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Blue House Agency students create a timely baking segment for KTVB

Boise State Blue House Agency students in the Department of Media at KTVB studios recording a segment they developed for Idaho Today
Boise State Blue House Agency students in the Department of Media at KTVB studios recording a segment they developed for the Idaho Today show.

What do you bake for the new boyfriend or girlfriend that your child or niece or nephew will bring home this winter season who “doesn’t do gluten” or who only eats vegan? Thankfully, students in the Blue House Agency class have the perfect answer for us — gluten-free, vegan gingerbread cookies made with Maskal Teff flour.

Earlier this week, KTVB aired a segment on Idaho Today with Gina D’Orazio-Stryker of Clean Quisine by Gina on how to bake these cookies—a segment created completely by students in the Blue House Agency class facilitated by Cindy Miller, a clinical instructor in the Department of Media at Boise State. Students in the class visited KTVB during the recording of the segment this week where they saw their work realized.

Students developed the segment for their client The Teff Company, a local company which grows and produces the ancient grain from Ethiopia called Maskal Teff. Miller explains, “that the segment was kind of a culminating project for Blue House this semester.” In addition to developing the segment, students wrote press releases about Maskal Teff for consumer, retail and trade print and online publications.

Blue House Agency pairs students with real-world clients for a semester with the expectation that the students produce significant marketing and public relations deliverables. “It’s experiential learning at the highest level that the university offers,” Rick Moore, chair and professor in the Department of Media, said. “It’s a class, but it functions like an agency.”

“The class peeled back the curtain for me and helped me understand the PR industry in a more comprehensive way,” said William Farkas, a Blue House Agency student in the Integrated Media and Strategic Communication program. “The best part about Blue House is being able to accomplish professional work in an environment surrounded by other students and staff support.”

Miller explained that the process of working with KTVB demonstrated to students the difference between creating promotional and editorial content for clients. “To do promotional segments, you have to pay to play. So a promotional thing for The Teff Company became an editorial piece for gluten free baking, of which [Maskal] Teff is one of the options. So this segment was offered free to the client because we changed the focus of it.” Miller went on to explain that the students developed every aspect of the segment from the story outline to talking points for both Gina and Mellisa Paul, host of the Idaho Today show. “So our client, The Teff Company, whose product was used in the baking segment, wanted a mention that it’s high in protein, right? So that got in there and they actually mentioned it,” Miller said. “The students did all this work preparing all these talking points and then to see it actually make it into the segment, they’re like, ‘yeah, that is cool!’ The client was extremely happy and I was really happy with what they did.”

“It was very fulfilling to see my work come to fruition on KTVB. Our team put a lot of work into this segment, and it served as a really cool endpoint of the semester after all of the communication and strategizing that took place to plan out the segment that eventually aired on television,” Farkas said.

Aside from the recipe she shared, Gina also shared her secret tip for baking these gingerbread cookies, “They don’t have to be beautiful, they have to be delicious.”

Learn a little more about baking with teff, almond, rice and coconut flours as well as how to make these gluten-free, vegan gingerbread cookies on the KTVB website.