Archive for June, 2012

Taking a tour

June 20, 2012

I thought I’d begin my blog series by taking you on a tour of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Since there are current and prospective WVU IMC students from across the globe, I decided this would be a fitting introduction.  I’ve had the unique opportunity to meet another student from Winston-Salem at the program’s INTEGRATE conference.  Yet, the majority of you will likely never visit the city I call home.

To most, it’s a “small town.”  To me, it’s a buzzing metropolis.  Compared to the places where I’ve grown up, it feels excitingly huge.

There are vast restaurant options, competitive athletic teams, and buildings that seemingly touch the sky.

The Winston-Salem skyline.

Nestled in the heart of our downtown, one of these buildings is an emerald green tower (jokingly referred to as “Oz”), which is the headquarters of BB&T Corporation.  My office is on the tenth floor – a proverbial think-tank where I create communication plans and advertisements to promote our benefits package.  I’m a lone marketing type among Human Resources professionals.  Luckily, the specialization offered by the IMC program helps me fit right in.  Last year, I took the Healthcare Communication and Marketing elective, which was very relevant to the medical program options our department administers.  I was also happy to see the program add an Internal Brand Communication class, which I’m slated to take next.  This course topic sums up the way I can most accurately describe what I do each day: “Communicating the brand of BB&T as an employer to our internal clients.”

Down the street, there’s the stadium where the local minor league baseball team – the Winston-Salem Dash – plays their home games.  The team is named after the punctuation mark that separates Winston and Salem.  As a former English major, I argue that it’s really a hyphen; no one seems to think that sounds very tough for a mascot.  The Dash venue is officially called BB&T Ballpark, as we have the naming rights for a number of facilities throughout the area.  I’m currently planning an event we will host at the field, coordinating all facets of the game (including ticketing strategies, attendee activities, in-game advertisements, and more).   It’s a good thing I just finished my Sports Marketing elective!

On the other side of Winston-Salem’s downtown sits one of my favorite spots on earth: Ziggy’s, a “Roots, Rock, Reggae” music club that brings in everyone from underground acts to big-name bands.  Since it’s triumphant reopening, I’ve seen guitar great, Keller Williams; 90’s throwbacks, Cowboy Mouth; and quirky jam band icons, moe.  This weekend, I’ll be retro-rocking out to Southern Culture on the Skids, a band from right here in North Carolina.  To put it mildly, music is my life.  I particularly love the indie genre, and I played in a punk band back in a former life.

Keller Williams jamming at Ziggy’s, taken from my front-row spot — practically on the stage.

Just outside the city limits – on the outskirts of favorite local sandwich shops, a not-frequented-enough gym with an indoor rock climbing wall, an independent movie theater, craft breweries, and intriguing used book stores – is a small community called Advance.  There are golf courses and tennis courts as far as the eye can see.  As a former college tennis player at Gardner-Webb University, it’s the perfect place for my wife and I to live in the house we recently purchased.

Walking into the house, meandering around sports memorabilia and stepping over two small dogs, you’ll come to a small office with a computer.  This is my gateway to WVU – a school I have wanted to attend since I became a fan in my undergraduate days.  It is a vehicle that transports me there, from my home here in Winston-Salem.  And, it is where I’ll be writing these blog posts, which I hope find their way to you – wherever you may be.

All About Me and My Life in IMC

June 19, 2012

Hi Everyone,

My name is Rukiya Campbell and the best way to describe what I do on a daily basis is…I juggle. I’m a lefty, a proud leo, the wife of a firefighter and mother to two sport loving young men ages 6 and 11.

Campbell Family

Our wedding day in the Dominican Republic.

I consider myself to be from Indianapolis, Indiana because that’s where I spent most of my life growing up. I was an Army brat, born in North Carolina, but lived in Virginia, Germany and Indiana. Indianapolis, Naptown as we affectionately call it, was a wonderful place to grow up and raise a family. Believe it or not, there is more than corn in Indiana.

Indianapolis, Indiana (Naptown)

I stayed in Indiana to attend college at Indiana State University. While there, I worked for the student newspaper and the athletic department while majoring in Radio/TV/Film. I initially had ambitions to be a TV news anchor, but once I entered my sophomore year, I switched gears to major in Public Relations. I decided I wanted to have more flexibility in being able to decide which industry I could practice communications. I am fortunate that I discovered at an early age, that communications is indeed my passion.

