Marketing boldly: Story behind 2013 summer camp brochures

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“BE BOLD” declares the brochure for this year’s ThreeSixty Journalism summer camps. “Write about topics that no other teen-written publication has dared to.”

The boldness of the message – and the vivid colors and images that convey it – are the work of a team of four ThreeSixty teen staffers – Victoria Turcios, Selin Kurtoglu, Maya Shelton-Davies and Vang Thao. The powerful images and message exemplify what creative problem-solvers teens can be.

The brochure project began when applications for our summer camps were down last year. Did the weak economy make parents reluctant to invest in summer camps? Were students less interested in journalism?

Students suggested another reason: The marketing brochure was too wordy. It had lots of information but no compelling message or image.

Andrea Salazar, who worked as our marketing/communications coordinator until she started an MBA program this fall, recruited four teens to design a better brochure. With Andrea’s guidance, they worked hard and strategically on a market analysis that guided the design of a new brochure.

First, they analyzed marketing materials for similar programs and found examples that spoke powerfully to teens. Next, they developed questions and surveyed 40 peers about everything from how they want to hear about summer programs (ideally from peers and on Facebook) to the words they associate with journalism (top four: writing, newspapers, news, creativity). We learned that they want to take photos as well as write, and that getting their name on published work is more important than getting paid.

Their work was instrumental in creating the “BE BOLD” brochure. With advice from graphic designer Diana Boger, Andrea designed a simple, powerful brochure. Its parting message is this: “We want to hear about the issues affecting you, so join us now and let your BOLD voice be heard.” This Saturday, our teen staffers will develop a presentation they can make to recruit peers for this summer’s camps.

You can spread the word to teens who like to ask questions and tell stories. If you want copies of the brochure for teachers, teens and youth organizations, download it here. Or email me at lmmcdonnell@sthomas.edu and I’ll mail you hard copies.

— Lynda McDonnell, executive director

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