IMC Rocks the Vote!

Here at UNCW, SGA elections are in full swing. It seems everywhere you look around campus there are countless banners, flyers, bed sheet banners, and of course…CHALK. Everywhere you look you can see the candidates’ names written big in just about every color of the rainbow! I think just about every UNCW student would agree with me when I say that every student organization and the SGA utilize the abundance of sidewalk space to literally advertise for their organization, or in this case their candidates.

If you want to advertise on this campus that means chalking, or painting the spirit rock. I myself have painted that rock and chalked this campus more times than…well, a lot. It is a method that everyone can’t help but notice as all you have to do is take a stroll down chancellors walk and especially around the center of campus and you will inevitably see some form of non-technological promotion and advertising. And when it comes to voting on the next student President, chalking up campus along with a Facebook fan page/group or event just might be the perfect combination. After all, basically everyone has access to the internet and everyone walks this campus on a weekly basis so these advertising techniques are without a doubt very effective in reaching out to students.

Also coming up tomorrow however is Communication Studies Day and that means the fashion  show. Throughout the week, the popular social media outlet Twitter has been home base to creating buzz about the event and the models themselves. The audience will be able to vote on their favorite model via Twitter or in person. So just the fact that they are taking voting for model favorites and putting it online is very interesting and perhaps more intriguing for students. It also presents a way to have fun with the event and spark friendly rivalries. So come on out tomorrow and check out the 9th Annual Dress for Success Fashion Show, then pull up your Twitter and let everyone know who YOU thought was the best model!

-Maxann Keller, Ryan Kelley, Eric Holtzman, Chad Graves, Katelyn Truss

Raise Your Brand to New Heights

  Gina Smith, like many students before her, set out on the collegiate path to a university degree 4 years ago. Whether she knew it or not, by the end of her journey she had created her very own brand. Many things contributed to Gina’s own brand, such as the Communication Studies classes she took, her internship in a PR office, or, more specifically, the student organizations or clubs in which she was involved during her college years. The real question out there is how did these organizations help to form Gina into the final product of alumni?

  The missions of many student organizations include several goals, each pertaining to the success of promoting their own brand through members like Gina. The tough part is how to obtain then keep those handy brand-promoting members, and further, how to promote their organization’s goals? We have the answer. IMC, of course!

  Tomorrow, a group of students from our Advanced IMC class will be addressing the themes of recruitment and retention of members, how social organizations can properly use media in order to reach both their members and the public, and finally, how to plan events for each organization in an hour-long information session called Raise Your Brand .

  We have invited representatives from each of UNCW’s student organizations in order to participate in this interactive information session in order to bring more awareness and action to each of their organizations. The final goal is to equip each organization’s representative with the knowledge and tools to be bigger and better on campus and in the community.

~Heather Cornman

For The Kids by The Students

What kind of student-run fundraiser involves more than 15,000 students, goes on for more than 32 years, involves celebrity involvement, and raises over $69 million for its cause? Penn State University’s THON, of course. The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, raising an incredible amount of money for pediatric cancer patients every year. Not only do students show their dedication to the cause by working year-round to raise awareness, but they also have one of the most incredible student-run IMC plans I’ve ever seen.

The THON Press page is as comprehensive as any professionally run fundraiser, with students assigned to state, local, and national media. There is a student-run THON Tumblr Blog, THON Facebook Profile, THON Twitter Account, and THON Facebook Fanpage, all to keep the public aware of THON related news year-round. Penn State students live tweet from the event and update their statuses regularly with the “FTK” (“For the Kids”) hash tag to keep their friends and family members informed. One notable THON supporter is none other than socialite Khloe Kardashian, who regularly blogs about the THON efforts and sends her support to the Penn State students.

It’s obvious that the Penn State students are passionate about their cause and are channeling this passion into one of the most impressive student-run IMC campaigns out there.  Any student organization in the world could benefit from checking out the THON efforts and channeling them into their own student event.

