Posts Tagged ‘WVU IMC’

Millennial Musings

December 2, 2014

I’m a millennial. That means I like to tweet my favorite brands, take selfies, and wait hours in line for the latest iPhone…

… At least, that’s how some marketers like categorize me.

Oh yeah- I’m a marketer, too. As a millennial marketer whose job requires me to market to millennials on a daily basis, what happens when the marketer “me” tries to understand the millennial consumer “me?”

hello-millennial-feature

Millennial marketers, does being a millennial help you market better to the generation?

Adweek recently posted an article about how digital advertising network Exponential has categorized millennials based on the group’s reaction to three things: the economy, globalization and social media.

While we are known to dislike generalizations about our generation, I found the 12 millennial subgroups fascinating- Personally, I identify most as a Millennial Martha.

 

Here’s the list:

  1. Boss Babes
  2. Brogrammers
  3. The Underemployed
  4. Shut Out
  5. Nostalgics
  6. Travel Enthusiasts
  7. Culinary Explorers
  8. The Exuberants
  9. The Collectors
  10. The Quarter-Life Crisis Millennial
  11. Millennial Marthas
  12. Millennial Moms

 

How will marketers categorize Gen Z into subgroups?

-R

Social Media Helps to Humanize Government

December 1, 2014

One of my goals in completing the IMC program is to catch up my digital knowledge to equal that of someone born in 1997. Although social media has been around for 10 years, I still consider it a new, fleeting subject, when in fact, it is very much here to stay. Social Media and Marketing is further changing my opinion of its usefulness in business. But social media has also opened up the formerly buttoned-up business of government.

Five years ago, state and federal government agencies were unsure how to be on social media without fear of losing control of the message. Today social media plays a starring role in communications strategies – especially with the 18-24 demographic. DigitalGov is a great resource for exploring how government agencies are embracing digital, including social media.

i voted

On Election Day, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were inundated with “I voted” posts. I voted too, but decided not to join the masses in declaring the deed. Maybe I should have. The USA.gov social media team launched a real-time campaign to answer voting questions and encourage people to vote. People could take #ElectionSelfies with the “I voted” sticker. The team then retweeted 70 of these selfies and thanked 100 random people for taking the time to vote according to Jessica Milcetich, Social Media and Digital Strategist on the USA.gov Outreach Team at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

Two years ago, when Hurricane Sandy pummeled New York, emergency management personnel relied on social media to get information to people and in a sense comfort them said Emily Rahimi, the New York City Fire Department’s social media manager in a recent interview with Emergency Management magazine.

“The hurricane really got people to understand a little bit more, at least around here, how social media can be very important in terms of communications. They had been hesitant about it because if you’re not familiar with social media, you might focus on what could go wrong with it or how it can be used improperly. But I think that really opened people’s eyes as to how we can use social media as a great tool to communicate with the public, let them know what’s going on within the department as well as how to prepare for emergencies.”

Transparency is a huge buzzword in government. Social media has provided communicators a platform to be real with people. This infographic from MPADegree.org shows just how government uses social media.

Source: MPADegree.org

Engaged Employees = Brand Success

November 12, 2014

Employee advocacy is a critical component to any brand’s success. Employees are not only the face of a company; they ARE the company… from internal culture to consumer engagement and brand image. By turning employees into trusted brand ambassadors, companies bring their strongest assets and their most vocal internal advocates into direct contact with their customer base. Internal employee communications strategies can have a direct impact on building consumer brand loyalty. When employees love their job, it shows, and the ripple effect of that honest and organic company adoration can be greater than any pre-planned marketing campaign.

