BLOOMINGDALE — Students in the multimedia and design program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School are rethinking how they are promoting the school and are working with professionals to make it happen.

Instructor Cody LaRue and Michael Emmerling, account executive with the EM-Media marketing agency of Steubenville, have been discussing ways to expand their creativity through advertising. The school and company have partnered for the past five years on billboards, television and digital ads and other projects to spotlight the school and attract more enrollment, but with the advent of the coronavirus they are looking to utilize other concepts as well.

“We’re adding another level,” said LaRue. “We’re redesigning logos and making possible updates to the building with decorations, and we’re looking to create a web store. We’ll probably do ads on YouTube and make YouTube videos instead of the normal type of recruitment. We’re coordinating this with EM-Media and web designers and working with industry professionals.”

JVS billboards have been displayed across the area with commercials aired on the likes of Comcast and local television stations plus digital streaming ads on Apple TV and Hulu, but more efforts are being made to bolster an online presence with social media. LaRue said organizers are eyeing a timeline to bring those plans to fruition.

“We’re already in the process of updating equipment to do things. We’re going to utilize the latest technology such as Go Pros and video stabilization gimbles,” he added, saying the program also has 3-D printers and a brand-new poster printer for creations.

LaRue said the website was updated several years ago and plans are to make some adjustments to modernize it further.

“With COVID-19 and the way the school year has been, it completely changes the way we do everything with students. The seniors will do the projects but the juniors will help with the graphic design.”

He continued that the process also gives students real-world experience by working with actual professionals and using the latest technological tools for the projects.

In addition to school promotions, the MAD program has also completed graphic designs for shirts in its online apparel store, helps prepare for the school’s eighth-grade visits and sophomore tours and produces videos and other promotions for homecoming events and community projects.

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