Top 10 Chicago Must-Do’s for INTEGRATE Attendees

October 20, 2016 by

INTEGRATE Chicago is less than two weeks away! Do you have your trip planned out yet?—we do!

Because our program has current students and graduates in 49 states, we sought out to get an insider’s perspective on “The Windy City.” Here is what some Chicago locals from the West Virginia University IMC program recommended:

  1. Check out the city’s “Magnificent Mile,” filled with shops, restaurants and sights. While you’re there, grab a slice of Chicago-style deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, a local haven.
  2. Spend some time at the Navy Pier, a location frequented by visitors. More than 3,300 feet long, the Navy Pier is home to the Centennial Wheel and offers some great people-watching.
  3. Stop at Millennium Park to take a photo with one of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks—“The Bean.”
  4. Catch a show at Adler Planetarium’s Grainger Sky Theater and feel like you are flying through space.
  5. Step back in time at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. This 100-year-old saloon used to be Al Capone’s hangout, but now it’s best known for its jazz music.
  6. Take a trip to Hot “G” Dog for an authentic, Chicago-style hot dog that will not disappoint.
  7. Visit the Art Institute of Chicago. Housing more than 300,000 pieces, this museum has something for everyone.
  8. Say hello to Granddad at Shedd Aquarium. The 82-year-old Australian Lungfish is one of the oldest aquarium fish in the world.
  9. See Chicago from a whole new perspective with Tilt. This attraction, part of 360 Chicago, shows visitors what it’s like to look down at the city from 1,000 up.
  10. Watch the sunset from Willis Tower’s Skydeck—Unforgettable!

So, as you make your way to INTEGRATE Chicago, keep this list of adventures in mind! (And, if you complete any of the activities from the list above, don’t forget to take a photo and tag us!) For more information about the event or to reserve your spot, please visit

Reaching Target Audiences in Time and Space

October 18, 2016 by



Think about it. As consumers, we live in a three-dimensional world where messages come to us in time sequences largely governed by our digital devices and the skill of marketers trying to reach us.

Writing recently in Advertising Age, Garett Sloane noted that “marketers are trying to understand when their messages reach consumers on different devices throughout the day, identifying users accurately as they switch screens.”

So, these multiple platforms may actually be helping to deconstruct media initiatives, and one could reasonably argue that there are message subsets, just as there are audience subsets.

To use the terminology of Audience Intent, IMC 612, these audience subsets can be called cohorts because they are groups having something in common, usually age, income or culture.

Well, messages, too, can be categorized into cohorts. For example, one type of message is the urgent one: the message that you have to read because your mobile device just prompted you of its arrival in your inbox. Another is the message coming from a site you visit often, such as when Amazon presents products similar to those you have just purchased. A third could be suggested article links that your digital news concierge, trolling your online metrics, suggests for you. In large part, the second and the third examples unpack in consumer-controlled time segments.

However, marketers cannot afford to wait patiently for a message to be processed in a linear progression of time when it suits the consumer. Rather, the advertiser wants the information to reach the audience cohort in a multi-directional movement across time, and in time to influence the consumer decision-making process, all topics we talk about in IMC 612.

As Sloan explains, “sequential messaging, also known as sequential targeting, often requires cross-device capabilities to accurately reach the same consumer across screens when they visit different digital properties.”

These marketing tactics are often on display during webinars and meetings of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). Retailers of fast food outlets have added social media experts to their in-house communications’ teams. Typically, these professionals are themselves in the millennial generational cohort, so they are used to conveying messages via live streaming and digital apps.

However, traditional media components, used for decades in integrated marketing and communication, co-exist with newer techniques of message dissemination. For example, product collateral, outdoor advertisements, and conventional radio and television persist, though on modern platforms.

This combination of technology and tradition allows the message to be pushed out to different audience cohorts on different platforms and at different moments of time. Once conveyed, the sequential message continues a life of its own.

