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What you need to know to apply to the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: June 13th, 2022 by ldrucker
An outside shot of Farley Hall with students entering the building.

 

Are you or someone you know thinking about applying for admission to the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media?

On July 1, we encourage you to begin the application process.

Students will apply online at https://admissions.olemiss.edu/

It’s a simple process. Here are the steps:

  • Students apply online, pay the application fee, or submit an ACT/SAT fee waiver.
  • They must supply transcripts from high school and/or all colleges they have attended.
  • While the university is currently considered test optional, students are encouraged to submit ACT and/or SAT scores for consideration for some scholarships and placement in some courses.
  • Once all needed documents are received, the Admissions Office will communicate the admissions decision to the student.

Jennifer Simmons, an assistant dean of the School of Journalism and New Media, said she encourages students to apply even if they are unsure if they plan to attend.

“Students who apply to the UM School of Journalism and New Media will get hands-on, real-world experiences in their major courses that they can carry forth into the workforce,” Simmons said.

Fun classes await.

“There are opportunities to become involved with study abroad, internships, HottyToddy.com, the Student Media Center, and UM Athletics opportunities the first year,” Simmons said.

Students who attend other schools may wait until they are upperclassmen to be considered for similar opportunities.

Simmons said students can become involved in activities their freshman year that could catapult them into the careers of their dreams when they graduate.

Apply online today at https://admissions.olemiss.edu/

Meet some of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media’s outstanding 2022 graduates

Posted on: May 13th, 2022 by ldrucker

Journey to Commencement

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media congratulates the Class of 2022. Here are a few profiles of some of our outstanding graduates. The students shared thoughts on what drew them to UM, what they learned on their Journey to Commencement, their favorite classes and professors, and their future plans.

Click the images below to read their stories.

By LaReeca Rucker

It all started with a Tweet: Collierville native will pursue IMC sports career after graduation

Posted on: May 6th, 2022 by ldrucker
Jackson Sepko has worked for Ole Miss Athletics for three years and plans to pursue a career in digital marketing for a sports company.

Jackson Sepko’s college journey into social media marketing began with a Tweet.

“The summer before my freshman year, I sent a celebratory tweet after a big Ole Miss Baseball win that got a good number of likes and retweets,” he said.

When the dust settled, Sepko saw he had a message from someone named Debbie Hall, whose bio said she taught in the School of Journalism and New Media’s integrated marketing communications (IMC) program.

“She said, ‘You have a way with words. Are you by chance an IMC major?’ I said I was, and we got to meet early in the semester.”Hall recommended that Sepko pursue a social media internship at the Sanderson Farms Championship, a PGA Tour event in Jackson, and with her help, he became the first freshman ever hired there.

“That experience showed me that sports social and digital media was the path for me,” said Sepko, who is just one of the school’s 2022 graduates who shared his Journey to Commencement.

Following that internship, Hall introduced him to Scott Fiene, associate professor of integrated marketing communication, who was teaching a large introductory IMC class that semester.

Jackson Sepko stands in the Grove in front of Farley Hall.

“Mr. Fiene helped me get an internship covering sports and doing email marketing with HottyToddy.com,” Sepko said. “That experience, paired with my earlier social media work, led me to Ole Miss Athletics, where I’ve been a digital media marketing assistant for the past three years. This work helping to promote the teams I grew up cheering for has been so rewarding and confirmed that I want to continue working in this field.”

That role with Athletics also led Sepko to become involved with the School of Journalism and New Media’s social media, with a particular focus on Instagram. He said getting to highlight the accomplishments of his peers has been exciting.

In addition to his work with Ole Miss Athletics, Sepko is a member of the Honors College.

“That campus community has pushed me to be a better student and a more involved community member and has given me some of my very best friends,” he said. “I also got the opportunity to conduct my capstone thesis on college sports social media marketing, which I defended this November.

“Mrs. Hall and Mr. Fiene were my advisors, and getting to work with two professors who have been professional and personal mentors to me since my freshman year was really gratifying and a kind of ‘full-circle’ moment. That work exposed me to different approaches across five different athletic departments and seven team-specific accounts, and I have no doubt it will be a big help to me in my next professional steps.”

Sepko said he has enjoyed all of his classes, but two stand out. IMC 104, an introductory class, got him hooked on IMC.

