The only thing I love more than leading my university advertising club is watching other members do it themselves. There's an enormous amount of passion for AdInk at Northwest Missouri State and this year, it bled through to more than just our members.
The way brand new projects get done in AdInk is pretty simple. When someone suggests an awesome idea, they automatically (and sometimes unknowingly) volunteer themselves to bring it to life.
This project all started with a simple idea. How cool would it be to bring our passion for advertising off campus and into the halls of high school students preparing for college? The answer is pretty cool. It would be pretty cool to do that. We know that now.
With the advisement and full support of our "club mom," Jacquie Lamer, a team of four members assembled and set out to convince the university our little idea should grow up to be a whole lot bigger. Juniors Lilly Tighe and Sydney Jones along with seniors Kristina Calfee and myself began to meet up whenever we could during the fall semester.
We scoured our schools. We crunched some numbers. We created a flexible budget. We worked with tentative dates half a year away. Finally, we took our fledgling project and we turned it into a pitch that no Northwest-loving faculty could say "no" to. On October 22, our team pitched to Matt Walker and Stephen Ludwig, Communication and Accounting Department chairs, respectively. The following week, our team was hi-fiving over the news that our project would be funded for up to $700, approaching the "luxury" tier of our proposed budgets.
Suddenly our idea was something so much bigger. We got to work scribbling out all of our thoughts and ideas everywhere. We racked our minds for a creative strategy that just worked. After weeks of planning and meeting, the Full Bleed tour was born.
Full Bleed is a printing term. Basically, it refers to a finished print product in which the ink meets the very edge of the paper. It's industry jargon, but we saw it a bit differently.
Full Bleed is all about using the entire page you're given. When these high school students go off to college in a few short months, they will be in a world of enormous opportunity. Especially at Northwest, students have overwhelming access to student clubs and organizations they can belong to. Our Full Bleed tour was all about sharing the difference that getting involved in any specific organization in college can make. We told stories of opportunities we would have never had if we hadn't chose Northwest, or AdInk. We were recruiting for Northwest in a way that had never been done before.
With our presentation dates arriving quickly, we practiced our pitch in the library late into the night, complete with an activity for the students to create a commercial of their own and sell us on it. Since this was indeed our first Full Bleed rodeo, we visited just three schools and presented four times in total. We visited our alma maters, returning to ignite a passion for advertising with students who walk the same halls we once did.
I hope with all my heart that this is a project with legs. We toured three schools this year; what if that doubles next year? What if AdInk is giving TEDTalks by 2020? I couldn't be more proud of what our Full Bleed team accomplished this year.
With all of our tours done, our team is meeting this week to debrief about everything we learned along the way. Every student who attended our presentation (100+) filled out an information card for use with their intentions toward Northwest and future recruitment endeavors. A press release is in the works with testimonials from the counselors who saw our presentation and helped us arrange it during their schooldays. I'll update this post with more of our findings after we debrief this week!
I'd like to thank all of the faculty from Bishop Leblond, West Nodaway and Maryville High Schools for allowing us to spread the news about advertising, AdInk and organizations at Northwest!
I'd also like to thank our awesome team: Lilly Tighe, Sydney Jones and Kristina Calfee. We totally rocked it you guys! Never let a good idea stay an idea!