Early theories of information dissemination thought that messages went in only one direction from the sender to the receiver. Over time, messages were viewed as circular, since the receiver-audience replied directly or indirectly to the marketing initiative.

Today, audience feedback is a blog entry on a social media channel of an individual consumer or a burst of tweets in a stream of reactions to a concept or product. The sheer volume of this consumer reactive traffic shows us that we do indeed live in a three-dimensional world.

Kathleen DeMarco teaches IMC 612, Audience Intent.

Reference: Sloan, G. (2016, Oct. 5). Digital marketing glossary 101: words you wanted to know about but were too afraid to ask. Advertising Age.

The top 6 reasons to attend #INTEGRATEChicago

October 11, 2016 by



INTEGRATE Chicago will take place November 1-2. For more information, or to reserve your spot now, visit:

Enter discount code “INTCHI2016” at checkout and get $25 off your registration.

A Preview of #INTEGRATEChicago

October 6, 2016 by

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INTEGRATE Chicago is just around the corner! To prepare you for the event, we wanted to offer a brief preview! This event will feature breakout sessions and discussions, providing you with ample opportunities to learn, network and share with a myriad of like-minded professionals. Sessions will feature speakers from companies such as Energy BBDO, PRSA and Exelon, who will discuss a variety of topics, including: storytelling, consumer segmentation and creating effective content. Learn more about each of the INTEGRATE Chicago speakers and their sessions below. For additional information, or to reserve your spot at INTEGRATE Chicago, please visit our website. Enter discount code “INTCHI2016” at checkout, and receive $25 off your registration.


When Creative Genius Strikes: Making Work that Works | Andrés Ordóñez, Chief Creative Officer, Energy BBDO

1Ordóñez has more than 15 years of integrated marketing experience, and has worked with a variety of internationally-renowned brands, including: Extra, Orbit, Bayer and PepsiCo. At Energy BBDO, Ordóñez is responsible for overseeing the agency’s diverse range of clients, and is known for igniting creativity in the office. In his session, Ordóñez will discuss the creative process—explaining how to capture great ideas and build them to their fullest potential.


Crafting Happily Ever After | Hugo Pérez, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Content & Innovation at Zeno Group, The Content Factory 

2An award-winning journalist, filmmaker and storyteller, Pérez has worked with some of the world’s most well-known brands, including: Mars, Inc., MTV, Starbucks and Taco Bell. Pérez’s focus is developing groundbreaking content strategies and compelling brand stories that will create authentic connections with target consumers. In his session, Pérez will discuss effective content storytelling, as well as the importance of creating a “common thread” between a brand and its customers.


The Adaptive Professional: A Look at the Rapidly Changing Requirements for the Public Relations/Strategic Communications Professional | Joseph P. Truncale, CEO of the Public Relations Society of America, PRSA

3Truncale specializes in strategy, customer analysis and organizational effectiveness. From his 30-plus years of experience serving a national, professional organization, Truncale has gained the skills needed to navigate today’s transformative media landscape with ease. At INTEGRATE Chicago, Truncale will speak to his experiences and discuss the changing requirements for today’s public relations and strategic communications professionals.


Calming the Chaos: Utilizing Proper Strategy for Crisis Communications | Clarissa Beyah-Taylor, Vice President, PHI Communications at Exelon

4As a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience, Beyah-Taylor has dappled in all facets of the industry, including: internal communications, advertising, media relations and crisis communications. In her current position, Beyah-Taylor is responsible for leading the development and execution of strategic communications programs. At INTEGRATE Chicago, Beyah-Taylor will draw from her past experiences to discuss the proper strategy for effectively handling crisis situations.


How to Win Search and Social Traffic with Interconnected Content | Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder and Strategic Director of Orbit

5Crestodina has dedicated himself to the teaching of marketing. In addition to being an author, adjunct professor, blogger and top-rated, national speaker, Crestodina has spent more than 15 years providing web strategy and advice to businesses seeking his assistance. At INTEGRATE Chicago, Crestodina will discuss creating and promoting B2B lead generating content—emphasizing the importance of interconnected content, especially in the world of blogging.