There are more and more companies out there who are ditching the top-down internal communications approach and moving to a more employee-driven engagement model. Why? Because it works on many levels! Here are a few ideas of what successful brands are doing to engage employees:

Encourage employees to help build (and live) the brand mission and company culture. Create a sense of shared ownership in the goals of the company, and focus on using employee experiences and feedback to improve products/services and customer service. Seventh Generation, a green cleaning company, included employees in both setting goals and accountability for achieving them. In 2012, a group of Seventh Generation employees came together to help simplify the company mission into four aspirational principles: Nurturing Nature, Transforming Commerce, Enhancing Health and Building Communities. The principles help to provide year-to-year goals and business plans across all company units and is used as the road map for long term company planning. The Whole Foods “Declaration of Interdependence” is a sort of creed that works in conjunction with the company mission and values – Whole Foods believes the ideal that company success is dependent upon the collective energy and intelligence of all team members. By being empowered to fulfill the organization’s mission and values in every way they can, the company builds trust but also unleashes creativity and innovation. When employees are empowered to make decisions and problem solve, they feel appreciated and valued and thus work harder. Having employees who live and breathe the brand promise will result in better consumer experiences.

Seventh Generation Aspirational Principles

Seventh Generation Aspirational Principles Created by Employees

Cheer on Volunteerism. Corporate volunteer programs drive employee engagement, help recruit younger staff and increase visibility. There is a recent trend of companies offering volunteer opportunities and incorporating those opportunities into the company mission. LUSH, Seventh Generation and New Belgium Brewing Company are only a few examples of companies who have volunteerism baked into their corporate culture – offering benefits to those employees who volunteer their time within the local community. The outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia has also been successful in building a loyal employee base for not only the laid-back work environment of the company, but also the emphasis the company places on social and environmental causes. Through the Patagonia Employee Internship Program, employees can take paid leave for up to one month to intern with environmental organizations around the world. How cool!

Reward good work. LUSH, a fresh handmade cosmetics company in North America spearheaded a recognition program that builds on the company philosophy of employee interaction and volunteerism. Using a program called Kudos, LUSH encourages employees to reward each other for good work. Each staff member is given 50 points a month that they can use to reward each other with. In addition, LUSH team leaders have a larger pool of points to give out so that they can reward staff for positive things that they see each day. Employees can earn points by exemplifying LUSH values or for great customer feedback, leading by example, learning skills in new areas, perfect attendance, and random acts of kindness. Once received, the employee can exchange Kudos points for chocolate bars, movie tickets, gift cards, and even a big reward: a day off with pay. The goal of the program is to encourage staff to live in LUSH core values, participate in volunteer opportunities and find ways to thank each other each day. And, it isn’t just LUSH that’s doing it… even companies like Safeway has recently jumped on board!

Encourage social interaction. Be it through external social media or an effective and engaging Intranet, employees must have the opportunity to engage with one another to build friendships that go beyond the brick and mortar business walls.

Lead through Leadership. Leadership is more than just having a written mission statement. True leaders must have a genuine commitment to team members’ happiness, excellence and transparency. It is about leading by example, not just talking the talk, but being able to walk the walk. In order to foster a culture that adopts and truly believes in the mission, the leaders must set the bar themselves.

Empowered employees can be brand advocates and industry thought leaders who can help to increase a brands positive footprint both online and off. At the end of the day, an adoring employee base isn’t just great for word-of-mouth marketing, but it’s also good for the bottom line – impacting everything from brand awareness, to the recruitment of new employees. Simply put, engaged and motivated employees translate to happy customers. Helping employees to feel equipped and motivated to support the company may be one of the most important and effective elements in building market share. They are the front lines of any brand – don’t leave them out of the loop!

Life is Like a Box of Chicken Nuggets

November 6, 2014

Forrest Gump was on to something when he uttered a line that would become one of the most quotable movie lines, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

box of chocolates

image source

I may not be as profound or as original as Forrest’s mama, but if I could borrow a few of her words today, I’d say, “Life is like a box of chicken nuggets. You can only eat one bite at a time.” We don’t have the patience for the whole chicken these days. We’ve become a society that consumes and digests one bite at a time – both our fried chicken and our information. We crave the instant gratification of bite-sized nuggets.

chicken nugget boxMaybe it all started when Vh1’s Pop Up Videos were revived in 2011. Those pop-ups are officially called “info nuggets.” We get our pop culture fix in BuzzFeed’s countdown lists or in a single photo on Instagram. We are suckers for a good infographic. We get our news in bite-sized pieces from The Skimm. We constantly check our Twitter feeds, which is essentially an all-you-can-eat chicken nugget buffet.

