Archive for the ‘Student Life’ Category

Résumé mistakes that will haunt you

October 23, 2017

The witching hour has arrived.

You have decided to set forth on that long-awaited job search, or you have been unhappy in your current job and it is time for a change in venue.

If you want to attend that Halloween party you got invited to, a creative eye-opening costume is a necessity.  Likewise, in the world of job hunting, a customized, skillfully-worded résumé is essential.

Most of us have experienced the “treats” of a new job offer and how great it can make you feel, but we all – job seekers and employers alike — want to avoid the “tricks” of a poisoned résumé.

It might help if we review some of the ghostly tricks that haunt many job seekers:

  • A typographical error is rotten;
  • A grammatical error is worse;
  • A misspelled proper name is instant dismissal from bobbing for apples;
  • Listing an inappropriate, non-professional email point of contact is a black cat in a dark alley;
  • Factual errors of GPA, educational institutions, awards or previous jobs can start the engraving of your tombstone;
  • A phone number or email link that does not work is a witch’s spell gone wrong;
  • Listing high school information shows you still need an parental escort after dark;
  • Not customizing résumés for an industry-specific employment opportunity can lead to your house or car being egged;
  • Failing to use key words from the job description and to show off your skills are akin to a witch without her broom;
  • Offering too much information on past internships or jobs may result in howling by the reader;
  • Typefaces that are hard to read, fancy borders or designer paper make the reader question your judgment as well as your choice of costume;
  • Gaps in information or timelines can result in the loss of your best candy; and
  • Either too long or too short a résumé can cause a nasty fall while running through a neighbor’s yard.

Please give adequate time in preparation of your all-important résumé and have trusted friends and family read it over and over for accuracy, descriptive wording, compelling organization and clarity.  Human resource and hiring managers will hail your good work with Halloween candy corn, and perhaps a “treat” of an interview and/or job offer will await you!

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Mike Fulton, an instructor in the WVU Reed College of Media’s Integrated Marketing Communications program and director of the Washington, D.C. office of Asher Agency, offers tricks and treats @hillrat1156.

IMC Capstone Q&A with Instructor Archie Sader

October 3, 2017

Q: Tell me a little bit more about the structure of the campaign.

A: An IMC campaign is a complete plan describing the details of your proposal to utilized multiple marketing communications vehicles in an integrated fashion to accomplish specific marketing goals. The key sections of the campaign plan include:

  • Marketing Goals
  • IMC Campaign Objectives
  • Target Audience Definitions
  • Marketing Research Findings
  • Integrated Communications Strategy Statement
  • IMC Campaign Budget and Justification Based on Proposed Goals
  • Media Plan Details
  • Creative Executions
  • Explanation of How Results Will Be Evaluated

Q: How can this class be of value in my future?

A: A well-developed IMC campaign plan will serve you well throughout your career.

You may find that your present employer needs an IMC campaign plan. Very few people have the understanding of our discipline needed to develop a thorough plan. Your employer will welcome, appreciate and value your work. You will have new respect with your current employer.

You may want to work for a specific firm or in a specific industry. Developing a campaign plan for a firm in the industry of your choice will open doors for you in that field.

You may be an entrepreneur or be seeking to start your own firm in the future. Learning the discipline of IMC campaign planning will enable you to develop an effective campaign plan and grow your business successfully.

 Q: How does this class differ from the other classes in the IMC program?

You will be expected to utilize and apply materials from all previously completed IMC courses. Save your notes and textbooks from these courses. And, you will be expected to search for materials in the WVU online library. It is impossible to present all needed materials in our course weekly lesson notes. You will have to take the initiative to find the information needed to develop an effective campaign plan.

Q: How do I choose a client?

If you think marketing communications can be improved at your present organization, your current employer might make for an ideal client. You should keep in mind, however, that a campaign plan with a minimum budget of $250,000 for twelve months must make sense.

If you would like a future position with a specific firm or in a specific industry, choosing a firm in that industry will greatly improve the receptivity of your application for employment in that industry. It is helpful to show potential employers that you have done your homework about that firm and its competitors.

You may have a hobby or interest that is very meaningful to you. It might be art, gardening, sports or one of several others. Choosing a firm in that area may enable you to do your best work.

