Why Blogs?

Upon visiting TED, I browsed through a few videos before selecting one to watch and comment on. Mena Trott on Blogs was my final choice. How appropriate! Trott and her husband founded Six Apart in a spare bedroom of their house in 2002. Six Apart has been at the heart of social media and blogging since 2001! The company has many great blogging services including TypePad, Movable Type and Vox which help people connect with others and share their stories. Throughout her lecture Trott talks about how blogging gives regular everyday people the power to share their life’s journey online.

Although Trott mentions how blogging is changing the way we read news and receive media, CNN and other big networks have their own blogs used to update readers the moment breaking news happens, it is the personal stories that capture her heart. She talks about a blog titled Interplast, in which doctors travel to developing nations and preform plastic surgery on those who can’t afford it. The doctors document their travel and tell their story through this site. Another example she gives is of a man who had a son named Oden born at 25 weeks. The father took pictures of Oden and wrote updates daily. By day 96 when Oden was able to go home readers were cheering.. Trott makes it a point to say that these might not be stories that would be covered in a magazine or a newspaper, but they do pull at your heart. This made me think of our class blog and how although we discussed world issues we still made it feel personal with our senior send off, ILM week, and com studies week.

Trott also shows how blogs can be used for records. She discusses how she can only trace her family tree back a few generations and then it stops. Trott proposes that we can use blogs as a way to record our lives. Should her grandchildren or great grandchildren ever want to know what life was like for Mena Trott, they can look no further then her blog. Like Mena we have set up a blog for records. Every IMC-Hawk from here on out can look back at what we have accomplished this semester, Hopefully it will continue to keep building and there will be a long history of posts.

Through the blogging assignment in this class we as IMC-Hawks have had our eyes opened to the powerful messages blogs can send, the people they can reach and the footprints they can leave.

Jess Smith

TED: Are more choices better, or has more become less?

TED: Technology, Entertainment, Design is a nonprofit project that started in 1984 and focuses on Ideas Worth Spreading. TED holds an annual conference where talented and innovative speakers and performers speak about their lives ideas and challenges. Some of these speakers include Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Bill Gates, Brian Greene and many other brilliant people. This April, Terry Hayes and Dr. Persuit held a video session and discussion time to watch two speakers and for students to discuss the topics and their opinions.

One of the speakers was Malcolm Gladwell, and his speech was titled “Spaghetti Sauce.” His speech focuses on one man, Howard Moskowitz, and his philosophy that “There isn’t one “perfect Pepsi” there are in fact numerous “perfect Pepsis.” Howard built his reputation and transformed the market world based on this idea, that companies should not try and find the “perfect something,” instead they should find varieties of perfect products. This idea gained its acceptance and status when Howard applied the theory to spaghetti sauce, specifically Prego. Prego hired Howard in the 1980s to help them compete with Ragu. Howard did millions of tests on millions of people using different types of spaghetti sauces and found out that people do not prefer one specific type of spaghetti sauce, instead the American people like many different specific types. This is why when you walk down the grocery isle with spaghetti sauce, there are difference sauces ranging from plain, to extra chunky, to mushroom flavored, and so on. Howard successfully changed the way the food industry approaches marketing, making of the products, and meeting the desires of the American people. The fundamental idea can be used in not just the food industry but in all areas of marketing. Marketers are beginning to realize that the way to make the consumer happy is not remember that they are all individuals with specific and different desires, needs and wants. Howard successfully passed along the lesson that the human population is filled with diverse beings with different ways to achieve their happiness.

The second speaker was Barry Shwartz and his speech was titled “Paradox of Choices.” His speech talks about his book, which is about the way to maximize the welfare of all of the citizens, you must maximize the individual’s freedom through maximizes the choices people have. Choices lead to freedom which then leads to welfare, which should be the defining goal of societies. Barry shows the world through the choices we are offered by explaining that in a grocery store there are over 175 choices of salad dressing, and when you go to the doctor he or she will give you a number of choices of health care you can choose, and you can choose what prescription drug to take and so on. This has resulted in people giving the choices to wake up every day and invent our own identity and choose from all of the choices offered what kind of person we want to be. All of the choices we are offered occupy our entire day, all day and everyday leaving zero time to actually live the life we have chosen. He does point out the good news about having so many choices, which can be easily seen, but he discusses more deeply the bad news about all of the choices. One is that people are paralyzed by all of these choices because they are unable to choose which action to take. People have become either too lazy or to overwhelmed by all of the options available to them that many times they choose no action, or put off deciding for days and days. Another negative effect of the many choices is that people are beginning to have the expectation to receive perfection because of so many choices they have to choose from. This is resulting in people’s expectations not being met and the people ultimately being disappointed by their choices.