One of my biggest challenges as a market researcher is communicating the findings in a compelling story. I’ve learned to tell stories one nugget at a time – sometimes it is a 6-pack and other times it is a 12-pack, but digesting one nugget at a time ensures that the audience will be satisfied at the end of the meal presentation, and still recall what they ate for lunch.

The next time you’re staring at a mile-high data set or hours of focus group videos, be inspired by your lunch. Tell your story one nugget at a time.

I Wanted an Upgrade

October 29, 2014

When I found the IMC program, I knew I wanted to be part of it. What really got my attention was the chance to learn today then apply the knowledge to my job tomorrow. This, combined with the overall relaxed-yet-professional feel of the program, sold it. I looked at other online programs, but they seemed full of themselves, steeped in theory and they were way more expensive.

My Journey to IMC

The decision to pursue a Master’s Degree, from just entertaining the idea to enrolling in IMC classes, took about three years. So why did it take me three years to decide? Life. I found out I was having a second baby, make that second and third baby (surprise). So I put grad school on the back burner.

The Lamphere family 2013. Kate, Sean, Livia, me and Violet.

The Lamphere family 2013. Kate, Sean, Livia, me and Violet.

I graduated from the University of North Texas in 1997 with a Business Journalism degree. Back then I wanted to win a Pulitzer Prize. Instead I landed in sleepy little towns working as a community journalist for 10 years. I loved the chance to engage and inform people. I learned that everyone has a story to tell and that story will change someone else’s life. My career took me from the suburbs of Dallas, Texas to Kitsap County, Washington state back to Austin, Texas. In 2007 I made the leap from reporter/editor to public relations writer. I also went from the private sector to the public sector. The Texas Comptroller’s office needed an Information Specialist, and I got the job. At first I wrote economic articles for the external newsletters and edited tax documents. Two years in, I got the chance to write marketing copy for the Texas Tuition Promise Fund and the Texas Unclaimed Property Program. Pretty soon I was the go-to person for ad copy.

I love taglines, headlines, playing with words and connecting people with information. But I knew my dusty J-school degree would not be enough in this digital world where more and more people were getting advanced degrees. So around 2010 I began my research. Then the girls came along and we went from a family of 3 with two incomes to a family of 5 with one income – mine. Now I really had to do something to boost my marketability and potential earning power.

IMC Experience

I applied to the IMC program and got accepted just weeks before the Early Fall 2013 term started. It was scary at first. I wasn’t sure if I would be up for the task. But it was one of the best decisions I have made. I have enjoyed most of the classes and the few that just weren’t my cup of tea, I ended up learning the most from. My favorite so far has been 637 Internal Communications and Branding because it applies to my current job as Internal Communications Specialist for the Texas Department of Transportation. A close second would be Creative Strategy & Execution. It was fun and really challenged my creative thinking skills. I am currently taking 641 Social Media & Marketing because I feel I am weak in that area. I am not a digital native and social media still seems like a fad in my reporter’s mind.

I have completed 6 courses, so I am aiming for a December 2015 graduation. I look forward to the two core courses, one specialty and the capstone I have to take. More than that, I look forward to interacting with fellow IMCers and learning as much as I can from the IMC experience. P.S. I’ll be rooting for the Mountaineers as they play the UT Longhorns on Nov. 8. For those of you in the Austin area, come to the open house  on Nov. 11 to see how great the IMC program really is. I will definitely be there.

Hello from Knoxville, TN

October 23, 2014

I’ve introduced myself in 10 IMC courses so far, but it never comes easy. I’m excited to have signed on as a student blogger as I wrap up the program and practice my cap tossing for May 2015.

Julie_Link_132150_KNOX_0001_cre_pp_8x10

Julie Link

I live in Knoxville, TN, where I work at Scripps Networks Interactive, more specifically HGTV and DIY Network, as the Director of Research and Consumer Insights. I’ve worked at SNI in various capacities for 13 years, but always in the Research Department. My group is responsible for daily reporting on network performance along with understanding and sharing audience, category and media insights. I’m also responsible for ongoing primary research studies that monitor the health of the networks.

SNI_V_STACK6_SMALL_BLUEAfter finishing my undergraduate degree at Indiana University in telecommunications and sociology, I moved to New York City and landed my first job — sales assistant at E! Network. With a couple of years of skyscrapers and subways out of my system, I retreated home to Knoxville.