Five Steps to Better Customer Management | Bryan Bennett, Author of “Competing on Healthcare Analytics

6In addition to being an internationally known analytics, healthcare and leadership expert, Bennett is a businessman, author, speaker and professor. Bennett’s more than 25 years of experience creating and implementing new business strategies, processes and products led him to working with brands such as Rogaine and Microsoft. During his session, Bennett will discuss the process of segmenting consumers based on their value.

3 Reasons why YouTube Deserves to Play a Bigger Role in Your Digital Marketing Efforts

October 4, 2016 by


YouTube has catapulted it’s way into search engine excellence! Since it’s introduction to the world in 2005, YouTube is now the second largest search engine, falling short to no other than their owner, Google. Not to mention,  it’s bigger than BingYahoo!, Ask and AOL combined!

Impressive right? But, why does YouTube deserve it’s spot at the top and why should be a major part of your digital marketing efforts?

Is it because it’s filled with racks on racks of organic content – created by consumers for consumers?

Or, maybe because it’s so easy that even a cave man can do it?

Yes! No…not sure, well  it’s fine. Sit tight, as I pinpoint 3 reasons why YouTube is a top resource for consumers and why you should tap into it.

1.) It Humanizes a Brand


YouTube offers a unique quality to businesses. It allows companies to effectively humanize their brands. YouTube videos allow consumers to begin putting faces with the brand and it also offers a much more casual platform in which consumers can engage with visual content.

A way in which a company can begin doing this is by recruiting a few YouTubers who embody every element of their brand and who also possess a large YouTube following filled with their target audience, to serve as brand ambassadors.

Additionally, companies could also start posting their own videos. Videos featuring employees and industry professionals speaking genuinely about their products and services.

So now you are probably wondering why this can’t be done in digital marketing solely through Facebook, Twitter, or whichever other social media networks you can think of?

Well, with different forms of emerging media being on the rise within digital marketing, some consumers have began preferring to be reached visually – as opposed to by text. Plus, YouTube videos are universal.

Video content should be a pillar of your digital marketing strategy because it is only second to face-to-face interaction as a tool to humanize your brand. When people are searching YouTube, they are actively trying to learn more about products and services. It is extremely easy to share YouTube videos via social networks, or embed on websites or blogs.

YouTube allows a brand to reach those consumers interested in their products on a platform that they enjoy using, which also allowing room for commentary and suggestions … i.e. the comment boxes.

2.) People flock to YouTube for Product Reviews


Before I may any major purchases (and by that I mean any purchases that can’t be classified as necessities to live), I always search for product reviews. While written reviews were once the norm, I have noticed that I, just like a lot of consumers, now prefer video.

There’s just something about seeing someone else with the product that you are about to buy… actually having it and using it.

Luckily, I am not the only one obsessed with utilizing YouTube for this reason.

More than 25 percent of participants said they used online video to learn about products “a few times a week,” and more than 20 percent use it “a few times a month.” 47 percent said they would be more likely to investigate the product upon seeing it in a video. While some reported feeling neutral about products in videos, less than seven percent said they would prefer to see no products in the online videos they watched.

The majority of survey respondents said they were more likely to buy a product they saw in a positive online review, and more than 42 percent believe YouTube to be the most trustworthy source of product reviews.

So how does product reviews contribute to YouTube’s greatness. A lot of the content posted on YouTube is reviews and YouTube has became a trusted entity within consumer’s eyes when researching product reviews.

Now, how can your company benefit from this? By monitoring what consumers are saying in their product reviews about your products and services. This will allow you to gain greater access into the minds of your consumers and will help with identifying any changes that need to be made to improve your product.

