The Personality of Mayfaire

Shopping, for some, is a means of buying the necessities for living.  For others shopping is a type of therapy to liberate unwanted stresses filling one’s life.  Both types of shoppers range from the highly uninterested penny pincher to the overindulgent impulse buyer.  Often times the uninterested prefer to shop quickly or online because of the shopping location and/or amount of people congregating under one rooftop.  No matter your preference, even if you dislike the ordinary retail atmosphere, almost anyone would be impressed with the type of leisure shopping available at Mayfaire Town Center simply for the feeling aroused when walking around.

Located near Wrightsville Beach, NC, on Military Cutoff and Eastwood Roads, Mayfaire Town Center, better known as Mayfaire to locals, is a 400-acre PUD community filled with various retail shops, restaurants, and apartments/condos/hotels/homes packed with entertainment for many in the surrounding neighborhood.  Mayfaire is unlike any other shopping center in the area.  The town center offers a combination of specialty boutiques, recognizable shops, delicious cafes, casual and fine dining, and entertainment venues to meet anyone’s taste while maintaining the coastal atmosphere the Cape Fear residents love.   With its outdoor, old-fashioned downtown feel, shoppers can park close in proximity to their store’s location and walk among the numerous places to shop, dine and relax while enjoying the weather all the while.

At first glance Mayfaire resembles a petite city within the small-town life of Wilmington.  Driving down the main drag excites new and old customers as they see the variety of shops and eateries sitting underneath inviting condos, all beautifully connected with matching bricks and attractive awnings.   While most indoor malls generate a hurried, confined space for customers to spend their money, Mayfaire is the exact opposite with a chicly laidback, upscale feel.  The personality Mayfaire creates is very inviting and comforting, allowing customers to stroll through stores, grab a bite to eat, and top their day trip off with an afternoon at the movies or listening to an outdoor concert and sipping southern sweet tea.  Customers can easily get lost in the vibe Mayfaire offers and forget they are merely shopping and feel they are experiencing an escape from typical retail to a higher quality of shopping.

With over fifty assorted shops to choose from, Mayfaire offers just what every shopper wants and needs all in one place.  Mayfaire was specifically built to separate itself from other traditional strip and indoor malls and offer the community a finer place of shopping.  As the Marketing Director Paige McKenzie says, “Whether you spend one hour or one day indulging in the shopping choices at Mayfaire, you’ll see what I mean when we say we’re ‘anything but ordinary.’”

-Allyson Corbin

Marketing On Our Own Turf

Many things come to mind when you think of Wilmington: Beach, Seahawks, History, and Marketing? Yes, Wilmington, North Carolina is a top competitor in the field of Marketing, Promotions and Public Relations in the Southeast and quickly working its way up the charts for the United States. Over the last couple of decades many marketing companies have been established in Wilmington and have evolved to become lead marketers for many types of outlets. Three of these top marketing companies are Colonial Marketing, Sage Island, and Talk.

Colonial Marketing is an organization focused on consulting with their clients to create a message that will establish their image and help to grow their business. The Colonial Marketing group prides itself on being a team of creative workers who can take on any product or goal of a client and use their combined skills to individualize and successfully market the client. Their website states that “We make the door swing and the phone ring,” which highlights their role in the advertising process for the clients and how they make sure every dollar spent on marketing is well worth it. Some of Colonial Marketing Groups clients include: Safeway Chevrolet, Airlie Gardens, and Ace Cash Express.

Sage Island is an integrated marketing agency that focuses on marketing and brand strategies, website development, search engine optimization, PPC management, social media marketing, graphic design. They also offer hosting services and speaking engagements to provide both online and offline services. The chief executive officer Mike Duncan, who is also the co-founder is a developed entrepreneur with two other companies under his belt. He is backed by eighteen other well established employees whose roles range from marketing specialists, to web programmer, to staff accountant. They have four focused areas in which they work with clients to either establish or recreate their companies’ identity and brand, which include their web presence, print designs, brand identity, and tradeshow and environmental graphics. Some of Sage Island’s clients include Surfing America, World Media, Greenpath and Century 21 agents.

Talk is a strategic marketing and communications company that originated in Boston, MA in 1990, but relocated to Wilmington, NC in 1990. Talk emphasizes their role in helping companies tell their story while promoting growth. Talk also works with their clients to create an identity both online and offline through their four-step process of language mapping. The first step is discovery, and then translate, followed by storytelling and finally measurement. This process is Talk’s fundamental system to use in order to incorporate their creativity with the language of their clients. Some of Talk’s clients include Cape Fear Academy, Wilmington Downtown, and Butterball.

These top three companies are working with other regional companies to break Wilmington, NC into the extensive integrated marketing and communications field of study and of work. IMC is an ever-growing and changing field and with these prestigious companies at the four-front, Wilmington NC will soon become a keystone for marketing locations.

-Shannon Meadows

Finding social capital in Wilmington, NC

We have been discussing social capital and how it contributes to the building of community for several weeks, and now we want to look at examples of businesses and organizations in Wilmington that foster social capital. We hope that by providing examples like this, the concept of social capital will become more concrete.
For over a year and a half, I worked at a small, locally-owned coffee shop on Wrightsville Avenue called the Smudged Pot. It is no longer in business, but it had been there for over 15 years before the owner finally sold it. The Smudged Pot was small and located in an old building with a rundown-looking parking lot and worn out floors.
It wasn’t much to look at, but it had the most loyal clientele I have ever known. The same people came in every day, same time of day, same drinks, same stories and jokes. Friendships were built, families were formed and contacts were established – all while getting your morning (or afternoon) cup of coffee.
Saturday mornings in the Smudged Pot were an experience not to be forgotten. Families with young kids, a few people with their well-known and much-adored dogs, several residents from nearby neighborhoods, a retired man who knew everyone in Wilmington along with their life story, and a couple baristas serving the coffee was the familiar Saturday morning scene.
Strangers became friends, friends became family, and sometimes they became employers. In a town that can sometimes feel bigger than it is, places like this are essential to building positive social capital.

