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2019 Portfolio

2019 Client: Maryville Tourism CommitteeA Trip Down Mainstreet: StrategiesA Trip Down Mainstreet: Outdoor RecommendationsA Trip Down Mainstreet: Facebook RecommendationsA Trip Down Mainstreet: BrochureDecrypt da 'ville: Social MediaDecrypt da 'ville: WebsiteDecrypt da 'ville: MuralDecrypt da 'ville: Social MediaDecrypt da 'ville: Waypoint SignageDecrypt da 'ville: ServicesDecrypt da 'ville: Social MediaExploreous: BrandingExploreous: ResearchExploreous: ResearchExploreous: WebsiteExploreous: SEOExploreous: Social MediaExploreous: Content ManagementExploreous: AdsExploreous: BudgetTraVille: Environmental AnalysisTraVille: BrandingTraVille: TaglineTraVille: WebsiteTraVille: Social MediaTraVille: Travel GuideTraVille: Magazine Ads

Knacktive students make their pitches to Maryville Tourism Committee

Mark Hornickel

Team Exploreous believed there was something in the nature of their Knacktive campaign to hook their client, and they were right when the city of Maryville’s Tourism Committee on April 12 announced their pick to help the city advance its tourism initiatives.

Knacktive, the Northwest Missouri State University program that places advanced undergraduate students in an environment mimicking a digital media marketing agency, partnered with the city and its new Tourism Committee this spring to devise a comprehensive marketing campaign.

Four teams annually compete to develop and pitch their campaigns to a professional client. The Tourism Committee selected Team Exploreous – comprised of Madison Mead, Paige Brotherton, Kathy Nguyen, Alex Garcia, Taylor Johnson, Joe Funkhouser, Jocelyn Contreras and Nathan Galbraith – for its concept, which City Manager Greg McDanel said included a clean website design, social media management tools and a tagline that made an impression on the committee members. The tagline, “It’s in our nature …” emphasized Maryville’s nature-friendly features with other characteristics of the community.  

“We were looking for an edge to take our plan in the right direction,” Jocelyn Contreras, a senior public relations major from Kansas City, Missouri, who was Team Exploreous’ public relations manager, said. “We knew that Maryville was filled with nature so we really wanted to capitalize on that. While brainstorming all these nature types of slogans, that one just came to me and you could fit those personality traits that Maryville has. ‘Beauty – it’s in our nature.’ ‘Tradition – it’s in our nation.’ It just fit, and we really let that be the driver for the rest of our plan.”

Although the committee declared Team Exploreous as the winner, McDanel said elements from each team’s campaign will find their way into Maryville’s tourism campaign. Team TraVille provided ideas for a phased approach toward implementing a campaign. A Walk Down Main Street focused on ideas for a “staycation.” Decrypt da ’Ville offered a video and website that focused on personal testimonies of family vacations. Students created websites, logos, advertising and other elements to establish a cohesive campaign for the Tourism Committee and help unify the city’s numerous tourism offerings and agencies.

“There was definitely strengths in every group,” McDanel said. “We’ll find a way to blend everything and make it real because we literally are starting from a blank canvas. So this is going to help us tremendously. We’ll sit down and take elements from all of these presentations and make something really great for the community.”

Paige Brotherton, a senior interactive digital media major with new media emphasis, from Kearney, Missouri, was Team Exploreous’ project manager. She said the teams enjoyed gaining a different perspective of Maryville and discovering features of the city they didn’t know existed.

“We didn’t really know where to start, since it was a blank canvas,” Brotherton said. “Honestly, it took us awhile to figure out the progression and where we wanted to go. Then one day, Jocelyn and Alex came in and told us about the ‘It’s in our nature’ slogan, and we’re like, ‘That’s it.’ That was the one.”

Dr. Deb Toomey, an assistant professor of marketing, said, “It was really fun to watch them take something that they thought they knew in Maryville and discover more about it and learn more about the client as a whole before starting with the whole process. It was also very fun to see how different the projects ended up being, even though they all kind of started in the same place. Every year, these students amaze me.”

Northwest students have teamed with the city of Maryville on a number of projects in recent years, most notably for a successful rebranding of Mozingo Lake Recreation Park in 2012. Northwest students also have developed social media plans for local businesses through an internship program with the Maryville Chamber of Commerce, and students in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems partnered with Mozingo to build online programs for managing inventory, work schedules and other organizational needs.

“I just want to say how proud I am of you guys,” Greg Hansen, who joined Northwest’s staff last fall as assistant vice president of student affairs for campus recreation and sits on the Tourism Committee, told Knacktive students at the conclusion of the presentations. “I’ve been out in the world for 20-25 years, working with municipalities, and I sat across the table from agencies in Kansas City, where you guys will be getting jobs, and to have you guys prepared and to have the faculty who have you ready to go, it makes me really proud.”