Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Selling the J-Dept t-shirt

I should probably start off with the fact that as of this past month I am the new President of the Society of Professional Journalists Ole Miss chapter. Now that I've taken this position, it is my personal mission statement to raise SPJ out of the slump it fell into last semester and make the organization stronger that it was before that.

This also means that after designing and preparing, SPJ finally started its sales drive for the Official Journalism t-shirts yesterday. As I figured, we ended up using the third design from the "Designing the J-Dept t-shirt" entry.

SPJ started the drive with a bang. Throughout the day on Monday I came and briefly spoke about the shirts to the different classes that met in Farley Hall. I also hung various posters, marketing the shirts throughout every classroom and every bulletin board in the building. The posters displayed here are a part of the first set of posters I designed labeled "the diversity posters." The second set I designed were in accordance to Valentine's day coming later this week.

On the posters are the major slogan for the campaign "Show Your Pride!" as well as the ticket prices and places to purchase the t-shirts. With strong volunteering from Grafton Pritchartt (Vice-President) and Katrina Baker (Secretary), SPJ managed to handle covering most of the major classes to our booth in the main lobby of Farley.

The funniest part of the whole process of designing and producing the posters for the t-shirts was while I was doing the photo shoot of students modeling the shirts. The selection was randomly drawn from one of Dr. Wickham's (SPJ's advisor) ethics classes. What I did not realize until after printing the posters was that one of the four students I had chosen was the Ole Miss football team's wide receiver, Dexter McCluster.

Of course as the week has moved along I have come to realize that I made one fatal flaw in the process of deciding how many t-shirts to produce. Initially we ordered 100 total with 34 smalls, 33 mediums and 33 larges. I figured "hey there are so many smaller sized girls in the Journalism Department, if I'm gonna order one extra, it might as well be a small." Well, wrong!

A very important key cultural aspect to the majority of the girls in the department on a campus like Ole Miss is "Sorority." And for some strange, constantly mind-boggling reason, sorority chicks love wearing over-bearingly
large t-shirts with sophie shorts that make it look like they are not wearing any pants at all. The lesson here is to underestand your demographics. In the end, I probably should have ordered 44 larges and 23 smalls. It isn't a serious matter and it will not have a crushing affect on sales profits. Revenue will have to be in the long-run as apposed to my original short-run plan for total sales, but it evens out. I still feel bad for the smalls though.

The smalls will suffer.

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