Nicole Doherty

Com Studies Graduates Share Their Experiences

Today, I had the opportunity to see a panel of five recent (graduating between 2004 and 2009) UNCW Communication Studies graduates. After giving a brief introduction of where they each studied at UNCW and what their current job positions involve, the floor was opened up to questions. I would like to share some of the panelists’ responses that struck me the most.

A common theme shared among the panelists: make the most of your time in school. Panelists especially urged seniors to challenge themselves by taking as many 400 level courses as they can, because those classes will provide the best experience and preparation for post-graduation life. Similarly, panelists talked about how internships played immensely important roles in their development and transition to entry-level positions. Continuing the thought, when asked about the importance of GPA’s and transcripts in the interview process, panelists unanimously expressed that little concern was given to GPA’s and transcripts, and that employers were much more interested in extracurricular activities and work experience.

Here are a few other comments that I found particularly useful:

Regarding the need for strong written communication skills, Chris Duke stressed the importance of writing “clear and concise.”

When asked about bringing new ideas to an organization, Laura Smith suggested spending time learning everyone’s preferences, because unlike teachers’ seemingly endless enthusiasm for participation, professionals may not always be so receptive.

And lastly, my personal favorite insight of the night came from Chris Duke. Paraphrasing, Chris said, “Use the opportunity during the interview to ask questions that give you a feel for the organization and the culture.”

Wrapping up both Business Week and Com Studies Day, we hope everyone was able to use the myriad networking opportunities. If you feel you may not have done enough networking, or perhaps you’ve got “the networking bug” now, be aware that there are plenty of networking opportunities in Wilmington regularly. Visit WilmingtonNetworkingEvents.com for a calendar with each month’s events.

For a full transcript of our Com Studies Day live-blogging, click here.

- Terry Hayes

Com Studies Day

Today is UNCW’s Com Studies day. Through out the day we have events happening, such as a fashion show, an alumni panel, and a reception which our class will cover through live blog. You can keep up with us through out the day by clicking here

Networking opportunities galore!

The Communication Studies department offers a wide variety of events for students to connect with professionals in the field including internships (which was discussed in a previous blog post this week), Project Protégé and the alumni panels on Communication Studies Day. The Communication Studies Society sponsors Project Protégé where students are paired with professionals in the Wilmington area. Students must apply for placement in the program. It offers students a valuable opportunity to network and gain insight to their respective fields.

Tomorrow, Friday, March 26, 2010, is Communication Studies day, which is sponsored by the Communication Studies department. Communication Studies Day is an annual celebration of our discipline that allows students the opportunity to network with alumni who work in communication related industries.

Tune in tomorrow for our exciting live blog where our class will update information on who is speaking on the panels, what the panelists experiences have been in the field, the panelists advice to students and what to wear/what not to wear to interviews via the Dress for Success fashion show. We hope you join us on Communication Studies Day! Below is the schedule:

10:00-11:00 Panel presentation by alumni (Leutze Hall 125) (LIVE BLOG)

11:00-11:30 Networking session with panelists (Leutze Lobby)

12:15-1:15 Dress for Success Fashion Show presented by Communication Studies Society (Warwick Center Ballroom) (LIVE BLOG)

2:00-3:00 Panel presentation by alumni (Leutze Hall 125) (LIVE BLOG)

3:00-3:30 Networking session with panelists (Leutze Lobby)

4:00 Social at Wrightsville Grille

-Rachel Kaylor

A Glimpse into Digital Multimedia

New technology has allowed Communication Studies to become a very versatile major.  With the evolution of social networking tools and other forms of new media, those who have chosen a career field in Communication Studies have had no other choice than to become very versatile in their technological skill set.  One aspect of Communication Studies that is often overlooked, yet is essential to the field of study is digital multimedia.  Digital multimedia often serves as a backbone for marketing and advertising seeing as visual aesthetics are key to these practices.  With this in mind, I would like to encourage everyone to explore the functions of the Adobe Suite.

InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc., are all computer programs that advertising and marketing professionals use on a regular basis.  The functionality of this software is practically endless and that is why knowledge of these programs is often times very appealing to employers.  The University of North Carolina Wilmington offers a number of classes aimed at helping students acquire a skill set within the Adobe Suite.

Below are a list of courses offered by UNCW’s Communication Studies department geared towards digital multimedia:

COM 260. Digital Multimedia: Comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of digital multimedia. Topics include digital image editing, digital graphic design, Web design, and basic animation.

COM 262. Introduction to Animation: Basic principles of animation using computer generated animation. Providing students with essential tools to gain knowledge about modeling, lights, cameras, motion, interactivity and rendering.

COM 460. Desktop Publishing : Study of layout and design as it applies to desktop publishing with practical application of design fundamentals for a variety of practical assignments (e.g., brochures, newsletters, Web pages). Emphasis on use of desktop publishing for the public relations/advertising practitioner and the employment of software packages needed for effective layout and design.

COM 475. Advanced Digital Multimedia: Proving students with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about digital multimedia. Emphasis on developing skills in digital multimedia for use in advertising, print media, and electronic media.

Dr. Noor Al-Deen of UNCW’s Communication Studies department has samples of students’ work on her website.

Laura Ann Klinedinst