Additionally, this is where your brand ambassadors could come in again. After offering them an opportunity to serve as a face for your company, you can begin endorsing their videos that showcase products that you sent them for review.

3.) People also search YouTube for Tutorials


I wanted it. I bought it. Now how do I use it?

Along with product reviews, a lot of consumers jump right into searching for tutorials right after. The reviews are the persuading force that solidifies their want to purchase the product, and if the are mostly positive, the consumers usually move forward with buying the products.

So after buying these products they have invested so much time researching, it usually urges consumers into wanting to fully understand how to get the most out of their purchases. This is where tutorials come in… to show them how to use nearly every feature or maximize their service.

Once again, this is where those ambassadors can come into the picture and save your day. They can upload tutorial videos of them utilizing your products or services.

Or, your actual company itself can upload a few different tutorial videos on their page for consumers interested in learning more about their products or services.

Well that’s all folks! YouTube is definitely a resource that should be utilized by your digital marketing department. It could essentially help make or break your efforts in converting potential consumers into actual consumers.

P.S., make sure to check out this amazing info-graphic from Mushroom Networks all about YouTube’s claim to fame as a top of the line search engine!

Created by Mushroom Networks

-Katra Cunningham

Katra Cunningham  is an IMC student currently in IMC 619 Emerging Media & the Market. This blog post originally appear on her blog: Emerging Media…as told by Katra. Check out her blog for more posts!



September WVU Reed College of Media Online Programs E-News

September 29, 2016 by


September WVU Reed College of Media Online Programs Monthly E-News

WVU IMC and DMC Friends and Family,

Every month we pull together program news and deliver it to your inbox. Below is the September 2016 edition.

If you have news that you’d like to share, please send it to Ally Kennedy at

Program News

  • In the Orlando area? Join us for a networking open house at the Loews Sapphire Falls Hotel on 10/05 from 6:30-8 p.m. RSVP with the Wufoo form hyperlinked.
  • INTEGRATE Chicago is Nov. 1-2. A networking reception will take place on the 1st and the conference will be on the 2nd. For an additional $25 off of the early bird rate, use code INTCHI2016 when you register. Visit the website for more information. We hope to see you in Chicago!
  • Watch our graduate profile on David Hazelton, design director at ProShare Advisors, LLC. Find it here.
  • Watch our graduate profile on Jenn Wood Cunningham, director of university relations at WVU Tech. Find it here.
  • Watch our student profile on Ellyn Troup, account executive at Garage Team Mazda. Find it here.
  • IMC Instructor Mike Fulton will be presenting a webinar “Make time for Networking and Relationship Development” in the IMC Dashboard on Oct. 11 at 7 pm ET. All students, alumni and instructors are invited to attend. Alumni – here is the link you can use to access the session:
  • Interested in blogging for the IMC Blog? Contact Ally Kennedy at We are changing the format of the blog to include students, graduates and faculty bloggers.
  • Have a job to add to our Job Board? Email the information to Ally at
  • Have you moved/changed primary email? Please update your contact information.

Student/Graduate News

  • Heather Sammons (’15) joined the team at Heston Farm in Fairmont, West Virginia, as the marketing manager.
  • Paul Rhien (’16) accepted the role of public information officer at the New Mexico Department of Health.

Faculty News

Blog Entries

Succeeding in the MarCom Industry

September 26, 2016 by



I reached out to WVU IMC students and graduates for their best advice on how to succeed in the MarCom industry. Here is what they had to say!

Writing is one of the many key factors to success in the marketing communications field. I would suggest that young professionals should always be honing their writing skills to become adept in their chosen industry. I would always recommend young professionals be willing to learn different areas of marketing communications. Flexibility will serve young professionals well in the long run for their careers. Finally, I would suggest young professionals learn how to design marketing and PR plans. A strategic mindset is crucial to success in any field, but especially marketing communications.

