Posts Tagged ‘IMC Capstone’

How To Name A Marketing Agency

April 13, 2015

The first surprising thing I discovered in my IMC Capstone journey is that naming a marketing agency really tests your creative skill. Idea? Google it. Already taken. Better idea? Backspace and Google again. Also taken.

It’s a process I recommend starting before Week 1 if you can. I learned to prioritize the “how” of my then yet-to-be-named agency. How did I want my agency to approach a client’s project? That starting point inspired me to then relate my concept to less-literal names, finally leading me to a winner.

During this process, I stumbled upon a helpful agency name graphic I hope you’ll find just as useful.

While I mostly recognized the Founder names, the other categories offered the most inspirational ideas during my brainstorming process.

Because Capstone requires you to thread your agency’s unique approach throughout your integrated marketing proposal for the chosen client, take some time to build a strong foundation for your project. Having a clear agency identity makes writing other sections in your project easier to accomplish because you have a defined perspective to work from.

WVU IMC alum, current and future Capstoners: What advice/comments/questions do you have about naming a marketing agency?


Capstone Survival Tips

December 5, 2013

Halfway up the mountain

WVU IMC students who attend the INTEGRATE 2014 conference will have an opportunity to attend an IMC 636 Capstone workshop and get survival/success tips from course professors and recent graduates. As a current Capstone student, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to come up for air and offer some advice for students who aren’t able to attend the conference or will be taking the course next semester. You’ll notice that most of the points are things that students can do now. Don’t wait until the Capstone begins to get your act together.

Review the Student Portfolio page. The Student Work page of the IMC website offers a video overview with the IMC Curriculum Developer Kristen Wilkerson and a gallery of previous projects. Don’t neglect to click on students’ names to read the various Capstone Experience sections. Renny Zackman notes under his project, “Students need to approach the course with the expectation that they will be living and breathing the workload for nine weeks.” Sentiments like these are exactly right and will help mentally prepare you for the journey.

Organize your previous coursework. I’m a fairly organized person, but my biggest pre-Capstone regret is not having a unified system for all my lessons, assignments, notes, articles, and all those helpful links that professors and classmates share throughout the program. I started out printing everything and putting it into binders, jotting ideas onto notebook pages, and saving links in my browser Favorites folder. I credit my program experience with upgrading me to digital and cloud-based organization, and even my local folders are arranged more logically. However, I didn’t go back and “fix” the beginning, so I’m all over the place chasing down previous coursework. As you learn better organization systems, consider investing some free time to reorganize older notes and files.

Keep up with your books. This may be a no-brainer to some, but I think it’s worth mentioning. Know where ALL your IMC books are, and resist the urge to sell them back to the bookstore or to Amazon. I found one of my early IMC books packed away in my garage (what was I thinking?) and I still need to flip my house upside down to locate another. (Even as I write this I keep looking at my bookshelf ready to tear it apart to find that book!)

Brush up on Microsoft Word. I’m still working through this issue, but making a project look “pretty” using Word is a bit of a challenge if you’re used to using Adobe or other design software. So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised at what Word can do and how simple commands can make the project more visually compelling, but I recommend getting past that learning curve before the Capstone begins.

Clear your calendar. I admit that I’m a bit of a calendar junkie and like filling it up with stuff. As such, I probably went into the Capstone with still too many obligations, but I tried to be purposeful about clearing my social calendar. I did make allowances for Thanksgiving weekend and my son’s birthday, but I definitely felt the pinch (still no regrets, though). Don’t feel bad about being selfish over this last nine weeks. I blatantly pulled a Flava Flav on my side of the family. I can’t do nothin’ for ya, man. To add to the rudeness but to accomplish the survey research and a focus group, I even had to set an expectation for friends/family to help me. I can’t do anything for YOU for nine weeks, but I need everyone on deck to help ME.

