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Marketing Communications Today Blog


About Marketing Communications Today

Marketing Communications Today is a collection of resources for marketing communications professionals filled with industry research, marketing trends, and career information about integrated marketing and data-driven communications. Learn industry insights through the Marketing Communications Today blog, podcast, as well as Integrate Online.

Fueled by the academic innovation coming out of WVU’s own Integrated Marketing Communications, Data Marketing Communications and Digital Marketing Communications programs, this content 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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Meet the Fall 2020 WVU IMC Immersion Scholars

In an environment where the job market is more competitive than ever, with scarce entry-level positions, hiring freezes and classes of extremely qualified undergraduate degree holders entering the field each year, making yourself stand out in a pile of applications is more important than ever. This can mean taking on an extra volunteer project, squeezing in one last internship, or challenging yourself with graduate-level work and producing a professional grade portfolio piece with the WVU IMC Immersion Scholars IMC 410 course.

WVU IMC Immersion Scholars are undergraduate students granted permission to enroll in the IMC 410 course. These students are highly motivated, high achievers who are interested in exploring all of the professional options available by becoming an integrated marketing communications professional.

These students seek to excel in the marketing communications field and get a head start on their graduate education, or to challenge themselves with a course that provides a graduate-level integrated marketing communications portfolio piece upon completion.

Read Full Article: Meet the Fall 2020 WVU IMC Immersion Scholars

Combatting Disinformation During COVID-19

COVID-19 has created a surge in content creation and saturation of the media. With consumers constantly being bombarded with headlines and updates, it can be difficult to spot what is authentic and true and what is fabricated. Lieutenant Colonel Brian Fickel, public affairs officer in the U.S. Army and student at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, shares his expertise on disinformation in the latest Integrate Online session, “Combating Disinformation During COVID-19.”

What is disinformation?

"The definition for disinformation that I use today is ‘false information which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organization to a rival power of the media.’ The short description of this is basically the more authoritarian the government of a country is, the more information and disinformation are used. I break it down into two basic approaches by these governments: an internal and an external approach.”

Read Full Article: Combatting Disinformation During COVID-19

How Does Travel and Tourism Survive the Coronavirus Crisis?

Without a doubt, the coronavirus pandemic has changed all of our worlds. But one of the hardest-hit industries is travel. US Travel Association and Oxford Economics recently reported that the US is projected to suffer a $519 billion decline in direct travel spending, which translates into $1.2 trillion in lost economic impact. But there is hope. Experts predict there will be pent-up demand for travel. It is in our nature to explore, escape and emotionally attach to our friends and family. And while travel will look different the industry will eventually bounce back.

Discussion Highlights

Read Full Article: How Does Travel and Tourism Survive the Coronavirus Crisis?

[Notes from Our Network] Communicating in Crisis: Five Tips of the Trade from Alum Allison J. Fouché

Never in my lifetime did I think we would be in the throes of this type of national health crisis that would pause our nation and affect our economy globally. As a PR practitioner and when a crisis ascends, you must be prepared not just to have a cool head but use your toolkit to reach your constituents effectively. Responding to a crisis is often looked upon as scary work, and as a communications practitioner having the right tools and team often make a difference.

1) Build a team of experts and stay in your respective lanes.

Everyone has a strength and brings something unique to the team. Identifying what each person can do well and allowing them to thrive in that area is vital during a crisis, and when working in a group.

Read Full Article: [Notes from Our Network] Communicating in Crisis: Five Tips of the Trade from Alum Allison J. Fouché

The Value of a Graduate Certificate in a Changed Industry

In an economy shaken by COVID-19, the hiring environment across all industries and professions has been drastically impacted. Many new graduates find themselves struggling to obtain entry-level jobs due to increased availability and mid-level employees who have been laid off or are seeking a new experience are facing tough competition in an over-saturated applicant market. When a one-page resume could be the key to landing that new position, now is the time to ensure you have the skills you need to peak the interests of recruiters and teams seeking new talent.

A graduate certificate is a short graduate degree level path of study that focuses on a specialized area. The WVU Marketing Communications Online Programs offer graduate certificates that require only four courses for completion. The curriculum for these programs aim to help students develop new skills or immerse themselves in the trending topics within various areas of demand in the industry.

Looking to switch departments within your company, or seeking a career in a new field of marketing communications? In two semesters, students can develop the knowledge and skill base to take on specialized titles in data marketing, creative fields and niche industries like higher education. For those who have seniority in the industry, graduate certificates are developed based on industry trends and can provide an update on what is emerging in your niche field such as digital and social media.

Read Full Article: The Value of a Graduate Certificate in a Changed Industry

Pivoting in Higher Education Amid COVID-19

The COVID-19 global pandemic has had a significant impact on higher education. University administrators have had to make tough decisions on the fly, cancelling in-person classes and graduations, safely moving students out of residence halls, training faculty how to teach and students how to learn online, keeping prospective students engaged without bringing them to campus, enhancing technologies so employees can work remotely - all while alleviating fears and reassuring students, families, faculty and staff. This can only be successful with good communication and appropriate communication channels. Our featured guests Jack Martin and Sharon Martin, moderated by April Kaull, share how these decisions were made, the challenges and successes, what the higher ed environment looks like now and how all of this might permanently change things for the future.

