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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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Alumni Q&A: Pamela Holstein-Wallace Discusses Her Role at FEMA and How She is Handling Communications Amid COVID-19

Pamela Holstein-Wallace is a 2007 IMC alumna with 20+ years of combined experience in emergency response planning and preparedness to include working with Federal, state, local, tribal, and territories. She is currently a program analyst for FEMA.

Ally Kennedy: What is your current role and what are your responsibilities?

Pamela Holstein-Wallace: I work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), which is a national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency alert and information messaging from emergency officials to the public through cell phones as Wireless Emergency Alerts, and to radio and television via the Emergency Alert System.

Read Full Article: Alumni Q&A: Pamela Holstein-Wallace Discusses Her Role at FEMA and How She is Handling Communications Amid COVID-19

Big Data, Big Tech, Big Measurement - How the Complexity of Measuring Media Balances Art and Science

The media landscape has increased in complexity and the ability to reach consumers in a variety of different ways. In this podcast, we will look at the different approaches that exist in the industry, the balance of art and science in these approaches and how a blend of these methods can help an advertiser get a clearer picture of how consumers are engaging with your brand.

Cyndi Greenglass: How has Big Data and Big Measurement evolved, and how's the media industry adapting when yesterday and even, you know, a year ago for sure, may not be the best predictor of trends moving forward? So what you measured before may not be predictive of tomorrow.

Read Full Article: Big Data, Big Tech, Big Measurement - How the Complexity of Measuring Media Balances Art and Science

The New Normal: Advocacy Communications in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

In just a few weeks, the global pandemic has had immeasurable impacts on healthcare, economic and communications. Social distancing to flatten the curve of infected people needing testing and care has led to across-the-board cancellations and postponements of in-person meetings and events communicators and advocates rely on heavily. The coronavirus has also spurred wholesale remote work environments and a refresh of planned message platforms on all communications channels.

The future scope and length of the healthcare and economic crisis is uncertain, forcing us all to be flexible, patient and innovative in conducting and meeting our communications and advocacy goals.

Today’s session will focus on virtual advocacy communications while incorporating key elements of integrated marketing communications to help amplify our activities.

Read Full Article: The New Normal: Advocacy Communications in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

EZ Insider: The Soundtrack to Your First Work-From-Home Conference Call

In today’s climate, I am more grateful than ever to be in an industry that allows a great deal of flexibility with working from home — and of course, taking my courses online which luckily required no transition being an IMC student. I have had the opportunity to take part in a number of remote opportunities with remote internships and remote teamwork through the National Committee for Public Relations Student Society of America and I am well aware that it is not always a flawless process. 

For those transitioning to remote work and burning through Spotify playlists, here is a breakdown of what your first work-from-home conference call might sound like:

Read Full Article: EZ Insider: The Soundtrack to Your First Work-From-Home Conference Call

Are Data Departments the Modern-Day Renaissance Capability?

As data become easier to access, manage, and analyze, the responsibilities of data professionals have changed. Once the wild west of specialization where few companies were really investing in “data” people, today companies are a lot better at democratizing insights and closing the data literacy gap. This shift has resulted in an evolution of the data professional where pivot table gunslingers are a thing of the past and now communication skills are coveted above all else. In this podcast, Tradd Salvo, Data Strategy Director at Droga5, explains what’s expected of data professionals today, what this means for people coming into the industry, and why data departments are the modern-day renaissance capability.

Matt Cummings: You feel data departments are the modern-day Renaissance capability. Can you tell me what you mean there by Renaissance capability?

Tradd Salvo: I've been thinking about this for a while. The term Renaissance man or woman comes from Leonardo da Vinci because it just basically means that someone that's good at doing a lot of different types of things. For instance, da Vinci was an author, a painter, a scientist and a politician. Well, traditionally we would think as data professionals we had one very specific job, but today it has expanded throughout the entire process, especially in marketing to where we have to handle a lot more things than just analyzing and delivering insights. That's what I mean by Renaissance capability is it's not just data analysis, but it's in much broader terms and much broader skills that are required.

Read Full Article: Are Data Departments the Modern-Day Renaissance Capability?

Alumna Alexa Yaksich Uses her Passion and Skills on a Rebranding Project for Federated Hermes, Inc.