-Ryan Nolan ’16, Global Public Relations Program Manager, Johnson Controls

Stay curious and passionate. This is an exciting field and things are always changing. You should focus on spotting trends, seeing the future and understanding behavior. Know what makes your audience tick.

We live in an increasingly complex, multi-device, multi-channel world, and to be successful, you have to create a seamless and integrated experience across all channels. Each channel has its own nuance.

Learn as much as you can about big data and predictive analytics. Understand how to use them to achieve measurable results. But don’t focus so much on data that you lose sight of the human factor. To sell your idea, you have to appeal to both the emotional and rational elements.

-Andrea Joliet ’16, Director of Corporate Communications, Akron Children’s Hospital

To succeed as a professional in any industry I recommend finding ways to get outside of yourself as much as possible so you can better understand the motivations and triggers of others. Interactions observed as well as experienced afford us priceless information in how to improve our strategy, technique, and subtle nuance in order to accomplish our objectives.

-Stephanie Katcher ’18, Director of Marketing, Luna Verde Coffee

My advice for those who may be new to marketing communications is to realize the value of business acumen. Specifically for creative staff, it is important to realize how your creative decisions affect larger business decisions. You are always working for a client whether your client is internal in a corporate setting, or external in an agency situation. It is critical to remember that you are not creating marketing communications for yourself, but for your client’s audience. Sometimes the most effective solution for the target audience is not going to be your personal preference.

-David Hazelton ’16, Design Director, ProShare Advisors, LLC

Top 10 Reasons to Love Social Media in Marketing

September 22, 2016 by


1.Social media is present. – See things as they happen. Watch as conversations around your posts develop and mature over time. See what your consumers and clients are saying as they say it.

2.Social media is measurable. -You can track which messages are received the best by your followers. Data is present in almost every form of social media. Analyzing that data will give you actionable information to react to, whether that is discovering that sharing more photos will boost your click through rate or offering promotions as part of your posts will net your company more followers and likes.

3.Social media is fast. – Get your message out to your consumers faster without delays or airing schedules. Social media allows you to share things with clients and consumers faster than traditional media or news sources. If an event happens that paints your company in a bad light, you can use social media to respond and reassure your consumers all in one place hours before the evening news or newspaper.

4.Social media is able to put you where the customers are. – You can reach large amounts of people at the same time!. Social media gives you one more channel to allow consumers to discover your products or services without leaving the social media sites they already use.

5.Social media is global. – Anyone anywhere in the world can find you and follow you. Reach consumers in every country in the world through a social media site.

6.Social media is flexible. – There is a platform for everyone. Microblogging, blogging, pictures, videos – whatever the consumers would like to see, social media can do. The only limit is your imagination in how to use a particular platform to reach your consumers.

7.Social media is easy. – Almost everyone can use social media for their businesses. The platforms already exist, so no need to set up something special to try to reach consumers. No need for forums or listservs when your Twitter or Facebook account will serve the same purpose in getting out your message.

8.Social media is conversation. – Businesses can start a conversation with their followers and get in the minds of what they are really thinking. Hashtags and content tagging give consumers ways to find the content and allows you to link conversations as they happen. Follow the conversations through the content to find out what is really on your customers’ minds.

9.Social media is a way to see what your competitors are doing. – “Spying” is easy on social media. Discover what your business competitors are doing (or not doing) on social media and follow their trends and conversations to find out what is working and not working for them. Know why their customers love them and follow them. It may give you ideas about how to approach your own customers for the same products or services.

10.Social media is “digital word of mouth.” – Followers will share things with their own friends and families. This is probably the most powerful part of social media. Given the right motivation, enough people can share your message through “digital word of mouth” that no other advertising may be necessary. Find those passionate about your product or services and watch as they share that information with their own followers. Those followers may share that information, whose own followers may also share.

What are your favorite reasons to use social media in marketing?