My first job out of college was as a championships assistant at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. I also have a passion for sports so it was a perfect fit. I handled communications with membership (colleges and universities). Soon after, I had the opportunity to pursue a position at Butler University in the athletic department. I was the athletic event manager for the Hinkle Fieldhouse facility. That position helped me gain experience on the event planning side and I caught a glimpse of how demanding the sports industry could be.

I actually worked at this amazing facility and saw it jam packed for every game. Fun Fact: The final basketball game in the movie”Hoosiers” was filmed there.

After two years, I pursued an opportunity at the RCA Tennis Championships as the marketing coordinator. I told you…I love sports. Then, everything came full circle and I acquired a position in the promotions department at a CBS TV affiliate, WISH-TV 8 in Indianapolis. Are you keeping up? Yes…I was changing jobs every two years. I blame it on my Army brat upbringing that I needed a major life change every so often. Just stay with me, I promise it gets better. So after my stint in TV, I switched gears and went into hospitality. I was the PR and marketing manager for Hilton Worldwide. After two years working at the Conrad hotel in Indianapolis, I moved to Atlanta in 2007 to work for the downtown Hilton in the same role.

Hello “Hotlanta”!

After six years with Hilton, I decided that I wanted to pursue an opportunity that would be more personally fulfilling. That decision was one of the best I’d ever made and it led me to my current role as the director of marketing for the Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI).

For 50 years, the Center for the Visually Impaired has empowered people with vision loss to live with independence and dignity.

CVI is an organization is that is essentially a “one-stop shop” for anyone who is blind or has low vision. We have programs for babies and their parents, elementary, middle and high school kids, as well as adults and seniors who are blind or losing their vision. We teach them mobility and daily life skills to help them adapt to their new way of life. We also have a store that sells products to aid in low vision and blindness and a call center enterprise that employs visually impaired people and financially supports CVI. This position is one of the most personally satisfying roles I’ve ever had and with only two months on the job, I look forward to applying what I’m learning in IMC to my daily job responsibilities. I’m only on my third class and I already have.

Deciding to pursue my masters was a personal goal and (I think) yet another aspect of the Army brat tendency…I’m always in anticipation of what’s next. In 2011, I attained by accreditation in public relations (APR). That process was both challenging and rewarding. I might make a future post about that just in case you’re interested in learning what it was like. I love to learn and after getting my APR, the masters degree in IMC was a natural next step – not to mention the WVU IMC program is recommended by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Established in 1964, the Accreditation Program is the public relation’s profession’s only national post-graduate certification program.

In the coming months, there will be plenty more about me, my controlled chaotic life at work and home, and my IMC adventures. With all that being said, thanks in advance for joining me on this journey.

~Rukiya

Welcome to The World of IMC!

June 15, 2012

Hi IMCers!  My name is Steve Jaworowski and I will be your Blog Director for the next twelve moths.  I am really looking forward to sharing my experiences and insight on the WVU IMC program and my 23 years in marketing.

First, a little about me personally…it always helps to know who you are talking too, right?

I have been happily married to my beautiful wife, Suzanne for 21+ years (November 30) and we have four incredible kids – Matt (16), Jayne (15), Mary Kate (13) and Sarah (10).  Not sure how Suzanne and I did it but I really think so far we have nailed this parenting thing.

The Jaws Family

We currently live in Fisher, IN, outside Indianapolis, but if you read my profile, you can see I have lived in Seoul, Korea and Toronto and everywhere in between.  I have worked in the higher education space for two years after 15 years with AOL and then Time Warner Cable, after the merger.  I work for Harrison College, a for-profit college.  Harrison College offers certificates, associate and bachelor degrees across five schools of study 0 IT, Business, Criminal Justice, Health Science and Vet Technology. But more about that later.

I attended North Carolina State University for 2 years before transferring to the University of Scranton to be closer to home. Yes, home of The Office.

I worked for an advertising agency right out of school for six years, spent 15 years with AOL/TW, as mentioned earlier and now here i am in higher-ed…and I love it!  I am passionate about anything to do with Notre Dame football –

Touchdown Jesus, aka, Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame

– follow high school and college lacrosse religiously, play a terrible game of golf and am about to embark on scuba diving lessons with my wife.  My true passion, however, are my family and friends.  People make the world go ’round.  Throughout the year, I will continue to share some tidbits about my life outside of work and school.  I promise not to make it into a version of the Housewives of New Jersey!

