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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Todd Hill, president of Tri State Ford in Maryville, and members of Knacktive's 2013 class discuss marketing ideas the students recommended for the dealership.

Above, Todd Hill, president of Tri State Ford in Maryville, and members of Knacktive's 2013 class discuss marketing ideas the student-driven agency recommended for the dealership. Below, Knacktive's 2011 class produced the the “Eyes Save Lives” campaign for LasikPlus Vision, and it was spun off nationally within three months. Applications are now available for Knacktive's spring 2014 course. (Photos by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Sept. 3, 2013

Applications available for spring 2014 Knacktive experience

Knacktive's 2011 class produced the the “Eyes Save Lives” campaign for LasikPlus Vision, and it was spun off nationally within three months.

For more information about Knacktive, contact one of the faculty members listed below.

Applications are now available to Northwest Missouri State University students interested in being part of Knacktive, a student-driven strategic communications agency known as “the ultimate portfolio experience.”

Now entering its fourth year, the agency is accepting 32 students for its spring 2014 course. The open positions are project manager, public relations director, media manager, strategic manager, art director, graphic designer, copywriter and interactive/digital director. Four teams will be assembled with each team made up of a student in each of the eight roles.

Students interested in applying for the spring 2014 course should submit a completed application form. Each application requires two references.

The application deadline is Monday, Sept. 23. Interviews will be scheduled Monday, Sept. 30 through Friday, Oct. 4.

Piloted at Northwest during the spring 2011 trimester, Knacktive is a selective educational experience for advanced undergraduate students that incorporates, through actual client interaction, the creative demands and intensive teamwork environment of a technology-oriented, professional marketing communications agency.

The course provides students with an invaluable opportunity to build their portfolios with real-world experience while learning to work with others in a fast-paced team setting. Students work with a professional client to create practical solutions for their marketplace challenge and earn three hours of credit by successfully completing the course.

While the course incorporates principles, strategies and tactics of design, marketing and public relations, it is a melting pot of majors from the departments and schools of Communication and Mass Media, English and Modern Languages, Fine and Performing Arts, Business, and Computer Science and Information Systems.

Alumni of the program have gone on to obtain jobs at some of the region’s top advertising and marketing agencies, including Bozell in Omaha, Neb., and VML in Kansas City, Mo.

“Knacktive is a truly fantastic experience,” said Alex Reid, who graduated last spring with his marketing and business management degree and was a member of Knacktive’s 2013 class. “What it gives not only shapes our present mind, but it reinforces past lessons and builds future opportunities.”

Added Lauren Hanson, who also completed her marketing and business management degree last spring and was a member of the 2013 class, “When I mention Knacktive during interviews, employers love hearing about the real world experience I received from this class. I would tell any fellow peer to take this class if given the opportunity.”

This summer, Knacktive faculty members visited with executives at major agencies in Cincinnati, Omaha and Kansas City, soliciting input for the Knacktive program and learning how to enhance the Knacktive experience for Northwest students.

“The agency personnel were very positive about Knacktive and how it prepares students for the job market,” said Dr. David Shadinger, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Mass Media and one of the Knacktive faculty advisors. “They were also very open about new concepts we could explore to enhance the Knacktive experience, especially in the quickly evolving areas of social media and analysis metrics.”

The inaugural Knacktive class in 2011 was charged with designing a comprehensive marketing campaign for Cincinnati-based LasikPlus Vision. The client ultimately chose one team’s approach of marketing its vision correction procedure to individuals in protective services, and the “Eyes Save Lives” campaign was spun off nationally within three months. Key elements of other two teams’ proposals were implemented in campaigns targeting the college market, among others.

Knacktive’s 2012 class was tasked with rebranding Science City, a museum located inside Kansas City's Union Station, through research, promotional materials, social media, marketing plans and even smartphone applications. In spring 2013, Knacktive students helped regional auto dealership Tri State Ford remold its branding and marketing efforts by creating promotional materials, social media and marketing plans, mobile applications, website redesigns and logos.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468