In 2014, the School of Journalism created The Agency to give KU students the opportunity to create real ad campaigns and branding, messaging and marketing solutions for professional clients. Journalism students at The Agency provide a range of strategic communications fee-based services to clients at KU and in Lawrence. Students meet with the clients, who benefit from a millennial-generation perspective on branding, advertising, video production, multimedia research, social media and more.
The Agency was created through generous donations from area and alumni stakeholders who wanted to offer students an outlet for putting into practice what they were learning in the classroom. The Agency is structured like a professional, full-service agency, with students assuming roles such as art director, project manager, account executive, etc. The Agency has a faculty director, but the students communicate and meet with the clients, make presentations and respond to the clients’ feedback.
In fall 2016, The Agency expanded by launching a creative arm, Steam Whistle Creative, which give clients another option when creative marketing and branding solutions for their company.
Clients & projects
KU School of Music: Planned and produced a video for the opening of the school's new Swarthout Recital Hall. "They really went out of their way to get us what we needed. The dean was very pleased and ecstatic about how the video turned out." — Meghan Spreer, communications coordinator for the School of Music
McGrew Real Estate: Created a social media workshop for real estate agents.
• Client feedback: "We required talent from many fields, and The Agency is playing a major role in what we are doing. They are involved in web content development, social media refinement, and the overall strategies we are employing to make our vision a reality." — Dennis Snodgrass, president and managing broker at McGrew Real Estate
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences: Helped brand and create a website for College of Liberal Arts & Sciences online programs.
• Client feedback: "When we arrived at The Agency we had a big project and a short deadline. The Agency brought a fresh perspective, generous enthusiasm, and a willingness to work at our pace. The leadership of The Agency was fantastic and the student staff was a joy to work with." — Paul Atchley, associate dean and professor, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Janet Rose, Ph.D., Director of The Agency and Professor of the Practice, brings a wealth of experience working with advertising agencies and as a consultant to brands and agencies in Los Angeles, Kansas City, New York, and Chicago on global and national brand and marketing strategies for clients such as P&G, Kohl's, VF Corporation, GSK and Coca-Cola. Her goal for The Agency is to give students valuable experience by allowing them to be immersed with the business strategically and creatively from pitch to client deliverable.