“I had Mr. Fiene for that class, and I now have him for Honors IMC 455, the campaigns class,” he said. “Getting to have him again, work on one big campaign team with friends I’ve had for a long time, and apply all the IMC knowledge I’ve learned for this project for The Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood has been another cool ‘full-circle’ moment.”

In Oxford, Sepko works as an English tutor at Oxford High School, and he is a member of Pinelake Church.

“The teaching and community there have kept me and my perspective grounded and reminded me that we exist to be a light and serve others,” he said.

Going through COVID in the middle of college was a unique challenge for Sepko and others, but he said the way everyone united and returned to school and work taught him a lot about the importance of resilience and the power of community.

Jackson Sepko stands in the Grove in front of Farley Hall.

“I’m thankful to all our professors and school officials who worked to get us back on campus, and especially grateful for a relatively ‘normal’ close to college,” he said.

Sepko is interviewing for sports jobs in social and digital media right now.

“Sports jobs hire a little later than most other jobs coming out of school just because the off-season for most sports is the summer,” he said. “That’s a little nerve-wracking for sure, but I have wonderful bosses and professors who have all been huge help to me, and I’m excited to see where I end up.”

Fiene notes Sepko’s passion and expertise is in sports promotion and social media.

“This started in high school, where as a freshman, he volunteered to keep statistics for his high school football team,” Fiene said. “His creative and clever way of making the statistics interesting led him to become one of the football broadcast announcers halfway through the season, then he started announcing basketball.

“In his sophomore year, he worked with the school administration to upgrade the broadcasting equipment, took the show on the road and eventually assumed responsibility for the coaches program, which had previously been outsourced. Mind you, he was 15-16 years old at the time, but what this demonstrates is that his journey to excellence started well before Ole Miss, and he entered our program with more experience than some students leave with.”

This year, Sepko received the school’s Excellence in IMC award, but in his junior year, he received the Taylor Medal, the University’s highest academic honor. Typically, the award is only given to seniors, and Fiene said Sepko exemplifies all of the things that make our top students special:  Perfect 4.0 GPA, Honors College, Chancellor’s Honor Roll, Kappa Tau Alpha Honors Society, Phi Kappa Phi, Lambda Sigma, volunteer experiences, and several internships.

“He’s also tutored Oxford Middle School students in Latin literature and Greek-Roman history …,” said Fiene, “but what strikes me as his greatest strength is his drive, his passion, and his ability to apply his learning and make a difference in the media profession well before he finishes his undergraduate studies.”

Sepko said he initially thought he would need to double-major in communications, marketing or sports management.

“I then discovered the IMC program and realized I had been searching for IMC without realizing it,” he said.

His advice: “I would tell students to soak up every moment and take advantage of every opportunity because college goes by quickly, but it’s full of lots of wonderful opportunities. Don’t be shy about talking to your professors. That will lead to a lot of those opportunities.”

Sepko said UM journalism and IMC students are fortunate to learn from many people who are teaching from their own personal experience in the type of jobs students eventually want to land.

“So take advantage of their real-world connections and soak up all the professional experience you can in your four years,” he said. “Be sure to find the right balance and make lots of good memories with your friends along the way, too.”

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.

First generation DeSoto campus grad will join advertising firm after graduation

Posted on: April 28th, 2022 by ldrucker
The graphic features a graduation cap and a picture of Benjamin Wilson, an IMC student, who will be the first in his family to graduate from college.

When Benjamin Wilson, 24, graduated with a degree in integrated marketing communications (IMC) from the University of Mississippi DeSoto campus in Southaven, he became the first person in his family to earn a college degree.

The Pontotoc native who lives in Southaven with his wife is just one of the school’s 2022 graduates who shared his Journey to Commencement.

“I am the first person in my family to ever go to college,” he said. “People did not expect me to go to college and definitely did not expect me to be successful.”

Wilson said he took a year off after graduating high school to work and save money for college. He earned an associate’s degree from Itawamba Community College, then skipped another year of school to get married, work, and save more money before returning to earn his bachelor’s degree.

“When coming to Ole Miss, I was undecided in my major,” he said. “I was interested in business and marketing. I had never heard of IMC until my advisor at Ole Miss told me about it. I instantly knew it was the major for me. It opens up career opportunities in business, marketing, communications and more.”

Benjamin Wilson While much of Wilson’s time in college happened virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, he has served as a member of the Gamma Beta Phi Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success. He has also earned a spot on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll each semester.

