Posts Tagged ‘Integrated marketing communications’

Hello from the Mountains of Southwest Virginia!

June 16, 2015

Hi everyone! My name is Nathan Rasnake and I will be one of your new IMC bloggers. After looking at previous bloggers posts, I’m eager to get started and have a lot to live up to!
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Just a little bit about myself. I was born and raised in the small town of Haysi, Virginia (often pronounced as “Hay-Side” or “Hay-See”). I earned my undergraduate degree in Business Administration from The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. During my undergraduate career, I was very involved in student life. I was involved in Greek Life, Student Government, Student Activities, Intramurals, and several other organizations. All of my experiences during my undergraduate career have helped prepare me for my future and the IMC program. I started the IMC program in August of 2014 and plan to graduate in the Summer of 2016. My ultimate goal is to continue working in Higher Education and work my way up the ladder. If you haven’t visited Wise or Southwest Virginia, you’re missing out! Check out these photos of our campus at UVA-WISE (Courtesy of UVA-WISE).

Jefferson (3) UVa-Wise Fountain

I am also lucky enough to work for my Alma Mater as an Admissions Counselor. My job is a lot of fun and allows me to apply much of what I’ve learned in the IMC program. I get to recruit students from the Roanoke Valley area, run social media channels, assist in planning of events, creation of marketing materials, and I also advise the Student Ambassador program at our college (pretty neat since I’m an ambassador now!). I have found a love of Higher Education and hope to bring new ideas to my job through the IMC program.

Now that I work as an Admissions Counselor, I am able to travel to new places and experience new things. Even though I live in Virginia, I was never able to travel a lot. But now I travel as much as possible with my friends. In the past year, I’ve been able to visit several historic/tourist attractions but  Asheville, NC., and Richmond, Va. are my favorites. These may seem like small trips to many, but they are very special to me. The friends I made in college have become my family and I cherish every moment I get to spend with them.

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I also plan to visit Morgantown very soon so I can finally say I’ve stepped foot on the WVU campus. After seeing some of the photos and videos from INTEGRATE, I’m dying to visit!

I chose the IMC program at WVU for several different reasons. The IMC program was brought to my attention by a previous supervisor. She was working on her IMC certificate and while talking about my interest in marketing and public relations, she told me about the IMC program and how she thought it would be great for me. After doing some research and talking to my admissions counselor from UVA-WISE (an alumnus of the IMC program), I decided to apply. The IMC program stuck out from other graduate school programs because it allows students to take classes at their own pace, produce work that can be used in real life scenarios, and is quite unique in that it combines several fields of study into one major. I come from a background in business, but chose to focus my electives on marketing and communications. The IMC program allows me to put my business degree to use and learn more about marketing, public relations, communication studies, analytics, and much more. Being able to get a quality education from some of the top marketing specialists while working a full-time job was also a huge perk to the program!

Well, enough about me. If you have any questions about the program or my experiences, please feel free to contact me through any of my social media accounts or email.

Facebook-Nathan Rasnake

Linked In-Nathan Rasnake

Instagram-@nateraznik

Email-ndrasnake@mix.wvu.edu

I look forward to writing, learning, and sharing my experiences with you all throughout this journey!

How 360-Degree Video Changes The YouTube Experience

June 15, 2015

It’s the next step to a more immersive video experience.

YouTube now supports 360-degree video, meaning likes and comments aren’t the only way for people to feel connected to the content they’re watching.

The addition enables viewers to explore video content beyond typical limitations of what’s visible in the frame.

With the power of 360, desktop users can use the mouse to navigate a pan button to look right or left, up or down– even behind, putting the viewer in control of what’s in frame.

Mobile users can either touch the screen or simply move their device to change the angle of what’s being viewed. The mobile experience, much more than desktop, is incredibly intuitive.

So who is publishing 360 content?

Musicians:

Vloggers:

Adrenaline junkies:

Dubai360 recently released the world’s first 8k resolution 360 video:

 

How will 360 video influence digital marketing? 

-R

Great Tweets from #INTEGRATE15

May 30, 2015

I think it’s safe to say that #Integrate15 brings out the Top Tweeter in all of us. This year was no different. The combination of selfies with President Gee, great presentations, and the social media contest propelled Tweeting to a whole new level, which included a top spot on the local trending charts. Fellow blogger Julie Long and I went through and found a few Tweets that really captured the conference experience.

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We hope you found some of these valuable! Thank you to all of the conference Tweeters for helping share information.  What was your favorite part of #integrate15?

The Intranet: An Essential (But Sometimes Overlooked) Component of Employee Engagement

May 4, 2015

Employees are not only the face of a company, they are the company. Employees can be trusted brand ambassadors, and it’s vital that a company’s employees are included in and given avenues to be involved in company communications. However… with so many competing priorities, active internal communication efforts often get pushed to the wayside, and they shouldn’t! Companies must remember that when employees love their job, it shows, and the ripple effect of that honest and organic company adoration can be greater than any pre-planned marketing campaign.

