica. She's also a student account manager.

"For now we're focusing on their Facebook, Twitter and creating content for those," Erickson said to her class.

She's in charge of creating content for Duluth's PBS website and its social media platforms through a program called Bluestone.

"It's good for a student run agency to be using those programs and these social media outlets for these clients," she said. "A lot of social media outlets are targeting young adults."

Erickson is one of nine students taking on three local projects in the program's second semester, working hand in hand with Duluth ad agency H. T. Klatzky.

"We're at phrase one of the program where we're creating a real life, real world experiential learning opportunity for students that want to have a career in advertising, web development," said the vice president of marketing at St. Scholastica, Jeffrey Rich.

Rich sits in on the classes and helps guide students, along with mentors, as they pick up new skills. In the program's first offering, students partnered with the taste of the NFL, a Minneapolis based anti–hunger organization.

"So the value for them was they were able to deploy a revamped website and expanded media presence and do it in a way that benefited not just their organization but ours as well," Rich said.

CSS Senior Mary Kallemeyn say the ad agency isn't only a way to sharpen her skills but give the community a shot in the arm.

"It's exceptionally important; it's been a lot of fun," said Kallemeyn. "I think this is a way to really stimulate our local economy and it's a time when we really need that."

The program allows students to work one on one with real–world clients helping set the stage for their future careers in advertising.

This semester the students are working to produce content for not only WDSE, but Visit Duluth and their own ad agency website as well.

Written for the web by Kevin Jacobsen