You may be planning a career in the not-for-profit area. Choosing an organization in this area will be instrumental in your career advancement efforts.

 Q: What level contact, within the company, is needed to complete the campaign?

Having client contact can be instrumental in the development of a successful campaign plan. Your contact can help you establish your marketing goal, present meaningful input on the firm’s background and will agree to review your completed plan. Many executives are extremely busy and have little time to spare. Others have privacy concerns that limit the information to be shared. This is not usually a problem when choosing your present employer as your client. If you choose another firm, however, make several attempts to get a marketing manager or marketing director to agree to spend a few minutes on the phone with you.

Q: What are the requirements around the client proposal?

Your client proposal should include the following information:

  • Organization Name
  • Industry
  • Location
  • Marketing Goal
  • Primary Target Audience
  • IMC Campaign Budget
  • Reason for Choosing this Client

Archie Sader is an adjunct instructor for the West Virginia University Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program and teaches IMC 636 – Campaigns. 

IMC 610 Q&A with Instructor Bonnie Harris

September 21, 2017

Q: Why IMC? 

A: As the number of messaging channels continue to grow, we need a better approach to help reach customers and cut through the “clutter.” In addition, we need a cost effective way to unify the brand message across an increasingly disparate media landscape.  Integrated marketing communications is rapidly becoming the marketing methodology of choice for those reasons. Understanding the components of IMC and knowing how to structure objectives, strategies and tactics for an IMC campaign is critical for marketers today if they wish to succeed.

Q: How is the class structured? 

A: Although it is an online course, the class is structured to promote as much interaction between the professors and other classmates as possible. It involves a discussion forum each week on a specific topic, lessons and required readings, interactive modules, and even one or two live sessions.

Q: What can I expect to learn in this intro course? 

IMC 610 introduces the basic components of integrated marketing communications in terms of paid media, owned media, earned media, audience selection and measurement. The class also helps students prepare for the rigors of graduate school, and learn how to use and implement all the tools provided by the WVU IMC program.

Q: What value does this class bring?

A: Graduate school is vastly different from undergraduate curriculums in that the student is required to develop their own unique point of view, and substantiate that “voice” with credible sources.   IMC 610 is the introduction to the IMC program and really helps students make that transition. In this class, students are introduced to the cornerstones of this graduate program including critical thinking, creativity, combining theory with actual practice, and of course collaborative learning.


Bonnie Harris is an adjunct instructor for the West Virginia University Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program and teaches IMC 610 – Introduction to IMC. Harris is an IMC consultant who has designed and implemented IMC strategies for clients across the United States.

Education for the Traveler

August 14, 2017

I never knew how much the world had to offer until I stepped into it and decided to live. For sure, everyone has their own idea of living— some aspire to have the white-picket fence and a home filled with a family, while others, like me, have decided to break away from the ordinary and travel with an uncertainty that is fueled with the idea that everything will workout in the end. In 2011 I did something almost unthinkable for a hometown girl from Kentucky, I became an expatriate. America will always be home, but the world has been calling me, and I can’t shake off the need to answer.

Since moving abroad the amount of history that I have seen with my very own eyes and have touched with my very own hands is countless. I am able to do all of this because I made the decision to become a certified TESOL teacher, which means I teach the English language to those who want to learn it. Teaching English abroad has been the most rewarding job I have ever had, but two years ago I decided I wanted to start making a change and that’s when I discovered the IMC program at WVU.Picture2

Working on my master’s degree while living abroad has been great! Don’t get me wrong, it can be very challenging, but that’s the best part. It makes me get out of my comfort zone and explore my community. I am currently residing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and being able to experience the culture and how IMC comes into play has been such a learning experience. The culture here is very different than what I grew up knowing and being able to understanding that and use it throughout the IMC program has allowed me to bring a new dimension to my class discussions and papers.

Throughout the program I have noticed several differences in advertising, but the one that stands out to me the most is the lack of women in advertisements. Women’s body parts are not allowed to be out on display, so getting creative on how to advertise is a must, especially if you’re selling women’s clothing. Another hot topic is the fact that women can’t drive here, regardless of personal opinions on this matter, as a student who is studying IMC I have found that women in this country have really utilized social media in order to work from home and some have become very successful.