 The TED viewing finished with discussion questions for students to wrap their minds around. I invite you to also watch these brilliant speakers and ponder these questions:

• Think of companies that have achieved success by offering limited product lines.

• Think of companies that have achieved success by offering vast product lines.

• As marketers, do we need to offer more varieties of our products, or should we offer fewer choices in order to help customers decide?

 • When are more choices better? Does it depend on the type of product or service? Is it always better to have more choice for high-involvement products, or is simplicity sometimes preferable?


 -Shannon Meadows

Remembering COM 495

As the final blog the IMC-Hawks wanted to give Dr. Persuit and COM 495 salutations through a few testimonial statements to end on a positive note.  The following are from a couple of our team members who wanted to share their thoughts of the class as a whole.  We hope you enjoy:

“Dr. Persuit’s IMC classes have been some of the most interesting and
insightful classes I have taken in college. She is excited about what
she teaches and encourages her students to be excited as well. Her
Advanced IMC class has inspired me to go to graduate school to study
integrated marketing communications after I work for a few years
because I am convinced that it is the future of communication-related
positions. I think that all Communication Studies programs should
offer these courses.”

-Nicole Doherty

“Dr. Persuit’s passion for IMC and thoughtful interest to every single one of her lessons and students is not only obvious but it has created the most stimulating class environment I’ve experienced during my time here at UNCW.”

-Taylor Diehl

“The readings, discussions, and group projects really helped me to get a better grasp on IMC. Intro to IMC is exactly what it says it is, simply an introduction that leaves you more curious than before! The Identity project helped me to imagine what it would be like to work for a Marketing or PR Agency and our Event Planning Project shed some light on that career as well. That kind of classroom experience is far and few between and I am grateful for those opportunities because of their heavy weight on my ‘Career Wish List’! The blog also taught us team work and cooperation and was a taste of what corporate or business communication life would be like. I love it when you learn applicable concepts and themes not found in a text book! Everyone can use a little IMC!!”

-Mandy Baker


“COM 495 introduced me to many new things and I think writing blog posts was one of the most beneficial. This whole semester of writing has not only given me a fabulous way to share my writing samples, but has also taught me about the whole blogosphere, something I never thought I’d join. COM 495 – IMC combined so many aspects of the classes I’ve previously had, all bunched into one. Thus, to explain this class, I thought it’d be easiest in recipe form:

Combine the following ingredients and stir over one semester of coursework”:

3 cups teamwork
2 cups creativity
1/3 cup marketing
1/3 cup PR
1/3 cup advertising
2 tbsps innovation
and add a little bit of reading to taste!

-Rachel Kaylor

“Advanced IMC was such a great class, learning experience and opportunity! As a student we were placed in real life situations and were able to get a glance of what the real job world is like. The learning material for the class was challenging yet very exciting to analyze and discuss. This class was very unconventional; however the activities and readings we did really helped us understand more thoroughly Integrated Marketing Communication. Dr. Persuit is very knowledgeable on the topics and her real life experience made the class very exciting and memorable!”

-Shannon Meadows

This past semester as I was interning, I worked closely with the marketing department. One day someone asked me what I wanted to do after graduate. I said I would like to work for a few years and then attend graduate school. When they asked for what, I said IMC. They stared back at me with a confused look on their face. I was shocked that someone in a marketing department wasn’t aware of this concept. Perhaps they call it something different? Or perhaps we as students of this class are at a great advantage? I think the second one! This class has taught me how the many aspects of the business side of communication studies overlap. You can use a multitude of ideas and techniques to reach people, which allow you to be creative. Although it may not always be the easy at times, this is one course that definitely prepared me for real world. Dr. Persuit was there to guide us, but we as students directed the class and took on more responsibility in the classroom than usual. It was an awesome opportunity to be and IMC-Hawk and I would recommend it to anyone. Thanks so much Dr. Persuit!!

-Jess Smith

“She’s definitely the thought provoking teacher when it comes to understanding social media in the workforce and in society. I have skills that I can take with me anywhere. She is the REALEST professor I think I’ve ever had here at UNCW.”

-Colby Lewis

“After taking both the intro and advanced IMC classes with Dr. Persuit, I have finally figured out what I want to do with my Communication Studies degree. All aspects of IMC interest me, especially the parts dealing with the media (advertising, branding, etc.). This class has provided me with a background of experience in the field and I have finally found a potential career path!”

