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Marketing Communications Today Blog

About Marketing Communications Today

Marketing Communications Today is a resource for marketing communications professionals filled with industry research, marketing trends, and career information about integrated marketing and data-driven communications. Fueled by the academic innovation coming out of WVU’s own Integrated Marketing Communications, Data Marketing Communications and Digital Marketing Communications programs, these articles will provide both aspiring learners and seasoned marketing professionals with better insights into what’s now and what’s next in marketing and communications.


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4 Tips to 'Create Your Own Career' in Marketing Communications

How do agency leaders start their business? How do freelancers make their ‘side gig’ a full-time career? Learn from experts who have created their own careers as they discuss what it takes to become your own boss and sustain an independent business in the marketing communications field.

1. Foster Positive Relationships

Marketing communications is all about relationships. Each day practitioners conduct client relations, media relations, consumer relations and more. When meeting someone new in the industry or a prospective client, it is crucial to make a good first impression. Even if this connection does not lead to a contract or new opportunity, it can lead to a positive referral or collaboration down the road.

Read Full Article: 4 Tips to 'Create Your Own Career' in Marketing Communications

Alumni Feature: An Inside Look at Marketing Communications Careers

Marketing communication is an extremely diverse industry, encompassing all aspects of branding, promotions and relationship building. For those entering the job market, searching for a new opportunity or simply trying to understand where a marketing communications degree can take them in their career, it can be difficult to understand what a day in the life of the overwhelming number of career options looks like.

The WVU Marketing Communications network has students, alumni, faculty and professionals working in all aspects of the industry across a variety of specialities. Three WVU Marketing Communications alumni share a look in to their career and tips for those interested in pursuing similar opportunities.

M.S. Integrated Marketing Communication and M.S. Data Marketing Communications

Read Full Article: Alumni Feature: An Inside Look at Marketing Communications Careers

You Can Do More Than Survive: Crisis Communications In The Age Of Crisis

A Crisis is sometimes defined as anything that interrupts normal business operations … something Webster says that brings about a turning point or decisive moment when difficult decisions must be made. Many if not most organizations, companies, and leaders understand the need to put a crisis plan in place before the next crisis hits, no matter how unpredictable the actual event might be. My next guest argues that even those entities that carefully prepare crisis plans fail spectacularly when tested because they forget about one key feature of a successful crisis response: COMMUNICATING through it. Without a Crisis Communications strategy she says, your reputation and your very viability might be in jeopardy.

Susan Jones: What are some of the basics about communicating in a crisis that may be overlooked?

Aileen Pincus: A couple of things about communicating your way through a crisis bear some repeating, because sometimes success is really about sticking with the basics and understanding the basics. And what are those? First and foremost, be authentic. Second, in order to be authentic, of course, you have to know yourself and your organization, your brand, your stakeholders, and you have to know those really well. Finally, you have to show up. You have to engage early and often especially when you're communicating throughout a crisis. What I mean by being authentic is does your response to this crisis align with how your stakeholders see you and how you've been defining yourself. If all of your marketing and your sales and your outreach efforts tout your leadership in your field, for instance as most do, is your reaction now during a crisis confirming that leadership, or is your reaction very different now, once you've been challenged and you're under heat? Warren Buffett said, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to destroy it." It's true because people, your staff, your clients, all of your stakeholders, they think that when a crisis hits, they're seeing the real you, the real state of who your company or your organization is. You don't have to be responsible for creating the crisis to be held accountable for it. Have you seen all these interviews with business owners lately saying, "Well, it's not my fault. It's not our fault." We can accept that. But this is more about how you demonstrate through your communications your authentic reaction to this crisis. Is it aligned with who you are? And that leads to my second point in order to do that, you really have to know yourself. You really have to know your organization, your business, your company, your entity, what do I do best? What do I believe in? If you don't know that, I don't care what your website says, I don't care what your mission statement or your vision statement are. That's not going to save you when you're tested. 

Read Full Article: You Can Do More Than Survive: Crisis Communications In The Age Of Crisis

Integrate Online: Career Boost - LinkedIn How-To

LinkedIn is a great tool to research companies and find job opportunities, but how are you perceived when a company or recruiter goes to find your profile? This session will guide attendees through how to optimize your personal profile to reflect your knowledge, experience and personal brand to companies and recruiters to land the perfect opportunity.

1. Set Objectives

Neil Stewart: "For any of you who are current students in the IMC program, graduates of the program or working professionals, this will sound like familiar language. Just as you would with any kind of marketing effort, you want to be clear on what you want to accomplish."

Read Full Article: Integrate Online: Career Boost - LinkedIn How-To

Marketing Communications Alumni Share Professional Advice

The marketing communications field is constantly evolving and requires professionals to be life-long students in order to keep up with trends and developments. One of the most valuable resources for marketing communications professionals is their network. By networking and exchanging advice professionals, and students, can stay on top of industry news, find expert guidance and discover new career opportunities.

