Posted At: November 8, 2013 11:15 a.m.
by Ashley Jones
Lindsey + Asp is much more than one of the busiest intersections in Norman, Okla. Named after the cross streets on which it is located, Lindsey + Asp Advertising and Public Relations, a full-service advertising, public relations and digital agency, is home to more than 70 advertising and public relations students at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
The award-winning firm offers students real-world experience and provides constant opportunities for students to build a diverse skill set outside of the classroom making them more marketable upon graduation. Founded in 2009, the state’s only student-operated agency is rapidly expanding its clientele as well as potential career opportunities for the firm’s students.
Lindsey + Asp creates effective and innovative campaigns for more than 20 clients in a wide variety of industries both nationally and locally – from OU sports teams and Oklahoma’s professional ice hockey team to state organizations, medical companies, nonprofits, financial services and beyond. The agency has five departments dedicated to delivering strong results on a professional level for its clients.
Learning from the best.
David Tarpenning and Robert “Pritch” Pritchard, APR, PRSA Fellow, are much more than the two faculty advisers of Lindsey + Asp. Both have 25+ years of professional experience in the field and thus offer students a wealth of knowledge that helps guide them in their education and firm experiences. Together, the two serve as mentors who are not only devoted to the success of the agency, but also to the success of their students.
“I love our students’ energy, enthusiasm and passion for the profession,” said Tarpenning, advertising professor and founder of Lindsey + Asp.
“The students are very innovative in their approach to the business, constantly bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to our clients,” he said. “There’s so much energy in the agency during our Friday status meetings that it’s impossible to have a bad day around here!”
As faculty advisers, Tarpenning and Pritchard are responsible for selecting the talented students for the firm who are passionate about becoming the best in the industry.
“The prospective students go through an extensive application process and a rigorous interview,” said Tarpenning. “Applicants must also complete a set of required classes and maintain a certain GPA.”
Together, Tarpenning and Pritchard have developed an agency of up-and-coming communication leaders who are dedicated to excelling in the advertising and public relations industry.
Not only do students at Lindsey + Asp have the chance to learn from two industry professionals, but they also have the opportunity to work with major clients. The agency’s noteworthy clients include Harold Hamm Diabetes, the Baron’s professional hockey team and the Norman Community Foundation, to name a few.
The firm’s largest client, the Office of Strategic Communication at the FIRES Center of Excellence at Ft. Sill, Lawton, Okla., netted Lindsey + Asp more than $71,000.
“We were fortunate to have had a federal contract with Ft. Sill for the past three years,” said Pritchard. “During the course of this client’s tenure, we created an umbrella brand for the U.S. Army’s field artillery and air defense artillery, uniting two very disparate branches in a common identity.
In addition, they also created and executed a community pride campaign to raise the pride citizens of Lawton and soldiers at Ft. Sill had in each other and the community.
Real-world experience that doesn’t go unnoticed.
There is no doubt that working in student-run firms serves as an outstanding learning experience that benefits its students’ future careers. Lindsey + Asp’s “Brag Board” proves just that.
“Our ‘Brag Board’ is my biggest reward working with the students at Lindsey + Asp. We post where each staffer gets employment or an internship following graduation,” Tarpenning said. “We now have three panels full of hires in major agencies around the world including London, Singapore, Hamburg and Hong Kong.”
In addition to its students landing impressive jobs post graduation, the Oklahoma City chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and American Advertising Federation (AAF) have recognized Lindsey + Asp for its exceptional work. The firm recently competed in the PRSA Upper Case Awards competition against several professional firms in the Oklahoma City area where it won an Award of Merit for one of its successful public relations campaigns. The firm also has four AAF Addy Awards in its trophy cabinet for outstanding achievement in creating individual ads and campaigns. Lindsey + Asp’s notable accomplishments helped it recently become a PRSSA Nationally Affiliated firm, which recognizes the most prestigious and successful student-run firms across the country.
In only four years, the firm has become the centerpiece of the strategic communications program at Gaylord College. This learning opportunity has proven beneficial for both Lindsey + Asp’s students and its clients. Pritchard credits the leadership mentality of the firm for its great success.
“Commit yourself to the greater good of the organization and the public interest,” he said. “With a leadership mentality approach, you’ll not only stand out, but you’ll help fulfill the promise public relations has to change the world.”
Readers can connect with Lindsey + Asp on Twitter @LindseyAndAsp.