“The Student Marketer” Newsletter

by Emma Frieze | Spring 2023

About the Project

I created a newsletter for college students to help my peers stay up-to-date on marketing news and trends. Throughout spring 2023, I produced several editions of this newsletter that I shared with various university classes, student organizations and individual students. Each newsletter included a recap of a marketing-related story that had gained attention in the news, a summary of recent AdTech updates, a brief overview of featured public relations or advertising campaigns, a marketing tip and an industry term that students should know. Sample editions of “The Student Marketer” are included below as well as a reflection on what I learned from creating this newsletter as an honors project.

While creating this newsletter, I practiced skills such as research, writing, editing, designing and distributing information.

Thank you for reading.

This newsletter was created as an honors project for JMC 305: Writing for Media, Honors at the University of Kansas in spring 2023.

Sample Editions of “The Student Marketer”

Honors Project Reflection

Project Summary

I created a newsletter called The Student Marketer for strategic communications and marketing students at the University of Kansas. This is because, as a strategic communications and marketing student myself, I have often wished that there was a newsletter created specifically for students in my field and connected to my university. Thus, when I was challenged to complete an honors project for JMC 305, I decided that this was an opportunity to bring that idea for a newsletter to life. My hope was that the newsletter could be short and easily digestible for busy college students who do not feel that they have much time to keep up with marketing news on their own. Additionally, I realized that creating the newsletter would also help me to keep up with the latest developments in marketing.

I determined that the newsletter would have a variety of recurring sections. The first section would be “Marketing in the Headlines,” which would summarize a recent news event related to marketing. Next, “What’s Up in AdTech?” would cover the topic of developments in advertising technology. “Campaigns to Watch,” or “Partnerships to Watch,” would cover the campaigns or partnerships of at least two major brands for each edition of the newsletter. Then, “This Week’s Hot Marketing Tip” would offer insights into a marketing trend or provide advice. Finally, the last section of the newsletter would be called “This Week’s Term You Should Know” and would feature an industry vocabulary term that students could learn to prepare for their next internship.

To create the formatting for the newsletter, I started with a template in Canva and then altered it to make it my own. I also changed the colors of the first edition, choosing a red color scheme. Later, I decided that it would be more interesting if each edition had a different principal color, but I still used the same strategy for using various shades of the chosen color for each edition. This kept the newsletter’s design consistent while also making each edition unique.

Audience Reception

The newsletter was ultimately sent to 27 individual students. It was also sent to the Undergraduate Business Council marketing committee, the marketing club, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and two classes (JMC 320 and JMC 420). I had hoped to send the newsletter to a few additional classes. However, because it took some time for me to fall into the rhythm of creating the newsletter, some professors said that they wanted to wait until next semester to send out the newsletter to their classes if I am still producing editions then.

I received positive feedback about the newsletter from several people. Some of my peers approached me outside of class to say that they liked the latest edition and that they were interested to know if I would be continuing the newsletter next semester. One student mentioned that she had learned the term “SERP” from my section “This Week’s Term You Should Know.” Some other students engaged me in a conversation about the story I had written regarding influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s partnerships with Bud Light and Nike. These students had heard about this story from other sources and wanted to discuss it further.

I was very flattered to find that these students appreciated the newsletter and had found it to be useful and interesting. Additionally, I was very happy to see that the newsletter had actively been accomplishing its purpose of getting students engaged with marketing news, trends and terminology. Because of this positive feedback, I may want to consider continuing the newsletter next semester although I plan to pause the newsletter over the summer. 

Challenges and Lessons

One challenge that I ran into was that my publishing schedule ended up becoming closer to monthly than biweekly because I realized that having a monthly newsletter was more feasible with my other school responsibilities. I additionally learned that it was easier for me to release the newsletter later in the week instead of on Mondays (when I had originally planned to release the newsletter). When I released the newsletter later in the week, I had more time to send a first draft of an edition to Professor Gaston, the instructor for JMC 305, for editing. Another lesson that I learned from this experience is that I should have reached out to professors and student organizations earlier in this semester about the topic of distributing the newsletter. It would have been easier to start working with them at the beginning of the semester instead of the middle of the semester.

What I Would Change in the Future

If I continue this newsletter in the future, I might consider revising my “What’s Up in AdTech?” section by expanding it to advertising news beyond advertising technology. This is because it was somewhat hard to find recent articles about advertising technology specifically. Otherwise, I may need to invest in subscribing to more publications such as Adweek, so I can access more recent news about advertising technology from reliable sources that cover this topic.

Final Notes

Overall, I enjoyed and found value in this honors project. Because it kept me on my toes and reminded me to check news sources for marketing news regularly, I felt that creating this newsletter was beneficial to me. Based on the positive feedback I received, I am going to consider continuing the newsletter next fall. I was very happy to hear that other people may have benefited from this project as well. If I do continue the newsletter, I may want to consider continuing it as a monthly newsletter and reaching out to professors and student organizations very early on next semester to attain their help for distribution. A change that I would consider is rethinking the purpose of the “What’s Up in AdTech?” section or subscribing to more news sources that provide information about developments in advertising technology.

I am glad that I did this project this semester as it was a valuable learning experience. It was enjoyable to create newsletter content from time to time, and it was nice to have my professor as an editor, so I could send out polished editions to my audience. This was also an excellent exercise in taking initiative as JMC 305 required me to push myself out of my comfort zone. I am proud that I was able to start a project from scratch that hopefully benefited my fellow students while also complementing my classroom education in professional communications.

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