Looking back at Yardsticks, 2012

As posted earlier, Yardsticks is an annual advertising competition which is organized by professor Frank Blossom. The competition is not exclusive to Grand Valley students; however, three of the four finalists at this year’s competition were GVSU students. Olga Sarayeva is a foreign exchange student and Austin Langlois and Courtney Petersen are advertising and public relations students, with emphasis in public relations.


This year was Langlois and Petersen’s first time competing at Yardsticks, and they learned about the competition from Professor Blossom. They both felt that their PR classes helped them earn positions as finalists.

“A big thing that [PR classes] stress is research, research, research,” said Langlois. “So, the first thing I did was research to learn more about the target public and then research to back up my strategy and tactic. Also I think my classes helped my presenting skills, [which] helped me stand out against my competitors. Lastly, I think that my classes helped me to think strategically, not just creatively. Yes I worked hard to make a creative piece, but more than that I worked to make sure that my entry was strategic, target[ed] the correct public and made sense for the organization.”

”Our PR program really emphasizes justification for every single action you take; why will this work, how does it accomplish the objectives?” said Petersen. “We’re very calculating people. I had a lot of great ideas I would’ve loved to use and actually liked more than the work I submitted, but the justification behind them wasn’t as strong so I threw them out and started over. Justification is so important in PR campaigns, and that mentality carried over into this competition. One of the judges told me that while my entry wasn’t the most innovative or the most “pretty”, it was “smart”. For me, public relations pushes the smart before the pretty. Make it good, make it work, and then make it pretty -which is what I tried to do.”

Congratulations again to our School of Communications students for working hard, and earning finalist positions in the Yardsticks competition.

GV Students Encouraged to Enter “Yardsticks” Advertising Competition

The annual advertising competition Yardsticks is seeking students to participate and volunteer. Yardsticks was created by GVSU’s advertising professor Frank Blossom as a way for college students to gain real-world advertising experience.

This year’s client is Hello West Michigan (HWM), a non-profit organization which strives to:

• “Promote West Michigan as a place where business thrives and people want to live and work
• Increase the rate of success member companies have in their efforts to recruit top talent
• Collaborate with organizations across the region to help new residents find their fit in West Michigan”

Advertising professionals judge the competition and critique student’s work. “They give it to you straight,” said Blossom. The winner will be invited to a workshop with creative directors and make a campaign from their entry. HWM will also hire the winner as an intern.

ImageFifty entrants will be accepted, either as individuals or teams. The deadline to register is October 19, and the competition will take place on Thursday, October 25 at 7 pm at the Ballroom City Flats. Students can also volunteer or observe the event for free.

For more information, visit Yardsticks’ websiteFacebook and Twitter.

AD Club Upcoming Events

Grand Valley State University’s AD Club will be hosting two events in February. Students, faulty, and community are welcomed to attend. These events are free.
  • February 15th Frank Blossom will discuss the importance of portfolio’s. Located in Lake Huron Hall, room 142 from 6:00-7:30 p.m/
  • February 29th Clark Communications will be visiting campus to talk about networking. Located in Lake Huron Hall, room 142 from 6:00- 7:30 p.m.
For more information contact Christopher Moore at moorechr@mail.gvsu.edu