Archive for August, 2016

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

August 31, 2016


WVU IMC and DMC Friends and Family,

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

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

Program News

  • This fall, the first cohort began the Data Marketing Communications master’s program. Read more about it here.
  • Check out our graduate profile on Kerri Schaffer, who works in employee communications in New York City. Watch it here.
  • Watch our graduate profile on Ryan Nolan, global public relations manager at Johnson Controls in Greendale, Wisconsin. Find it here.
  • Watch our graduate profile on Whitney Drake, manager of social care & strategy at General Motors in Detroit, Michigan. Watch it here.
  • Cassandra Lang, a former graduate assistant for Online Programs, has joined the administrative team as an instructional designer. Read more about Cassandra here.
  • INTEGRATE Chicago is Nov. 1-2. A networking reception will take place on the 1st and the conference will be on the 2nd. Hurry, the early bird rate ends Sept. 15. 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 the Windy City!
  • 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 e-mail? Please update your contact information.

Student/Graduate News

  • Melissa Casias (’14) has accepted a new role at AkzoNobel as the digital channel specialist. She will be moving to Amsterdam for a few years to manage a global website redesign and launch campaign.
  • Shayna Varner (’13) has joined the Karma Agency, an independent strategic communications firm headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as an Account Supervisor. She previously served as Press Secretary to West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
  • Beth Hendricks (’15) is now a marketing instructor for She also works as the marketing strategist for Bowles Rice LLP in Charleston, WV.

 Faculty News

Blog Entries

Facebook Finally Gave Its “LIKE” Button a New Makeover

August 30, 2016


The “like” button on Facebook has now evolved. In the beginning of the year, Facebook decided to officially change its “like” button to a range of emotions.  A dislike button couldn’t be added due to Facebook understanding that there would be too much controversy among its users.  Instead, Facebook members can now react to their user’s statuses by choosing from a variety of six different reactions which include: “Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry”.

“Not every moment you want to share is happy,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “Sometimes you want to share something sad or frustrating. Our community has been asking for a dislike button for years, but not because people want to tell friends they don’t like their posts. People want to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions.”

These reactions that were invented reflect upon the emojis that are used in text messages on most used touch screen cellular devices.

On a daily basis, news articles and videos that go viral are shared on Facebook users news feed.

I’m curious to know if this new makeover of integrating more than just a “like” button has effected the way businesses post on their Facebook profile page. Aren’t you curious?

If you’re curious to know the full breakdown of reactions for each post you put out their on Facebook then you can simply view your Facebook page’s Insights.


I personally would try to convince my Facebook friends/fans to make use of the new reaction buttons.  These reactions are tools that are used for marketers to distinguish whether or not they posted something worth reading, engaging with, and/or talking about on Facebook.  If a marketer such as Nike receives an angry emotion “like” on one of their video promotions they share then they’re not going to take the post down.  Instead, they’re going to use that response as an initiative to improve their next video promotion.

I decided to see if marketers are actually receiving a variety of different reactions through their postings on Facebook.  I compared Nike and Adidas.  Both Nike and Adidas receive almost the same reactions. Facebook users are responding to their video promotion ads and/or images with either a “like”, “love”, “wow”, or “haha” reaction.  None of the users responded with the “sad” or “angry” emoji.

Many of us especially those who are Millennials or part of Generation Z are frequent users of social media. With that said, we’re growing rapidly through a world of change.  We’re emerging with so called “new makeovers” that are happening to our advancements in technology, and we’re accepting these changes.

So many of us want what we cannot afford, but most of us will do all we can to save up enough money to purchase or upgrade to a new Apple phone, because we see every one else getting one.  Many of us follow others, because we want to continue staying up to date with a specific trend we want to follow.

-Kayla Kesselman

Kayla Kesselman is an IMC student currently in IMC 619 Emerging Media & the Market. This blog post originally appear on her blog.  Check out her blog for more posts!

Emerging Media and How it Relates to Reaching Me and other Millennials in Our Digital Space

August 25, 2016



I am a millennial.

I have spent a lifetime trying desperately to avoid labels that sought to group me into neatly defined categories used to describe millions of other individuals because I have always felt I was a complex individual that one term could not begin to accurately describe. Rather than fit in to any social, political, or religious groups, I sought to form my own opinions and beliefs and ultimately exist as an individual capable of unique thought.

Yet, despite an early effort to distance myself from the term, I have come to grips with the fact that I am undoubtedly a millennial. Aside from having a birthday that fits in neatly with the years used to define the generation, I am inevitably drawn to technology (the newer the better!), socialize frequently in digital spaces (and need said digital spaces available at a moment’s notice), and have a strong set of social values of which I refuse to compromise. While I can try as much as I want to avoid the term “millennial”, the aforementioned traits all fit in neatly with the typical depictions of the generation.

