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Thursday, 13 November 2014 04:56

MHC’s advertising program has worked wonders

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David Schultz works with Bow Island student Rowan Van Roessel at the Cypress School of Skating recently at the Medicine Hat Kinplex. David Schultz works with Bow Island student Rowan Van Roessel at the Cypress School of Skating recently at the Medicine Hat Kinplex.

The students of Medicine Hat College MKTG 206 class have already experienced the real-life experience of business competition, collaboration, and even rejection.

In the ultimate in work experience, a small business workterm between college students and a local business organization is continuing with students offering their know-how and skills they are learning to local professionals.
The latest work includes the Cypress School of Skating and one of its coaches and lead personnel David Schultz.
Schultz says one of the younger coaches was a student in the business program there and let Cypress administration know about it. He thought it was a good idea at the time: now, he couldn’t be happier.
“The whole idea with the college, I liked because we needed to do something different and it have a fresh set of eyes to look at it,” explains Schultz. “It forces us to look at the way we do things, in all facets of our advertising: how we’re marketed and who we’re targeting. Our club is diving all in.”
Miranda Davies, a business instructor at MHC and lead researcher on the Business Retention and Expansion projects says the attention they have received since the college started this relatively new program  has been exciting with a waiting list of businesses wanting to be involved.
Both Schultz and Davies add they are grateful for the contribution of Paradise Valley Golf owners Dawn and Les Postnikoff who put up money so a non-profit, non-franchise and smaller operation business such as the Cypress School of Skating could get to participate in such a program.
Davies says a business owner can fill out an application and get in contact with her or else there is a previous connection or partnership with her or the college.
Schultz says he came to the school in September and talked to them about what the school was all about and who was in charge.
The college teams are set up with combination of four business, second-year graphic design and third-year visual communication students.They are in charge of certain tasks leading up to the team’s sales pitch, i.e. executive director, the production head, creative head etc.
They are in charge of making their ideas happen, whether it be a website design change, a print campaign or a radio/television presence.
The pitches lasted about two hours with Davies, Schultz, the Cypress Skating School’s club president and representatives from Paradise Golf going through them. There is prep time before and then a two-hour post-session where the ideas are discussed.
The end, there was no one group which dominated the proceedings. All had excellent ideas but what ended up happening was ideas from the various groups were combined for an overall marketing campaign that Schultz is doing triple toe loops over.
He says while he was optimistic having the college students come up with ideas was going to work, he was thoroughly impressed with the enthusiasm and vigor the students came to the table with in regards to the presentations.
The student marketing team noted they needed to focus on the quality of the coaches and the fact a Cypress member is a national medalist.
“They made us realize that we’ve been humble to a fault,” explains Schultz. “They were young eager minds which is exactly what we need because that’s who we need to speak to  —  social media is an area of the business where we are really falling short. This is all going to mesh well with what we want to do. The first time and just listening to their presentations it was exceeding our expectations.”
Davies was pleased with this particular class’s efforts.
“Fantastic research, fantastic design,” Davies says. “Beyond thrilled ... it really shows  what they can do.”
In an ideal world where money and time are limitless, Davies would love to be able to create a co-op program where there could be six-month mentorship opportunities.
“It could help and effect so many more people,” Davies adds.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor