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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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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

COVID-19 and Marketing Communications... So Far

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a rapid overhaul of the way individuals view the world, including consumer purchase decisions, how individuals shop and what media they seek out. For marketers, there was also a drastic shift in strategy, perhaps even causing organizations to completely halt or overhaul plans that had already been set for the coming months.

Here is what the industry knows from research and data and a look at how some brands have been achieving success in an unstable environment.

Consumers are looking for answers and information – According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, trust in news sources have risen to an all-time high.

Read Full Article: COVID-19 and Marketing Communications... So Far

Concept Development in IMC: Nothing Just Hits You Out of the Blue

Content marketing is based on research and data management, of course, but then what? Larry Stultz, Ph.D. shares insights on where "Big Ideas" come from and how the creative process is defined by perception, understanding and experience.

Cyndi Greenglas: Where do Big Ideas come from?

Dr. Larry Stoltz: When I'm asked how big ideas come to creative people or people in the marketing business, I tell them it's our life experiences that give us understanding and perception. The things we go through in life dictate or tell us how we interpret and give meaning to things that then we want to create and give back to our customers, our clients. They give us ways of communicating, but they're very emotional. There are some of these I'll talk about that people have a lot of emotion about. When we as IMC professionals and creative people work these experiences into our conceptual strategies and executions, our audiences will be able to relate to our message. They'll not only thank us for knowing them, but they'll be proud that they got it. Like, "Oh, I understand what that creative message is because I've had that kind of experience, thank you for thinking I'm smart enough to understand." So that's a really important way that we're talking to our public, our clients. I will refer to two books by Michael Michalko—"Thinkertoys", and another called "Cracking Creativity." He recommends a method of thinking that is called random stimulus response. You can randomly select any number of anything and use those to draw connections. He spends a lot of time talking about random words, random objects, random images, random aromas. I throw in aromas, textures, sounds, colors and shapes too, because those are triggers. We use those to think. If you take a randomly selected group of words for instance, you list the characters of each of those words. This list might include a list of five words, and what he gets into is how you come to find the characteristics of those words and draw associations between those, anything about those words and then force connections. The more connections you make, the more likely you are to find a big idea, or not. Maybe you won't, then you move on to another set of words.

Read Full Article: Concept Development in IMC: Nothing Just Hits You Out of the Blue

Leveraging Content Creation for Client Ready Portfolios

Now more than ever, social media is a defining factor in individual and brand credibility. The ability to craft cohesive, engaging content is a crucial skill for job seekers and budding professionals. How can these individuals utilize their own social media channels and content creation abilities to craft a client-ready portfolio for job interviews? Join our expert panel for a discussion about how to craft content that showcases industry-level expertise.

How should student leverage coursework in their portfolio?

What type of platform should you use for a portfolio?

Read Full Article: Leveraging Content Creation for Client Ready Portfolios

Pride Month 2020: Virtual Events, Marketing and Brand Participation

This June marks the 50th anniversary of Pride Month, an annual month of commemoration for the Stonewall uprising that occurred in 1969 and overall equality and visibility for the LGTBQ community. What started as a single-day of remembrance eventually grew to the month-long celebration that typically includes large events such as parades, festivals, marches, workshops, concerts and more — all of which face disruption this year due to COVID-19.

For those working with nonprofits, advocacy groups and brands, there has been extremely creative efforts by event planners, communicators, advocates and marketers to pivot strategies in effort to recognize, celebrate and engage audiences in Pride Month.

Inclusivity in Marketing Communications

Read Full Article: Pride Month 2020: Virtual Events, Marketing and Brand Participation

Marketing Transformation by Fire: How change is driving true buyer centricity

Buyer centricity has long been the war cry for marketers and sellers alike, but the recent Global pandemic, economic crisis, and even civil unrest has proven that the reality falls desperately short of the promise. The root of the issue resides in the fact that marketing and selling, at least under ‘business as usual guidelines,’ feel trite. The traditional go-to-market motions that many organizations have built come with a dependence on some degree of sleight of hand. The promise of “results” is propped up by practices that neither understand the true needs of Buyers nor feel any ownership in achieving them. We’re living through events that have the potential to finally force true change. The only organizations surviving and in many cases thriving in the current environment are those that both had formed true relationships with their buyers and were agile enough to respond to how the market was affecting those individuals and others like them.

Our guest today, Justin, is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue performance consultancy, having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. 

Michael Lynch: Who are some of the success stories and who are some companies that you might see are not doing particularly well, particularly under the current events?

Read Full Article: Marketing Transformation by Fire: How change is driving true buyer centricity