Archive for March, 2010

Break? What break?

March 31, 2010

Hi everyone! Well, theoretically it’s Spring Break this week here in Morgantown. I know our local economy depends on WVU students, but I have to admit it sure is nice to be able to drive around town without any traffic.

Unfortunately for us IMC students, class must go on this week. I’ve been scrambling to get my homework done so I can enjoy the weekend. I see an Easter Egg Hunt in my future, not to mention the WVU basketball game on Saturday! Final Four! I was the Queen of Multitasking last Saturday. Hailey and I watched the Tinkerbell movie on DVD while I did homework and followed the basketball game on my laptop. My goal this week is to manage my time a little better so I can watch the Final Four game on an actual television. We’ll see what  Hailey says about that.

Speaking of basketball, I have to share with you a story from one of my best friends and former co-workers, Autumn, who works in the marketing office at WVU Hospitals here in Morgantown. Monday turned out to be Autumn’s lucky day, as she got to follow along when WVU basketball player Da’Sean Butler paid a surprise visit to an elderly woman who had suffered a heart attack.  Long story short, the woman, a longtime Mountaineer sports fan, had been experiencing heart attack symptoms during the WVU-Villanova game, but refused to go to the hospital until the game was over. When Butler learned of her story, he took special time out of his Spring Break week to go visit her at the hospital, where she continues to recover. He also chatted with several other patients and had his picture taken with patients and employees (including Autumn).

Autumn with Da'Sean Butler

I would love nothing more than to see this WVU basketball team win the school’s first national championship. But, in my book, these guys are winners regardless.

So, how many of you will be cheering along with me on Saturday? (after homework, of course)

The Evolution of Facebook

March 24, 2010

Hi everyone!

First, many congrats to the WVU men’s AND women’s basketball teams. Women – fantastic job on making it to the tournament! Men—I’ll see you tomorrow 😉

Now, back to IMC …

Yesterday I got my final grade back for my 610 Intro to IMC class, and I can officially say that I’ve got the first class under my belt. Yay, progress!

This week in my PR class, we’ve been discussing how search engine optimization and social media have affected/changed public relations, particularly how PR professionals are having to adjust to writing for new media. This discussion made me think about Facebook. Just a few years ago, when I was working in the field, Facebook was frowned on in the workplace—even blocked in some offices—arguing that it was a major time-sucker and decreased productivity. Now, I can’t imagine why anyone would say that …

In case you’re wondering, yes, that’s my farm. And, yes, it’s awesome. And, I am not ashamed to say that I farm. A lot. Sadly, IMC has taken up a lot of my time and I’ve had to put my farm on the back burner for now.

But in all seriousness, I joined Facebook a few months after Hailey was born, when I left my job to stay at home with her. Facebook was a great way for me to stay connected with my former co-workers and friends during that first year at home (which can be really isolating!). In the years I’ve been on Facebook, I’ve seen the network evolve from a place where friends gather to chat and gossip to a popular mechanism for companies and organizations to share news and information – and increase brand loyalty by strengthening relationships with their “fans.” There are several business that I’m either “friends with” or “fans of” on Facebook, and I enjoy hearing about their news (especially discounts and promotions).

I do think companies (specifically PR people) need to be especially careful about how they communicate with their audiences through these social media channels. Case in point, last week I read an article on AdAge about Nestle’s battle with its Facebook fans over logo usage. Long story short, Nestle posted a message to its 90,000 Facebook fans warning them to stop using the Nestle logo on FB. The company immediately received backlash from upset fans. The moderator’s response: “Thanks for the lesson in manners. Consider yourself embraced. But it’s our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus.” Well, that just made fans even angrier. Yikes!  

What about you? Does your organization or company use Facebook or other social media to share news? Do you have any success stories you’d like to share? Any problems you’ve encountered?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my farm …. Just kidding! (not really)

Doing Doubletime

March 19, 2010

Happy Friday everyone!

Well, the dust is finally starting to settle as Week 1 of the Late Spring semester comes to a close, and I’m still here! I spent the majority of this week trying to learn how to re-budget my time—now that I’m taking two classes and have double the workload. I’m starting to realize that posting on two separate discussion boards is a lot of work!

I think I’m really going to enjoy my two classes this semester, despite the hectic schedule. For my IMC 628 class (Applied PR), I get to choose a nonprofit organization to be my “client” for the semester. For IMC 613 (Brand Equity Management) I will be learning all about branding and will have to do a brand audit for my final project.