While I’ve been in the workforce for nearly 15 years, my experience is limited to two companies so I decided to pursue IMC as a way of broadening my business perspective. At the end of the IMC program I hope that I look back to confirm that I know more than I thought, but I also hope I have a few of those light-bulb-over-the-head moments when something clicks and I’m able to put it seamlessly into action in my day job. My goal as a blogger is to let you in on some of those light bulb moments.

In real life I’m a mom to the two best kids in the world. My daughter Keaton, is a first grader and my son, Jay, is three years old. My husband, Rob, is the director of Community Relations for a national non-profit and he coaches youth hockey. Our Boston Terrier, Ruby Sue, is my IMC sidekick as she is my loyal foot-warmer and late-night companion. Any guesses as to the movie character who goes by the same name – Ruby Sue?

I like to sew and ride my bike (leisurely with the kids – not a serious cyclist) and I’m always on the lookout for really good BBQ. During our summer vacation I realized all four of us had our WVU gear packed so with ice cream and candy bribes in full effect, I convinced my family we needed a photo.

DSC_0623

The Link family attempts to take a photo wearing WVU gear on the last day of a beach vacation.

This was the best we got – Rob reminding me to take sunglasses off, Keaton’s hair blowing in the wind while she adjusts her flip flop and sand in Jay’s eyes. Picture perfect. We can be real here, right?

Let the Adventure Begin!

October 21, 2014

Hey Media and Marketing Mountaineers! My name is Sarah Shank and I’m really excited to be a new WVU IMC blogger because… I’m always up for a new adventure! And blogging is just like adventure racing or bobsledding or paragliding, right?

Me following the paddle leg of a run, mt. bike, paddle, swim adventure race.

Me following the paddle leg of a run, mt. bike, paddle, swim adventure race.

Myself, brother and boyfriend prior to plunging down the bobsled course at Lake Placid.

Myself, brother and boyfriend prior to plunging down the bobsled course at Lake Placid.

I joined the WVU IMC program in August 2013 and picked it because of the flexibility the program provides as well as the topic area. I really believe in the IMC approach and think it’s the future for our field as marketers and communicators. When we are able to effectively cross communications/marketing boundaries and take a more holistic approach to campaigns and business, we can more powerfully engage employees, consumers and stakeholders. Throughout my career, I’ve found that the more integrated that teams become, the more successful of an outcome a campaign or brand will be – by working together we can transform one-way messages and instead build robust dialogues. I’m currently a Senior Manager of Communications at a public health non-profit that is dedicated to tobacco prevention. My organization is best known for our work in building counter-marketing media and behavior-change campaigns, namely the truth® campaign – which just re-launched this summer. In my current work, I have been fortunate to empower young people at all levels to create social change.

I’m fascinated by cause-related marketing and social engagement and I pride myself on finding innovative ways to promote projects and initiatives via earned media, integrated tactics and collaborative partnerships. By doing so, I’ve been able to help elevate the topic of tobacco and health equity nationwide. By taking an IMC approach to educating and empowering audiences, we each have the ability to make an impact that will far outlast ourselves. I consider myself a passionate communicator and I’ve come to believe that trust, transparency and positivity are powerful tools that every IMC professional has at their fingertips and I’m honored to have a job which provides me with the unique opportunity to help shape the way that people see the world.

Communications girl by day, activity junkie by night. When I’m not at work or writing for school, you can find me in the CrossFit gym, playing adult floor hockey, seeking out a crazy escapade or enjoying as much time outside as possible – be it hiking through the trees, squishing my toes in the sand or taste-testing at a new restaurant patio. Photo proof:

mountain

emerald isle

Now nearly 9 years ago, my mom had a life-saving liver transplant – it was an experience that completely changed my perspective on the world. I visit my family often in my hometown of Rochester, NY and I try hard to make every moment matter. Needless to say, I have much love for my fam… and our bulldog Bentley – they totally crack me up and keep me sane.

Rochester!

Rochester!

