Many colleges in small cities that lack an abundance of internship opportunities have created their own hands-on work experiences via on-campus, student-run agencies.
I have long admired the creative work from Cardinal Communications at Ball State University, and I recently visited Lindsey + Asp, the impressive 2-year-old student-run PR and ad agency at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord of Journalism and Mass Communications. Lindsey + Asp PR adviser Robert “Pritch” Pritchard moved to Norman, OK in 2009 from Muncie, IN where he served a similar role at the Ball State student agency.
Thanks to a $22 million gift from the Gaylord family, owners of the Oklahoman newspaper, OU has one of the best new communications facilities in the world. And Lindsey + Asp’s digs are as impressive as any agency I’ve ever seen. More importantly, the work coming from the 50-student agency is even more impressive—and a dozen clients are actually paying for the agency’s services. Other clients range from the Norman Police Department to American Airlines and the Nature Conservancy. Revenue from clients helps fund professional development opportunities for students.
This week, Lindsey + Asp landed its largest contract to date — $77,500 — from the Office of Strategic Communication for the U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill in Lawton, OK. The one-year contract includes options for four additional years, which means it could become a significant $387,500 client. Lindsey + Asp will produce a variety of collateral materials to promote Team Sill and the museums at Fort Sill.
“I think it’s huge that in only our third year of operation, we have been able to land a contract like this,” explains Pritchard. “It shows the professionalism and talent of our young professionals and gives them a real edge as they enter the business world.” Pritch’s co-adviser is David Tarpenning, a 30-year advertising professional who previously headed his own ad agency in Oklahoma City.
Senior Megan Snowbarger, a member of the agency’s media team, said she loves the Lindsey + Asp experience. “We are always growing, always working, always planning and always learning.” She says team members recognize the value of their professional development and the opportunity to cultivate valuable relationships.
Recruiters take note of the talent that is coming out of student-run agencies on the prairie. Top flight pros are coming your way.
Proud of your on-campus agency? Share links in the comments for this post.