My 613 class is similar to my 610 (Intro to IMC) class in that the majority of my classmates seem to be new to the program like me. My 628 class is quite different. All of my classmates in that class are “upperclassmen” and some are even preparing to graduate soon. I’ve got to admit, it was a little intimidating logging into that class for the first time and reading about some of my classmates’ backgrounds and accomplishments. The first classmate I read about founded her own PR agency, and the second classmate I read about lives in Egypt and travels to several different countries for her work as an independent consultant. After reading these kinds of personal descriptions, it was hard for me to write about myself. What can I say? “Hi, my name is Stacy and I’ve been watching Sesame Street and playing Play-Doh with my daughter for the last two years.”


I complained to my husband that I didn’t know if I’d be able to contribute much to the class, and he gave me some great, if not tough, advice. He told me that, yes, I will have classmates who will undoubtedly have a lot more experience than me. The key is to learn from them.  I think I’ll take that advice!

What about the rest of you? How are your classes going?

March Madness (and I’m not just talking basketball)

March 15, 2010

That. Was. Awesome.

OK, moving on.

 Happy Late Spring Semester everyone! I have to admit that when I logged into E-Campus this morning and saw 3 classes – my Early Spring class plus my 2 new classes – I had a bit of a panic attack. I want to apologize in advance to my friends and family because I probably won’t be seeing much of you in the next 9 weeks. I anticipate that these two new classes, IMC 613 Brand Equity Management with Professor Patricia Girardi and IMC 628 Applied Public Relations with Professor Debra Davenport, are going to suck up the majority of my time. I see lots of frozen pizzas and microwave dinners in our future. Oh, who am I kidding – I’m a horrible cook and that’s usually what we eat anyhow, but you get the idea.  

I’ll be turning in my final project for IMC 610 later today, after I finish putting all the bells and whistles on it, and then later tonight I’ll be making my first posts in my new courses. I’m looking forward to “meeting” my new classmates, but it’s a bittersweet feeling because I’m going to miss Professor Creely and my classmates from IMC 610. It seems like just as I was starting to get to know everyone the class ended, so I hope that you IMC 610 folks keep in touch with me! That shouldn’t be too hard now that we are social media experts 😉   And speaking of social media, congratulations to my classmate Cartney on her new job title, Social Media Strategist! That sounds like a really fun job, and I know Cartney will be fantastic at it.

Good luck with the new semester, everyone! Let me know how your first week of Late Spring is going 🙂

Things I learned from IMC 610

March 11, 2010

As my first IMC class comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the things I’ve learned. The IMC 610 (Intro to IMC) class provided me with a great overview of what IMC is, and, more importantly, how IMC can benefit a company or organization. In our class discussions, we analyzed several different companies and brands (not just IKEA). Some of these companies have clearly embraced IMC, and it’s evident throughout their communication efforts. Other companies we examined haven’t completely grasped the concept of IMC yet; they are doing quite well in some areas, but are failing to put together all of the pieces of their marketing mix. With the aid of our professor, our lessons, and our classroom discussions, I think my classmates and I were able to effectively critique these companies and pick out the ones that were “getting it right.” As a new IMC student, that was pretty exciting to be able to do! Now that I think I have a solid understanding of the foundations of IMC, I’m excited to dive into what my classmate Jane refers to as the “meat and potatoes” of the program in upcoming semesters.

 This first IMC class was just as described – a ton of work! But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun, too. So, I’ve compiled a list of 10 fun things I learned while in this class (besides the textbook stuff).

1. I’ve mentioned this before but I’m still amazed by the tons and tons of apps for Twitter … twittervision, twitterfeed, twhirl, tweetscan, tweetdeck, twitpic, twitterific …, and let’s not forget … Puppy Tweets. I could go on and on. And here I thought I was on top of things just by having a Twitter account. Who knew?

2. Thanks to the “Who’s Online” feature in our virtual classroom, I know I’m not the only one who does homework at really crazy, odd hours. Voyeurism at its best.

3. I am an IKEA expert, even though I’ve never been to an IKEA store. Did you know that IKEA was founded in Sweden, and that the company offers a broad range of 9,500 functional home furnishing products at low costs? Did you know that 80% of IKEA’s sales occur in Europe, while 15% of the company’s sales are in North America and 5% are in Asia and Australia?  I didn’t think so.

4. Toyota is in one hot PR mess.

5. There are iPhone users … and there Blackberry users … there are Mac people … and there are PC people. And each of these users is very passionate and brand loyal about his or her preferred choice.

6. Even if WVU closes its campus for a snow day, IMC students still have to “report to class” and “turn in homework.”  Bummer.