With some of the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 occuring in Washington State, University of Washington was really on the front line for decision making and communicating decisions about navigating COVID-19. What was that process like and how were those early days of communications and decision making?

Read Full Article: Pivoting in Higher Education Amid COVID-19

How Advances in Behavioral Science inform Effective Communication

Communicating relevant, actionable and credible information is not always an easy feat. It is essential to simplify the data, but the risk of oversimplifying can result in inaccurate communications or inaccurate interpretations of the communication. Appropriate simplification is essential for anyone charged with communication. Dr. Sweta Chakaborty shared with WVU Marketing Communications Today her thoughts on the connection of COVID-19, behavioral science and the impact of effective communications. For the full conversation, listen to the podcast recording below.

Can you tell us what behavioral science is? 

Dr. Sweta Chakraborty: “Our behaviors are part of a complex connected ecosystem. And the decisions we make in the way we behave and engage with the natural environment have an impact not just on the environment, on the climate, on infectious disease outbreaks, but also on how we live our lives, engage with each other and the best outcomes that we can hope for. So it's a very complex scenario and they're connected. That's the study of behavioral science.”

Read Full Article: How Advances in Behavioral Science inform Effective Communication

3 Tips for Personal Branding to Stand Out in a Tough Job Market

With the COVID-19 global pandemic creating new challenges in the industry, preparing to enter an uncertain job market can feel daunting. With limited companies hiring, new grads and those looking to make a career shift will need to stand out from the crowd. In this special Integrate Online panel discussion, industry experts Brandi BoatnerHugo Pérez and Geah Pressgrove will share proven effective and creative personal branding strategies that will help you differentiate yourself in a career search in these unprecedented times.

Hugo Pérez: “If you talk to headhunters, HR specialists, people that are just looking for other people to add to their team, it has become part of the routine to just go and troll a little bit. They want to see what's out there, see what the people they’re looking to hire are engaging with online.”

Brandi Boatner: “My biggest, BIGGEST thing about your social presence is: Be Authentic. No matter what you're applying for, please be yourself because it is so exhausting to try and be to different people.”

Read Full Article: 3 Tips for Personal Branding to Stand Out in a Tough Job Market

What We Can Learn From Amazon and COVID-19

While many businesses have closed their doors or taken to a remote work environment, e-commerce giant Amazon is still up and running to fulfill orders, serve the community and lead innovation during the challenges posed by COVID-19. Here is how the company is adapting and what marketing communications professionals and business owners can apply to their own processes.

February 28: Amazon begins to take precautions to protect employees. Large events and corporate meetings are canceled. Anything that can be moved to an online format, in regards to business discussions and meetings, is moved online. Public tours are paused for Amazon facilities and sanitation standards are raised in all facilities. All staff who can remotely are told to do so. All staff is told they will continue to have access to their benefits and pay regardless of the impact of transitions on their work.

Read Full Article: What We Can Learn From Amazon and COVID-19

How does a 67 year old seasonal brand like PEEPS® expand its target and not alienate its core consumers?

Happy Easter everyone! It’s just not Easter without PEEPS®! The PEEPS® Brand has been around since 1953 and is a must-have for the Easter basket. The yellow chick is the icon that everyone knows however, the classic pastel-colored marshmallows covered in sugar are certainly polarizing. Consumers either love them or hate them. If they love PEEPS®, don’t mess with them. If they hate PEEPS®, there is no way they would ever eat any PEEPS® product. How does a brand stay true to its heritage while evolving to appeal to a larger audience? In this podcast, we will learn how brands can grow through innovation with their core consumers while attracting new users to the franchise.

Nate Pieratt: Who's the key target for Peeps?

Matt Pye: The primary purchaser of Peeps are women who have kid or grandkids, and then obviously once it gets into the home, everybody of all ages loves Peeps. When you think about those women with kids who are doing the primary purchasing, they break up into five groups when it comes to Easter candy. There's the Easter as tradition group, that probably represents about 22% of all the Easter buyers out there. These are loyalists. They have their baskets and there's no doubt they're purchasing Peeps candy. Then there's that crowd that's Easter is enjoyable. That's probably another 26% of the Easter buyers out there, but they like a wide variety and different things in their Easter baskets. The next group is the Easter is candy group. There's a lot of other categories and products that have crept into the Easter basket, but these folks, they represent a small percentage, about 6% of all Easter buyers, but ironically, they represent about 26% of all the purchases. They've very influential. It's all about candy, they only want candy, and it's a core candy group. And then there are the Easter is on my to-do list, it's more of a have to and not a want to. They understand, they've got kids, it's Easter, "I've got to go buy some candy." And that's about 25% of the Easter buyers. Lastly, there's Easter is beside the point. Candy's not a real big deal, Easter's not a real big deal, but maybe it's more impulse. They'll see Easter candy, they'll buy a few things. There's no doubts that between the Easter is tradition, Easter is enjoyable, and Easter is candy, these three of those five groups are really the most important, and between those three groups, they represent over 70% of the sale.

Read Full Article: How does a 67 year old seasonal brand like PEEPS® expand its target and not alienate its core consumers?