An Intranet is a great place to start! It’s a venue built to provide staff with news and upcoming events as well as allow for employee interaction. While a company Intranet can be an amazing employee engagement tool, unfortunately, many companies allow their Intranet to be an afterthought to external communication efforts. From the employee perspective, we all have experienced an ineffective Intranet. Not only does it not engage you, but it can also be a labor intensive, jargon-laden, top-down static-content filled monster. But when built and used correctly, a company Intranet can be an important venue for employee collaboration and communication.

Does your company need to take another look at its Intranet strategy? If so… keep reading, this post is for you!

Get started by listening to employees. It is important for companies to periodically do a “pulse check” with employees to help select and then effectively use the most appropriate communications channels– be it the Intranet, face-to-face meetings, newsletters, or social networks. Employers must pay attention to what works effectively within their own organization. As communicators, the phrases, “know what the audience wants” or “know where the audience is” are used when building any outreach strategy. The same questions apply for any Intranet manager, except in this case; the “audience” is the employee. In order for an Intranet to be successful, it is essential that companies understand the needs and wants of employees.

Then develop a team. Along the lines of being an afterthought, a pitfall for many companies is having only ne person in HR, Marketing or Communications manage the Intranet alone. Much like anything else in IMC, building an effective Intranet takes resources. The Intranet team should be comprised of a cross-section of employees from nearly every department. In fact, in 2014, the average intranet team size was 16 members!

Work on an Intranet is never truly finished, and too often, companies build an effective Intranet and then it dies due to lack of updated content and technology. Like with any social media channel, it is essential to continue to add and update content on a regular basis in order to keep people engaged. Companies can also engage employees in publishing content, which even further expands the Intranet team and helps to build employee ownership.

Incorporate new tools and think “CONTENT”. The goal of an Intranet is to make engagement and participation easy for employees. Some key Intranet tools include:

Creative Content: Follow the rules of external communications! Intranets should be filled with short and easy-to-read text along with multi-media videos and photos. Compelling content can include everything from training materials and resource links to bullet points, interactive company manifestos and storytelling. Homepages must be dynamic, engaging and ever changing. The Intranet should showcase information that is relevant to topics being discussed across the company, as well as tailored to the individual.

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Personalization and Customization: Move beyond the dreaded list of employee photos and instead, allow employees to connect with one another, upload profile information and add interests and skills. Connective features that link the Intranet to social media networks like LinkedIn can make it easier for employees to participate.

Communications and Feedback: Allow readers to react to and interact with the content, either through feedback, comments or liking a page. Top Intranets, allow employees to provide feedback instantly via comments or like/rating systems. This can help companies learn what types of content are most important to their users as well as allow for employee engagement and ownership.

Quality Search: Ineffective search is one of the biggest criticisms users have of any poorly designed website or Intranet. Having a powerful, intelligent search allows employees to access what they are looking for quickly and efficiently.

Peer-to-Peer Recognition: With a peer-to-peer recognition tool, the ability to thank those who go the extra mile is put in the hands of colleagues rather than just supervisors. Small thanks can often be a stimulus to keep employees working hard. Allowing employees to thank one another also encourages interaction.

Reflect Company Culture: While the intranet is primarily a ‘tool’ for getting work done, it should also be used to express the company culture, mission and values. The Intranet can help everyone in the company understand the company brand and how they fit into it.

Then put it together and what have you got? A great Intranet!

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If you are looking for inspiration, one fantastic example comes from National Geographic who, in 2014, was named the creator of one of the world’s 10 best Intranets. Their rebuilt Intranet allowed National Geographic’s 2,000 employees to interact with one another using real-time information exchanges and social collaboration tools.

The new National Geographic Intranet is highly visual, social and content-relevant. It has made employee collaboration easy and exciting. The new Intranet design opens information-sharing and content ownership to the entire user population at National Geographic. The site also effectively conveys the culture and history of the company through stunning photography and storytelling.

Since the redesign at National Geographic, about 70 percent of the staff uses the intranet at least twice a day to catch up on news or use resources such as the company directory. More than two thirds of the employees have updated their directory profiles and the venue has become a great tool for skill sharing within the organization and helping employees to connect.

Think of a new Intranet as “paying it forward” – it’s a worthwhile investment in the future of a company. It’s a tool that unites employees and opens information-sharing. Additionally, by allowing for employees to take ownership of content and personal profiles, employees will be more likely to visit and use the site more often as well has have a deeper investment in the organization, its mission and each other.

Three Quick Creativity Tips

April 30, 2015

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Creativity can be challenging. Hard deadlines and client needs aren’t always conducive to the creative process. I’ve learned a lot about my creative process since beginning the IMC program. There are dozens of tips and tricks that can boost your creativity, but I wanted to share my top three with you.