-Lacey Inman

“COM 495 has been a great end to my college career at UNCW.  I could have graduated last semester as my departmental and university courses were complete.  I knew Advanced IMC was being taught under Dr. Persuit this spring, and I chose not to graduate for a few reasons, but one being the opportunity to take this class.  I am so glad I did because the project experiences and the class discussions will be remembered and made my choice to stay worth the wait.  I encourage all COM majors to dabble in IMC because I promise you, you will want to learn more!  Even after the intro and advanced courses, I want to learn more, and plan to utilize my graduate career in doing so.  Thanks Dr. P!”

-Allyson Corbin

Goodbye COM 495

The day has come – the last day of the 2010 spring semester.  This day is bittersweet for many as today brings the end of an academic year, the closing of a chapter, and the end of some great courses.  I speak on behalf of the IMC-Hawks team when I say we all agree this class was superb.

From day one I think we all knew this class was going to be different than many others taken previously.  I remember, before nestling into my seat, I sat next to Terry Hayes on the first day when he turned to me at the end Dr. Persuit’s opening and said, “This is the first time I feel like I am taking a real college course based on the projected workload.”  I also remember agreeing and sharing excitement with Terry.

To get an idea of what we were presented, read the following to gain minor insight to Dr. Persuit’s syllabus:

Your experience in this course will include the application of ideas in writing, presentational skills within a professional communication context, and consideration of the ethical implications of your actions.

Course Objectives:

In this course, we work from a praxis (theory-informed action) orientation to prepare you with the knowledge and skill to put what you learn into action in the marketplace.  This approach stresses that you cultivate the habit of learning.

This class will provide opportunities to:

  • Understand and engage theoretical approaches to IMC.
  • Advance your practical knowledge of IMC strategies and tactics.
  • Engage your intellectual curiosity.
  • Function in a professional organization, on a project team, as a project manager.

All fifteen of the IMC-Hawks were very excited for what the semester had in store, for we knew we had great opportunities and challenges awaiting us.  The above portion of Dr. Persuit’s syllabus generated a great deal of anticipation and expectation from the team, which I now look back and question how it went by so quickly.

Many syllabi produce agony, misery, depression, and all other synonyms pertaining there to, but not Dr. Persuit’s.  However, her syllabus did present large shoes to fill as we all were looking forward to the best.  I again speak for everyone when I say these shoes were filled, but perhaps too small as she exceeded any and all expectations we had.

From the beginning we moved at a very fast pace just as Dr. Persuit warned.  We opened with Bowling Alone and hit the ground running from there.  Dr. Persuit’s intent was to provide a classroom to resemble either a work environment with real and valid deadlines or a graduate school course with simultaneous work and loads of discussion, all while teaching us time management and stress relievers – I never said we had an easy class.

All of our assignments had genuine meaning and related directly back to Dr. Persuit’s objectives.  We were able to take what we were learning from our course textbooks and apply them to each and every project, better known as praxis, one of Dr. Persuit’s goals.

As one of Dr. P’s first intro classes, I am pleased to also be one of the first in her advanced course.  At the end of the introductory course, I wondered if the department would allow for the exploration of an advanced course.  I am so glad the department read my mind, or so I like to think, because this course has been one of my and my classmate’s favorite classes because of the application the course provided.  I hope the department hears the praise all of the IMC-Hawks team screams, and this course will have permanence and longevity.

Rachel Kaylor, another type of lucky student, was allowed to take the course based on outside experience.  Her class assessment is as follows:

Before taking advanced IMC, I learned about IMC through various internships. Bringing corporate knowledge of IMC to the theory-based classroom was an interesting but incredibly helpful experience. Though I understood IMC before taking Dr. Persuit’s class, I had not learned the academic side. Through the projects we completed all the way down to the nightly readings, the class enabled me to look back on campaign experiences I previously had and better understand what worked, what didn’t, and why! This was interesting because typically we learn in the classroom and apply it to the “real world.”

Lucky for us, Allyson and I had the opportunity to take this class together from different perspectives, but the course still enabled the same opportunities.  Advanced IMC has offered us the opportunity to rename a company and participate in activities in which we want more experience.  For example, there were three choices for groups: IMC Conference planning (Academic Planning), Cape Fear Center for Inquiry Anniversary (Event Planning) and Google-Ad Words (Marketing/Advertising).  With an interest in the academic world of IMC, we both chose to research the logistics of having an IMC Conference here at UNCW – yes people, this is really happening!  This opportunity provided us the opportunity to learn all of the aspects of planning conferences, which is incredibly important in the realm of academia, as well as how to write a proposal, and how to pitch it.  We learned about the hoops and hurdles of reserving space, working with time and budget constraints as well as the infinite amounts of research it takes to complete something of this scale.

