GREENVILLE — The Greenville High School marketing team partnered with The Daily Advocate for the second time to give students a hands-on experience on selling and designing ads.
Kristi Homan, Career Tech Marketing teacher at Greenville High School, said students enrolled in the marketing program at Greenville High School have a chance to be creative and stray from the regularity of normal school projects. They can begin the program as early as freshman year, taking one course each year, or take two during their junior and senior years.
“It’s designed for students interested in marketing, management, entrepreneurship and service occupations,” Homan said. “Content areas covered during the year include public relations, advertising, sales promotion, branding, marketing research and retail management.”
She said the program also is a great way for seniors to gain employment in marketing while being a high school student. There are opportunities for scholarships with Edison State Community College and a $3,000 scholarship to Sinclair Community College. Seniors can earn two credits during a capstone course for the marketing program in which they can do an internship, working 12 hours a week.
With The Daily Advocate, 24 students worked with businesses in the area designing and selling their advertisements.
“With this project, the students have to sell an advertisement to a company. Once the company buys a spot in the newspaper, the company gives the students ideas on how they want the advertisement to look. Students work with their clients to get a final version of the ad,” said sophomore Kaleb Poe, who worked with Above All Janitorial.
During their work with The Daily Advocate, several students worked with sales representatives Bill Bixler and Candy Helm as they visited with local businesses for sales purposes. The students made advertisements based on what the clients wanted, some given the opportunity for more creativity, while others had to follow direct orders of how to complete their ads.
Homan said students quickly learned no matter how well they thought their design idea was, they needed to follow what the business wanted. They learned how important this was, as well as how important being professional, whether that be in appearance or through communication channels, is.
“Professionalism to me means looking nice and having a good attitude. The first things people notice about you is how you look and how you act. Sales representatives and designers need to be professional in their work because they are not just selling a product but also selling themselves,” said junior Kayleigh Tipple, who worked with Francis Furniture.
Homan said she started the partnership with The Daily Advocate during her first year at Greenville High School because she wanted to give students a real-life experience. She needed a way to do this with as minimal of a cost as possible.
“Between school fees, BPA registration and competition fees, as well as costs incurred for shirts and field trips every year, we were seeking ways to financially support students in the marketing program. I am hopeful that this real-life project will continue to challenge students in their marketing education,” Homan said.
She said she hopes students identify how much progress they made from the first to the final draft of their ads. She was impressed by how dedicated the students were in crafting their ads. She said they adhered to all the clients’ criticisms and fixed the ads accordingly, which is what good designers do.
The marketing program plans on continuing the partnership with The Daily Advocate. The students praise their time with Bixler and Helm, saying both of them have been a tremendous help. Several students said they thought Helm’s car was awesome.
“I really enjoyed getting hands on with the project and learned lots of valuable information. Working with The Daily Advocate was a pleasure and educational to the marketing class. I learned many new skills having the Westfall Plumbing and Heating as my client,” junior Mikayla Miller said.
“We are extremely thankful for both the Advocate and the local businesses for partnering with the students on this project and supporting the marketing program,” Homan said.
A portion of the revenue sold from the ads will go back to the marketing program. Homan said she always is on the hunt for additional projects for students to participate with for the GHS marketing program. She invites businesses interested in offering internships to contact the GHS marketing program as well.