I’ve stayed in Washington, DC since attending undergrad at American University and finally I can call myself a true Washingtonian. My boyfriend and I bought our first place last August and have perfected the art of teamwork through home improvement the past 12 months. If you can live together while renovating a one bedroom/one bath and working full time and doing grad school, I’m pretty sure you can accomplish anything. I can now add floor tiling, toilet installation and paint nearly everything to my resume.

house sold

For those students who I have not met in class, I look forward to it. IMC students who are ever visiting DC, please give me a shout – I love meeting people and sharing a list of favorite spots!

Sarah

Analogies.

October 16, 2014

So I write. A lot.

At work, it’s ad copy, press releases, website content, tweets, Facebook posts, marketing plans and other collateral. For school, any IMC student will tell you their weeknights and weekends are busy writing discussion board posts, responding to classmates, and typing many, many papers. In my free time- well, you’re reading this now so blogging shouldn’t come as a surprise.

I spend so much time with words, yet I can forget to appreciate the power of language.

This recent article about the historical relevance of analogies reminded me that language has played an important role in innovation. Henry Ford, Steve Jobs- these innovators made the unfamiliar familiar through either implicit or explicit analogies to the butchering assembly line and desk organization.

desktop

Analogies can help consumers welcome the unfamiliar… like a virtual desktop. (Photo Credit: http://www.amandatotorodesign.com)

Today, whenever I hear the word “desktop,” the first thing that comes to mind is virtual, not physical. That’s how powerful language can be, that the analogized object can become the prime reference.

Initially, consumers were more likely to welcome the computer desktop interface because they understood how to approach it based on approaches to organize a real desk. Today, Apple continues to introduce the new by referencing the old.

What untapped analogies will innovators use next?

-R

#ShowUcare: Create Ripples of Conversations on Social Media That Will Change the World

September 18, 2014

Earlier this summer, in my cubicle over 1,000 miles away from the Orlando, FL stage, I watched the Social Fresh East Conference live stream. As the event unfolded on Twitter, one handle, @iSocialFanz, specifically caught my attention with the volume and breadth of visually engaging live tweets. The man behind the handle was Brian Fanzo, Chief Digital Strategist and Partner at BroadSuite | Leading Digital & Social Business Change @iSocialFanz.

The Economist Intelligence Unit @TheEIU along with @IBM included Brian on their list of 25 Social Business Leaders thanks to his direction and leadership in the social media field.

Brian grabs industry attention because he believes “We as a social community create conversations, that create ripples that will change the world!” The hashtag he uses to exemplify his mantra is #ShowUcare.

As Integrated Marketing Communications graduate students, we must remember to create content that shows we care. Brian was gracious enough to create a video that answers the following questions:

  1. Can you describe your role as Technology Community Evangelist at iSocialFanz?
  2. #ShowUcare is your professional philosophy. What examples can you provide that best exemplify your approach?
  3. How do you approach curating content?
  4. You are very well connected on social media! How many platforms do you utilize to produce your content?
  5. What best practices can you offer for hosting and participating in Twitter chats?
  6. If you could only follow ten thought leaders on Twitter who would make your list?
  7. Which conferences do you view as being the ones every practitioner should attend?
  8. How has content marketing and storytelling changed the social media field?
  9. For students starting to build their professional social media presence, what advice can you offer?
  10. What change do you want to see happen for businesses currently utilizing social media?

 

 

Show Notes

Platforms: 

Scoop.it

Meddle it

 

Key Points:

  • Learn how to social listen
  • Find social communities
  • Treat your digital impression like your first impression
  • Unfollow the haters
  • Upcycle Content
  • Find your voice and be yourself
  • Focus on 1:1 communication

 

Twitter Thought Leader List:

@ValaAfshar

@TedRubin

@BryanKramer

@TaMcdonald

@DanielNewmanUV

@MillennialCEO

@KimGarst

@RebekahRadice 

@GaryVee

@JayBaer

@CKburgress

@SimonSinek

 

A special WVU IMC thank you goes out to Brian Fanzo for taking the time to participate in this post!

Make sure to follow Brian on social media and be sure to tag worthy content with the #ShowUcare hashtag.

How to Use Your IMC Skills to Change the World, While Getting the Experience of a Lifetime

September 2, 2014

This is a guest blog post by IMC graduate, Angie McCrone.

