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Student Marketing Association plans for wider influence

Submitted by Sarah DeClerk on September 14, 2013 – 3:51 pmNo Comment

Although the Student Marketing Association is a departmental student organization, it may soon become a familiar name across campus. Since spring, it has seen incredible growth, and its officials said they will continue to brand and expand the organization.

The SMA is open to all students. It is divided into three committees: membership, public relations and special events. The membership committee is in charge of SMA recruitment tables and is geared toward sales students, said SMA President Whitney Burgess, a senior marketing major. Public relations develops flyers and press releases and is a great option for advertising students, said SMA Vice President Trey Woodruff, a senior marketing major. Special events works with the College of Business’s Professional Edge series and helps promote events that will help students succeed professionally. It is favored by marketing students, Burgess said.

Burgess and Woodruff took over leadership of the SMA in August. The organization was resurrected in the spring semester with 30 members, Woodruff said. Now there are close to 70 members, Faculty Adviser Mark Funk said.

“What we want to do this semester is develop a following,” he said.

Burgess said she wants to develop a presence in the College of Business. She said she hopes to collaborate with other departmental clubs. If the SMA can provide services for them, it will give its members a broader range of experience, she said.

The SMA recently helped promote itself and other student organizations in the College of Business when it organized the Carnival of Clubs. At the event, students had the opportunity to learn about the organizations while playing games and winning prizes.

“You had all this fun going on around you, and then you had people asking really serious questions,” Woodruff said.

The relaxed atmosphere made professors, deans and senior students seem more approachable, Burgess said, and gave students a chance to network.

The SMA has events planned every month, as well as biweekly meetings.

The organization is running a campaign called SMArketing, in which members learn to market themselves better and grow their own brand. The campaign teaches skills like including buzzwords on resumes, making interviews more conversational and selling your personal brand in one minute, Burgess said.

“We want everyone to be a SMArketer, because you know how to market yourself smarter, which is what it stands for,” Woodruff said.

Next semester, Woodruff said he plans to bring in advertising professionals who can talk with students about what employers look for in potential hires.

Burgess said other benefits to members include networking with professors and other students and learning to apply skills used in the business world on a smaller scale. The organization also offers accreditation through the American Marketing Association, she said.

“Our next step is trying to get better known on campus,” Burgess said.

Although he doubted if he would see this in his time at UALR, Woodruff said he would like the SMA to eventually market the College of Business to the community. He added that if businesses have worked with the SMA in the past, they will be more likely to hire its members.

“We want to build the brand of the SMA to the point where it has a very high quality and a very high output.”


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