Archive for September, 2016

September WVU Reed College of Media Online Programs E-News

September 29, 2016


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

WVU IMC and DMC Friends and Family,

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

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

Program News

  • In the Orlando area? Join us for a networking open house at the Loews Sapphire Falls Hotel on 10/05 from 6:30-8 p.m. RSVP with the Wufoo form hyperlinked.
  • INTEGRATE Chicago is Nov. 1-2. A networking reception will take place on the 1st and the conference will be on the 2nd. 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 Chicago!
  • Watch our graduate profile on David Hazelton, design director at ProShare Advisors, LLC. Find it here.
  • Watch our graduate profile on Jenn Wood Cunningham, director of university relations at WVU Tech. Find it here.
  • Watch our student profile on Ellyn Troup, account executive at Garage Team Mazda. Find it here.
  • IMC Instructor Mike Fulton will be presenting a webinar “Make time for Networking and Relationship Development” in the IMC Dashboard on Oct. 11 at 7 pm ET. All students, alumni and instructors are invited to attend. Alumni – here is the link you can use to access the session:
  • 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 email? Please update your contact information.

Student/Graduate News

  • Heather Sammons (’15) joined the team at Heston Farm in Fairmont, West Virginia, as the marketing manager.
  • Paul Rhien (’16) accepted the role of public information officer at the New Mexico Department of Health.

Faculty News

Blog Entries

Succeeding in the MarCom Industry

September 26, 2016



I reached out to WVU IMC students and graduates for their best advice on how to succeed in the MarCom industry. Here is what they had to say!

Writing is one of the many key factors to success in the marketing communications field. I would suggest that young professionals should always be honing their writing skills to become adept in their chosen industry. I would always recommend young professionals be willing to learn different areas of marketing communications. Flexibility will serve young professionals well in the long run for their careers. Finally, I would suggest young professionals learn how to design marketing and PR plans. A strategic mindset is crucial to success in any field, but especially marketing communications.

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

Stay curious and passionate. This is an exciting field and things are always changing. You should focus on spotting trends, seeing the future and understanding behavior. Know what makes your audience tick.

We live in an increasingly complex, multi-device, multi-channel world, and to be successful, you have to create a seamless and integrated experience across all channels. Each channel has its own nuance.

Learn as much as you can about big data and predictive analytics. Understand how to use them to achieve measurable results. But don’t focus so much on data that you lose sight of the human factor. To sell your idea, you have to appeal to both the emotional and rational elements.

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

To succeed as a professional in any industry I recommend finding ways to get outside of yourself as much as possible so you can better understand the motivations and triggers of others. Interactions observed as well as experienced afford us priceless information in how to improve our strategy, technique, and subtle nuance in order to accomplish our objectives.

-Stephanie Katcher ’18, Director of Marketing, Luna Verde Coffee

My advice for those who may be new to marketing communications is to realize the value of business acumen. Specifically for creative staff, it is important to realize how your creative decisions affect larger business decisions. You are always working for a client whether your client is internal in a corporate setting, or external in an agency situation. It is critical to remember that you are not creating marketing communications for yourself, but for your client’s audience. Sometimes the most effective solution for the target audience is not going to be your personal preference.

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

Top 10 Reasons to Love Social Media in Marketing

September 22, 2016


1.Social media is present. – See things as they happen. Watch as conversations around your posts develop and mature over time. See what your consumers and clients are saying as they say it.

2.Social media is measurable. -You can track which messages are received the best by your followers. Data is present in almost every form of social media. Analyzing that data will give you actionable information to react to, whether that is discovering that sharing more photos will boost your click through rate or offering promotions as part of your posts will net your company more followers and likes.

3.Social media is fast. – Get your message out to your consumers faster without delays or airing schedules. Social media allows you to share things with clients and consumers faster than traditional media or news sources. If an event happens that paints your company in a bad light, you can use social media to respond and reassure your consumers all in one place hours before the evening news or newspaper.

4.Social media is able to put you where the customers are. – You can reach large amounts of people at the same time!. Social media gives you one more channel to allow consumers to discover your products or services without leaving the social media sites they already use.

5.Social media is global. – Anyone anywhere in the world can find you and follow you. Reach consumers in every country in the world through a social media site.

6.Social media is flexible. – There is a platform for everyone. Microblogging, blogging, pictures, videos – whatever the consumers would like to see, social media can do. The only limit is your imagination in how to use a particular platform to reach your consumers.

7.Social media is easy. – Almost everyone can use social media for their businesses. The platforms already exist, so no need to set up something special to try to reach consumers. No need for forums or listservs when your Twitter or Facebook account will serve the same purpose in getting out your message.

8.Social media is conversation. – Businesses can start a conversation with their followers and get in the minds of what they are really thinking. Hashtags and content tagging give consumers ways to find the content and allows you to link conversations as they happen. Follow the conversations through the content to find out what is really on your customers’ minds.

