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Thanks to the work of students from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Ringgold County now has a comprehensive plan to market the county to prospective residents, businesses, or visitors.
Late last winter, Ringgold County Development Corporation (RCDC) contracted with Knactive, a unique program at Northwest, to develop a plan to promote the county.
According to information furnished by Northwest Missouri State, “Knacktive is an elective course designed to replicate the creative demands and intense teamwork atmosphere of a technology-oriented, professional marketing and communication agency. Students are selected for the experience and actively refine their creative abilities, collaborative skills and academic knowledge with the objective of improved competitiveness in the professional marketplace after graduation.
“Throughout the course, students experience a realistic, agency-like atmosphere as they work in teams on a comprehensive campaign plan for a real client with real issues to address. The competing teams conduct research, analyze the data, devise a strategy, formulate tactics and ultimately make a formal presentation to the client.
“Knacktive incorporates principles, strategies and tactics of design, marketing and public relations through a melting pot of majors from Northwest’s schools and departments of Communication and Mass Media; Language, Literature and Writing; Fine and Performing Arts; Business; and Computer Science and Information Systems.”
The twenty-four chosen members for the Knacktive team met on the NWMSU campus with RCDC Executive Director Jodie Geist in November. Due to Covid restrictions at Northwest, students reached out to Geist for additional information, studied demographics related to the county online, and a few traveled on their own to Ringgold County to see the county.
After 15 weeks of brainstorming, planning, and fine-tuning their marketing pitches, the three teams presented their plans to a group of local leaders including Bob Burrell, Molly Murphy, Melanie Rice, Ann Schlapia, Shannon Harper, Regan Main, Jill Brown (NWMSU), and Jodie Geist, RCDC director.
Ultimately, the “Magic Beanstalk” team was judged as having the best presentation, but all materials the teams created are given to RCDC both in print and electronically.
“The students have made three websites along with pamphlets and other materials that will assist RCDC in marketingd Ringgold County,” said Geist
The $10,000 cost of the Knacktive partnership was funded by a donation from Bob Burrell and a grant from the Ringgold Foundation.