Two Greenlee students will showcase their media planning expertise this week as they participate in the national 2018 Washington Media Scholars Case Competition in Washington, D.C.
Lindsey Moor (’18 public relations) and Ashley Kirkpatrick, senior in advertising, will compete for the National Excellence in Media Award and scholarship money as they present their strategic media plan for a multimillion-dollar arts funding promotion.
Sponsored by the Washington Media Scholars Foundation—a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization—the competition challenges students to apply their knowledge by developing public policy advertising campaigns. Only 24 teams across the country are selected to participate in the competition after an initial qualifying round. Of those, only six teams are selected to go to D.C., where they will also have the opportunity to meet leaders in the media industry.
Moor and Kirkpatrick’s case features a full media plan and budget created to increase funding, infrastructure and attendance for a fictional city’s cultural association.
Moor and Kirkpatrick said taking Advertising Media Planning (Advertising 335) with Greenlee Associate Professor Jay Newell and lecturer Michael Wigton helped prepare them for the competition because they were challenged to use real data to create media plans in the class.
This semester, Newell structured the course’s first assignment in a similar format as the initial round of the Washington Media Scholars Case Competition. In the class, students also receive feedback on their final projects from current advertising professionals—Newell’s former students who now work in the industry—to help them better prepare them for their future careers.
“It’s kind of cool when you think about it—you start out in a classroom in the basement of Hamilton Hall in January, and in June you’re presenting your ideas at the Newseum in D.C. in front of people that buy literally tens of millions of dollars of advertising every year,” Newell said. “I’m very excited for them.”
To gain additional insight into their case competition, Moor and Kirkpatrick met with Angela Ossian, Greenlee advisory council member and former executive director of the Metro Arts Alliance of Greater Des Moines.
“What they did was really smart,” Newell said. “The plan that Moor and Kirkpatrick had to do is about arts funding, so they got to learn about that territory.”
Newell also arranged opportunities this summer for the pair to rehearse their presentation in front of Des Moines advertising agency representatives at Flynn Wright, Strategic America and ZLR Ignition.
Prior to presenting their case Thursday, Moor and Kirkpatrick will also visit various D.C.-based advertising agencies, political consulting firms and media outlets as part of Media Scholars Week. The week will culminate with a networking reception attended by professionals from across the country.
“You just can’t beat it—it’s going to be an amazing opportunity,” Moor said. “Meeting the other teams will be interesting too. Hopefully we can become lifelong friends and keep in touch with them.”
Kirkpatrick, who interned for Senator Charles Grassley last summer, is excited to return to Washington D.C.
“I’m interested to go back and talk to the news outlets and the networks and agencies that would be putting out what the senator, President and representatives are saying,” she said.
Iowa State students have enjoyed recent success in this competition. Emily Staples, a junior in advertising, and Katherine Quimby, a junior in advertising, also qualified for the semi-final round of this year’s competition.
Last year, Iowa State alumnae Emily Belloma (’17 marketing, advertising) and Mia Guion (’17 advertising) won the competition, earning the National Excellence in Media Award from the Washington Media Scholars Foundation, in addition to $5,000 scholarships.
“We have students entering contests like the American Advertising Awards and winning,” said Newell. “We have students entering contests like the Effie Awards—the advertising effectiveness awards—and winning. I think our students are really smart.”