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What’s Happening at the School in Strategic Communication

Posted by Hannah Jones on September 12, 2008

As a new student to the Missouri School of Journalism, I was ecstatic to learn that I would be able to take part in the Centennial. The Centennial is a great opportunity for all journalism students, and I am very thankful to be able to participate in this wonderful event. The topic of strategic communication instantly caught my eye in class, because strategic communications is the sequence I am currently most interested in. My senior year of high school I was recommended for a Public Service Practicum class, and the class gave me insight into the public relations and advertising industry. Not long after I came to the conclusion that I would enjoy a career in either advertising or public relations. I would love to some day be able to have a career in public relations for a non-profit organization.

Stephen Kopcha, a member of the strategic communication faculty, did a great job of relaying important information to the audience, yet still making the discussion very fun and enjoyable with his added bits of humor. Of course it is always fun to make a stab or two at KU.  Stephan Kopcha began by introducing the Strategic Communications mission; “to be, and to be known as, the best”. A mission I believe to be demanding, but necessary and achievable. He proceeds to show the increase of students entering into the sequence of strategic communication; in 1988 there was a mere 175 students, and in 2008 there is 401 students. Next, the discussion turned to the curriculum and the implement of the Missouri Method. The curriculum, in short, is to develop career-oriented coursework that prepares skilled and ethical communications and create hands on learning opportunities in the tradition of the Missouri Method. Some key phrases mentioned about the curriculum, etc. where:

-“Productive on day one”

-“Real word, for real clients, for real money”

-“Solving business problems with creativity”

Stephen Kopcha also commented on the obligation to meet the needs of an expanding curriculum. Currently, the strategic communications sequence in is need of an endowed chair in international advertising, two endowed professorships, and endowed scholarships to fund international experience for strategic communication students.  The strategic communications research and proposed research were also discussed, such as the Psycho-physiological research on information and media effects (PRIME). 

Stephan Kopcha then turned the mic over to Heather Bashaw, a University of Missouri alumni who graduated this past spring. Heather Bashaw walked the audience through the process of making and Ad in this day and age. It was fascinating for me to learn about the process because I was unaware of the majority of the steps necessary to make an Ad.  I believe the returning alumni found it interesting to see how the industry and the University of Missouri Journalism School has changed. Some steps in the process of making an Ad include, the necessity to know EVERYTHING about the product, goal, target audience, creative brief, finding a higher order benefit, photoshop, etc. Heather Bashaw also did a great job of adding humor into her lecture and making it enjoyable to listen to.

Lastly, Larry Powel, Director of Mojo Ad/Creative director, and University of Missouri Journalism students informed the audience about Mojo Ad, which stands for Missouri Journalism. In 2005 Mojo Ad was created. Mojo Ad specializes in YAYA, which stands for youths and young adults (people between the ages of 18-25). Mojo Ad is a University of Missouri student run Ad agency. The students shared some of their previous experience over the past coupe of years working with Halmark and Long John Silvers. Unfortunately, only about 40 students are able to participate in Mojo Ad. Mojo Ad is very competition driven, just like the advertising industry, and offers a wide variety of positions for students. For more information about MOJO you can visit http://www.Mojo-Ad.com. 

It is hard to believe that it is only the third week of my first semester as a University of Missouri Journalism Student. I have already gained an immense amount of knowledge and experience in just a couple of days, and I cannot wait for the 4 years that lay ahead. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who made this event possible. I really appreciate the opportunity you provided for me and the other journalism students. 

Story written by Hannah Jones

 

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