My second passion in life is marketing.  I went to school to become a marketer and have never looked back.  The WVU IMC program is really, after 23 years, bringing it all together for me.  I don’t necessarily need a master degree at this point in my career but have learned the value of education in the past two years and am learning more then I thought I ever would.  I am taking the summer session off because of some work commitments but am looking forward to taking IMC 614 – Media Analysis in the Fall.  One of the reason work is busy right now is that I am giving a talk at our trade association’s annual convention next week.  The Association of Private Sector College and Universities is an organization of accredited, private, post-secondary schools, institutes, colleges and universities that provide career-specific educational programs. My breakout session is entitled, Why Branding in Higher Education Matters.  My hope is to share with you some of the key points in that discussion through this blog.

In my opinion, higher education, at least in the for-profit sector, focuses too much on generating leads and inquiries for new prospective students in detriment to the brand of the institution. All good marketers will tell you that you have to have integration (Hi IMC Program!) in your efforts.  My next blog will focus on giving you the first of three reasons you need to brand in higher education. Whether WVU, Harvard or Harrison College, it does matter.  So, as a bit of a teaser here is reason number one…the bubble has burst!  Growth in for-profit higher ed is slowing. Year over year student enrollment growth has declined from a high of 24% in 2009 to a negative 22% a year ago June. WOW.

In any case, that’s my teaser and I am sticking to it.

I am really looking forward to sharing more with you down the road. Cheers!

Integrate 2012: New friends and new knowledge

June 14, 2012

Wow! The Integrate conference was so much fun. Words just can’t do the experience justice, so I’ll have to rely on pictures instead.

After attending two awesome sessions, we networked on Friday night, allowing all of us at the conference to meet face-to-face.

Our Saturday started in Ming Hsieh Hall, where we rotated from classroom to classroom depending on what topics we were most interested in hearing about.

We caught awesome views of the campus during our breaks.

A very busy weekend concluded at Touchdown Terrace, which was the venue for the Keynote Dinner. Fred Cook, the CEO of GolinHarris, was an informative speaker and told us all about the ways he challenged his staff to be better professionals.

The end of the night featured some well-deserved awards, including the Alexia Vanides IMC Teaching Award. I was thrilled to see Matthew Cummings and Karen Freberg recognized. Although I haven’t had the chance to have these two amazing individuals as professors, I met both of them at the 2011 Integrate Conference and saw first hand what dedicated instructors they are!

Finally, Laura Phillips Garner was the winner of “Most Likely to Crash Our Blog,” during the conference’s annual Social Media Challenge. Laura commented the most on the blog posts that were developed throughout the weekend. Way to go, Laura!

Having the opportunity to visit WVU is amazing. Taking online courses, I know that I’m a part of WVU, but being there is just a completely different (and great!) experience. Just like last year, I met so many people who I now consider friends.

The conference also made me even prouder to be a part of the IMC Community.

My next trip to Morgantown will be for graduation in May 2013…and I can’t wait!

A Good Night and a Goodbye

June 4, 2012

Hello from Washington, DC, where I’m spending a few days with family after participating in last weekend’s Integrate Conference. The conference wrapped up in fine fashion, by the way, with the keynote dinner at Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday evening. The setting, networking, and food were excellent, as always, but the big news is how the conference staff stepped up the educational content this year by securing a keynote presentation from Fred Cook, CEO, GolinHarris.

If you’re wondering what the head of a top ten agency was doing at a banquet in Morgantown, WV on a Saturday night, well, so was I. It quickly became clear, however, that he is an ideal messenger for IMC, having just led his firm through a complete overhaul to prevolve in the face of media, messages, and channel convergence. See for yourself:

It says a lot about Mr. Cook that he travelled to speak to our group and a lot about the IMC program that they asked him to do so.

After the keynote, it was time to say goodbye to everyone and call it a day on another successful conference. And now, it’s time for me to say goodbye and hand the reigns over to other IMC bloggers, both new and continuing, so they can give their perspectives on what it’s like to participate in this valuable, innovative program and community known as IMC at WVU.

I entered the Masters program in early 2010 with an eye towards transitioning to a career that was more focused on marketing and communication. Now, having graduated in December and accepted a position in the field just ten days ago, I feel like the pieces are falling into place. It’s too early to declare success (I probably never will), but I do know I’m more confident, knowledgeable, and connected now than I was three years ago. I have my professors, fellow students, and the IMC staff to thank for that. And, I’m glad I was able to thank so many of them in person during the past few days.

