Tour of SPARK Advertising

17 05 2011

 By Diana Miller (@dijmiller)

Nestled in small-town Neenah, Wis., the Marketing, PR and Social Media specialist group SPARK Advertising is creating quite a name for itself. From the moment you walk up the steps onto the Victorian-style porch and into the doorway, you can feel the electricity. Creative gears are grinding and brands are getting a fresh paint job.

Currently, just eight employees power and steer SPARK Advertising. Each employee wears multiple hats to get the job done. In comparison to The Richards Group (an advertising agency in Dallas, Texas) they seem to have a non-hierarchical organization. Each employee is treated equally, which opens up the door for communication. One of the account executives explained that it’s vital for everyone to communicate what and when he or she is working on a project. Each project touches multiple hands and, at the end of the day, SPARK has clients to please so adhering to a deadline is of utmost importance.

SPARK works with regional clients in addition to clients across the country. Services it offers are Brand Identity; Website and Digital Marketing; Product Packaging and POP Materials; Print Collateral—Brochures and Catalogs; Direct Mail Campaigns; Sales Materials—Presentations and Trade Show Items; Photography, Television and Radio; Outdoor Billboards; Digital Signage; and Animation and Illustration. It consult with clients to develop everything from press releases to crisis management plans and create strong, positive relationships with media outlets. Its creative team works hard to circulate SPARK’s style with client goals. Read the rest of this entry »


College Playbook in USA Today, Courtesy of Tom Hanaway

16 05 2011

By Sara Steffes Hansen (@sameplane)

Time warp to Fall 2007: First class, Intro to Journalism & Mass Communication, big lecture hall – in Row One, a slender, argyle-clad freshman named Tom Hanaway. Up front, I enter to teach about media effects wearing a long, sparkling turquoise wig. Complete silence among 100 students. Not sure if I’ll ever have my students’ attention quite like that again.

But what caught my attention in that sea of stunned faces were students like Tom Hanaway. Despite the massive room and freaky professor hair, these students boldly raised their hands to comment and question, and risked saying something not quite right.

During his college years, Tom’s been a regular in my classes and our social media intern for the Journalism Department. His willingness to take risks, develop new social-media skills and step up in professional duties helped him land great internships, opportunities at high-profile events and amazing study abroad experiences.  Tom is among our fine Journalism graduates on Saturday – and leaves a college playbook with tips for students nationwide in a USA Today blog. With some fun Justin Bieber lyrics, Tom provides helpful insights, including: Read the rest of this entry »

The PRSSA National Assembly in Seattle, Wash.

16 05 2011

By Jessica Bedore (@JessiMarie09)

Jessica Bedore, a junior public relations major and the treasurer of PRSSA, recently had the opportunity to travel to Seattle, Wash. for the 2011 PRSSA National Assembly.

There, she ran for a position on the National Committee, a board of 10 students who are in charge of running the organization of 10,000+ members. Read her blog posting that was featured on’s Eye of the Intern blog about her experience.