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.
In the face of COVID-19, traditional Halloween celebrations are going to look a little
different this year. With Halloween being the driver for the majority of revenue
for brands like candy manufacturers, costumes and more, marketers are getting creative
with their tactics this season.
Here are some innovative ideas from brands that are making the most of a socially
distant spooky celebration.
During a time of perhaps unprecedented uncertainty for our industry, marketing trends
for 2021 may seem unpredictable and full of maybes. The WVU Reed College of Media's
Online Marketing Communications Programs are partnering with
Comm(s) Fest to bring together marketing experts to predict trends as we look
into an uncertain future.
Whitney Drake: What marketing trends have you seen emerge from the COVID-19
pandemic that were not projected to excel in 2020?
Marissa Hecker: Virtual events,. They were not even being considered coming
into 2020. 2020 was expected to be bigger, larger than life. For example, for ComplexCon
we executed two events in 2019 and had plans to expand internationally, but now
we are pivoting to a virtual experience. Another trend is marketers pushing “stay
home” messages. We have seen an increase in marketing for in-home gym equipment
and movie releases are moving to streaming platforms. These are things I had not
predicted would be successful this year.
Relationships, experiences and allies are essential assets in one’s pursuit of your
first job or efforts to advance in the government relations, communications or
Mike first met Josh when he was in his first government relations job at the American
Motorcycle Association, excited about founding the Grassroots Professional Network
(now the Advocacy Association). He has grown in the three additional association
positions since then and is now an award-winning recognized advocate and lobbyist.
Fulton has held three positions in the 40 years he has been in the nation’s capital
(U.S. House of Representatives; a small boutique public affairs shop acquired by
a global agency; and a West Virginia-based advertising/marketing firm that was
acquired by Asher Agency where he now handles public affairs and advocacy communications.
Landing a new position can be extremely exciting after a long search or negotiations
process for a promotion. However, leaving behind a past project, team or career
can be a difficult challenge as you move onto new responsibilities. WVU Marketing
"Alumni on the Move" provide insights into how they are handling recent career
transitions and making the most out of new opportunities.
Vice President and Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, Miami University
of Ohio M.S. IMC - 2011
What led to your recent job transition? I received a call from a search firm right as the Covid-19 pandemic started closing
campuses around the country. I admit that I ignored their first contact because
I was so swamped with the massive amount of work that needed to be done to support
Covid-19 communications at my previous organization. The firm was persistent and
presented a compelling story about Miami University and its vision for the future.
Although moving during the middle of a global pandemic was not on my bucket list,
Miami University's tremendous reputation as well as the details about the position
excited me. Although I had never set foot in Ohio, I accepted the offer and moved
to Oxford in late August to start in this new role on September 1.
How do we move forward with in-person meetings safely? During this conversation,
we will delve into ways to plan and execute events during the COVID pandemic. What
questions should we be asking and what are some things we can all do to ensure
safe meetings. Join Heidi Nizowitz, Director of Convention Services at Mandalay
Bay, to learn how event planners are overcoming obstacles in today’s environment.
Cyndi Greenglass: How have you navigated through professionally with the
Mandalay Bay and how do you move forward with in-person meetings safely? What are
you recommending to your customers and your clients?
Heidi Nizowitz: It's definitely uncharted territory, and we're all learning
as we go. It's not something that there was a rule book on, but we’ve got to have
communication. We have to be talking to one another. We have to be asking questions
and thinking differently than we've ever had to think before. First and foremost,
it is about health and safety right now. How do we ensure people are safe when
they come into venues and when they're attending events? At Mandalay Bay, and most
of the venues in Las Vegas have created their own kind of health and safety plan—make
sure your employees are checking their temperatures and testing is readily available
for your staff. And then ultimately, make sure your guests are able to answer questions
and maybe their temperature checked when they arrive. I think that's just kind
of the initial, and then from that, you kind of start thinking about the cleaning
and the disinfecting of the property and ensuring that it is a safe environment.