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I typically get the same questions about living in Saudia Arabia. Is it safe? Do you have to cover your body? Is the food good? I always answer with, Yes, I feel extremely safe here. Yes, I have to cover my body by wearing an abaya. There are times I cover my hair and times I don’t. It is not compulsory for me to cover my hair, but a vast majority of the people living here do wear a hijab (head covering). If you’ve never had Middle Eastern food, you’re missing out! However, Riyadh is home to almost any western restaurant you can think of. This city is full of expats, so the food choices are endless.

I am still not done traveling, as you can see I’ve only dipped my toes in the water, but I do like that I will have a career path that’s different than teaching when I decide to try it out. I may even take my IMC degree with me into the education field. Being an ESL teacher has allowed me to travel and see the world and to meet the most amazing people along the way. It is because of my lifestyle I even discovered the IMC program. For that I am grateful.

I implore you to step out of your comfort zone and travel, the world is beautiful.


Milinda Gray is currently a TESOL teacher in Saudia Arabia, and she is a student in the Integrated Marketing Communications master’s program at WVU. 

Integrated Experiences

June 15, 2017

Kelsey-Berg

After a long anticipated wait, the day had finally arrived. I was headed down to the small town of Huntington, WV to attend INTEGRATE West Virginia. As I drove into town, I got butterflies and was so excited to attend my first INTEGRATE conference. You hear from everyone who has ever gone that the conference is outstanding, but you don’t quite believe it until you’ve experienced it. Now, I am one of those people saying just how outstanding the conference was.

From my first step into the door, the team welcomed me and introduced themselves. Finally being able to put names to faces was a relief and comforting in a way. It was special to know I had been working with some of these individuals for over two years and I finally was presented with the opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level rather than through our digital exchanges.

From that moment on, I was hooked. Networking opportunities left and right surrounded by captivating breakout sessions just made the whole experience memorable.

With each and every session I was in, I was able to walk away with a minimum of at least three ideas or concepts that could help me in my professional life today. Whether it was a trick with content or an idea with creative, each piece built up a pretty impressive puzzle by the end of the weekend.

The speakers proved to be some of the best in the industry. With the numerous awards to their names and countless nationally recognized campaigns, I was engulfed with every story and piece of information they told. Not only were they great to listen to, they all had wonderful senses of humor making the hour sessions fly by!

To me, however, the most rewarding aspect of the conference – networking. As you walk in, you instantly look around to put some names to some faces. You recognize a few professors and maybe a student or two you have had class with but once things get moving, you become the fastest friends with so many of these classmates and alumni. Getting to know more about conference attendees’ careers and how they are intertwined in the marketing communications web is so interesting and you truly learn so much. In addition to that, you make lifelong friends both personally and professionally.

If you haven’t been to INTEGRATE yet, I would highly suggest it. One of the best conferences I have literally ever been too given the quality of content and the opportunities to build your skill set and relationships with other marketing communications professionals.


Kelsey Berg is a current student in the WVU IMC Program. She is the marketing content coordinator for FootJoy. 

Why You Should Attend the INTEGRATE Conference

June 13, 2017

Bailee-Miller.jpg

After attending the recent 2017 INTEGRATE West Virginia Conference in Huntington, West Virginia, I started thinking about the many benefits of attending industry conferences, specifically those in marketing and communications. If you think about it, you get to visit a new town (if it’s held outside of your area), meet industry leaders, receive great content and network with a bunch of other folks in your field.

Presented by West Virginia University’s Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) graduate program, the INTEGRATE West Virginia Conference was designed to offer strategic communicators and marketing professionals access to the latest IMC techniques and strategies. Through the presentations and chats led by inspiring industry leaders, INTEGRATE is designed to be a “learn it today, apply it tomorrow” type of conference.

An additional bonus for those of us currently enrolled in the IMC graduate program was the opportunity to meet some of the program’s professors at the conference. Since the IMC program is all online, meeting some of the professors in person really helped further personalize the program experience for me.

In addition to the bonuses I mentioned above, here are some of the reasons I encourage everyone in the marketing industry to consider attending the INTEGRATE conference.

