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