11988465_1160279773988423_7033451740836374441_nIn case you haven’t heard the buzz throughout the halls of Leutze, there is a new project on campus called WingSpan. WingSpan is a weekly talk show that discusses political issues with guests who are experts on various topics. In the first episode, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo discussed the economic development of Wilmington. During the second episode, County Commissioner Rob Zapple discussed environmental incentives in our region.

An ETEAL funded project, WingSpan is produced entirely by COM 351, Media and Politics. The students are responsible for the research, production, and promotion of WingSpan, under the guidance of Dr. Jennifer Brubaker. The first step for branding the television show included a naming contest throughout UNC Wilmington’s campus. Students were encouraged to submit possible names for the show, winning the contest and prizes. This contest raised awareness for WingSpan, and directly engaged one of the show’s publics – college students.

For the remainder of the ten-week show, the students are reaching out to different UNCW campus organizations, who pertain to the topic for that week. In the second episode, COM 351 contacted organizations such as The Plastic Ocean Project. They ensured students who are passionate about the environment- to tune in and watch the show that week. WingSpan recognizes the importance of discussing topics that resonate with the students at UNCW.

The group of PR and promotion students understand the significant need to have a presence on social media – further connecting and building relationships with the viewers. WingSpan students plan to continually push for the UNCW community to get involved through social media interaction, using the hashtag #WingSpan. Media’s role is to tell you what to think, not how to think. According to the Agenda Setting Theory, mass media has the ability to transfer the salience of issues on the news agenda to the public agenda. WingSpan recognizes the importance of remaining unbiased, and simply giving viewers the tools necessary to form their own opinions on political topics.

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The twitter account raises political issues with its followers and encourages discussions, without a bias toward one opinion over another. As represented by the tweet, WingSpan is presenting the political issue of education. Wingspan encourages the community to think about and discuss the topic, by sharing data regarding the educational system. It is evident the students understand their roles and goals: to inform students and the community about political issues. COM 351 Media and Politics encourages students, faculty/staff, and the Wilmington community to think about political issues, not how to think about them.


In a city that has been a production hub for many years- it is an exciting opportunity for UNCW students to experience the other side of television, first hand. You can follow WingSpan on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and tune in on Fridays at Noon on www.uncwingspan.com, or Mondays and Wednesdays at 6pm on TLN.

-Jonathan Callahan, Erin Fouhy, Julia George, Joseph Hines, and Sarah Suggs

Undefeated since 1947

Hearing the roar of fans painted in teal, navy blue and gold on Saturday afternoons brings excitement to our bones. One can only wonder why UNCW lacks the school spirit that a collegiate football program can provide. If a single sport unifies the student body, then why not take immediate action?

According to ESPN, more than 600 universities contain collegiate football, 32 teams are located in North Carolina. So, why doesn’t UNC Wilmington have a football program? Location, finances, and UNCW’s brand image can all contribute to that fact.

The SeahawkUNCW’s newspaper states, a university requires roughly $50 million dollars to start a collegiate football program. Raising the tuition at UNCW would be one option if a collegiate football program were desired. A charity fund needs to be set up, but the amount donated is only 1/6th of the money UNCW receives annually. 



Size is a factor on whether a university contains a collegiate football program; Coastal Carolina located in Conway, South Carolina recently added a collegiate football program and revamped their stadium in 2003. Compared to UNCW, Coastal Carolina has similar faculty/staff to student ratio, location (distance to local beaches and cities), and similar student enrollment. Bottom line, the main difference between UNCW and CCU- school spirit. Does a university with a collegiate football program contain greater school spirit? According to USA Todayschool spirit within the student body is greater at a university that contains collegiate football. This sport helps to unify the student body unlike any other collegiate programs at universities.



But, does a football program align with UNCW’s brand image? We believe the answer to that question would be no. UNCW encompasses a laid-back, chill, and relaxed atmosphere. Our image is centered around the hype of Wrightsville Beach, rather than tailgating football games. UNCW’s image is reflected to its audiences as a stress-free university and town, and the idea of joining a mellow student body attracts prospective students. Part of what facilitates UNCW’s relaxed and personable image, is the small class sizes and opportunities for hands-on applied learning. If the university shifted its focus from academics to athletics, the financial strain would likely cause a greater faculty/staff to student ratio. This would affect UNCW’s brand image, as the key ingredient that helps build the brand would not be as strong. Are we willing to give up one of the aspects that differentiates UNCW from its competitors? A part of UNCW that provides an academic advantage to our students for the addition of a collegiate football program, making UNCW similar to other North Carolina universities?

All factors aside, the real question lies with whether students desire a collegiate football program. A good researcher does their homework and we spoke to 10 students to get to the bottom of this matter. A large chunk of the student body opposed having a football team, citing it changed UNCW’s brand image. Of the students surveyed, 65% supported a team, 25% opposed, and 10% was neutral. We did find those who supported a UNCW football program were very passionate. Those students felt football would bring the student populace together. The main sticking points are location and money. However, all obstacles can be reduced if the student population united their efforts. As a UNCW student, is a collegiate football program worth the money? Are you willing to change UNCW’s brand image, evolving UNCW into something more?

-Jonathan Callahan, Erin Fouhy, Julia George, Joseph Hines, and Sarah Suggs

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