So, whether I like it or not, I am a millennial. And as an aspiring marketer, I can recognize the difficulties with trying to reach an audience of individuals just like me.

Like many others in my generation I have cut the proverbial cable cord, opting instead to consume television programming via a sort of à la carte-style programming in which I choose shows to watch on a streaming network such as Netflix or Hulu Plus without subscribing to literally hundreds of channels I would never watch via cable or satellite service. Streaming music via Spotify allows me access to thousands of songs without having to listen to repetitive radio programming. The Internet allows me all the access to news and entertainment articles I could ever possibly read without having to pay for any sort of print subscription. Even better, with the rapidly advancing technology found in mobile phones, I can do all of this from my fingertips with my smartphone.

So, for those marketers out there seeking to include me in their target audiences, they are going to need to reach me in my digital space.

This is where understanding how to utilizing emerging media as part of the marketing mix is incredibly important. In 2016, millennials have finally begun to outnumber baby boomers and have become the largest generation in the United States. For any business to survive, digital marketing is now a must, and not just to reach millennials like me. More than 80% of those under 64 are now connecting to the Internet:

More impressive, 73% of the population accesses the Internet at least daily:

Three-quarters of Americans go online at least daily

This is likely not shocking information to anyone, but in a sense it sets the tone for a discussion about emerging media, as it is impossible to hold that discussion without the Internet. Knowing that 73% of the population accesses the Internet daily is only a pice of the puzzle, however.

It used to be a bit simpler. A home computer was once needed to connect to the Internet, but consumers today utilize all sorts of devices to stay connected. We millennials like our gadgets, and as such the market has provided us with ways to utilize smartphones and tablets, and even now wearable gadgets like watches, bracelets, and eyewear to access the Internet. These separate devices all come with their own intricacies, but a clever marketer can utilize any of these devices to their advantage to reach us while we use these devices. More importantly, a clever marketer will find ways to use these technologies and hold a conversation with us.

This is where social media can, and should, play a major role. Social media has exploded over the last decade, and it use has been widely adopted by most generations, and heavily by us millennials. The variety of platforms to utilize, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and countless others, has allowed for a variety of methods to carry out a conversation online, and marketers should absolutely use this to their advantage, especially since many can access their favorite social media networks anywhere they go. There is an average of 12 new mobile social media accounts that are created every second, which represents a staggering technological reach.

All of this only begins to scratch the surface of emerging media, especially considering that technology keeps advancing at a rapid pace. Recent technological trends that millennials such as myself will continuously adopt these new technologies, so each new connected device represents an opportunity to further a marketing conversation.

In the coming weeks and months, I will continue a discussion of emerging media and how they can be, and are best being utilized by brands to market to their audiences, and specifically how such a “difficult” consumer such as myself can be reached in a digital space.

-John Conforti

John Conforti is an IMC student currently in IMC 619 Emerging Media & the Market. This blog post originally appear on his blog Reaching Me in My Digital Space. Check out his blog in the future for more of his posts!

Succeeding in the IMC program: I asked, they answered.

August 16, 2016


It’s that time again—the start of classes. We hope you have a great semester, and to help you do that, I asked a few grads their advice about what it takes to succeed in the IMC program. Here is what they had to say!


“In my experience, the IMC program is a very different program for each student; while Headshotsome people can finish in under two years, others find it difficult to double up on courses for multiple semesters to accomplish graduation as quickly as others. My advice is to do what works for YOU, your work load and your family. Don’t try to go off of anyone else’s timeline or compare your journey to that of another student. As I always like to say, ‘Keep your eyes on your own paper.’ :)”

-Mel Moraes ’14, Digital Marketing with UPMC


“I would recommend that students become active participants in their classes. I was very IMG_4651.jpgactive on the discussions boards, and it helped me gain more knowledge about the industry as a whole—and allowed me to succeed in all of my classes. Also, don’t be afraid or nervous about challenging yourself with classes that are not familiar to you. I took three electives that I knew would broaden my skills in marketing communications. This program helps you become a better professional with skills that are applicable to a wide variety of marketing communications positions.”

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

“One of the advantages of the WVU IMC program is the diversity of the students and professors – geographically, professionally and personally. You will meet some amazing

IMG_5851.JPG and inspiring folks. And while you may only spend 8 weeks with them, try to get the most out of that time. Connect with them on social media and work at keeping the relationships going. It’s easy to just focus on getting your assignments and discussion posts done, especially when you have a demanding job and busy personal life. But take the extra time to build those relationships with your peers in the program.”

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


“Remember that the expectations in graduate school are more similar to those in the ‘real world’ than those in previous schooling and undergrad. Succeeding at this level if all about exceeding expectations. I often tell students that doing what is required is a C in grad school, doing it well is a B and being among the best in the class earns you an A. Keeping this in mind as you approach assignments and discussions is the best advice I can offer.”

