Archive for May, 2013

Integrate 2013 Day One: Technology has changed everything

May 31, 2013

Technology has changed everything. That seemed to be the theme of day one of the IMC Integrate 2013 conference. And what better example than the IMC program itself? I’ve been a WVU IMC student for 2.5 years and today was the first day I set foot on the WVU Campus. (Of course, it took me an extra 30 minutes, a few wrong turns — including turning the wrong way on a one-way street — before my feet actually touched the ground, but that’s a story for another blog post) Technology has changed the way we learn, the way we interact, the way we communicate, and the way we live our lives.


Fellow student blogger, Julie Long has already posted a great re-cap of the opening session, which featured some fantastic real examples of how West Virginia University is using technology to advance their marketing. I’ll focus this post on the two breakouts I attended: 1. Emerging Media for Branding and Career Success, and 2. Love, Lies and Deception: Social Media Ethics – What You Need to Know. Social media was definitely the hot topic of the day!


In Emerging Media for Branding and Career Success Professors Dawn Edmiston and Rachael Post talked about the importance of establishing your own brand. Or should I say, the importance of being in control of your brand, because, like it or not, a brand is being created for you thanks to social networking whether you realize it or not. So you best be in charge of this brand image or it could get ugly! A few tips from the speakers that I found particularly valuable:

  1. Set-up a Google Alert for your name
  2. Personalize your LinkedIn url and make sure you’ve achieved 100% on your profile
  3. Create your own digital content that represents you and your personal brand image
  4. Plug-in to online tribes
  5. Create a profile on


In breakout session number two Professor Joe Barnes gave us a ton of examples of how social and digital media have changed the world of communication. A few even scared me a bit, like the video game released 1 week after the Boston Marathon, simulating the events. Or the Hyundai ix35 suicide commercial. Professor Barnes showed us, through these real-world case studies, not only how social media is impacting the world but also the importance of social media ethics. A few of his tips for protecting your company:

  1. Have a social media policy. If you don’t have one or don’t know where to start, there’s a great template at
  2. Be sure to stay up-to-date on social media law. The law is still catching up to the technology and constantly evolving. One way to stay on top of these changes is to set-up a Google alert. Professor Barnes also recommend the JD Supra Law News. They have a newsletter just for social media law!
  3. Be careful about the data you share…especially via mobile apps. Remember that there are no general privacy laws that cover mobile apps and every time you (or your kids) download an app or a game on a mobile device information is being collected and stored.
  4. And my favorite bit of advice: “Don’t lie to your mom!” This bit actually comes from Andy Sernovitz, who is the author of Word of Mouth Marketing. But, as a mom and a digital marketer, I think this is the best advice I’ve heard all year.


Of course, this is just a snippet of the insight and information gleaned from today. But now I’m off to the networking reception to meet some more classmates and professors! Let’s hope I don’t turn the wrong way down any one-way streets this time!

Kickoff presentation at Integrate 2013

May 31, 2013

Integrate 2013 kicked off with a presentation by Scott Wilkinson, Executive Creative Director of WVU University Relations. He spoke about the current WVU branding (video, mobile, print, and social).

“Meaning and emotion” were two words that Wilkinson described as intrinsic qualities of a brand. “Meaning,” was described as having three qualities: shared experiences, relevance, and timeliness. “Emotion,” in terms of branding, was described as having an understanding of empathy.  However, in terms of marketing, “emotion” is all about sympathy.

The “meaning and emotion” behind the WVU brand is conveyed by the following five words: pioneering, passionate, innovative, tireless, and caring. The following websites were shared to showcase the efforts made by the University Relations team.

The presentation concluded with the introduction of a development term called “parallax.” Wilkinson exemplified the concept by describing a new form of storytelling that The New York Times leveraged that integrated various media into one platform.

New York Times


Have you ever heard of the term “parallax” before the presentation?

Graduation Weekend

May 29, 2013

What a wild few weeks it’s been! Graduation, submitting my final project for Capstone and working made mid-May memorable for sure!

Graduation took place Saturday, May 18, 2013 for our program. If you weren’t there, you sure missed a fun few days!

After putting the finishing touches on my Capstone project the Thursday before, I took it to my local FedEx store to print and ship. I flipped through the book a few times after it was printed and kept exclaiming “I did this! I did this!” Needless to say, the store employees weren’t nearly as excited as I was, but I did take a photo before sending it in the mail!Shout it from the rooftops..."My project is submitted!"