- Anna Kate Babnik, Carissa Niederkorn, Deji Adeleke, Tiffany Evans, & Katie Eagle


Communication Studies Next Top Model

Did you know that you can employ Integrated Marketing Communication in any organization? It’s an easy way to reach your target publics and increase membership and participation in your organization. However, few people actually know how to use it properly. Communication Studies Society (CSS) has been heavily utilizing IMC in the past few weeks to increase attendance at the Com Studies Day events, which is this Friday, April 1st. CSS and the entire Communication Studies Department have been utilizing social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, to build anticipation for Friday! There is even a friendly competition between the professors to see who can get the greatest participation from their students to attend the events.  Our Advanced IMC class will be live blogging and tweeting from all of the events, with voting on who is the audiences favorite model at the Dress for Success Fashion Show. To follow the days events or participate on Twitter, type in #COMStudiesDay in your tweets or follow @IMCClass.

The use of social media during Com Studies Day creates social capital within the community by allowing everyone to get a front row seat in the action and alumni to see how successful the Communication Studies Department has become.

Other than using social media, CSS has been posting flyers and taking advantage of the Communication Studies Department newsletter that gets distributed to every Communication Studies major, which is the target audience.

So be sure to come to all the Com Studies Day events, and if you can’t make it, follow us on twitter. More importantly, be sure to vote for Scott Burgess (@scottrburgess) and Allison Day (@Allisonday32) as your favorite models and send your votes to @CStudiesSociety.

Happy tweeting!

-Allison Day, Jessica Berinson, Megan Canny, Melissa Gagliardi, Scott Burgess

Goodbye Duke, Hello UNC

On Monday’s blog post “ The Devil Wears Royal Blue” Allison Day, Jessica Berinson, Megan Canny, Melissa Gagliardi, Scott Burgess explained the brand of the Duke Blue Devils and how their success led them to dominate the basketball court and winning last years NCAA championship. However, last nights game (March 24) was rather surprising for the number one team.  The top seeded Blue Devils were defeated 93-77 by fifth-seeded Arizona.

The Arizona Wild Cats head into the Elite Eight for the first time since 2005. They face the third seeded Connecticut Huskies on saturday night.

Interestingly enough the state of North Carolina doesn’t have to give up quite yet. The UNC Tar-heels (Duke’s rivalry) are still in the running for championship. As I write this post, UNC #6 leads the end of the first half 40-15 against Marquette.

The brands of both NC teams are hard to miss and so is their rivalry; get Duke and UNC fans in the same room, there will be a problem. Both teams have combined 9 national championships.

The Brand of UNC

Where does the nickname of “tar-heels” come from? North Carolina in the eighteenth century was a producer of tar and pitch. The nickname dates back to the American Civil War and American Revolution along with the mascot of a live Dorset ram.

The colors of UNC, known as Carolina Blue and white, were designed in the late nineteenth century. Years before, the colors were chosen by the Dialectic (blue) and Philanthropic Societies (white), the oldest student organization in the university.

Also, UNC has the ability to routinely bring on top high school players, and then send them off to the NBA. Some of the biggest players went to UNC, including the Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse, Antwan Jamison, and Rasheed Wallace (to name a few).

-Micaela Fouhy, Lindsey Baggett, Drew Mayer, Will Cosden, Brianna Golden

March Madness: The True Underdog Story

Every NCAA Tournament kick starts spring and there is truly nothing like the opening days of tournament basketball. People have put all their time and effort into studying brackets for their office or friendly pool. As the tournament starts we all question whether a 16 seed will finally upset a number 1 seed. Yet again, this year it did not happen. No matter what happens there are always upsets, and this tournament was no different. After the upsets occur the “Cinderella Story” comparisons start to fly around. Marketers and advertisers beg to ask who will wear the glass slipper this year.

