University Relations and Communications

Continued effort to encourage an active community has handiwork of MSU Billings students

January 20, 2010



Dr. Sarah N. Keller, Communications Department, 896-5824 
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269
Jeanelle Slade, St. Vincent Healthcare, 238-6226
Alex Tyson, Billings Chamber/CVB, 869-3726


‘Go Play!’ campaign reprises 2007 effort with trails awareness effort


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Billings residents have long been fans of outdoor activities. A 2009 survey conducted for the city Parks and Recreation Department showed that 85 percent of respondents viewed “connected bike/walk trails” as important to their lives while “multiuse trails” were important to 82 percent and “natural surface trails” were important to 78 percent.


Go Play - Billings Trails

This spring, a marketing campaign designed by some students at Montana State University Billings, and in partnership with the Billings Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau and St. Vincent Healthcare, is being re-launched to continue promotion of physical activity and the use of local trails. Called “Go Play!,” the goals of the campaign are to motivate people to use pedestrian modes of transportation and increase support for trails and bike lanes in the community.


St. Vincent Healthcare and the Chamber/CVB have committed to fund the campaign, for a total of $5,000 in donations that will pay for TV broadcast airtime (to be matched by local networks), graphic design work, printing and production.


The campaign, which originally launched in 2007 after a generous donation from the St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation, will air again in March 2010 and continue through the summer in various media forms, including the “Go Play!” map, the Chamber’s visitor’s guide, and TV broadcast advertisements.


Specific campaign messages were determined in fall 2006 through audience research conducted by students in Dr. Sarah Keller’s “Media for Social Change” class in the MSU Billings Department of Communication & Theatre. Students originally intended the campaign to encourage people to get out of their cars and adopt a more active lifestyle — by walking or biking to school or work. Now those associated with the Billings Chamber and St. Vincent hope this campaign will help raise awareness of the many trails that Billings has to offer and will help promote a healthier community.


“The Go Play! campaign provides an excellent resource for locals and visitors alike to utilize the invaluable trail system in Billings,” said John Brewer, president and CEO of the Billings Chamber/CVB. “We are excited to see the project revitalized in a time when the Chamber has prioritized the community’s trails.”


MSU Billings students were in charge of coming up with a vision and following through from start to finish with such forms of media as television public service announcements. Students worked with professional graphic artists and producers, including Spotlight Productions, G & G Advertising, KTVQ and Strange Sister Creative, to execute the final art for the marketing campaign.


For more information on the communications department classes and degree options, call 657-2888 or check out