Wilson said his favorite class has been IMC 205: Writing for Integrated Marketing Communication, taught by his favorite instructor, Patricia Overstreet-Miller.

“It was one of the first IMC classes I took,” he said, “and it assured me I was in the right major,” he said.

Wilson said his biggest personal and educational challenge during college was prioritizing.

“I have worked full time all throughout my college career,” he said. “Juggling my job, school, and being a husband has been very challenging. I have had to sacrifice some of my social life and ‘fun time’ in order to prioritize schoolwork. While it is not fun at the moment, I know it will all be worth it when I graduate in May.”

Wilson will work as a junior SEO specialist at Neon Canvas – an advertising firm in Memphis.

“I did a summer internship with the company last summer, and they offered me a full-time position after my internship,” he said.

Overstreet-Miller, an instructional assistant professor of integrated marketing communications, said Wilson is a born leader, who is talented, hard-working and committed.

“Like others among the regional students, he balances personal responsibilities and a full-time job with a heavy class load,” she said. “From the beginning, I’ve seen both talent and character in Ben. He will make us all proud.”

Wilson’s advice: “I think the number one piece of advice I would give is to not be afraid to put yourself out there – even if you are more reserved or introverted,” he said. “College is a difficult task, and it is really hard to go at it alone. I would encourage everyone to surround themselves with a good support system – family, friends, and especially other students in your major and classes.”

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.

You might say IMC is in the DNA of this Germantown graduate

Posted on: April 26th, 2022 by ldrucker
Integrated marketing communications is Arabella Hamm's DNA. With a mom who has worked as a brand strategist and a father who was a creative director, studying IMC came natural, but it took her a while to realize that she had been on an IMC career path since she was a teenager.

You might say that IMC is Arabella Hamm’s DNA.

With a mom who has worked as a brand strategist and a father who was a creative director, studying IMC came naturally, but it took Hamm a while to realize that she had been on an IMC career path since she was born.

“When I entered the University of Mississippi, and it was time to declare a major, I was left a little disappointed because I had watched so many people around me have this ‘Eureka!’ moment when discovering their career path,” Hamm said. “I waited for so long on an epiphany to come to me to let me know what I was meant to do, but this quick rush of a feeling never came. Instead, I came to more of a realization.”

The Germantown, Tennessee native said she was born into an IMC family. She is just one of the school’s 2022 graduates who shared her Journey to Commencement.

“My mother, the MBA in Economics, has been a brand strategist and principal on the agency side and held the title of chief marketing officer on the client-side of the equation,” she said. “My father began his career as a copywriter and speechwriter and has since been a producer, an editor, and a creative director.”

Hamm said her life has been surrounded by marketing, advertising, branding, sponsorships, and public relations.

“Before I could tie my shoes, I was on the set of photo, video, and TV shoots,” she said. “As a child, I sat on the ottoman in my father’s office, thumbing through stacks of Communication Arts, Print, and How magazines. Later, my mother had me arrange the volumes of Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and AdWeek in chronological order on her credenza.”

Integrated marketing communications is Lilly Hamm's DNA. With a mom who has worked as a brand strategist and a father who was a creative director, studying IMC came natural, but it took her a while to realize that she had been on an IMC career path since she was a teenager.

Over the years, Hamm said she checked media credentials, filled welcome bags, and served as a photographer at special events. In high school, she interned at a branding agency where she gathered travel data for a tourism client and used the information to create social media content.

“So, it was finally obvious to me,” she said. “I did not need a ‘lightbulb moment,’ because marketing has always been with me. It is in my DNA. I am wired for this program.

“Fast forward four years later, and I am set to receive my bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing communications. In retrospect, I cannot imagine it any other way.”

On campus, Hamm was a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and Chi Omega Tau Sorority. In Honors College, she delved deep into her studies, introduced to subjects she would have never otherwise explored, she said.

Completing her Honors thesis was also valuable.

“The process of researching my subject, interviewing an amazing array of industry experts, working with my advisor, Dr. (Graham) Bodie to edit, revise and edit again has been the most simultaneously challenging and most enlightening experience to date,” she said. “As I answer these questions, I am completing and preparing to defend my thesis: Grabbing Consumers by the Ears: Exploring the Power of Branded Podcasts.”

