It's because Philipp Klein, Tobias Auradniczek and Jan Stadermann firmly believe in it as a time-honored, tried and true: "Print doesn't die out if you use it wisely," says Auradniczek.
The trio from Gießen are not journalists, but founders of the start-up StudyAds. The idea is called "CampusBlock" (CollegePad) and "SchülerBlock" (StudentPad) for college and high schoolers respectively, and is a classic, printed product - but can you still print on paper, distribute it for free, and earn money from it?
Auradniczek and Klein leave no doubt about it: yes. Of course, their business model is actually much more complex - but the booklet, however, remains the linchpin.
The three friends founded the company in early 2017, and soon after, the forerunner of the current product intended for students SchülerBlock was released. This in turn was distributed in the district for the first time at the beginning of the 2018/19 school year and has had two branches since the summer - one in Frankfurt and one in Braunschweig.
Klein is an economist, Auradniczek an educator and Stadermann currently doing his master's in business. At some point the brainwave came, and then the inevitable.
"Talk a lot on the phone, hand out a lot of cake," summarizes the 31-year-old Klein. And advertisers were found, but above all they convinced school leaders and teachers.
"Print doesn't die out if you use it wisely."
The SchülerBlock is given to students personally, usually by the class teachers. Auradniczek calls the principle "three-front friendship": educators, students, and businesses must all benefit. In fact, the booklet is as durable as it is diverse - or even better, is durable because it is so diverse. In addition to writing paper and advertisements relating to training and studies, the ring binder with a Schlammbeiser motif contains various other components. Timetables are included, calendar pages, even a table of irregular English verbs along with a mathematical formula collection. The cover made of priplak, a plastic, guarantees stability and a high-quality look.
Meanwhile, the idea has gotten around, say Auradniczek and Klein. Companies themselves asked about other products, pupils used the booklet throughout the school year, and teachers were mostly impressed. Recently, says 31-year-old Auradniczek, a school had 100 copies left. He usually picks them up again. But it was different in this case: they didn't want to hand over the blocks to him. They were too popular with the students.
"You have to meet these students where they're at," explains Auradniczek.
Schools are refuges for analog information processing. StudyAds, which has been in beta for a good one and a half years, does not come without any digital elements, however. There is also an online platform so that Klein can say: "We are making the only college booklet with a job portal."
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