Archive for April, 2012

Making Friends in IMC

April 23, 2012

I had the opportunity to see an IMC alum and former blogger a few weeks back at a young professionals meeting and one of the first questions I asked her was “do you still keep in touch with a lot of your friends from the program?” She said a few people here and there, but not many. I hope that once I graduate when asked that question, I can answer with “Of course!”

My Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter list is filled with IMC contacts, including many I met at the IMC Integrate Conference last June.

I catch myself often at work or at an event saying things like “I know someone from IMC who just started a job with that company” or “You know, on the discussion board, someone gave an example just like that.”

One story that sticks with me is one that came in Week 1 of my current class. One of my fellow classmates (who lives in California) posted that her daughter brought home a Camp Invention flyer from school that day and remembered that’s where I worked (in Ohio). I love this story because it shows how connected we all really are.

I’m hoping to meet even more friendly faces this year at Integrate from June 1-2! Post a comment below if you’re planning to attend!

Facebook Timeline: Love it or Hate it?

April 5, 2012

Has Facebook implemented the “dreaded” Timeline on your account yet? I switched my personal page over, as well as the business page I run for work, voluntarily. I figured switching over early would help me get used to the new look so I’d be ahead of the game.

Aren’t you having fun with the new cover photo options?

One fun thing Timeline lets users do is go back in time with one quick click. Timeline has now become my electronic scrapbook. I’m able to look at posts that I made when first joining Facebook in September 2005 along with posts and photos from friends that were added over the past 7 years. Sure, these posts were always available, but not easy to access with the previous format.

Are you loving or hating Timeline? I have to say…I’m loving it!

IMC Real World Application + Value

April 4, 2012


One of the biggest concerns most students have with selecting and attending school is the worry that their education will go unused or serve little purpose. I know for a fact that I’m sometimes worried that what we discuss in class will never be of value. Motivation is such a huge factor for maintaining solid participation in any endeavor and for students engaged in the furthering of their education nothing is more important.

The effort and overall student attitude towards class work can be challenging and we might find ourselves procrastinating a bit because of a lack of motivation or unclear value. Enter my experience with the Integrated Marketing Communications Master’s program at W.V.U. (Disclosure: Nobody paid me to write this post nor is it influenced by anyone. It is the result of complete satisfaction with timely and real world application of the highly valuable concepts, ideas, and knowledge areas of I.M.C.)

Today’s brands are tasked with the challenges of aligning brand purpose with cause. Audiences hold a positive orientation towards those brands that support social responsibility. The right match between brand and cause (nonprofit) can serve as an excellent case of synergy and fit the realm of a win-win situation. These are insights that come straight from and are reiterated in IMC624, my Cause Marketing course. In fact, our recent week two discussion asks the following question:

Describe the important role of “Millennials” in corporate social responsibility. How do you think this will impact cause marketing, if at all?

As a Millennial myself (according to some generational timeline), the topic is relevant, timely, and of a great importance helping me to explore the demographic and psychographic characteristics that emanate from my generation. To effectively reach Millennials, brands have to maintain a strong understanding of the nuances that drive this group. The right cause can be a spark of momentum and help drive mobilization for the right cause marketing campaign.

So you can be glad to know that during a recent inspiration trip to Barnes and Noble I was delighted to see several articles on Millennials in such high profile publications as HOW design magazine, Booz & Co.’s strategy + business, and Misc magazine. It was refreshing and comforting to see the topic of Millennials make the cover of these publications adding a great sense of real world value to the very subject material of my IMC coursework.

That’s something that not everyone gets to experience. The value of Integrated Marketing Communications offers a wealth of opportunity for those in business and beyond.

WVU IMC Open House in D.C. on April 19

April 3, 2012

Dear Washington, D.C.-Metro Area Communications Professionals:

I’d like to extend this personal invitation for you to take a couple of hours after work to come learn about an online master’s degree program that will make you better at your job.

How do I know? The Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program at West Virginia University has made me better at mine. I’m a communications specialist at the Home Builders Institute in the Golden Triangle and a WVU IMC student who will graduate in August.

Come have a drink and some appetizers with me and other current WVU IMC students and graduates from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 19, in the Portrait Gallery Room at Johnny’s Half Shell restaurant, one block from Union Station in the District.

We’ll share how you can handle the D.C. commute, work full-time and pursue your graduate education on your terms. You’ll also have the chance to meet WVU IMC faculty–leading IMC professionals from across the U.S.–and the entire WVU IMC administrative team.

Please take a minute and let me and the WVU IMC team know your coming with an RSVP at

Again, here are the details:

Who: WVU IMC Program

What: Washington, D.C. Open House

When: 6-8 p.m., Thursday, April 19th

Where: Johnny’s Half Shell restaurant, Portrait Gallery Room, 400 North Capitol Street, N.W., at the corner of North Capitol Street and Louisiana Avenue and one block from Union Station on the Red Line. Johnny’s offers complimentary parking.

I look forward to seeing you there!



Laura Phillips Garner
WVU IMC Class of 2012