9.Social media is a way to see what your competitors are doing. – “Spying” is easy on social media. Discover what your business competitors are doing (or not doing) on social media and follow their trends and conversations to find out what is working and not working for them. Know why their customers love them and follow them. It may give you ideas about how to approach your own customers for the same products or services.

10.Social media is “digital word of mouth.” – Followers will share things with their own friends and families. This is probably the most powerful part of social media. Given the right motivation, enough people can share your message through “digital word of mouth” that no other advertising may be necessary. Find those passionate about your product or services and watch as they share that information with their own followers. Those followers may share that information, whose own followers may also share.

What are your favorite reasons to use social media in marketing?

Learning to be Flexible

September 20, 2016



My name is Chris Fujimoto, and I’m currently enrolled in my second full semester in the IMC master’s program. My decision to attend West Virginia was an easy one to make. What I found to be difficult was planning when I would begin my journey at West Virginia. It was along that discovery process that I realized West Virginia’s IMC program was catering to my biggest need: flexibility.

When I started researching graduate programs I was looking for a program that would provide me a solid marketing base, while expanding my knowledge in different marketing and communications strategies. I was also looking for a program that would fit into my professional schedule. Most importantly, I was looking for a program that would allow me to apply the lessons from the classroom to the workplace in impactful and creative ways. After reading into West Virginia’s master’s degree in IMC, I knew they checked off all of the boxes I mentioned, and I knew it was the right fit for me.

There were, however, a few logistical problems that I needed to navigate. I knew that I wanted to take the GRE exams. West Virginia offers a GRE waiver (another point toward flexibility), but I wanted to keep options open and train my brain back into the academic mindset. Additionally, I hadn’t officially applied to the program at that point, and I felt a large sense of dread at the idea of managing both school and my professional workload. Maybe a graduate program wasn’t a realistic possibility for me at the moment? I was starting to doubt whether or not I would be making the right decision for my career by applying to the program.

It was at that point I decided to do some proactive research and planning. What I found was that starting in January of 2016 would be an easier transition for me than the fall of 2015. My professional workload would be slowing down a bit, giving me the perfect amount of time to ease in to the grad school workload. Starting in the spring also meant that I could take more time to study for the GRE exams, which gave me some practice in balancing my academic and professional workloads. The coursework that the IMC program offers is mirrored in the fall and spring, so I didn’t feel like I was behind any of my peers. When I laid all of the components out on the table, I knew that starting in the spring was the right decision for me. The structure of the IMC program helped relieve any uncertainty that had built from my initial thoughts.

For individuals who are considering the program I think the most important thing is to look at the IMC program and determine how it plays a part into your overall plan. The IMC program is built with flexibility to meet the needs of its students, and we are empowered on how we want to take advantage of what is being provided to us.

Chris Fujimoto is currently an IMC student and the marketing web administrator at Vanguard Charitable in Philadelphia. 

Streaming is the New Fan Experience

September 15, 2016


With emerging media, there are so many ways to experience any sports game without actually having to be in attendance. Just looking at this college football attendance from Patrick Rishe, there was over a 3.5% decrease in attendance from 2003 to 2015. Bowl games have seen a huge decrease in attendance as well. However, the Oregon vs. Ohio State championship game had about 33.4 million viewers on television.

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So if people aren’t attending games, how are fans watching their favorite teams. With streaming options across different apps and live updates on social media. Kickoff weekend of college football this year saw record numbers of viewers. There was 3,900,000 unique viewers for 391,100,000 live minutes streamed in opening weekend through ESPN. Compared to last season, unique viewers was up 57% and live minutes viewed up 86%.


When looking at social media, College Football on ESPN’s Facebook has almost 375,000 likes, their Twitter has 1.5 million followers, and the Instagram has 475,000 followers. It seems Twitter is the biggest social media outlet for sports fans, especially football. Looking at the NFL, Twitter won a bidding war this year to stream Thursday night games. Twitter  beat out Amazon, Yahoo, and Verizon to stream 10 games this season. Facebook dropped out of the bidding when they couldn’t agree on advertising.

Emerging media has been a big player in the way fans consume sports.Whether it is watching it on television from your couch, sitting in the stadium, or streaming from mobile devices on apps or social media. Even if a fan misses the game, there are so many ways through social media and apps to catch the big plays and highlights. One can’t help but wonder as more advances in technology come about, will there be less live fans and more streaming. What do you think; is emerging media supporting or hurting the sports industry?

-Alyssa Hough

Alyssa Hough is an IMC student currently in IMC 619 Emerging Media & the Market. This blog post originally appear on her blog: Alyssa’s IMC Blog. Check out her blog for more posts!

7 Tips to Succeed in an Online Learning Environment

September 13, 2016


According to D. Frank Smith, 5.8 million Americans are enrolled in an online course—that’s one in four students!

For many, the thought of online classes is unnerving, yet virtual enrollment continues to grow. It can’t be that scary, right?—Right! Here are some tips we put together for succeeding in online classes.