I spent much of Friday, before heading from Ohio to Morgantown, at a local school during their Grandparents and Special Friends Day event. One of my good friends has three daughters and they needed one more guest for their family, so I volunteered to attend as the Special Friend of the most awesome 5th grader I know, Liliana. I had fun spending the day with her and she had fun telling everyone her “grandma” was 27. We spent the day watching a school play, looking at her classrooms and learning about the curricula her school covers.

Lili and her self portrait

Lili and her self portrait

After the visit was over, I packed and drove to Morgantown where I had the privilege of getting to finally meet a few of my fellow virtual Mountaineers for dinner at The Vintage Room! Meeting them was so incredible because these are people I talk to on a regular basis and feel like I’ve known forever. Chatting with them was no different than chatting with people I see every day…there is truly a special bond between us IMC students.

Saturday morning was graduation in the Creative Arts Center followed by a picnic for all IMC Grads and their families. My parents were able to attend the ceremony and they enjoyed meeting everyone they’ve heard so much about!

2013 Grads Lisa, Kayla, Me, Joyce V. and Joyce P. Skyping with our friend Megan in London, also a 2013 Grad!

IMC Pals for Life: 2013 Grads Lisa, Kayla, Me, Joyce V. and Joyce P. Skyping with our friend Megan in London, also a 2013 Grad, during the picnic!

Words can’t describe how wonderful the experience was. We are all very lucky to be a part of such a well-respected Master’s Degree program and one that cares so much about its students.

Since beginning the program in 2010, I had wondered what graduation weekend would be like. Three years ago, I was just beginning the program and wasn’t sure if I’d have the means to attend, not to mention May 2013 seemed like ages away. Now that I’m finished with all 13 courses, I can honestly say this has been a terrific journey and I appreciated this opportunity each and every day.

A few of us even made it in the The Dominion Post! What a happy bunch!

This isn’t goodbye quite yet – I’ll be attending the Integrate Conference this weekend! Leave a comment if you’ll be there!

Integrate 2013: Coming Soon!

May 16, 2013

What does a Global Technology Lead from Facebook, some awesome WVU IMC Professors and enthusiasm for marketing have in common? They’ll all be at the Integrate Conference taking place May 31-June 1 in the Life Sciences Building!

This will be my third year attending and I can’t wait. Whether it’ll be your first year attending or you’re a seasoned pro at this, you’ll learn lots and be able to put faces to the names you’ve seen on the Discussion Board.

Lisa Sands and I at last year's Integrate Conference

Lisa Sands and I focusing on something thought-provoking at last year’s Integrate Conference

Each Conference has inspired me to do something new and I always come back to Ohio with new ideas and a new outlook on our industry. Check out the Conference Schedule and if you haven’t already, register to attend!

Hope to see you May 31!

Infographic of Morgantown Attractions

May 14, 2013

Plan your 2013 INTEGRATE weekend itinerary with an infographic I designed filled with the best attractions that Morgantown, WV and southern Pittsburgh, PA has to offer!

(Click to enlarge)


If you have any other recommendations that I might have missed detailing, please share below.

Two weeks left!

May 6, 2013


Wasn’t it just March and we were entering Late Spring? Wow! Being enrolled in Capstone has really made time fly.

Don’t get me wrong, the past seven weeks have been tough but do-able. I sit here looking at my list of what’s left to accomplish for my final project and its long, but I have a good grip on how to handle it.

When I’m having a moment of uncertainty, I always remind myself of all the classes and all the projects I’ve completed over the past three years. My neighbor once commented on how she can easily spot me when I’m on my computer, and the heavy frequency she spots me. Schoolwork has become a part of my life and I dedicate whatever time is needed to complete a project. Capstone is no different.

I went out of town for work last week and it was the best opportunity imaginable…perfect timing for sure!  I put in extra time on the discussion board prior to leaving which allowed me to really stay focused on the trip and why I was there. I arrived home with an uncluttered mind and was able to be productive.

This past weekend, I volunteered at a fundraiser in Akron, Ohio and about half way through, I realized I had gone the whole afternoon without thinking about school.

Sure, this sounds weird, but I’ve had countless dreams about the project over the past seven weeks, so giving myself a break, whether it be for an hour or a few days is really rewarding. Just like all the classes and projects, the indescribable feeling of pushing the submit button and receiving a good grade masks the stress.

What is your process to complete a large task?