Mississippi in a New Light: By Noah Scannell

By Noah Scannell

I was born and raised in Kentucky, so I have heard a lot of trash talk and untrue stereotypes directed at me, just like a lot of Mississippians have. When people find out I am from Kentucky, they sometimes jokingly ask me, “Do you own shoes” or “Are you married to your sister?” I am use to it and just laugh at their comments.

When I decided to go to school in Mississippi, I also received some criticism and stereotypical remarks. People would jokingly say “Does Mississippi even have schools?”

Little do they know, the University of Mississippi is a fantastic academic institution, and I would never change a thing about my college choice.

To be completely honest, I was a little nervous when I moved to Oxford in 2014. I didn’t know if life was going to be drastically different here or if I would fit in. The stereotypes about Mississippians were not in my head, I was just nervous. I quickly discovered Mississippi is really no different than Kentucky. Everyone was so nice, and I felt like I was back at home. I felt like I was welcomed into the University of Mississippi with open arms.

Mississippi and Oxford are a fantastic place to live and go to school. The town is beautiful and fun, and the football and Grove is awesome. Again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

The media and other people sometimes portray Mississippi in a negative light. When this happens, racism is often associated with Mississippi. The media and other people, too, often jump to conclusions about what is going on.

My Campaign

As I researched what a marketing campaign was, I quickly learned it is really about product promotion and reaching out to the community to inform them about something. This can include, but is not limited to, print, radio and internet advertisements, commercials, demonstrations, and word of mouth.

Ideally, I would like to include all of these elements in my marketing campaign to reach as many people as possible. This would allow me to communicate with a broader audience, thus relaying the positive message about Mississippi more effectively.

I decided to ask a few of my family and friends from home how they perceived Mississippi and what suggestions they had for my marketing campaign. They almost all agreed, saying they thought Mississippi is perceived in a bad light.

People associate Mississippi with low levels of education and poverty. However, those who have visited Oxford know this is not the case. They said a marketing campaign would be a good idea to show the truth about Mississippi. There is plenty of good.

The name of my marketing campaign is Mississippi in a New Light. The goal is to inform the United States that Mississippi is a great place filled with great people.

I would invite people to experience the state of Mississippi themselves. Encouraging people to get out of their comfort zones, just like I did when I moved here for college, is a very important part of this marketing campaign.

I would use social media as my main source of advertisement, taking photographs and writing an article about businesses, events, sports, and schools in Mississippi, and always finish the advertisement by saying “Come experience Mississippi for yourself.”

The articles and pictures are not limited to social media. They can also be featured in magazines and newspapers. Commercials would also be utilized to reach an audience. They would express a benefit or unique opportunity Mississippi has to offer and would encourage viewers to come experience Mississippi for themselves.

I would feature pictures of the Grove on a Saturday in the fall, or the Square on Double Decker weekend. I would write an article discussing what it is all about. Then it would say “Come experience Mississippi for yourself.”

Because this is hypothetical, there are no actual results of this campaign idea. However, I think people would see Mississippi in a new light. My marketing campaign would show all the good this state offers.

I guarantee anyone who goes to the Grove on a Saturday in the fall will have a good time. The Square is filled with great food and bars, and the community is welcoming. My marketing campaign would represent the positives of Mississippi and show the good things it has to offer.

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