Networking opportunities. Whether you’re new to the professional realm or a seasoned veteran, networking is very important to continued growth in your field. The world of marketing communications is an ever-changing one, so conferences like INTEGRATE are a perfect place for marketing minds to come together and learn from one another. Making and maintaining these connections is now easier than ever with the INTEGRATE conference’s use of the event management mobile app, Bizzabo, which has a built-in LinkedIn feature to allow the possibility of connection of all the registered attendees of the conference. So even if you didn’t get that business card from someone you met at INTEGRATE, you can go back into the app and find their LinkedIn profile.

Opportunity to see old friends, colleagues and classmates. I won’t pretend I’m not biased for saying this, but I do truly believe that the WVU Reed College of Media, formerly P.I. Reed School of Journalism, is one of the best schools for connecting its students, graduates and professionals in the industry. The INTEGRATE conference attracts people much like the ones I had the privilege of meeting or studying with the few short years ago during my undergraduate experience. Case in point: running into my former classmate and soon-to-be Data Marketing Communications graduate program grad, Alex McPherson. Getting to catch up with a fellow alum was just part of the awesome experience I had at INTEGRATE. So, definitely check it out. You might run into some of your old classmates there!

Great content and recommendations. During the first day, Amanda Todorovich, director of content marketing at the Cleveland Clinic, gave a great presentation titled “How to Build a Killer Content Marketing Strategy” that covered anything and everything from metrics and how to use them effectively, to the importance of knowing exactly who your audience is. She talked about how content creation should be pleasurable, like eating ice cream. She went on to say that it shouldn’t be a chore, like sweeping your floor, but rather like the act of preparing (toppings, toppings, toppings!) and eating ice cream. She credited this clever analogy to the podcast “Unthinkable: Exploring How to Use Intuition to do Better Work” and recommended we all go listen to a few episodes. Host Jay Acunzo shares his weekly narrative of how to break from the conventional way of thinking and start trusting your intuition. He interviews bloggers, small business owners, and many other creatives who are really successful at thinking outside of the box. I’ve already listened to three episodes, so major shout out to Amanda for helping make my morning commute more productive!

Motivation and inspiration. I walked out of the INTEGRATE conference with a notebook full of bold and underlined words and phrases that are still pinging around in my head a week later. Here are a few of the insights I picked up from the amazing industry leaders.

  • Define a strategy and stick to it. Cleveland Clinic’s Amanda Todorovich spoke to this during her presentation about building a strong content marketing strategy. She went on to talk about how sticking to a strategy makes it easier to see what not to post, share and spend wasted time on. The simple act of creating a strategy isn’t nearly as important as sticking to it.
  • Ask “What’s next?” In her presentation about the reinvention of the digital video model, Teads.tv’s Head of Client Solutions Jen Sangrid spoke specifically to the constantly changing way we view videos and how important it is to always be looking forward. She talked about the importance of understanding what people want and how they want to view it. By paying attention to certain viewing metrics, marketers should always be asking, “What’s next?”
  • Don’t just be a marketing person; be a marketing and data person. While not a direct quote, I really liked Coca-Cola Freestyle Global Marketing Director and West Virginia native Scott Cuppari’s point about the importance of understanding your company or organization’s metrics. Make the effort to fully understand what the metrics can mean to your day-to-day and let them help you forecast your next marketing move.
  • To be a leader, you must be real and vulnerable. Verizon Senior Executive Communications Manager Lauren Tilstra spoke about the importance of delivering an authentic message. Today’s audience is looking for the genuine truth. They have instant access to the personal lives of executives, CEOs, celebrities and pretty much anyone willing to share their life on social media. This access means that what the company or organization does and how it’s senior leadership and members portray themselves on social media should jive. If they don’t marry up, audiences will immediately pick up on that. Tilstra emphasized the importance of owning up to mistakes. This shows vulnerability and realness and can really help the perception of the audience.

I highly encourage anyone in the marketing communications industry to consider attending the next INTEGRATE conference to be held in Houston, Texas on October 19-21. I can guarantee this conference will provide invaluable experience and content to help you continue to grow in your career.


Bailee Miller is a current student in the WVU IMC program, and she earned her bachelor’s degree from the WVU Reed College of Media.

