Short Takes: Navigating freedom takes work

Short Takes is an occasional series that captures interesting work by Missouri School of Journalism students

How do you navigate having all the creative freedom in the world? It’s not easy.

For of our capstone convergence class we were assigned to assist three AdZou Strategic Communications groups. Our task was to create multimedia elements they needed for their presentations throughout the semester.

A problem we faced early on was having almost too much creative freedom.

We were told things like, “We want a video to introduce our company; take it in whatever direction you want,” or, “As long as it talks about this, the rest is up to you guys!”

We appreciated the trust placed in us. But we wanted to actively align our vision with theirs through infographics, team headshots and storyboarding video concepts.

The biggest learning experience was understanding how much communication is necessary to satisfy all parties involved. We had to set up extra meetings with teams outside of the classroom to get a grasp on what they were seeking out in the creative elements. There were several layers of communication going on: us to our clients, them to their clients, the professors that supervised both of us and them communicating between the three of us.

The collaboration allowed for a learning experience. We sat in on the AdZou Capstone lab classes and watched teams present updates on their marketing plans. For almost the first half of the semester, the AdZou teams focused solely on research: learning about their client, the client’s market, budgeting and more, which is a part of the process we are more unfamiliar with. The groups identified target profile personas that guided their work, and that was something new to us as well in terms of a unique perspective of identifying consumers.

Creative freedom is a beautiful thing, but tactfully combining our strengths and communicating those well allowed for us both to serve the clients we needed to.

Zach Sayer, Cassie Florido, and Troy D’Souza are convergence journalism students at the University of Missouri.

  • Sayer has directed Livestream Mizzou since 2018 and has created short form video content for various departments on campus. His Twitter handle is @zagrysayer.
  • Florido has previously worked with Mizzou Athletics as a photographer and with the University of Missouri Student Affairs department as a videographer. Her Twitter handle is @cassieflorido.
  • D’Souza has previously produced multimedia content for KBIA and served as a production assistant and morning sports anchor for KOMU. His Twitter handle is @troy_dsouza.

If your news organization could benefit from having a group of talented students work on a new product, service or other innovation, contact RJI Associate Director Mike McKean to explore the options.


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