By Karen T. Braeckel
The first of six advertising interns hired during our pilot project reported to work May 5 at the Greene County Daily World in Linton.
And so it begins.
The HSPA Foundation’s role includes recruiting qualified students from the Midwest region, setting up the application and selection process and providing sales training for the students.
Forty students from 17 universities applied for positions paid for by participating newspapers.
Students attending out-of-state schools accounted for 40 percent of the applicants, although all six of the interns hired go to universities in Indiana.
Participating newspapers agreed to pay at least minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and cover the students’ FICA and Medicare taxes that they cannot recover, plus offer a commission of no less than 1 percent (with 5 percent preferred) for eight or more weeks.
Although this involves a cost, an advertising sales intern means increased revenue for the host newspaper.
The University of Illinois, which offers a media sales certificate program, led all schools with eight applicants, followed by the University of Kentucky with five.
Other applicants came from Ball State (2), Butler (1), DePauw (3), Franklin (2), Hanover (2), Indiana State (1), IU (3), IUPUI (3), Manchester (2), Northwestern (2), Oakland City (1), Ohio (1), Taylor (2), Trine (1), and Vincennes (1).
While six newspapers that sought interns found one through the new program, two did not.
One made several offers to no avail.
The other did not find an acceptable candidate among students interested in working at that newspaper.
Of the six students placed, five accepted offers from their first-choice newspapers. The remaining one will work at her second.
Chelsey Bough began working May 5. The Indiana State student comes from Worthington – about a 15-minute drive to the Daily World in Linton. She majors in communication and has worked as a stylist at a salon, where she is paid on commission.
She says to be successful, she must up-sell her service tickets. She tries to do that on every ticket even if it means just a few dollars. She made the dean’s list her freshman year and ranked in the top 10 percent of her freshman class. She will be a junior this fall.
M. Scott Hunt attends IUPUI, earned a 3.8 overall GPA and plans to graduate in August. He majors in sports journalism with a minor in geography. The Indianapolis Star hired him as an agate clerk in the sports department for 90 days this winter.
He currently works as a sports writer, photographer and videographer for HoosierAuthority.com. From 1991 through 1996 he covered high school, college and professional games as a sports writer for the Chronicle-Tribune (Marion).
This summer he will sell advertising for Kentucky Publishing’s papers in Upland, Gas City and Swayzee. He says this opportunity will further his education and experience in the newspaper industry.
Indiana University student Jon Osting majors in journalism with an advertising and public relations focus and minors in marketing and psychology. This combination of studies along with his service as marketing director of the Advertising Association at the Kelley School of Business earned him an internship at The Herald-Times in Bloomington.
Through the association he works with companies and management to improve advertising and sales. He plans to graduate in May 2015.
Senior Kyle Holzbog will graduate this month from Franklin College with a major in public relations. Although he says he has little advertising experience, he does not lack retail sales know-how.
In January 2013 he interned at The Herald in Jasper as a sports journalist. He hopes to improve his written and oral communications skills this summer while working at the Huntingburg Press.
Another IUPUI student who plans to graduate in August with a degree in journalism (public relations concentration) and a minor in business will intern at the Indianapolis Business Journal. Travis Gallagher served as purchasing coordinator for 17 months at the Arizona Grand Resort and has many years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries.
Web communication major Hillarie Hazleton of Taylor University will intern at the Kokomo Tribune. Before transferring she spent two years at Manchester University, where she developed a marketing strategy to sell antique furniture as part of an advanced public relations class project.
Next Pamela Lego, director of HSPA’s Midwest Advertising Placements, will hold a training workshop for the interns. Finding a day all interns can attend proves challenging as their start dates range from May 5 to June 2.
From this point forward we will identify any problem areas with the new program and work to improve the experience for newspapers and interns.
We hope to increase the number of participating newspapers while attracting talented students.
Good luck to the students and newspapers participating in this pilot project.
Karen T. Braeckel is director of the HSPA Foundation.