  1. Print your syllabi

Keep a hard copy of any and all documents distributed by your professor, especially the syllabus. Printing these documents will help you to better understand and keep track of the course assignments, as well as remember your instructor’s expectations.

  1. Designate a workspace

Choose a space in which you feel you will be the most productive to complete your course work. Use this space only for class-related activities and, while you are there, turn off your cell phone to avoid all distractions.

  1. Remain organized

Keep a master schedule of when all of your assignments are due. To ensure you do not forget anything, write yourself daily to-do lists, complete with detailed instructions for each project.

  1. Communicate problems early

Communication is key! Whether it is a problem with your server or a question about an assignment, communicate issues are their onset, as they will then be much easier to resolve.

  1. Space it out

Work a little bit each day. Don’t procrastinate or try to complete all of your assignments in one sitting. This will do nothing but overwhelm you and put a damper on your creativity.

  1. Participate

Participate, participate, participate! Online classes allow you to learn as much from your classmates as you do from your instructor; however, the responsibility is yours. The amount of effort you put into a virtual course will reflect the amount of knowledge you gain.

  1. Reward yourself

Incentivize yourself with periodic rewards. After completing a large project or a difficult paper, treat yourself! You deserve it!

Online courses can take time to get used to; however, their benefits are undeniable. Online learning provides students with flexibility, lower costs and greater technological knowledge. So…don’t be nervous about online courses. If you keep in mind these seven tips, you are sure to succeed in any online learning environment.


5 Reasons Why You Need a Social Media Influencer on Your Payroll

September 6, 2016


Everyday, more and more companies are integrating content creators into their emerging media efforts. From YouTube beauty gurus to Instagram celebrities, influencers have wiggled their way into becoming a major element in specialized content marketing efforts.

Using social media influencers in your marketing is the practice of building relationships with the people who can build relationships for you. Whether an influencer’s audience is small or large, an influencer can reach consumers via their blogs and social networks that your brand may not be able to.  – Group High

So let’s jump right into it! Here are 5 AMAZING reasons why you need to add a Social Media Influencer to your payroll.

1.) They are well known… 

Social Media famous people have branded themselves so well online that your consumers already know them and consider them the gatekeepers in their respective fields.

Just check out this clip of Tyler Oakley on The Ellen Show … and he is famous for social media alone.

2.) Their audience trusts them…

Consumers want authenticity from the brands they interact with. When marketers equip influencers with an entire experience to share about a brand or product the posts are more engaging.

Let’s be real, influencers have positioned themselves to be thought of as experts in everything from hear to politics, and consumers would much rather hear what they have say about a product as opposed to a employee for a company.

Nine times out of ten, if a consumers had questions about the quality of a product and asked both a employee for the company and a respected influencer what they thought of the product; they would probably allow the influencers’ words to outweigh the employee.

90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 33% trust ads

Your employees are like a walking advertisement for your company. This alone makes it hard for consumers to believe that if your product really isn’t as good as you claim it is, your employee would actually tell the truth and admit that it isn’t.

But, with influencers, they see them as regular people, just like them, and often feel as though their opinions are more organic – making it more truthful in their eyes.

3.) They are trendsetters…

Their supporters  look to them for the latest trends and for guidance in incorporating them into their daily life. Now, more than ever, social media personalities are being considered the trend setters (and in some cases, enders). They are able to use their platforms to urge large groups of people into thinking that something is in, out… or going to be in.

A recent study from the Journal of Consumer Research has found that people who are active in social media are likely to be influenced by the opinions of those they follow on those social media channels. For marketers and business owners, this means that connecting with trend setters who have a large amount of followers is more important than ever.

To keep a long story short, you need them to say that your company or products are in!

4.) They have a pre-assembled target audience…

When executed correctly, influencer marketing has the ability to reach niche audiences and create a greater impact than traditional advertising methods.

Influencers have already developed a close knit relationship with their followers who are members of your target market. This means that hiring them will allow you to tap into it and convert their fans into your consumers.

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With social media influencers having audiences of sometimes more than a million people, it’s a win-win situation for both parties!


5.) They are flexible

Social influencers can provide a cost-effective way for startups and smaller businesses operating on a limited marketing budget to reach new customers.

If you aren’t ready to add them permanently  to your payroll, there are ways in which you can still work with them. You can draw up an endorsement deal or just pay for them to attend one of your events, post online about your products,  or you can even get them to review your product or give them a promo code to promote online.


The best way to gain the trust and attention of the influencer’s audience is to have the influencer engage with your product and either create content around the brand or testify as to what the product has done for them.

The possibilities are endless, but it’s up to you to make sure that you take advantage of this new and happening buzz ed-about strategy to increase your stake in your target audience.

-Katra Cunningham

Katra Cunningham  is an IMC student currently in IMC 619 Emerging Media & the Market. This blog post originally appear on her blog: Emerging Media…as told by Katra. Check out her blog for more posts!