Learning to be Flexible

September 20, 2016 by



My name is Chris Fujimoto, and I’m currently enrolled in my second full semester in the IMC master’s program. My decision to attend West Virginia was an easy one to make. What I found to be difficult was planning when I would begin my journey at West Virginia. It was along that discovery process that I realized West Virginia’s IMC program was catering to my biggest need: flexibility.

When I started researching graduate programs I was looking for a program that would provide me a solid marketing base, while expanding my knowledge in different marketing and communications strategies. I was also looking for a program that would fit into my professional schedule. Most importantly, I was looking for a program that would allow me to apply the lessons from the classroom to the workplace in impactful and creative ways. After reading into West Virginia’s master’s degree in IMC, I knew they checked off all of the boxes I mentioned, and I knew it was the right fit for me.

There were, however, a few logistical problems that I needed to navigate. I knew that I wanted to take the GRE exams. West Virginia offers a GRE waiver (another point toward flexibility), but I wanted to keep options open and train my brain back into the academic mindset. Additionally, I hadn’t officially applied to the program at that point, and I felt a large sense of dread at the idea of managing both school and my professional workload. Maybe a graduate program wasn’t a realistic possibility for me at the moment? I was starting to doubt whether or not I would be making the right decision for my career by applying to the program.

It was at that point I decided to do some proactive research and planning. What I found was that starting in January of 2016 would be an easier transition for me than the fall of 2015. My professional workload would be slowing down a bit, giving me the perfect amount of time to ease in to the grad school workload. Starting in the spring also meant that I could take more time to study for the GRE exams, which gave me some practice in balancing my academic and professional workloads. The coursework that the IMC program offers is mirrored in the fall and spring, so I didn’t feel like I was behind any of my peers. When I laid all of the components out on the table, I knew that starting in the spring was the right decision for me. The structure of the IMC program helped relieve any uncertainty that had built from my initial thoughts.

For individuals who are considering the program I think the most important thing is to look at the IMC program and determine how it plays a part into your overall plan. The IMC program is built with flexibility to meet the needs of its students, and we are empowered on how we want to take advantage of what is being provided to us.

Chris Fujimoto is currently an IMC student and the marketing web administrator at Vanguard Charitable in Philadelphia. 

Streaming is the New Fan Experience

September 15, 2016 by


With emerging media, there are so many ways to experience any sports game without actually having to be in attendance. Just looking at this college football attendance from Patrick Rishe, there was over a 3.5% decrease in attendance from 2003 to 2015. Bowl games have seen a huge decrease in attendance as well. However, the Oregon vs. Ohio State championship game had about 33.4 million viewers on television.

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So if people aren’t attending games, how are fans watching their favorite teams. With streaming options across different apps and live updates on social media. Kickoff weekend of college football this year saw record numbers of viewers. There was 3,900,000 unique viewers for 391,100,000 live minutes streamed in opening weekend through ESPN. Compared to last season, unique viewers was up 57% and live minutes viewed up 86%.


When looking at social media, College Football on ESPN’s Facebook has almost 375,000 likes, their Twitter has 1.5 million followers, and the Instagram has 475,000 followers. It seems Twitter is the biggest social media outlet for sports fans, especially football. Looking at the NFL, Twitter won a bidding war this year to stream Thursday night games. Twitter  beat out Amazon, Yahoo, and Verizon to stream 10 games this season. Facebook dropped out of the bidding when they couldn’t agree on advertising.

Emerging media has been a big player in the way fans consume sports.Whether it is watching it on television from your couch, sitting in the stadium, or streaming from mobile devices on apps or social media. Even if a fan misses the game, there are so many ways through social media and apps to catch the big plays and highlights. One can’t help but wonder as more advances in technology come about, will there be less live fans and more streaming. What do you think; is emerging media supporting or hurting the sports industry?

-Alyssa Hough

Alyssa Hough is an IMC student currently in IMC 619 Emerging Media & the Market. This blog post originally appear on her blog: Alyssa’s IMC Blog. Check out her blog for more posts!