A well-designed session

June 2, 2012

Hello from Practice Safe Design: Use a Concept, with Bill Pitzer. The title is actually much funnier when you say it aloud. I saw Bill’s presentations last year (and blogged about it) and found it very valuable for the non-graphically inclined like myself. So, I wanted to come back for more. We’re starting with some rules for creativity that Bill assembled for a team of editors:

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We’re looking at examples of how images and text are processed by our brains at the same time. He’s just shown an ad featuring the most interesting man in the world and I seem to be the only one in the room who’s never seen it before. Either I’m really out of the loop these days or this campaign never made it to Seattle. I hope it’s the latter, because I do enjoy Dos Equis.

(My record of the brainstorming session is being withheld to protect the innocent. If you were there, then you know.)

On to the importance of grids in graphic design, even in layouts that appear to be circular, full-page, etc. Turns out, the design of many pieces is often based on a grid that may no longer be obvious in the final piece.

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It’s time to learn about Charles and Ray Eames.

We’re closing with a plug for IMC 635. I didn’t have the chance to take it, so I hope that many of you do.

Hard to believe the final sessions of the conference are already coming up. I’ll post again from tonight’s dinner.

We’re halfway through Day 2!

June 2, 2012

It’s already lunchtime here at Integrate…can you believe it? Before lunch, I was present in the Don’t Picture The Audience in Their Underwear: The Real Story Behind Powerful Presentations which was wonderful!

Keith Quesenberry was a very engaging presenter. He showed us a clip of the show Mad Men, set in the 1960s, to demonstrate the importance of tone. The clip also proved to us that keys to a successful presentation doesn’t include an overly agressive PowerPoint, it is good preparation, knowing your audience, and eye contact.

I took this photo during one of our breaks. It is an absolutely gorgeous day in Morgantown!

Between the unique topics we’re covering this weekend, the interesting people and the unbeatable scenery, I am feeling very lucky to be a part of the IMC Program!

A Focus on Creativity

June 2, 2012

After enjoying this morning’s general session hosted by Dave Pavelko the head of Google Travel my morning here at Integrate 2012 has consisted of workshops focusing on getting my creative juices flowing. As I told Dr. Larry in my Creative Strategies course a few years ago, “I know it’s in there I just need to figure out how to pull it out”.

The first workshop was hosted by Ray Gillette and Dennis O’Connell. Each of these gentleman teach the IMC Capstone course and their workshop gave examples and ideas on how to find the strategic insight for any campaign not just IMC 636. My biggest take away for this session was that a strategic insight isn’t a tag line although a tag line can develop from a strategic insight. There were a lot of good ideas shared by both the presenters and the attendees for those currently in or looking toward IMC 636.

Workshop two was hosted by Dr. Larry Stultz who shared some creative ways to open our minds and think creatively. He demonstrated how, using objects found in nature, we can open our minds to let creative ideas flow as we develop marketing ideas and strategies. I was impressed by the attendees who shared the creative ideas that  came to mind after viewing the leaves, tree bark and stones that Dr. Larry brought to share.

What have been your big take away thoughts/ideas from Integrate 2012 thus far?

“Extraordinary is the new ordinary”

June 2, 2012

Instead of having to choose a first session to attend this morning, everyone here started Day 2 with Dave Pavelko, Head of Google Travel while he discussed the importance of the web. Dave reminded us how far the web has progressed over the past few years and how much we rely on it.

He told us that “extraordinary is the new ordinary,” meaning that awhile back, having WiFi on a commercial flight was thrilling, but now, we expect it. We all also expect a fast Internet connection, when before, we felt lucky to have it at all!

Here are some other fun facts I learned throughout the hour:
*4 out of 5 adults are web users
*78% of US Internet users go online to search for information about products and services
*60 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute
*Bounce rates are extremely important when monitoring websites

Don’t forget about the Social Media Challenge here at Integrate! Leave comments on the blog, tweet, share what you’re doing on Facebook and check-in on FourSquare for a chance to win one of the awesome prizes shown below. More details can be found in your session booklet!

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Gearing up for Day 2

June 2, 2012

20120602-060750.jpg I am up and ready to head over to Ming Hsieh Hall for Day 2 of Integrate! Yesterday was so interesting and I am sure today will be as well!

What sessions are you most interested in? I am most looking forward to Using Social Media Analytical Tools to Improve Marketing Productivity. I also think Don’t Picture The Audience in Their Underwear: The Real Story Behind Powerful Presentations will be quite useful.

Today’s weather forecast looks much better than yesterday’s! Let’s hope the rain holds off during Day 2!