I know that some of this sounds exaggerated, but you really do need to master time management for the Capstone. Reserve some free time to spend with your significant other and/or kids, and give your brain some downtime to rest and get creatively recharged. Remember that every extra commitment you make (other than work obligations) will take hours or even a full day away from your project.

Read everything upfront and make a project management schedule. Don’t wait until week 7 to read the Week 7 Assignment. When you start the Capstone, read through all the coursework and any extra documents from your professor. This will give you time to get over the shock, digest everything and plot an estimated timeline. Nathan Pieratt, a Spring 2013 Capstone student, notes, “To stay on top of the deadlines I had to create a set schedule to touch some aspect of the project every day.”

I’m still plugging away and have a little over 2 weeks (yikes) to become 100% enlightened, so if any other current or former Capstone students have any additional points for future students, please post a comment. I’ll also be happy to field any questions from other IMC students.

Hello Capstone.

January 9, 2013

We are WVU

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Perspective is a principle thing. Your vision is a catalyst for the prolific. One of the most beautiful elements of an academic journey is the ability to stop and take some time to look back and soak in the highs and lows. Enter IMC 636 Campaigns. Some say it’s the journey not the destination that counts. Here’s a little perspective into my capstone journey in the IMC program at WVU. Hold on tight. Grab a latte because it’s a wild one!

Home/office converted into an ideation lab? Check. Mock whiteboards? Got you covered. A full arsenal of colored whiteboard markers? You betcha! Email conversation with a senior advisor to none other than the Knight Foundation, a leading champion of transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts? Thank you Mr. Newton. A full online survey with over 50 responses powered by Survey Monkey. 84 references containing unique insights.

Real Ideation

So…that’s how you come up with the big idea? Hello research. Hello Pinterest inspiration board. Focus group comprised of story completion tests, word association, q&a, and drawings. Now that’s a bit much que no? How about actual business cards to promote my new mock multicultural youth marketing agency Unrivaled (I call first dibs on that one. I might actually use it in the future!) All part of an effort to soak in the full graduate experience and put into practice everything learned and explored over my tenure in the IMC program. Of course, heading to New York on official business would be the ultimate cherry on top!

Capstone Campaign

The IMC Campaigns experience is a great opportunity to get that agency feel and understand what it’s like to put together a proposal and plan for a stellar pitch. Unfortunately, a real agency probably wouldn’t have been afforded the luxury of nine weeks.

SWOT Analysis

Overall, the energy put into this project is the energy you can expect. It’s been a real blessing to participate in what has been a great capstone experience. I look forward to continued momentum and what lies ahead as a WVU IMC graduate and a champion of bold ideas, prolific communications, and impactful engagement. As a token of respect to my fellow IMC graduates and those about to begin the capstone journey…may I present to you none other than the entertainment of the one…the only Hovercat!!

Hello entertainment.

The Future of Journalism | A Call for Disruption

October 31, 2012

“The new economy has always been about the capacity of one smart, passionate person — an inspired innovator, a dynamic leader, a wild-eyed entrepreneur — to do extraordinary things.” – Daniel Pink

The time for extraordinary things in Journalism is now. As Marketing and Communications leaders, we are enabled with the capability to disrupt, to innovate, and to spark a whole new dimension of powerful storytelling. The facts are just facts if allowed to remain hidden in obscurity. The responsibility of today’s new communicator is to captain the ship of illumination opening our eyes to new ways of thinking about how we foster mass influence.

The questions: What is our responsibility? What should stand at the top of of our priorities list? Which direction should we head? How will we increase the appeal of a career in fact finding, good writing, and community impact?

These are exactly the kinds of questions that lead one to seek out answers.

Enter my Future of Journalism survey. Part curiosity and part graduate capstone requirement.

Help me answer these questions. As leaders and stakeholders of one of the nation’s most innovative programs, your perspective is a much needed catalyst for rethinking the future of Journalism education.

Let’s champion the prolific.