Teaching is a Life Changing Experience

June 1, 2017

mike-fulton-teaching

Teaching is a normal extension of our careers in communications, marketing and advocacy. We do it every day with our co-workers, clients and those seeking to one day join our profession.

In 2010, I wanted to advance beyond periodic guest lectures, panel discussions and penning columns on best practices (I still enjoy those opportunities). That prompted me to seek out a more formal opportunity to teach public affairs in West Virginia University’s growing Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program. Developing a full-fledged, eight-week elective and teaching it in the WVU IMC program has been life-changing on multiple levels.

I am a better person, and I am a more valuable professional since I started teaching online and testing information, ideas and case studies with talented faculty and working adult students.

The students are demanding and responsive. That more than anything encourages me to keep up with current events, technological advances and continue to seek new and better solutions for public affairs, government communications and ethics challenges we all face in our everyday jobs. And the students each term continue to challenge me and conventional marketing methods. The evolution of our profession is fueled by technology and the constant blending of practices (public relations, advertising, marketing, social and digital, government affairs, grassroots and fundraising) that were once carried out in silos.

The diversity of our students – both backgrounds and experiences – adds to the rich learning environment we offer. Students welcome real-world solutions gleaned from faculty and fellow students to bring to their current jobs. It has also been rewarding to watch students apply their IMC course and degrees to secure well-deserved promotions and better jobs.

The continuing education and networking opportunities offered by IMC administrators and faculty is another side benefit of teaching. If you have not considered teaching formally and sharing your years of knowledge, I highly recommend it. The reflections and research experienced while developing your course, as well as its reception by students and faculty will make you a better practitioner and help you meet talented professionals you otherwise might not ever meet.

Be prepared for the positive changes in your life.


Mike Fulton directs the Washington, D.C. office of the Asher Agency and teaches IMC 638 Public Affairs. Connect with him at mikef@asheragency.com.

 

INTEGRATE WV

April 27, 2017

 

INTEGRATE-WV

THE DEFINITION OF INTEGRATE

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word integrate in the following manner.

Integrate: to make a person or group part of a larger group or organization

You are probably wondering why I am giving you a vocabulary lesson, but I promise, I have a point!

The first IMC Weekend took place in 2005. The event was founded to bring together WVU IMC students from across the country. It was intended to unite students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to meet one another. It was meant to make them feel that, even though they study online, they are, and will always be, part of the Mountaineer family.

The success of IMC Weekend warranted its continuation. In 2011, IMC Weekend transitioned into a full marketing communications conference. That’s when INTEGRATE was born!

The first INTEGRATE conference was held in Morgantown, West Virginia. Since then, it has traveled to multiple cities throughout America; cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C., and, soon, Huntington, West Virginia. The conference, which once attracted only WVU IMC students and faculty, expanded its audience and began drawing marketing communications professionals from all industries.

First you got a vocabulary lesson, and now a history lesson? What’s next?

The point is, despite its changes, the definition of INTEGRATE remains the same. INTEGRATE is a chance for marketing communications professionals to gather, learn, share and grow, both individually and as a collective unit. That is something that will never change, regardless of Merriam-Webster’s updates.

This year, we’ve teamed up with Marshall University to bring you INTEGRATE West Virginia. INTEGRATE West Virginia will take place June 2-3, in Huntington, West Virginia. This year’s conference will feature Andy Azula, senior vice president and executive creative director at The Martin Agency, as its keynote speaker.  For more information about the conference, or to register, please visit integrate.wvu.edu. Contact Megan Bayles, public relations and marketing graduate assistant, at mebayles@mail.wvu.edu, with any questions.

March 16, 2017

Jenn-Cartmille

Jenn Cartmille is expected to graduate in December 2017. She currently resides in Columbus, Ohio, where she is the Marketing Manager for the Greater Columbus Sports Commission. 

If you’re anything like me, the thought of going back to school while working full time can be overwhelming. It’s easy to be flooded with notions that it will be impossible to balance work and school, the ROI will be minimal, and the ultimate question, “How does this apply to my career goals?”

I get it, I had all those thoughts plus some when I researched graduate schools. My undergraduate program and internship experience placed me in a favorable position upon graduating in 2011. However, as I immersed myself into the “real world” and began the professional journey, it became clear that my career was taking me down a path I hadn’t originally intended.