In my last year of grad school, I had a course that covered a pretty big topic: rebranding. I remember sitting at my desk reading articles on eCampus about major companies that have rebranded in the past and thinking, “How cool is this?” It was amazing to me how these companies we studied have successfully rebranded their entire identity – because this didn’t seem like an easy task. I was early on in my career and wasn’t sure if I would ever come across this, but loved learning about it.

Around the same time my current employer, Federated Investors, was in the process of acquiring a London-based investment firm called Hermes Investment Management. Two years later Federated publicly announced its plan to change its name to Federated Hermes, Inc. As a member of Federated’s marketing communications team, I found myself right in the middle of it all.

In addition to the merger of assets and employees, the two companies wanted their union to reflect the same mission, vision and values. The rebrand work started long before Federated publicly announced the name change. We hired a branding agency to assist with creating a new logo, corporate messaging and an implementation and execution timeline. After months of industry research, design proposals, idea workshops and discussions, the agency unveiled our new identity this past February at a company-wide event.

Read Full Article: Alumna Alexa Yaksich Uses her Passion and Skills on a Rebranding Project for Federated Hermes, Inc.

Amplifying Executive Voices with Social Media

Consumers today expect businesses and executives to take a stand. It has never been more important for the C-suite to have a voice and a platform on which to share it.

Many companies dedicate time and energy to their brand’s social media presence but don’t feel that it’s the right channel for executive communications, or that it’s already too late in the game to get started from scratch. In this podcast, we’ll talk about the shifting expectations for CEOs, how social media can help with positioning, and ways for organizations to build or enhance a successful digital executive communications program.

Lindsey Neary brings over a decade of client and project management experience to her work as a Vice President on Edelman’s corporate team.

Read Full Article: Amplifying Executive Voices with Social Media

How to Use Data to Better Align Sales and Marketing?

Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand and when you can use data from one to inform the other, you’re in a better position to come up with strategies (and tweaks to those strategies) to give your consumers what they want. But that’s easier said than done. Tessa Burg, the vice president of user experience and technology strategy at Tenlo, has been doing just that for more than 15 years. She shares tips on how marketers can get started, what works and doesn’t work, and how data-backed marketing has evolved over time. She also explores which digital marketing strategies work best for specific channels.

Tessa Burg is vice president of user experience and technology strategy at Tenlo, a pipeline marketing company that focuses on engaging high-value prospects with relevant buyer experiences that get results. Tessa has been leading data-driven marketing and technology product teams for 15 years and has successfully executed the Rapid Testing process across hundreds of experiments, new product launches, and omnichannel campaigns

Read Full Article: How to Use Data to Better Align Sales and Marketing?

International Women’s Day: Recognizing the Achievements of WVU Marketing Communications Alumni

This Sunday, March 8, is International Women’s Day. This is a global day dedicated to the recognition of the achievements of women and call to action advancement for gender equality within all industries and spaces. The first IWD event was a public gathering of over one million people in 1911. However, the digital age has transformed the celebration into this day to cross oceans and empower women to come together, empower others and share their stories digitally. 

Today, some of the industry-leading female alumni from the WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Programs share their stories about being a strong woman in the industry and the wisdom they wish to pass down to rising leaders. 

Carrie Wood - Director of Marketing and Communications, James Madison University 

Read Full Article: International Women’s Day: Recognizing the Achievements of WVU Marketing Communications Alumni

Content Marketing is Smarter Marketing

Content marketing can be a powerful tool when you really know your audience and can provide information and insights they need and want. Gennifer Chenault, a content marketing strategist for SOC Telemed, walks us through her creative process and how to use data to measure your successes (and failures). She’ll help you determine if content marketing is right for your organization and, if so, how you can find the subject matter experts who can get at the issues and answer the questions that are important to your consumers.

Matt Cummings: How do you define content marketing and how it's different from what we traditionally think of as marketing or advertising?

Gennifer Chenault: Content marketing is focused on creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to do things like attract, educate and retain a defined audience. Ultimately, its goal is to drive action. That action could be reading more of your content, signing up for your blog, chatting on the website, or even hopefully filling out a form asking for more information. This content can take many forms, but it's written or created specifically for your buyer. It isn't about you, it's about them.

Read Full Article: Content Marketing is Smarter Marketing