From Freelance Photographer to Co-founder, One IMC Studentís Journey in the IMC Field

From the time he was 14, Stephen Briggs,’15, knew that he wanted to work in creative design and media, starting out as a freelance photographer in seventh grade. Stephen entered the media and communications industry by selling his photography to several news outlets. He has had hundreds of photos published in several newspapers, including the Daily Record, a county newspaper in New Jersey; local papers in his home town and surrounding areas through Recorder Newspapers; the New York Daily News and the New York Post; and online on AOL Patch.

In May of 2009, Stephen was assigned to work on a media boat in New York City for the Mayor’s Cup Kayak Championship. Due to strong winds and rough waves, several of the competitors crashed into a barge, flipping their kayaks into the water. Stephen was able to capture the event as the U.S. Coast Guard assisted the kayakers, and his photo was chosen and purchased by the New York Daily News to be printed in its papers.

In 2008, as a sophomore in high school, Stephen was hired as a creative director and social media strategist for Frees Media Inc., based in Randolph, New Jersey. Frees Media is an adverting agency that was opened in 1995 by Bill Frees. The agency specializes in advertising across multiple media platforms for national and local companies, handling everything from media planning and buying to creative marketing services.

Over the past six years, Briggs has worked with Frees Media for several clients on both advertising and social media campaigns. Stephen was one of the first individuals within the company to introduce alternative methods of advertising, such as social media and digital targeting into the company’s marketing mix. While attending Ithaca College during the school year, most of the work Stephen does with Frees Media is conducted online, including meetings via Skype and work that can be submitted through online servers.

Logic Electronic Cigarettes was one of the major campaigns that Stephen designed the creative work for. This client wanted Frees Media to create taxi, print and event advertising, all of which Stephen designed creative materials for. As the creative director, he designed the Logic taxi advertisements that were used on hundreds of taxis in both New York City and Boston. Stephen also was assigned the role of writing scripts for the radio advertisements for Logic, as well as managing a creative team during the Hot 97 Summer Jam concert. Part of the event included a booth where Logic introduced e-cigarettes as an alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes and gave away free e-cigarettes to increase awareness of both Logic and the e-cigarette market.

More recently, Stephen has been working with three other Ithaca College students, Austin Shoecraft, Andrew Sowers and Calvin Chestnut, to co-found a consumer engagement-marketing agency called Push Interactive. The goal of the company is to create a more personalized consumer experience that is mutually beneficial to businesses and their customers. These students are currently competing in two different business investment competitions, the Ithaca College Business Plan Competition and in the New York State Business Plan Competition.

Contributed by Hannah Corbett, Business Administration and Health Care Management double major and Integrated Marketing Communications minor, Class of 2015.



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