(Back to Allyson typing) Even though we had different backgrounds coming into Advanced IMC, we are both leaving with great course experience that will help us indefinitely.  We are hopeful that IMC will become as popular in the COM Dept. as we perceive it to currently be.  We would like to send a shout out to Dr. P for all of her effort and hard work put into our awesome class.  Thank you, Dr. Persuit!!

-Rachel Kaylor & Allyson Corbin

Stuck in the Middle

Here it is almost May and stores are packed with graduation gifts and decorations.  All the talk around school is about grad school, jobs, and graduation parties.  As much as I want to be a part of this, I am not.  Not because of grades, but because of credit hours.  You see, I will graduate in July.  I’m getting my four year degree in two and a half years.  This is a huge accomplishment for me.  However, I feel like I am at a disadvantage.  When I’m all done the only things I get from UNCW is a diploma, a goodbye, and an invitation to come walk at the December commencement ceremony.  This isn’t fair.  I worked just as hard as the May and December graduates.  Everyone who finishes in the summer deserves some recognition!

After writing this I feel like I sound bitter, but I’m not!  I have received a great education.  UNCW, specifically the Communication Department, has given me the skills I need to excel in life.  I’m thankful for the opportunities I have taken advantage of such as studying abroad in Italy and Greece, planning the 10th Anniversary Party for Cape Fear Center for Inquiry, and last but not least, learning how to do all of the public relations and marketing for the George on the River Walk!

When I leave Wilmington and UNCW I will be sad that a chapter of my life is ending, but I will be excited to see what the future has in store for me.

Thank you to UNCW and the Communication Department for all you’ve done!

Danielle Murray

What do you do with a Communication Studies degree?

“What do you do with a Communication Studies degree?  What do you even learn at UNCW….like what’s 1 surfboard + 2 surfboards?”

Moving to Wilmington… as a 17 year old freshman from Pennsylvania…those were the supportive words from many of my friends from home.  I am proud to say that over my last four years at UNCW, my educational experience has far exceeded the expectations of my jealous high school friends.  Not only have I spent amazing afternoons at Wrightsville Beach, but I have also learned so much about myself and the vast opportunities available to me as a Communication Studies major.

The question is not what do you do with a Communication Studies degree…but rather what can you not do?  This major prepares you with such a wide range of skills it is really up to you where you want to go in this “real world”.  Personally, I enjoyed all of my COM classes but it wasn’t until I took Intro to IMC with Dr. Persuit that I really felt it “click”.  I absolutely loved this class because it was the first time I had really experienced a marketing side of communications and I loved this avenue.  Over the last two years I’ve taken various classes in the MKT department along with marketing and advertising focused classes in the COM department.

Even though I’m a bit nostalgic about leaving my comfort zone of UNCW I feel extremely prepared to enter the business world.  I’m not sure exactly where I’ll end up after my lease ends on July 31st but in the mean time I will be working as a paid Marketing Intern at Coastal Surgery Specialists in Wilmington while actively pursuing a career in Marketing or Sales.  It’s really bitter sweet graduating in May but I’m looking forward to seeing what this real world has in store for me.

So because everyone else seemed to through in their own motivational/ cheesy quotes here goes mine..

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”  ~Anthony J. D’Angelo

Best of luck class of 2010!

-Taylor Diehl

Back to Undecided

As Shannon said in her previous blog, I must also admit as well that I am not graduating in May. But, I am technically a senior and will graduate in December along with some of my fellow IMC-Hawks! My decision to graduate in December is based on saving money. Having 24 AP credits from high school has definitely been worth it, as I was only “undecided” for a semester!

After taking a mass communication class and learning briefly about IMC, I immediately looked into graduate school programs. I absolutely fell in love with Emerson College’s program in Boston. I wanted to go to Emerson for undergrad, but there was no way I wanted to spend that much money, so when I found they had an IMC graduate program, it was like it was meant to be. I immediately requested materials (yes, as a sophomore) and plan to apply when the time is right. IMC has been a very influential subject in my academic career, and I cannot wait to apply it outside of the classroom and help others understand what IMC is about.

Thus, though I am moving past the undergraduate level, I am going back to my “undecided” roots. After I graduate, I don’t really know what path I want to take. I plan to continue with IMC in some way, shape or form, whether it’s incorporating it in my job, or continuing my education through a graduate program. Hopefully next semester I’ll move away from “undecided” to something a little more focused! I think continuing education is important and keeps your mind sharp as you proceed past the “undergraduate” stages of your life.

Rachel Kaylor