For some reason our country loves the underdog story. We love to see Rocky make a courageous comeback and win the fight in the last round after getting beat the entire time. The NCAA Tournament has its fair share of underdog stories this year with Virginia Commonwealth, Richmond, and Butler. Butler is the most ironic of the “Cinderella Stories” because they reached the NCAA Final last year and came narrowly close to beating National Champion Duke. So why do we love to see Butler as the underdog? Reporters continue to ask Butler Head Basketball Coach Brad Stevens about the Cinderella story and he simply responds with “the Cinderella story worked well for us last year so I love to hear it.” The problem is that we are much too quick to forget about Cinderella teams. Marketers and advertisers use these schools and teams to market their underdog story and then after the tournament we quickly forget about them. We don’t hear a word about the universities or their basketball teams until they become the underdog story then marketers pump money to inflate their story. The Butler Bulldogs were not talked about much this regular season yet they find themselves in the Sweet Sixteen again. No matter how successful they were last season Butler will continue to be branded as a Cinderella team because they are a small school that lacks a deep, rich basketball tradition. Teams like Kansas and North Carolina will never be mentioned as an underdog or a Cinderella no matter how much better the opposing team is. These branding techniques seem to always be used during March Madness.

There is a special story for two of the three Cinderella teams previously named. If Richmond and VCU both win it will be the first time in NCAA Tournament history that two teams from the same city or town will have played each other. Let’s hope that both win so we can celebrate two great teams from Richmond making it to the Elite Eight. More importantly, we can cheer for our fellow Colonial Athletic Association partners the VCU Rams. I’m sure CBS and advertisers will hype up the battle of the underdogs and ask whether the glass slipper fits Richmond or VCU. At this point we might be getting ahead of ourselves, but we can all dream. Hey, it worked for Cinderella.

Basketball FREAK?!

March Madness is a time of great success along with upsetting, shocking defeats.  The tournament lasts a month long that will determine the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship team.  So why did it take millions of viewers missing parts of games for decades before the networks realized we ALL want to watch ALL the games?  Well, 2011 is the year!! 

 One network, CBS, and three Turner cable channels, TBS, TNT and truTv will each individually broadcast different Division I Men’s Basketball matches from start to finish so that collectively they will show all the games. Not only are you able to watch one game, you are able to view the continuous scores of all the other games on the other networks from the top of your tv screen so you don’t miss a beat! Viewers now have the ability to flip between channels to the most exciting matches. This brings more coverage to the networks while broadening the audience of viewers.  Not everyone watches basketball, but during March Madness, many more do because of the upbeat competition of the tournament.  These four channels allow all the viewers to keep track of their bracket and join in on the fun!

So far all channels collectively have done an excellent job of keeping fans up to date with coverage and news on the tournament before and after each game. A team of commentators led by Greg Gumbel have kept the conversation going for every match up. The partnership that CBS and Turner has created where the feel and look of each station’s broadcast, including the same graphics and commentators, has convincingly made viewers feel like they are watching the same tournament. As opposed to the tournament being broken down among four different stations with their individual interpretation of how it should look. This ideal broadcast is what March Madness fans have been craving for years.

CBS has owned the rights to March Madness since 1982 and since all that time CBS controlled what games were shown. So in a bold move for making the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament available for all basketball freaks and bracket-fillers, CBS signed a 14 year deal with Time Warner’s Turner cable company for $10.8 billion to own the rights to the tournament. In doing so CBS and Turner have become each a customer-centric organization. They saw what the fans wanted and delivered. “It’s a better programming option for the viewer at home and the basketball fan,” said CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus. “More work on his or her part to find the game, but they get to decide what game they want to watch. In the past, I think we did a very good job of moving around, but it was our [CBS] decision.” Since CBS and Turner have become customer focused they see the importance for the NCAA tournament to be controlled by the viewers, and to allow the Madness of March to be experienced by the fans. 

The next set of tournament games are this Thursday and Friday, March 24th and 25th, which showcase the remaining Sweet Sixteen. Check for a live bracket of the remaining teams and teams whose road to victory has ended.

-Lauren DeHart & JC Salter