Bodie said Arabella reached out to him in October of 2020 seeking a chair for her Honors thesis project.

“Her passion for podcasts was obvious at the time, and that enthusiasm only grew as we settled on a specific focus, the branded podcast,” he said. “It’s refreshing to work with students like Arabella who pose questions that don’t yet have answers and who work diligently to, not only find answers, but continue to ask interesting and field-shaping questions.

“Indeed, research is as much about asking useful questions as it is about putting forth answers, and Arabella gets that. She is already thinking like a graduate student, well on her way to making solid contributions to our understanding of IMC. The future of our field is strong with student-scholars like Arabella.”

Hamm said some of her favorite classes were IMC 304: Account Planning and IMC 455: IMC Campaigns.

“But my most interesting class that I will remember forever was Philosophy of Film with Dr. Timothy Yenter,” she said. “Towards the end of our class, we had the opportunity to travel to Columbia, Missouri to take part in the True/False Film Festival. This was my first-time studying film, and it was such a unique experience that I feel I would not be able to get anywhere else.”

After graduation, Hamm will be attending graduate school at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media to earn her Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication. She recently accepted a position as a graduate assistant for the Division of Diversity Community and Engagement at Ole Miss.

“I feel like sometimes it is easy to look around at the thousands of kids in college and think they are all living these perfect lives where they are having this fun college experience and doing so well in school,” she said. “But this assumption is usually incorrect. I think it’s okay to feel lost at times, and I wish someone had told me that sooner.”

Hamm said not everyone has everything planned out, and that’s OK. That’s what college is for.

“The beauty of a great college is that it is there to educate and inspire; to distract and open doors you had no idea even existed,” she said. “You just have to keep your eyes open and recognize opportunities when they present themselves. But whatever you do, do not give up because it looks like everyone else around you is doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing. Chances are they are experiencing the same doubts and obstacles you are. They just don’t look like it on Instagram.”

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.

Keep Calm and Sail On: How industry experts are tackling crisis communications

Posted on: April 11th, 2022 by ldrucker

A panel of industry experts discussed the four phases of crisis communication during the inaugural IMC Connect! event Friday, April 1 at The Inn at Ole Miss.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Timothy Coombs, a professor in the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University, and featured:

  • Chris Chiames, Chief Communication Officer at Carnival Cruise Line
  • Renee Malone, President and Founding Partner at KQ Communications
  • Reade Tidwell, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Chick-fil-A
  • Steve Holmes, Vice President of Corporate Communications and External Affairs at The Home Depot
  • Jenny Robertson, SVP, Integrated Marketing and Communication at FedEx Service

Dr. Coombs said the four phases include stealing thunder, empathy, accountability, and moral outrage. He described “stealing thunder” as creating a loss.

A panel discusses crisis communication at IMC Connect!

A panel discusses crisis communication at IMC Connect!

Empathy occurs when stakeholders are a priority, not just psychological support, but also addressing physical safety. Accountability does not mean you are responsible for what happened, but you are responsible for what happens to solve the problem. And moral outrage occurs when people perceive injustice and see it happen to other people.

Panelists explained that a crisis is a long term issue that you will manage over a period of time. The organization principles should guide your decision-making, and it is essential to make consistent decisions throughout, as well as build trust within your organization to be successful, or you will be slow and miss the boat.

Some of the key takeaways from the panel included the importance of:

  1.  Timeliness – Fast and good beats slow and perfect every time.
  2.  There should be an alignment with the executive team over guiding principles.
  3.  Prepare for the different categories of crises. However, empathy and sympathy are always first.
  4.  Make an effective response that will help the organization in a crisis.
  5.  The goal is to avoid crisis, present calmness, and don’t give an indication that there is a crisis.
  6.  Everyday is a dress rehearsal for crisis.
  7.  It is not always about you; it’s about the company, the people you are protecting, and the associates.
  8.  A company crisis is not about what you say; it’s about what you do. Don’t let your customer service fall apart.
  9.  Actions speak louder than words. There should be a multi-discipline approach to all actions.
  10. Learn from the best practices across the spectrum and not just in your industry.
  11. Read other companies’ crises, and see how they are handling the situation, and think about how you would handle the crisis.
  12. You can’t ignore the internal side of crisis communication.
  13. In a crisis, clarity is absolutely crucial.

