MB Piland logo 25 years strongMB Piland Advertising + Marketing, a Topeka-based branding and marketing firm, launches a campaign called Punctuating the Period, designed to fight period poverty in Topeka Public Schools.


punctuating the periodThe campaign is part of the firm’s celebration of 25 years in business. “Our purpose as an agency is to improve the health of individuals and communities,” says Martha Bartlett Piland, the firm’s president and CEO. “Over the last 25 years, we’ve worked on issues related to health, education, finance and women. So this campaign feels like a natural extension of our past work.”

What Is Period Povertypurpose

The campaign aims to collect donations of period products for Topeka Public Schools and educate on the issue of period poverty. Period poverty is a lack of access to menstrual products, facilities, waste management and education. Low-income families have a harder time being able to afford menstrual products. For students, this can mean foregoing classes and activities if they don’t have what they need. Students whose families struggle financially typically face many challenges that put them behind peers. Missing classes and activities can put them even further behind.

Conversely, studies on this subject show that when people have access to period products, school absenteeism is reduced, grades improve, graduation rates increase, higher level jobs are accessible and the status of women in society heightens.

black quotes“We are grateful that MB Piland chose Topeka Public Schools for their anniversary campaign focus,” says Dr. Aarion L. Gray, General Director of Instructional Services for the district. “We have 77 percent of students from low-income homes, so this will help address urgent health and social-emotional needs, creating more access for students and families in our district.”

2-phase strategy to meet student needs

The campaign has two phases. In the first phase, MB Piland is collecting donations through an online donation platform. Products will ship to the agency the last week in March. On Friday, March 31, agency staff, friends and guests will assemble kits for Topeka Public Schools. The competed kits will be used by school health aides and nurses to be given when students need them. The timing of the kit delivery coincides with the agency’s official 25th anniversary on Saturday, April 1.

Since student needs are ongoing, MB Piland will launch a Phase 2 campaign after the first round of kits of are assembled. The second phase will run through the end of the year, with online donations shipping directly to Topeka Public Schools each month.

pink parenthesisthe more you know

The campaign has an educational focus as well as the product drive. “To engage audiences in our message, we created punctuation graphics to underscore important information about how period poverty and period stigma have a negative impact, hence ‘Punctuating the Period.’ We share this on our website, in our social media, in presentations and in our emails to clients and friends,” says Alexandra Reilly, vice president and agency principal. “We want to normalize the conversation, and these graphics help make the topic more approachable,” she says.

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