Communication Students Launch Bucket List +1 Campaign

Students in Drury’s Communication Department are receiving firsthand experience managing a promotional campaign by partnering with Hospice Foundation of the Ozarks (HFO).  Over the year, their campaign seeks to promote end-of-life planning and to encourage young adults to notarize an advance directive, which provide directions regarding one’s medical care before their death.

The partnership began in August 2017 with COMM 413: Campaigns, a fall class wherein students break into agencies and formulate a set of advertising campaigns from scratch for a real-world client. The class continues in the spring with COMM 433-L: Civic Engagement Lab, when the students execute the campaign chosen by the client. This year, HFO provided a budget for students to work with by matching a donation made to the campaign by the communication department.

“HFO was looking for help to build their community presence, especially among young people age 18-25,” Dr. Regina Waters explained. Along with serving as the Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. Waters teaches several communication courses, including Campaigns and the Civic Engagement Lab.

Dr. Waters is currently on the board of HFO. When she mentioned the classes she was teaching this year, a natural partnership was created. “HFO had a need and we were able to reach their target demographic.” Dr. Waters went on to note how the communication department values applied learning, and the values of HFO “aligned beautifully” with the department.

This year’s campaign, Bucket List +1, encourages young adults to add one more item to their bucket list: get their advance directive notarized. Students in the Civic Engagement Lab have worked to create events to inspire students to better understand the terminology surrounding end-of-life care and realize the impact of not having an advance directive. Some of these events have included a Newly-Dead game, a Valentine’s Day display and a What’s on Your Bucket List? giveaway. The campaign culminates in a signing event on April 16, National Healthcare Decisions Day. The class has also created a website and are on Facebook and Twitter.

Kim Morelock, executive director of Hospice Foundation of the Ozarks, is especially grateful for this partnership, mentioning how the campaign is opening the eyes of young people to issues like death and dying. “Young people are our voice,” she said, “and they can bring in others to the cause.”

This year-long project aims to build skills in client relations, accountability, research insights, evaluation and management, key skills that any communication professional will need to be successful in their career.

Follow the campaign on social media or at their website:


Students involved include:

  • Erin Hotchkiss, account executive
  • Kelsey Olsen, social media manager
  • Nicole Dawson, video production coordinator
  • Doug Moore, video assistant
  • Allyson Dougherty, contests coordinator
  • Payton Stringer, website creator and manager
  • Heather Harman, information packets
  • Eden Garrett, First Friday event coordinator
  • Andrew Ballock, assistant First Friday coordinator
  • Megan Dern, Valentine’s Day coordinator
  • Hali Wood, Signing Day coordinator
  • Michael Slamb, interactive game coordinator
  • Kyle Wilmoth, guerrilla marketing coordinator