As part of the Integrate Online: Career Boost series, WVU Marketing Communications alumni share insights on professional advice they have received and what they would share with those who are looking to advance their career in the industry.

Graduate Program: Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications

Read Full Article: Marketing Communications Alumni Share Professional Advice

Creating IMC campaigns amidst COVID-19

Marketing and communications during a crisis demand flexibility and adaptability. For the West Virginia University Foundation, that was never more apparent than during the height of COVID-19. The Foundation’s IMC team of 4 had to quickly put together two campaigns in less than a month to help raise emergency funding for students hurt by the pandemic. Learn how this small staff was able to create two compelling campaigns while working remotely and amidst other job responsibilities. Find out what worked and what didn’t, and how under budget constraints, powerful messages were delivered to move donors to donate more than a half-million dollars in one day.

Sunsan Jones: Tell us a little bit about what was going on at WVU in early March?

Bill Nevin: In early march we began kind of meeting on a regular basis, understanding that we may be working from home. So fortunately the WVU Foundation for a couple of years have been working on a business continuity plan and part of that would be for situations such as this. So I think we really had a leg up on the work from home type environment.

Read Full Article: Creating IMC campaigns amidst COVID-19

Integrate Online: Career Boost - Building Your Portfolio Site

In a competitive market, job seekers need to seek ways to showcase their personal brand and professional skills to stand out. For those in the marketing communications field, the creation of a digital portfolio can be a great way to bundle relevant project samples and convey relevant experience. This special Integrate Online session will showcase different digital portfolio platforms, how to use them and best practices for selecting projects to showcase.

Why are digital portfolios important?

Erin Fields: “By investing time and resources into your portfolios you are able to give potential employers an idea of not just what you can do, but how well you can do it. When you have a resume you are just telling people what you can do, but with a portfolio site you are backing up your resume by showing that you can do those things and do them well.”

Read Full Article: Integrate Online: Career Boost - Building Your Portfolio Site

Student Highlight: Spotlight on Digital Portfolios

Marketing communications professionals and students produce a lot of content throughout their careers, for both coursework and clients. Having a place to host and organize all of this content can aid in job interviews, award applications and the ability to quickly refer to past projects for creative inspiration.

One effective to showcase content and skills is to create a digital portfolio website. These webpages make it easy to customize the content your showcasing, link published pieces and quickly share an entire portfolio without having to reassemble repeatedly. For those who have never created a digital portfolio, are looking to update their current portfolio or interested in how others approach this project, here are some tips from the WVU Marketing Communications network:

Adjunct Professor, Media Studies at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Marketing Specialist/Consultant-freelance, Professional Spokesperson-50 Floor

Read Full Article: Student Highlight: Spotlight on Digital Portfolios

Why Diversity in the Communications Industry is Critical

Diversity is no longer a nice to have, but a business imperative, especially for the communications industry. Now more than ever, advertising, PR and marketing firms need to be as diverse as the consumers they want to reach. In this podcast, we will explore why diversity is critical to the industry and what agencies are doing to address the challenge.

Whitney Drake: What do you think has contributed to the lack of diversity in our industry? What, where, how have we gone wrong and how do we correct that as we move forward?

Michele Lanza: I think part of it is that diversity was seen as a separate thing versus it being really part of a business imperative. I'm going to keep coming back to that because I think it's really critical. As an industry in general, we need to do a better job of attracting people to come into the industry to really show people what's possible from a communications' perspective. It's one of the reasons why we have a high school program at Ketchum so that we can really educate people on career possibilities of being in communications. That's one thing that we're super proud of, and I know that there's a lot of other companies that are doing similar things, and I think that that's critical to growing the diversity in the industry as a whole. We also need to have more intentionality about our hiring practices. LaunchPad is an example of that. We had a fantastic fellows program, but what we were realizing, it was really the kid that had two to five internships that was getting the opportunity to get a spot at Ketchum. And we wanted it to even the playing field so what LaunchPad does is really give everybody the opportunity to show what they're capable of doing versus what they've already had the opportunity to do. It really changed who we hired, it made it so that we were hiring people that had never been in communications before, that hadn't had an internship. This need is also honestly why I created Work Wider, because there is not currently a platform that allows companies to look at all underrepresented communities in one in place. Work Wider, allows people to come in and show up in all the communities that they belong, but also allows them to be in the industry that they're working or want to join. And that's really a new way and approach to try and allow companies to hire underrepresented talent.

Read Full Article: Why Diversity in the Communications Industry is Critical

Secret Sauce of Marketing Career Success: Change Management

Technology is rewriting the marketing playbook. Once mighty companies are becoming obsolete and the marketing profession is rapidly changing. Some will thrive in this environment and it can absolutely be you! Join us for a discussion on managing change – the secret sauce that can make or break career success. Learn the principles of change management and how you can apply them in your work and in your own personal transformation journey.

Change Agent Vs Change Resister

The Change Agent Toolkit

Read Full Article: Secret Sauce of Marketing Career Success: Change Management