Time Flies Faster Then You Think

Our three years here at UNCW has been a nonstop learning experience. We have not only gained knowledge in classes, but have also gained valuable and unforgettable life experiences. Laura transferred to UNCW after her freshman year and since she has been in Wilmington has had three very valuable internships. The key to getting a job in this market is to have experience in your field of interest and being able to effectively market yourself to potential employers. In our IMC 1 class we had an assignment where we had to market our personal brand and why we should be hired over our competitors. It is crucial to understand how and why your brand is better than the kids sitting next to you. It is not only important to know why your brand is the best, but you also need to understand how to market your experiences and internships to fit the qualities for your potential employer. Taking advantage of internship opportunities, especially for credit through the Department of Communication Studies, is a great idea for anyone and everyone. Without those experiences we would not be as prepared or as knowledgeable about our field of interest as we are now. So, when you’re thinking of what to do with all your time during the beautiful summer in Wilmington, think about taking an internship or think about how you can make your brand stand out among others.

Another important piece of advice is to get involved on campus. Once you are a student, UNCW becomes your home away from home. The best way to find comfort is meeting and bonding with other students who are in your exact situation. UNCW has over 200 clubs and organizations for students to become involved in. The only hard decision you have to make is: which club should I join? Tennis, TealTV, Communication Studies Society, the choices are endless. The moral of the story is this: get involved on campus and make your presence known. You only have four years, which believe me, flies by in a blink of an eye. The friends you make in college become your friends for life. It is important to make your college journey memorable, exciting, and one that you can laugh about 40 years down the road reminiscing with your old college friends.

Lastly, as a college student, one of the most important things you do is research. Whether it’s writing a report, putting together a presentation, or simply watching the news on TV to catch the latest events, you are gathering information to analyze. Some of this information will be forgotten shortly after graduation, if not before you even cross the stage to get your diploma. However, some information you have gathered through your college career will stick with you for a lifetime and will become helpful in future career situations.  Learning doesn’t just stop when you get your diploma. The research skills you learn to use as a student can be used for the rest of your life, as you strive to be an informed individual.

So just remember, time flies. Before you know it you will be walking across the stage to receive your diploma.  Don’t just be a beach bum, at least, not all the time. Do something that will show your future employers that you did something with your short time here to make a difference.

-Laura Simmons, Brooke Keller, Ashley Oliver

What’s Your Unique Brand Style?

UNCW’s Communication Studies Day includes an informative Dress for Success Fashion show for college students of all ages and levels. The fashion show will also include skits demonstrating the importance of an elevator speech, professional attire, portfolios, and how necessary it is to be prepared for interviews. This year the theme, “Will You Make the Cut?” is based upon the Food Network show “Chopped.”

One idea about IMC manifested in this fashion show is that company image and brand management is very vital for growth and success. Individuals, as well as companies, have always had their own image and have to manage their own brand. It is sometimes hard for college students to transition from a student image that they have had for the past 13 years to a business professional image. The great part about the fashion show is that it shows students how to transition from their current image and brand to something more professional.

Whether people realize it or not, we are branding ourselves every day through the types of clothes we choose to wear in professional or unprofessional settings. Your unique brand style can be a description of who you are in a job interview setting. It is very important to make interpersonal connections with job interviewers through your developed style and authenticity that will make you stand out from others. Branding yourself when looking for a job is very similar to branding a product. Basically, you are selling yourself as a product to your potential employer with the goal of standing out amongst the rest. Are you casual business, formal business, chick, trendy, preppy, classic, or a hybrid of several?

By: Laura Simmons, Mollie Berthold, Dorothy Conley, Christina Stevenson

Wait, they care about my vote?

Candidates have really been trying to “woo” young people to vote. This demographic can be quite difficult to motivate and actually get them to do something. They all just really need someone who they can relate to before we can make a decision, you know like a celebrity who is endorsing one of the candidates. Remembering back to the last election, this was very successful in Obama’s favor. Many famous people were sporting the always fashionable Obama gear. He even made it on the runway! Who wouldn’t want a president that has made it on the Paris fashion runway?

