Little Rock ad men Ross Cranford and Jon Hodges are making a pitch to industry colleagues: Join AdClub Little Rock, hear from some great marketing speakers, and help some hungry children while you’re at it.
Cranford, an award-winning partner at Cranford Co., and Hodges, executive creative director at the Sells Agency, are spearheading a membership drive for the club, one of the oldest professional groups in Little Rock. Founded in 1914 and revived last year, the club is an affiliate of the American Advertising Federation, and it has lined up a roster of speakers to reward professional members for their $265 annual dues. With about 30 active members, it is eager to build its ranks as it tackles a pro bono marketing project for a new Little Rock program to combat childhood hunger.
“We want to promote this, because the idea is to give the city’s kids an opportunity to have good food,” Hodges said over iced tea at the 1836 Club. “Little Rock got a $140,000 grant [from the National League of Cities and the Food Research & Action Center], and Caran Curry, the city’s grants manager, came up with the idea of enlisting AdClub,” Cranford said. “She said it really helped them get the grant; having the city’s advertising professionals promoting it added a helpful twist.”
The Central Arkansas Library System is a partner in the effort, which will provide food to children at libraries and community sites. The AdClub will create campaigns to raise awareness about resources available to children in need.
“This will be a process through the end of the year,” said Hodges, the AdClub’s new president. “The materials we put together will start being pushed out in January.” A branding effort is expected in September and October, “and over the holidays we want to do a public service announcement campaign leading up to a big push before next summer,” when the feeding program will be in full swing.
In the meantime, the club has scheduled speakers like Amanda Denton, an intellectual property and copyright attorney at PPGMR, and Doug Renfro, president of Renfro Foods of Fort Worth, who will speak on “how a small family-owned company competes with corporate giants.”