The panel on crisis communication was just one part of the inaugural IMC Connect! Other panels included topics such as social justice, social media, and advertising/building a brand.

By Jordyn Rodriguez and Margaret Savoie.

Follow @umjourimc on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

A graduate student’s experience at IMC Connect!

Posted on: April 10th, 2022 by ldrucker

Glasses and bottles clinked together in The Speaker’s Gallery at the University Museum as we celebrated the success of the very first IMC Connect! event. Planning for IMC Connect! began long before my involvement, but continued in full force starting Tuesday, Jan. 18, the first day of IMC 580.

Planning was tedious, detailed, collaborative, and seemingly impossible at times. Exploration of event planning, both theoretically and practically, occurred in gearing up for what was ultimately the first roundtable experience, featuring honorable practitioners and researchers, hosted by the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media.

Through designated teams, and per the instruction of our fearless leader, Dr. Amanda Bradshaw, the students in IMC 580 tackled all elements of the event from catering to promotional materials, and everything in between. Through writing, logistics, and design, this was the first course that not only gave me hands-on experience, but also responsibility, if my job was not done correctly.

Caroline Gleason, fourth from left, stands with other students and panelists at IMC Connect!

Caroline Gleason, fourth from left, stands with other students and panelists at IMC Connect!

It was the details in the planning process that paved way for a VIP experience for our honorable guests. Gift baskets, personal transportation, handwritten letters, and more, were prepared to enhance the guests’ experience and welcome them to Oxford with Southern hospitality.

Daily communication through our different databases proved to be crucial in our final days of preparation before March 31, the first day of our two-day event, rolled around. Finally, it was time to put our planning to the test.

The morning of March 31 began with classmates disbursed between Oxford and Memphis, some transporting guests from the airport, some blowing up balloons and printing materials, and some participating in our final run of show before pulling the curtains for showtime. As guests arrived in Oxford, optional Rowan Oak and campus tours were offered to pass time before check-in at their hotel, the Inn at Ole Miss.

That evening, at 5 p.m. was the first time we would all be in the same room to officially kick off IMC Connect! with a Q&A Job Prep Panel hosted by the University of Mississippi Public Relations Student Society of America. Here Professor Scott Fiene surveyed the panel for an hour and a half while panelists shared insights on how to make your resume stand out, how important work ethic is, and how you can learn from life experiences and leverage that in job interviews. The evening ended in an intimate dinner at The Isom Place, an Oxford landmark, contributing to the warm welcome we wanted to convey.

Friday, April 1, was a jammed-packed itinerary beginning with breakfast and an IMC Curriculum Jam workshop, led by Dr. Jason Cain, to explore and share ideas about how the IMC program can progress and implement new ideas. The day really kicked off in the ballroom at the Inn with Session 1: Crisis Communication.

Dr. Tim Coombs moderated this session with panelists being Chris Chiames, Renee Malone, Reade Tidwell, Steve Holmes, and Jenny Robertson. Panelists placed an emphasis on being accountable, acting with empathy, and having a plan for when a crisis occurs.

A particularly interesting insight came from Chris Chiames, chief communications officer for Carnival Cruise Line, as he said every day is dress rehearsal for a crisis. Meaning how you handle relationships with stakeholders, media, what tools you have to communicate, good instincts, and more, pave way for how a crisis within or involving your company will pan out.

IMC graduate student Caroline Gleason stands beside some of the IMC Connect! decor.

IMC graduate student Caroline Gleason stands beside some of the IMC Connect! decor.

After a 10-minute break, Session 2: Social Media and Big Data began with Dr. Rebecca Britt moderating panelists Chris Chiames, Jenny Robertson, Amy Rosenberg, and Dr. Ike Brunner. This session provided information on how using big data information can help organizations make smart investments. Additionally, it discussed how social media can be used in a number of ways to leverage messaging.

Jenny Robertson, senior vice president of integrated marketing and communications at FedEx, shared a success story when FedEx used social channels to manage customers’ shipping expectations during an unprecedented holiday season amidst a pandemic. FedEx pushed the message “Shop and ship early” across their social channels to encourage customers to shop in October and used the message to manage customer expectations as shipping times took longer.

Jenny also mentioned the importance of social listening. FedEx picked up on customers complaining of drivers not ringing the doorbell when making deliveries. From this information, FedEx worked internally to make a change that was initiated through social listening.

