Martin Hall Agency
What is it?
Martin Hall Agency is an award-winning student-led public relations & advertising agency based out of West Virginia University's Reed College of Media. During my time in MHA, I served as the Creative Director for the First Amendment Account. Our goal: To inform WVU students of the importance of the First Amendment and to engage students in protecting against attacks threatening its existence. To do this, we came up with a two-part campaign.
Part one focused on promoting the panel, "Who Informs the Citizenry? Finding Trust and Truth in a Fractured Age," and hosting a trivia game designed to test students' understanding before and after participating.
Part two called for deprivation. The team decided to take these freedoms away—showing students what life would look like without the First Amendment. We "closed down" the Free Speech Zone, locked students out of their organization's weekly meetings, activated "Canvas the Campus," by hanging up posters with messages about canceling books, historical figures, and music due to controversial material. We also digitally displayed these messages on screens in the Reed College buildings. On these posters were additional signs that read "canceled, banned, censored" with a QR code attached. The QR code linked to specific landing pages with educational material and an explanation of the campaign.
Up All Night is a free event for students and a location the team visited before to collect man-on-the-street style interviews during a primary research phase. With many students previously willing to participate, this was the perfect location to test their First Amendment knowledge. Each participant received a ticket for playing, and winners of each round added more to the lottery. The raffle winner received a goodie basket with on-brand American flags and a personalized Yeti. A post-survey went out to students who participated.
Photographs by David Malecki
Customized Yeti Design
Banner Design & Message
A banner hung in WVU's student union, The Mountainlair, with a message foreshadowing Canvas the Campus events. Additionally, I designed it as a reminder to students of their First Amendment Freedoms and as a piece of educational material for those unaware of their rights.