Cleaning was always done at night when nobody was around, it was kind of like a
hidden thing. Well, now it's out in the open and you see people cleaning and disinfecting
everywhere, all day long. So, there's a shift in what's the new normal.
Brand evolution is the continuous adaption and refinement of a brand based
on consumer behavior, market demands and trends forecasting. Brands that grow and
adapt with their audience are more likely to see long term success and foster long-term,
brand loyal relationships with consumers.
Brands can evolve in various ways, from complete overhauls with a full rebrand to
making small changes to a logo or visual identity pieces.
Here are some brands who have deployed notable brand evolution strategies and completed
Paula Scher is one of the most influential graphic designers in the world. Described
as the “master conjurer of the instantly familiar,” Scher straddles the line between
pop culture and fine art in her work. Iconic, smart, and accessible, her images
have entered into the American vernacular. Scher has developed identity and branding
systems, promotional materials, environmental graphics, packaging and publication
designs for a broad range of clients. In this session, Scher reflects on career-defining
moments, shares her design process and explores the relationship between design
Scher has been a partner in the New York office of Pentagram since 1991. She began
her career as an art director in the 1970s and early 80s, when her eclectic approach
to typography became highly influential. In the mid-1990s her landmark identity
The Public Theater fused high and low into a wholly new symbology for
cultural institutions, and her recent architectural collaborations have re-imagined
the urban landscape as a dynamic environment of dimensional graphic design. Her
graphic identities for Citibank and Tiffany & Co. have become case studies
for the contemporary regeneration of American brands.
One day this pandemic will be a distant memory and people will again gather. When
that happens, the events industry will need people ready to create amazing experiences
and moments worth remembering. From concerts to conferences and fundraising extravaganzas
to sporting events, these experts have done it all and weathered many storms along
the way. With collectively more than 75 years of experience, this panel will provide
you with behind-the-scenes insights and advice that will help prepare you for the
#NewNormal. This session is in partnership with
What is the greatest challenge you've faced in your career and how did you
Heidi Riffle-Nizowitz: I actually think the biggest challenge is right
now. We're in the middle of this pandemic and bringing people together for
face-to-face meetings has just basically been put on pause. We don’t know when
we can move forward in big numbers. This has been something that has impacted us
in big ways, we’ve had to adapt really quickly as things change. That is really
the biggest challenge we have ever faced.
A brand ambassador is typically thought of as a "spokesperson" for brand, product
or organization. The insight that the individual might be paid implies their recommendations
and reviews are inauthentic and untrustworthy. However — that is not the case of all brand ambassadors.
Brand ambassadors in 2020 can be individuals who authentically promote a brand,
product or organization because of their genuine passion, admiration or
desire to share their opinions on it. The individual will share recommendations
or products, goods or services, share events hosted by brands and receive exclusive
perks and recognition in return.
WVU Marketing Marketing Communications has officially selected its first group of
brand ambassadors for the 2020/2021 academic year! This group includes highly engaged
alumni and current students who have exceptional achievements in their academic
and professional career.
Deciding to shift your career can be challenging. Joining us today, David Hovis,
marketing and communications manager for Team Penske, went from being a history
major to changing his focus on PR. David will share what brought him to racing
public relations, how his role has evolved and advice on how you can switch or
start your career in PR.
Michael Lynch: What are some of the biggest changes you've seen in sports, public relations and
David Hovis: Probably the biggest thing that I've seen is the rise of
social media and the ability to self-promote and turn yourself and all your race
team into your own news outlet and content generating entity. I see that continuing
well on into the future as newsrooms shrink and as social media influencers rise.
It's a benefit if you are able to combine your digital efforts and your social
media efforts to promote yourself, to generate your own content and to push that
out via social media and other avenues that can then be picked up and amplified
by influencers and/or the other media members that cover your sport or sports in