Following session two was a catered lunch by an Oxford staple, Taylor Grocery. This was a great time to connect with our guests and enjoy a great meal before heading back to the Inn for Session 3: The Role of Advocacy and Social Justice.

Dr. Candice Edrington moderated this session with panelists Renee Malone, Steve Holmes, and Dr. Marquita Smith. Each panelist in this session emphasized that it is less important when an organization says they are going to make improvements to their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and more important when an organization shows what they are actually doing to improve those efforts.

Renee Malone, president and founding partner at KQ Communications, spoke on the importance of bringing in experts who organizations can learn from, lean on, and talk to when insights are needed. She also said, “always remember the person in the room who does not look like everyone else is not always OK, and asking helps.”

The other panelists agreed that open communication is crucial, as is staying true to your organizations’ values, or efforts in diversity and advocacy can appear disingenuous. Renee also pointed out that representation is not always enough. After representation comes respect and then empowerment.

The final session of the day was Session 4: Advertising and Building Your Brand. Dr. Debbie Treise moderated this session and on her panel was Reade Tidwell, Steve Holmes, Chris Chiames, and Jenny Robertson. This session began by pointing out that a brand has moved far away from just being a logo and graphic and is now a reputation, and there is no way to have a good brand without a good representation.

Reade Tidwell, vice president of corporate communications at Chick-fil-A, said companies have personalities and that is something that is important to stay true to. Steve Holmes, vice president of corporate communications and external affairs at The Home Depot, spoke on keeping a connection with customers through COVID by showing, in commercials, more of who they are at The Home Depot, and not what they sell.

Finally, Chris Chiames shared an interesting branding story regarding Carnival Cruise Line and COVID. In effort to keep staff safe and healthy, Carnival Cruise Line created masks with the Carnival Cruise Line funnel in the corner, rather than writing Carnival in big letters or their “Fun For All” slogan across the mask. This was strategic branding because Carnival Cruise Line didn’t want an image of cruises, specifically Carnival, are the place where people get sick to stick in customers minds.

The evening ended with deep dive break out groups, where students were able to connect and speak with each guest before handing out raffle prizes and ending the night at the reception. The deep dive time window was a great opportunity for students like myself to make my way around the ballroom to each guest to touch base on a topic that stood out or was of note. It also was a great time for informal conversations to talk about things like why The Home Depot theme song has been going viral on TikTok for over a year now.

The evening ended at a lovely reception at the University Museum where guests, faculty, and graduate students were able to come together and celebrate a successful event over great food and great company.

Through planning and attending IMC Connect!, I learned the importance of deliberate communication and collaboration. It took every member of every team to pull off the event and would not have been successful without all the moving pieces.

I also learned, from Dr. Candice Edrington, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina, to look at setbacks as a setup for something that is to come, and how this can relate to job searching, promotions, event planning and more.

When your cake is printed horribly and its unacceptable to present at the reception, it’s only a setup for everyone to enjoy and comment on how lovely the cupcakes are that were served in the cake’s place.

This column was written by IMC graduate student Caroline Gleason.

Communicators listen and learn from industry experts at IMC Connect!

Posted on: April 7th, 2022 by ldrucker

Students get advice from professionals and researchers during inaugural conference

Several industry leaders and academic researchers networked with University of Mississippi students, faculty and staff and sparked conversation on a number of topics at IMC Connect! 2022, an inaugural conference hosted by the School of Journalism and New Media

Organized by students in an event-planning course in the integrated marketing communications master’s program, the March 31-April 1 conference included workshops designed to improve the school’s IMC curriculum, sessions for attendees to network with invited professionals and discussion panels with representatives from leading household brands.

IMC Connect! panelists take the stage inside Farley Hall.

IMC Connect! panelists take the stage inside Farley Hall.

“This is a great networking event for students interested in IMC,” said Abigail Nichols, second-year graduate student and event planner of IMC Connect! 2022. “It is always nice to hear from leaders about topics related to IMC and collaborate with my classmates to host this event.”

Discussion topics included social media and data analytics, crisis communication, the role of advocacy and social justice in public relations and brand strategies.

The purpose of this experience was to, not only provide a space for members of the Ole Miss community to network with IMC practitioners, but also to offer attendees insight on topics of student interest, said Dr. Amanda Bradshaw, co-chair of IMC Connect! and an assistant professor of IMC.

