Compass students present marketing ideas to BLM

Sophomores at Compass Academy got a hands-on experience in marketing strategies Monday, as the school’s English and marketing department collaborated with the Bureau of Land Management to allow students to develop and present its next potential campaign.

Through this project, teams of three to five students developed a presentation that included video, image, and written material. Their final product was presented to a panel consisting of an instructor and BLM representative.

Anna Durfee, English facilitator at Compass Academy, believes programs such as this provide students with a unique educational opportunity.

“It goes back to the point of project-based learning,” she said. “To show them what it would look like if they were marketing consultants in the real world.”

Topics students have been focusing on include bringing awareness to illegal dumping and pollution, among others. But the most popular topic was fire safety.

“(The students) learned early on that wildfires are largely caused by human activity,” Durfee said. “That’s a big problem. A lot of (projects) have been focusing on getting people to change that behavior.”

Last year, Compass Academy ran a similar marketing program with the Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Department. But working with the BLM this year provides students with the opportunity for their work to be on display statewide.

“The students, if they create something that’s an image, PSA, or something we can use for social media, we will actually use it,” said Kelsey Griffee, fire information and prevention specialist for BLM, Idaho Falls district. “So a few of these groups, we will implement their ideas.”

Many students gained an initial awareness of these problems on BLM land thanks to a November field trip to the Menan Buttes. The trip, organized by the collaborative program’s founder and Compass Academy instructor Logan Waetje,opened the students’ eyes to issues the BLM is fighting.

“The ground was just thick with bullet shells from target shooting and stuff,” Durfee said. “So there’s just a lot of misuse and mistreatment of the land out there.”

With a few group presentations remaining Monday afternoon, Griffee says she’d seen several unique projects that will stay on the BLM’s radar for an upcoming campaign.

“They might see their ads up on billboards someday,” Durfee said. “Hopefully, we’ll see of them actually implemented.”

Reporter Marc Basham can be reached at 208-542-6763.