7. Professor Creely and I share a love of Jeeps.

8. Balancing an IMC class with the other things in your life is kind of like dieting. If you’re really good and get your work done, then you can splurge sometimes.

9. Online classes can be more interactive than traditional ones. Even for shy people like me.

10. You don’t have to have the answers for everything. Your professor does.  🙂

On another note, one of my classmates from IMC 610 mentioned that he would like to hear from some current IMC students who have taken two courses together. How did that work out for you? What was the workload like? There are a few of us in my 610 class who are thinking about adding a second class in Late Spring, so any advice from you “upperclassmen” (or Professor Stump?) would be greatly appreciated!

Good luck next semester, everyone. See you all Late Spring! 


March 8, 2010

So, I was trying to come up with a witty title for my blog this week (IMC “finals week”), and now I can’t get that Ce Ce Peniston song out of my head.  And, as I write this, I’m wondering how many of you even know who she is … *sigh* …

Moving on. The Academy Awards. Who watched it? I was able to catch bits and pieces while working on my IMC assignment. Honestly, I’m more excited about watching the Fashion Police today than seeing the actual awards show last night. I was glad to see the tribute to John Hughes, though. I’m a huge fan of his movies – many of them I grew up with and are among my all-time favorites.

Every girl should have a Jake Ryan

It looks like I’m going to have to rent the winner for best picture, The Hurt Locker. I was able to see most of the movies nominated for best picture (I’ve seen Up more times than I care to count), but I didn’t make to the theater to see The Hurt Locker.  Now that I think about it, I don’t even remember it coming to the theaters here. Oh well, I guess that’s what Netflix is for. I wonder if Sandra Bullock made some sort of record for receiving both an Oscar and a Razzie award in the same year? I’m glad Sandra got the Oscar, even though I loved the girl who played Precious, too. And one of these days I’m going to have to watch a movie with that Helen Mirren woman in it. It seems like she’s nominated for something just about every year, and I still have no idea who she is.  So what do you guys think? Were you happy with the Oscar winners? Anyone mad that Avatar didn’t get the best picture award?  I went to see Avatar, and while that type of movie isn’t usually my kind of thing, I really enjoyed it! But it wasn’t my favorite movie of the year. That would be New Moon. Just kidding! (not really)

Stacy and Edward, sitting in a tree ...

So, my fellow IMC students, how are your final projects coming along for your classes? I mistakenly thought this week would be a cakewalk, with most of the sections for my project completed for the most part. But, as I’m diving into it, I’m realizing I have some work ahead of me if I really want to make it splashy!

Good luck on your final projects, everyone!

This blog is sponsored by IKEA

March 3, 2010

Hello IMC World! It’s now Week 8 of the Early Spring semester, and I’m starting to put everything together for my final project for my IMC 610 (Intro to IMC) class. For this class, Professor Creely gave us a client, IKEA, and we had to develop an IMC campaign for them. Now, I’ve never personally been to an IKEA, but I did “inherit” an IKEA chair from my husband when we got married. The chair—his favorite—has since found a nice home tucked away in our basement (man cave). Mark didn’t appreciate my relocation of his favorite chair to the basement, but I told him it could’ve been worse – I could’ve burned it after a WVU football game this year …. just kidding (not really).

I’ve been eating, sleeping, and breathing IKEA for two months now. I’m pretty much a walking, talking Encyclopedia of IKEA. After writing, proofing, revising, and re-reading each of my assignments every week, I can’t even fathom our professor having to read through EVERY student’s IKEA assignment week after week. I wonder if she’s developed some kind of a nervous tick that happens whenever someone mentions IKEA, because I know I’m pretty close.

Did someone say IKEA?

In other news, I got an e-mail from our favorite IMC advisor, Professor Shelly Stump, about registering for Summer and Fall sessions. Wow, is it that time already?!? I received a blog comment today from an IMC student, Patti, who is getting ready to enroll in her final IMC course. In her comment, she said, “What you put into the program is what you get out of it.” Her comment really made me think about the courses I want to take for the rest of the program. My initial strategy was to enroll in all of the courses that I thought would be easier for me. Now, when I say “easier” I don’t mean that the classes themselves will be “easy.” I’m just talking in terms of my own professional experience. Since most of my professional experience is in public relations, I naturally gravitated toward the IMC PR courses. I’m still planning on taking those, but I think I might also take some courses that I know will be more challenging for me because I’m not as familiar with the subject matter. One of my personal goals for this program is to become more well-rounded in all aspects of IMC, not just my “favorite subjects.” What about you guys? What are your strategies for scheduling your courses?  Any advice, IMC veterans?