“The event sought to bridge the disconnect between research and practice, and we had some of the foremost academic researchers in the world on campus,” Bradshaw said.

To read the full story written by Michael Taplin, click the link.

IMC Connect! experts share top 10 career advice lessons for IMC students

Posted on: April 1st, 2022 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi Public Relations Student Society of America, or PRSSA, hosted a Q&A Job Prep Panel: The Connection Between Research and Practice with top experts in the field of marketing and communications on Thursday March 31 in the Overby Center Auditorium.

The panel was moderated by Professor Scott Fiene, an associate professor of integrated marketing communications (IMC), and featured distinguished professionals:

 

Chris Chiames, Chief Communication Officer for Carnival Cruise Line

Dr. Timothy Coombs, a Professor at Texas A&M University

Steve Holmes, VP of Corporate Communications and External Affairs at The Home Depot

Renee Malone, President and Founding Partner at KQ Communications

Jenny Robertson, SVP, Integrated Marketing & Communication at FedEx Services

Amy Rosenberg, Digital Media Director at KQ Communications

Dr. Rebecca Britt, Associate Professor at the University of Alabama

Reade Tidwell, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Chick-fil-A

Dr. Candice Edrington, Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina

 

IMC Connect! speakers share career advice in the Overby Auditorium inside Farley Hall

IMC Connect! speakers share career advice in the Overby Auditorium inside Farley Hall

The invited speakers came together in this informal conversational panel to share their words of wisdom and best career advice with interested students. The top 10 career advice lessons shared by these experts in the field include:

 

  1. Be curious and spend time learning about the industry you are interested in. – Dr. Timothy Coombs
  2. Know that you are worthy and can achieve pretty much anything you can do. – Renee Malone
  3. Don’t sell yourself short. – Steve Holmes
  4. Be on time, work hard and don’t be a jerk. Take advantage of unexpected opportunities. – Reade Tidwell
  5. Speak up. Don’t be afraid to be in the game. – Jenny Robertson
  6. Don’t always seek the easiest path. – Chris Chiames
  7. Don’t define success as those around you. The less you compare yourself to others, you can reflect on your success. – Dr. Rebecca Britt
  8. Create a culture where you care about the people you work for and who you work with. – Renee Malone
  9. Learn how to be solution-oriented and a trouble-shooter. – Amy Rosenberg
  10. Don’t live to work, work to live. – Jenny Robertson

 

IMC 580 students Jaclyn Mansour, Nicole Wishard, Haughton Mann, and Margaret Savoie helping check in students before the panel began.

IMC 580 students Jaclyn Mansour, Nicole Wishard, Haughton Mann, and Margaret Savoie helping check in students before the panel began.

 

The PRSSA panel was the first of many events for IMC Connect! Students and guests will continue this fun-filled roundtable experience all day Friday April 1 with panels focused on crisis communication, social justice, social media, building your brand and more.

In a world of pandemic problems, some workers value remote options

Posted on: March 23rd, 2022 by ldrucker

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and changed our lives.

But for some, having the option to work remotely and by teleconference is one of the positive changes.

University of Mississippi graduate Emmy Stephens, a former IMC student and marketing associate for Georgia Banking Company in Atlanta, said remote work has been beneficial for employees in her marketing department.

Emmy Stephens, a former IMC student.

Emmy Stephens, a former IMC student.

“It’s taking a lot of things virtual, so that’s beneficial in a lot of ways,” she said. “My boss works two hours away sometimes, and we can still get together and do Zoom meetings and stuff, which has been super helpful.”

That means clients are also doing business remotely.

“A lot of our search engine optimization . . . has been key to reaching our clients and customers and pushing social media,” said Stephens who began her college career seven years ago after touring and falling in love with the Ole Miss campus.

“I kind of wanted to go somewhere not in Georgia,” she said. “That’s where I’m from. I went to (Ole Miss) to expand my horizons and go somewhere new with new people, and I think it’s the best decision I made.”

Stephens was initially undecided about her studies before realizing her passion and goals involved integrated marketing communications (IMC) and journalism. She loved the hands-on projects and opportunities the major offered.

“(IMC) just fit what I wanted to do . . ,” she said. “It’s so broad that you can go into so many fields, and it helps in so many ways.”

To read the full story, visit the Oxford Stories website.

This story was written by Gabrielle Fairey for Oxford Stories.