 

Of course, not all ploys to get the youth to vote are quite so extreme and over the top. Rock the Vote is one of the biggest organizations trying to get young people to vote. They use pop culture, music, and new technologies to get them to register and have successfully signed up over five million young voters. The Millennial Generation makes up about 1/4 of the voting population which makes them an important demographic for politicians to market themselves to. Just in the last presidential election alone Rock the Vote registered 2.5 million voters. This was by far their highest number they have had yet.

College campuses are another great outlet for getting the younger crowd to register to vote. Statistics show that there is a much higher rate of educated youth voting versus the ones who didn’t attend college. This is the most convenient way to motivate this  apathetic age group. Having an on campus presence is a good reminder of how easy it is to register. Since the 2000 presidential election it has been forced by federal law for postsecondary institutions to make a good faith effort to distribute voter registration forms to all of their degree seeking students.

The Presidential candidates now take the Millennial Generation a lot more seriously, then they ever did before. They want their voting numbers to go up and this large demographic can be the boost they need. As a member of this generation, I wonder what tactic they will use next to sway my vote?

 

- Mollie Berthold, Laura Simmons, Christina Stevenson, Dorothy Conley

Foursquare U

Back before texting and tweeting, students on college campuses relied on announcement boards and gossip floating in the student center to find the popular hang out spots or know about the latest buzz. Today, news about and around campus is instant. Most major universities have embraced social media over the past decade and are using it to reach college students in a unique way. But how can universities gain access to real-time social trends on campus? Welcome to the new and evolving world of geosocial networks.
Geosocial or “location-based” social networks are on the rise, with the forerunner being foursquare, a mobile app launched in 2009 that allows users to “check-in” to various locations and share where they are and what they are doing with their friends. Access to real-time location data from foursquare allows marketers and businesses to know what locations are “trending” as well as the demographics of users checking-in to their establishment. With the growing momentum of foursquare, universities are hopping onto the “check-in” train and recognizing foursquare on campus.
Why should universities be interested in foursquare? For starters, foursquare currently has 15 million users and over 1.5 billion check-ins worldwide, with a growth rate of 3400% in 2010. Chances are that your business or venue is already on foursquare and users have probably checked in and maybe even left some tips. Information that users enter when creating a venue may be incorrect, but universities that claim their venues can add appropriate information to academic buildings to ensure the best overall experience for faculty, students, and guest.
Universities are beginning to recognize the potential value of information gathered using geosocial networks. What does 4pm look like on campus? Is the library packed? Are students working out? Applications like foursquare can also attract visitors on campus by offering “check-in” deals (ex. 10% off a shirt when you check-in to the campus bookstore), creating a self guided mobile tour of academic venues, and leaving historic information or helpful tips for different locations.

Most importantly, foursquare is free advertising (for now). Not only that, but it can be interactive and rewarding for users, perhaps by giving away free university gear for going to the library, attending a campus event, or staying healthy at the gym. The possibilities for university marketing are endless.

By: Hunter Wilson, Josh Vester, Ashley Oliver, Molly Jacques

Have a Sexy Valentine’s Day, Gorgeous!

A week from today, one of the most commercialized and superficial holidays will occur: Valentine’s Day. For those of you who are one half of a couple, Valentine’s Day is all about making your significant other happy, whether it involves showering him/her with gifts, making dinner reservations, or planning exuberant and normally unnecessarily expensive dates.

The beginning of February marks the time when store fronts become clad with hearts, cupid cutouts, and pink and red streamers.  Around this same time, we begin to see an increasing number of men lurking around lingerie stores, especially Victoria’s Secret – and for good reason.  Victoria’s Secret has a dramatic increase in sales during the season of romance. With their sexy print ads in magazines, their silky almost-obscene commercials, and their free “Lacie Pantie” giveaway, what man in their right mind would avoid giving their girlfriend/wife the gift of sexiness?

In their 2012 Valentine’s Day campaign, Victoria’s Secret Angels clad in pink and red barely-there bras and panties have advertised to their customers that with the gift of anything from their line of lingerie, their Valentine’s Day celebrations will be fabulous. In their sneak peek to their photo shoot, the Angels prance around in their under garments, smiling, laughing, and selling the ideas of sex and playfulness. In interviews, the girls claim that any man could win their hearts on Valentine’s Day by picking out something from the Victoria’s Secret shelves. One even says that if a man chooses something that he likes, it will give plenty of hints to his significant other.