-Matthew Cummings ’06, Assistant Director of Online Programs, WVU Reed College of Media

“There is so much opportunity available to students in the IMC program, but you have to make the decision to dedicate yourself, and take the commitment seriously. Because all Unknown.jpegof the IMC courses have the same weekly schedule, you only have to adjust your personal habits once to get in the routine. For me it took about four weeks to acquire new habits and get accustomed to the schedule. At that point it became a lifestyle. Staying organized and on task is important in any graduate program, but perhaps more of that burden falls on the student when the program is online. When I started the program, a fellow classmate suggested I open an Evernote account. That proved to be great advice and helped to keep all of my research organized. You will want to save all of your research so that you can refer to it for multiple courses throughout the program, and for the capstone.”

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

Top resources for IMC students

August 11, 2016



I asked IMC faculty what resources they recommend to IMC students, and this is what they had to say! I hope this list is useful to you. And, if you have any resources you’d like to add, let me know in the comments :).

Industry news:

All about social media:


All things digital, technology and trends:






Ally Kennedy is the communications manager for WVU Reed College of Media’s Online Programs. She earned her master’s degree in communication from Duquesne University and her bachelor’s degree in English from Washington & Jefferson College.

Twitter Hashtags Enhance Asher Media Placements and Amplify Reach of Key Client Messages

August 4, 2016


The past two earned media assignments I led for clients were enhanced significantly by the use of Twitter hashtags.

As part of the media outreach strategy, Asher Agency recommended using a Twitter hashtag (one was in place and the other we created) to give all stakeholders and our agency’s staff a rallying cry to tweet, retweet, like and reply to others about the key messages and calls to action.

We started promoting the use of the hashtags early in the planning process, reminded allies throughout the media pitching phase and used it often in thanking reporters and publications/networks that ran our stories.  The hashtags also helped easily track media coverage and created a healthy dialogue that continued well after the issuance of the news releases.

My Asher colleague in both projects, Faith Van Gilder in our Fort Wayne, IN, office, tweeted photos and messages both during the media conferences and throughout the day. She also forwarded photos with suggested tweets to client stakeholders during the day for them to post on social media. Asher’s experienced digital team tracked the results online and supplied the analytics below as part of the project summary.

American College of Sports Medicine American Fitness Index – #FitCityIndex

At 12:01 a.m. May 18 the ninth annual American Fitness Index (AFI) was released by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc.  Washington, D.C., closely followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver, were the three fittest of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

The annual AFI data report —– has proven to be a valuable assessment and evaluation tool to educate community leaders on the importance of key indicators of physical activity. Leaders can then focus on policy, systems and environmental change strategies that are evidence-based and create sustainability for the community.

Therefore, media coverage and community engagement using the annual AFI results has grown each year. USA Today, The Washington Post, the Today Show, all television networks, the Weather Channel, local newspapers and websites, broadcast networks, IHeart Radio, and dozens of health/fitness and business websites, academic institutions and others digest the AFI and report its diverse conclusions and recommendations.





National Physical Activity Plan Alliance – #ActivityPlan2016

The new U.S. National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) was unveiled April 20 at the National Press Club, building upon the initial plan that the NPAP Alliance released in 2010 as a roadmap for actions supporting and encouraging physical activity among all Americans.

Russell Pate, Ph.D., chairman of the nonprofit NPAP Alliance, presented the plan, which was validated by speakers from the American College of Sports Medicine; American Heart Association; Tennessee Department of Health; President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition; Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute; and Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic gold medalist. All of these people and organizations enjoy a huge social media presence and followers.

The website offering the full 2016 National Physical Activity Plan — — lists the #ActivityPlan2016 hashtag that continues to be utilized in discussions about the plan, its elements and utilization. We webcast the Press Club release event, so that triggered questions from the media and general public using our hashtag.  It greatly enhanced our media coverage from the new release and our pitching the story. Our partnering organizational partners and representatives from nine societal sectors – business and industry; community recreation, fitness and parks; education; faith-based settings; health care; mass media; public health; sport; and transportation, land use and community design — all leveraged the hashtag to share their participation in the new U.S. physical activity plan. The hashtag usage ramped up again as we organized a standing-room-only Congressional briefing to share the new U.S. plan and promote Members of Congress committing to employ physical activity policies on Capitol Hill.





For all of these reasons, we strongly encourage the use of Twitter hashtags as an essential component of promoting news announcements, communications and advocacy campaigns and events. #ashernewsandblog

————————————————————————–Mike Fulton directs the Washington, D.C. office of the Asher Agency ( and teaches a master’s level course in Public Affairs for West Virginia University’s Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program. Connect with Mike at,@hillrat1156 or on LinkedIn.