  1. Learn and trust your creative process. This was especially difficult for me to understand. I was very focused on deadlines and setting aside a specific amount of time for homework that I wasn’t allowing myself to move through my own creative process. It took me a while to understand what my creative process was and what I needed to do to allow myself to be creative. It’s not always easy to allow yourself to move naturally through the process, but it’s important to try to trust you instincts. When I first started the program I would carefully set aside time to do homework. (I’m the kind of person that plans out my free time.) Now I know that in order to produce my best work, I need to let my brain “digest” it for a day. I usually write papers, edit photos, and do my design work in a time frame that allows me to revisit it the next day. I still work to set   aside time, but I understand that it may change and evolve as the project does.
  1. Take a break! Part of the creative process is knowing when you need to walk away and take a break. Getting away from what you’re working on refocuses your brain and allows inspiration to hit. Try going for a walk, reading a book, getting coffee, or taking a nap to free up your brain. (Naps can be very powerful things!) Research suggesting that you start to lose efficiency if you work on something for more than 90 minutes at a time. If your creative process dictates that you work well under pressure, you may want to schedule a short break so you don’t lose steam!
  1. Accept Feedback. Asking for feedback can be challenging. What if you have to start over? What if the message is confusing? What if I run out of time? All of these thoughts can prevent us from asking for and incorporating feedback into our work. Feedback can be very helpful in further developing ideas and expanding on what you’ve already accomplished. Build time into the process to get feedback. Plus, the nature of our industry is that you’ll never be working on an entire project by yourself. Learning to accept feedback now will help you be more successful at work.

 

Everybody’s creative process is different and it’s important to take time to understand yours. What other creativity tips have you found?

Image created by Heather Zeutzius

Join the #AgencyBlueprint Virtual Book Discussion

April 20, 2015
Are you trying to disrupt and transform the marketing services industry?  If so, you need to join the #AgencyBlueprint virtual Skype book discussion on 4/28 at 8:30 p.m. EST. I will share key insights from The Marketing Agency Blueprint: The Handbook for Building Hybrid PR, SEO, Content, Advertising, and Web Firms by #Integrate15 speaker, Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer), with attendees.

This event is part of an interactive series focused on empowering IMC professionals through thought leadership discussions, marketing technology analysis and creative collaboration.

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When: 4/28 at 8:30 – 9:30 PM EST
Where: Skype
Please join the #AgencyBlueprint Skype discussion!
Direct message me (@Julie_Long_) for complete login details.

Please note that early INTEGRATE full-conference registrants may receive Paul’s latest book The Marketing Performance Blueprint at the conference next month.

The Story Behind STORY

April 15, 2015

A Manhattan-based retailer is turning the page on brick-and-mortar expectations. STORY has a magazine POV, changes like a gallery, and sells things like a store. (It’s like a Pinterest board come to life.)

With its product as content, and its content changing completely monthly or bi-monthly as well as being for sale, STORY has embraced its retail media status. Past themes including Well Being, Design, Made in America, and Cool reflect how STORY has continued to reinvent its space and product stock while inspiring an audience. Experiential storytelling is the steady factor.

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There’s always something new inside STORY.

Brands both new and established have sought to become part of STORY’s themes. From General Electric to celebrity-status YouTubers, STORY has the ability to extend its content and reach beyond typical niche retail markets by partnering with a new set of brands every few weeks.

How has media inspired other brick-and-mortar retailers and brought together unlikely brands?

-R

 

 

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?

-R

When a Brand Really ‘Gets’ You

April 8, 2015

Isn’t it refreshingly creepy when a brand really “gets” you? I’ve been a Real Simple reader for a decade, but recently I’ve not been that interested in the content. How many ways can one really use a lint roller? And how many more things can I clean with lemon juice and white vinegar? And no matter how hard I try, I’ll never fold a fitted sheet so that it is not recognizable as a fitted sheet.  In fact, why would I not want to know which one is a fitted sheet.  I want to know! Just as I was considering letting that subscription go, I reengaged with Real Simple via a spin-off Instagram account that resonates deeply with me. WomenIRL is “an account that features real images from women’s feeds that give a more realistic, unfiltered perspective of everyday life.” Sure, we love to dream about perfectly staged coffee tables and fresh flowers in every room of the house, but Real Simple just proved to me that they REALLY GET ME when WomenIRL launched.

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WomenIRL 2Now, throughout the day as I mindlessly check my Instagram feed between meetings or while waiting in the drop-off line, I get quick hits from a brand that say, “hey, I know how you feel.” And that puts Real Simple back on my mind in a very good way. No need for a multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad, just give me a few crowd-sourced ‘grams that show me that you know me and I’m totally yours again. Well done, Real Simple.


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