Southern Door Students Join Live Door County Campaign

Maree Baumann, Southern Door business education teacher; and Kelsey Fox, workforce development director at the Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC), have teamed up to provide a real-world marketing project for a high school marketing class.

Under their guidance, the Southern Door students are developing a billboard design as part of DCEDC’s Live Door County campaign, to be installed May 1 on Highway 57.

Baumann has long been committed to welcoming community business leaders into her classroom as a way for the students to interact with people who work with the subject matter that she teaches on a daily basis.

For example, Jane Jandrin, Nicolet Bank branch manager; and Tara Pierre, an Edward Jones financial adviser, visit the class every year to talk about banking and investments. Baumann also invites entrepreneurs to talk about the opportunities and risks associated with business startups.

“Kelsey [Fox] was recommended by her boss as a person who would have a great relationship with students to talk about careers in marketing,” Baumann said. “When Kelsey shared what she was currently working on with my students, I suggested that it would be a great idea if she could include my students in the creative idea process to help her format the billboard that would be focusing on the next generation – our students.”

Young adults are one of the target groups for the campaign, Fox said, and once the discussion got going, the students were interested in the reasons why people in their age group would want to live in or relocate to Door County.

Another Live Door County initiative Fox is working on is inspiring business-education partnership projects, so the collaboration was becoming a perfect fit.

After her initial visit, Fox was invited back to the class several times to continue developing ideas for the billboard.

“My plan was to take them through – if they were in the real world, actually working with a marketing agency – the creative process in terms of how you would come up with a concept, copy and images, and figuring out who your audience is,” Fox said.

The last time she met with the students, during what they call “business meetings,” they began to brainstorm the copy and headlines that might appear on the billboard. They even dove into the specific components of the campaign, such as the several-thousand-dollar investment in the billboard, its longevity and making sure the audience is wide enough.

“We are hoping this joint venture will help students start to build long-lasting relationships with businesspeople in our community,” Baumann said. “This process is also opening up the students’ eyes to what their community has to offer that, although they live here, they are not knowledgeable about.”

Fox saw that process in action. During her business meetings with the students, she observed their realization that there are a lot of reasons why people come to visit, such as the accessibility to water, Cave Point and lots of restaurants. 

“That was fun to see them start to think about things differently and get to realize how special Door County is,” Fox said. 

The class ended after the holiday break, but Fox is continuing to work with interested students, as well as students from Baumann’s Business Principles class, through April.

Related Organizations