New Agency: Birth of Lindsey + Asp

  Danyelle Riley 

I am senior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Public Relations. I am aware that in today’s competitive job market, recent college graduates need all the edge they can get. No longer are a degree, high GPA and internship considered enough experience to land an ambitious, sought after entry-level position. That is why I jumped at the chance to be a part of something historic at the University of Oklahoma.

In addition to my course work at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, I chose to dedicate myself to a new, challenging and rewarding opportunity. Following an extensive application process, I was one of 18 students chosen to build an integrated, student-operated advertising and public relations agency.

During the summer of 2009, we painstakingly developed a name, created the mission statement, crafted an operations and procedures manual, and designed a logo. 

Currently in the fall semester, we are now the full-service agency Lindsey + Asp.  We are full of life, talent and motivation to become the best in the industry. In only a few months, our agency has acquired more than a dozen clients including the Norman Police Department. We also recently concluded our successful grand opening events and developed our Web site.

The students, or more correctly professionals in training, are not the only cream of the crop within the Agency. We are fortunate to have two faculty advisers, each of whom have 30+ years experience, to guide us along the way.  Robert “Pritch” Pritchard, APR and Fellow PRSA, and David Tarpenning, advertising professor, offer a wealth of knowledge to our growing, changing entity.

Lindsey + Asp has come a long way in a short amount of time. We have grown to a staff of more than 40 eager Sooners. Like all new businesses, we are still ironing out some wrinkles, but the journey has been amazing, and the energy level is off the charts.

Lindsey + Asp is the only student-operated agency in Oklahoma. The hands-on experience, which cannot be equaled in the classroom, delivers constant opportunities for students to build diverse skill sets. This type of experiential learning laboratory will certainly make students more valuable, knowledgeable, and marketable upon graduating. Hopefully, more universities will accept the challenge to expand the academic learning and career opportunities of their students.

I am grateful and proud to be a pioneer of Lindsey + Asp.  I have already learned an incredible amount working within the Agency. I am excited to see where the Agency will go, and where it will take me.

(Lindsey + Asp is named after the cross streets on which the agency is located–corner of Lindsey Street and Asp Avenue, directly across from the Gaylord Memorial Football Stadium). 

3 comments on this post.
  1. Heather Spencer:

    We’re really proud of these students and how they’ve taken the idea of a student-run PR/Ad agency, run full speed ahead and made it their own.

  2. James Collier:

    I’m a former agency executive teaching at Radford University and exploring the feasibility of initiating a student agency here. I would appreciate anyone
    (students and faculty) responding with any input.

  3. Kadi Cunningham:

    I currently work for Ackerman McQueen. Oklahoma based, AM is the largest Ad agency in the southwest. I had the pleasure of working with students from the University of Oklahoma student agency as they took part in our summer and fall internship programs. It was extremely refreshing to see students who are being given lessons in more than the theory and history of integrated communications (i.e., advertising/PR/marketing). As an Oklahoma native, but a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, I can safely say our state is behind the times when it comes to preparing students for the communication industry. I would absolutely love to see this program spread to many more traditional universities as a way to allow the students the opportunity to gain the necessary insight of an agency setting, before being thrown into the job hunt.

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