After graduating from the IMC master’s program at WVU in December 2013, I was determined to embark on a new adventure. I had spent five years running a nonprofit that helps artists with developmental disabilities sell their work, and although my work was rewarding, I was ready to pursue something on a global scale. I wanted to make a difference in the world of global health.

My reasons for being passionate about global health are pretty intuitive; I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and have several family members in the medical field there. My whole life, I heard people refer to my home as the lost cause of Africa, a place they refer to like it is a county, not a continent. They would explain that there were too many problems, and pouring US dollars into it wouldn’t help.

Fortunately, they were very wrong. The more you learn about global health the more you realize that calculated and researched strategies make big differences! Consider the eradication of polio in India or Botswana’s achievement of bringing HIV transfer from mother to child down to just 4%. These are incredible and measured results of global health initiatives that save millions of lives.

So it is obvious why I have a vested interest in global health, but I would argue that all marketing and communications professionals should care deeply about global health efforts. Communications professionals have the talent and know-how to change the world! More than any other profession, marketers have an incredible ability to change behavior. This is such an incredible skill that the global health field desperately needs. Think of your impact if your communications expertise were used to change risky sexual behavior or drug use in areas with a high HIV prevalence. These actions can be linked directly to lives saved.

Not sure you believe me? Consider the opportunity from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that offers marketers an opportunity to make a difference each year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Their Cannes Chimera Initiative asks marketing and communications agencies (see the video below) to design campaigns that solve global problems.

After realizing my strong desire to be a change-maker, I applied for a Global Health Corps (GHC) fellowship. In April, I was offered an opportunity and adventure of a lifetime, working as a Global Health Corps fellow and Marketing and Development Associate at the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University.

GHC pairs young professionals with global health organizations that are looking for innovative solutions for solving some of the world’s most difficult health challenges. Our class of 128 fellows is placed in Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and the United States.

GHC fellows come from varied backgrounds and are placed in a wide range of positions and organizations. To help them navigate the new landscape, GHC partners local fellows with an international fellow. As communications professionals, we know how important having a local perspective is to developing genuine communications plans.

Global Health Corps fellows have an incredible opportunity to get valuable experience working in international markets. Since most of the organizations have limited resources, fellows also have a chance to take on large projects that they may not be able to do otherwise. It would be extremely difficult to get this level of real world training at most entry to mid-level positions.

Also, there is no need to have training or global health education to apply to GHC. The paid fellowship includes a two week global health training institute at Yale University, quarterly professional and personal development retreats, and a closing retreat in East Africa.  Fellows can also opt-in to have an advisor in their field of choice, and the GHC alumni and staff are dedicated to our current and future success.

Angie_Sudip_GHC (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Nepalese co-fellow, Sudip Bhandari (right) and me at a cocktail party for GHC supporters at Chelsea Piers in NYC

Do you want to contribute to a better world? Are you thinking of joining the movement toward global health equity?  Consider applying for a Global Health Corps fellowship, or working for a global health organization. Even if you’re not willing to dedicate your career to global health, communications volunteers are always needed at nonprofits, and pro-bono work from a marketing firm on a single communications campaign can save millions.

So go on, marketers! Go change the world. Isn’t it great to know you can?

About the author:

Angie McCrone is the Marketing and Development Associate for the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University and a 2014-2015 Global Health Corps fellow. Previously, she managed the marketing and sales of a nonprofit that promotes the creative work of artists with developmental disabilities. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California: Santa Cruz, majoring in studio art and minoring in literature and received her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications at West Virginia University.

L: www.linkedin.com/in/angiemccrone/

T: https://twitter.com/AngKMc

Global Health Corps is building a community of change-makers who share the common belief that health is a human right. Their mission is to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity.

The Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Business School. Launched in 2007 under the guidance of Dr. Jim Y. Kim, Dr. Paul Farmer, and Professor Michael Porter, GHD is a response to the knowledge gap that occurs between medical discovery and clinical application in low resource settings. Their mission is to build a network of professionals dedicated to improving the delivery of value-based health care globally. To join one of their professional virtual communities visit: ghdonline.org


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 162 other followers