Not only does this campaign appeal to male shoppers, but it also appeals to women. The Victoria’s Secret Angels encourage their customers to feel sexy, and by offering specials, free panties, and coupons during this season, women will certainly be able to feel like Angels.

So whether you are shopping for a significant other or are planning on spoiling yourself with brand new sexy lingerie, Victoria’s Secret will certainly be the place to shop this romantic season.  And don’t forget to have a sexy Valentine’s Day, Gorgeous!

Love always, Christina Stevenson, Mollie Berthold, Dorothy Conley, & Laura Simmons

All The Single Ladies

Valentine’s Day is a holiday dreaded by a great deal of people, both male and female, for various reasons. There is pressure on both genders to perform, declare emotions, and out-do previous years or expectations. Those who fail at this task of grandstanding may in fact find themselves without a date for next year. Okay, so there’s a ton of pressure on people in relationships, but what about those of us who are single? While some take pride in their solitude, others wish they had someone to be their valentine, and a few twitch at the mere thought of being in a relationship.

According to an article in the New York Times, being single is a prevalent occurrence these days with 59.9 million single women in America. This staggering rate may surprise some, but companies like Dove chocolate see these table-for-one ladies as a prime marketing demographic. They hope to strike a chord with this growing independent group by catering their advertising to the women who are without companions. That is why this year Dove has made a campaign to remind women Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance.

Dove is banking on the stereotype that single women will turn to chocolate this year on Valentine’s Day. Instead of the standard “Call me” or “I’m yours” found on the candy hearts we used to share with our playground crush, Dove has created a host of witty comments and placed them on the inside of their chocolate wrappers. Some of the best include, “You’re gorgeous,” “Sometimes I buy flowers for myself,” “My flaws are fabulous” and even the ever so uplifting, “Love yourself in a moment.” The new commercial features women sharing their Dove chocolates with everyone from their barista to their neighbor, and most importantly, themselves. Is this a message of independence for the strong woman? Or rather, a cheap ploy based upon the assumption that women alone on Valentine’s Day will inevitably console themselves with chocolate? Either way it’s hard to dislike chocolate, especially when it’s making single girls smile and promising not to judge if we have more than one.

By: Alexis Kapczynski, Kacy Cox, Josh Bowman, and Sara Kaloudis

What’s the Real Show?

During a regulation NFL game there is a 15 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd quarters. This halftime break was originally instituted so the participants of the game could catch their breath and re-energize. During the Super Bowl, halftime lasts for a minimum of 30 minutes. Not only is that plenty of time for a player to catch his breath, that could allow him an opportunity to take a nap and check some emails. The mid-game break is actually long enough that coaches usually alter practices leading up to the big game in order to prepare their players for dealing with the extended down time. Despite this, there has never been a serious motion to shorten the length of the break. On the contrary, every few years halftime will run a little long to better accommodate the length of more extravagant halftime shows.

This presents an interesting phenomenon. The Super Bowl, the game that decides who the best team is in the highest level of the most popular sport in America, is consistently interrupted for at least 15 minutes more than is necessary so an assortment of washed up and unknown artists can perform for a crowd that has paid at least double the average monthly income for a ticket to the game. It is widely known that companies spend millions of dollars for a chance to slip a commercial in between the biggest football game of the year, but this event has become so large that the game itself is being postponed in order to make room for the event that surrounds it. That’s the kind of marketing that is normally reserved for religious holidays and national celebrations.

So what makes the Super Bowl half-time show so special? It is the second most anticipated part of the event, besides of course, who wins the championship.  The hype of who is performing is always a boost for the performers publicity, but what if Madonna blows it like the Black Eyed Peas did last year?  What will that do to her brand as being Madonna, the Queen of pop? There is a lot at stake when involving yourself in the biggest event of the year.  Let’s just hope there are no wardrobe malfunctions or fumbled lyrics this year.

Read more about the halftime show here!