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Updated: February 6, 2023

Husson students launch full-service marketing agency

two people at computer console Courtesy / Husson University The new student-run One Circle Agency at Husson is providing pro bono advertising, branding and marketing for area clients.

A new student-run agency at Husson University is providing pro bono advertising and marketing services to area organizations that wouldn’t otherwise have access to those services. 

The Bangor university recently marked the opening of the agency with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“This agency is an important new innovation in hands-on learning,” Alban Michaud, a senior in Husson’s New England School of Communications marketing communications program, said in a news release. “Student-run agencies like this will help students like me get hired after I graduate.”    

The One Circle Agency is adjacent to the lobby of the Wildey Communications Center, home of the communications school.

The agency, delivering pro bono advertising, branding and marketing, has begun to work with area clients. Up to 24 students, of any major, are anticipated to work at the agency on a variety of projects.

The agency was started to address the challenge for small businesses, startups and nonprofits to hire an advertising and marketing agency that can help with strategies and materials due to the costs involved.  

The agency has already seen action. Projects include creating and marketing an event for area college students at Pepino’s, a Mexican restaurant in Bangor. The event attracted so many people that the restaurant ran out of food. 

The agency provided promotions for upcoming shows at Husson’s Gracie Theatre, including a sold-out “Mike Super – Magic & Illusion” performance last November.

The agency’s location was made possible thanks to Stephen Coston, a member of the class of 2016 who is a Bar Harbor developer and hotel owner. The space he helped create includes a glassed-in conference room, a large makerspace and computer stations.

person with sign on glass
Courtesy / Husson University
The new space housing One Circle Agency was financed by Stephen Coston, Husson class of 2016 and a Bar Harbor developer and hotel owner.

The colors, design, furniture and set-up were the culmination of ideas collected from students, faculty and staff, said Marie Hansen, dean of the College of Business and its New England School of Communications. 

“Space for meeting with clients in a conference room plus computers, tables and even bean bag chairs allow for students to morph between the environments where they are creative and then meeting-focused,” Hansen said.

Hansen noted that the student agency is not looking to compete with other local marketing agencies for business. 

“In fact, the agencies I’ve spoken with appreciate the One Circle Agency concept,” she said. “They see it as a proving ground that will help prepare students for future work in a professional environment.”

Theresa Ayotte, an assistant professor and the graphic/visual design program coordinator at the communications school, said students are meeting with clients and creating marketing plans and supporting materials such as logos, posters, social media, websites and videos.

“Combining their efforts through this agency provides students with a first-rate, hands-on learning experience where they all get to work with real-world clients,” Ayotte said. 

Students will fill every role in the agency while under the supervision of Ayotte and Nancy Roberts, program coordinator for the marketing communications program. The roles includes graphic design, social media, messaging, public relations and client management. 

Participating in One Circle Agency projects is expected to also give students the opportunity to learn about the advantages and challenges that can arise when working in teams.

“Everyone who participates will reap benefits, including the local business community and Maine’s economy,” Hansen said.

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