You see, I was focused in communications and PR but, welcomed opportunities that led me toward marketing.  I soon developed a passion for content marketing, brand management, and how organizations can take an integrated strategic approach to marketing.

Upon discovery of the IMC program, it was obvious that WVU understood the importance of working while obtaining your degree and all those worries in regard to graduate school washed away. Funny how that happens when the right fit comes along. Speaking of the right fit: Soon after being accepted into the program, I took a job at the Greater Columbus Sports Commission (Sports Commission) as Marketing Manager. A new position for the organization, my role was designed to focus on brand-elevating and client-relevant marketing strategies.

Talk about new beginnings.

The Sports Commission is a non-profit whose vision is to transform Columbus into one of the world’s best sports destinations.  We bid on sporting events to drive tourism to the city. Once Columbus lands a sporting event, it is our job to service the event and make sure people, both locally and outside the city, attend the event. In addition to those portions of our job, the marketing department supports the Sports Commission brand.

Fast forward (almost) two years and I’m nearing the end of my graduate journey. As I reflect on these past couple years, I can say without hesitation that I would not have been as successful at the Sports Commission without this master’s program.

I have used the Sports Commission as a “client” in numerous classes, which in return has been a catalyst for the development of the organization’s IMC plan and its first marketing campaign that isn’t event-driven. Additionally, a website redesign is set to launch in June, a focus on in-house content marketing, dedicated efforts to web and social media analytics, all of which have transformed the way we approach our vision. The coursework and WVU professors have all been part of that journey with me as they’ve guided, critiqued, and pushed me to be the best marketer for the Sports Commission.

There are so many benefits to the IMC program and I could happily list them over a cup of coffee any day. However, if you leave this blog post with any piece of information, I hope it is this: The IMC program provides the tools for taking a holistic approach to how marketing, communications, PR, business development, events, and operations all fit into one to support and accomplish your company/organization/brand’s goals.

And for that, I will calculate the ROI on the IMC program for the remainder of my career because it will continue to prove its worth well into the future.

5 Quick and Easy Stress-Relief Strategies

February 22, 2017

stress-blog

We have all experienced stress—it is unavoidable. Common stressors include family, friends, work, significant others, finances…and the list goes on. For college and graduate students, one significant stressor is often school.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 80 percent of students say that they experience stress on a daily basis. Obviously, this is not healthy. Stress has been known to lead to nervousness, loneliness, sadness, headaches, upset stomachs and fatigue. Severe levels of continuing stress can even cause depression.

Because you cannot avoid stress, you must learn to manage it in order to live a healthy and enjoyable life. Below, thanks to the American Psychological Association, the ADAA and healthline, we were able to compile a list of the five quick and easy stress relief strategies that you can use every day.

  1. Talk it out

Call, email or text someone that you trust. Simply expressing your feelings and concerns to someone else will automatically help to relieve some of your stress.

  1. Listen to Music

Listening to music has a myriad of soothing effects. In addition to calming your nerves, listening to music can “slow the pulse and heartrate, lower blood pressure and decrease levels of stress hormones.” This is especially true of classical music.

  1. Exercise

When exercising, the pituitary gland releases endorphins, which are proven to improve your mood. Exercising also prevents “excessive neuronal firing,” which helps you feel more calm. These effects can be felt even after exercising for only one minute.

  1. Stay positive

Always look at the glass half-full. By replacing negative thoughts with more positive ones, you will be able to better manage your stress. Staying positive can also lead to a longer life, a stronger immune system, and “better psychological and physical well-being.”

  1. Breathe

When you are calm, your breathing is slow and originates in the diaphragm. When you are stressed, your breathing is quicker and shallower. To reduce stress levels, focus your attention on deep and concentrated breathing—it will allow more oxygen to reach the brain, which, in turn, will help you relax.

Remember, stress is not something that can be avoided. Everyone deals with stress at some point in their lives, and everyone handles stressful situations in a different manner; however, these five quick and easy stress relief strategies are sure to work for anyone! So, next time you are stressed, give them a try!

To learn more about coping with and reducing stress, follow any one of the links provided above.