Missouri School of Journalism students get hands-on experience creating campaigns for real-world clients

AdZou Eagles

Members of AdZou team Eagle developed a campaign for their client Missouri REALTORS.
Top row: Gabby Ferguson, Anna Callis, August Windau, Emma Brouster
Bottom row: Abby MacKinnon (AdZou instructor), Emily Housey, Lauren Barish, Sydney Ryan

AdZou wraps up another successful semester, albeit virtually

By Abby Werner

Columbia, Mo. (July 7, 2021) — This past semester 192 Missouri School of Journalism strategic communication students participated in the AdZou capstone, forming 23 teams and tackling 17 distinct client challenges. The students had the opportunity to work with clients like Missouri REALTORS, New Growth West Central Missouri Community Action Agency, Veterans United and more.

The AdZou capstone groups began their semester by meeting with their real-world clients and finding out exactly what they needed. Senior Blake Wigen, account manager for AdZou group 7Fold, was tasked with creating a campaign to attract more employees in the Springfield, Missouri area to Veteran United’s new sister company, Paddio. Paddio is a mortgage lender company for everyday people.

“It was a two-part ask, because Paddio is a very new company,” said Wigen. “A lot of our strategy had to be about informing potential employees about what Paddio even was, and then that it’s a great place to work.”

Because of the pandemic, many of the groups met mostly virtually throughout the semester. This meant group members had to become better at communicating with each other about their individual work styles and their progress. For senior Sydney Ryan, account manager for AdZou group Eagles and their client Missouri REALTORS, this was very apparent.

“The biggest thing I learned throughout this whole process was that not everyone works at the same pace, or in the same way,” Ryan said. “To be an effective leader in this professional setting, you have to lean into their work style, instead of jumping to conclusions and getting constantly frustrated.”

After meeting with their clients, the AdZou groups performed their own primary and secondary research before crafting their campaigns. Senior August Windau, strategist for AdZou group Eagles, oversaw the research for Missouri REALTORS.

“Missouri REALTORS created a curriculum for students on the importance of the housing market, credit scores, how to buy a house, etc.,” Windau said. “So our research centered around speaking with high school teachers all over Missouri about online learning and how they would be able to use the curriculum in their classrooms. It was super interesting.”

The research then led to groups creating a whole campaign, including a presentation and plan book. At the end of the semester, the AdZou groups presented their work to their clients. The clients are now able to utilize and implement the work the students created.

“The research, strategy and creative ideas delivered to clients this semester was top-notch,” said Associate Professor Holly Higginbotham, who serves as AdZou director. “Every client I talked to was thrilled with the work they received. Whether it was a tagline they couldn’t wait to implement, research that opened their eyes to how their target consumer thinks, or just a string of tactic ideas that could be executed on a shoestring budget, our clients walked away with tangible help for their promotional efforts.”

Overall, the semester was another Missouri Method success. Senior Stephanie Lubinski, copywriter for AdZou group Illuminate, was thankful to have participated in such a valuable experience.

“I learned that to be successful as a team, you really need to deliver what is asked of you, and then when you are done, help the others in your group,” Lubinski said. “Because the more you work together, the more cohesive the final product is going to be in the end. And that’s what makes a difference.”

Updated: July 8, 2021

Related Stories

Expand All Collapse All