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Posts Tagged ‘integrated marketing communications’

An Inktober Q & A with Emily Bowen-Moore, instructional assistant professor of media design

Posted on: October 25th, 2022 by ldrucker

A Q & A graphic featuring professor Emily Bowen-Moore's artwork.

It’s Inktober for Emily Bowen-Moore, instructional assistant professor of media design. We asked her a few questions about her journey as an artist, designer and illustrator.

Bowen-Moore joined the faculty in the spring of 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and journalism at Ole Miss in 1997, and after several years of teaching, she earned a master’s degree in illustration.

She has been a freelance illustrator and designer for the last 20 years, and her work has appeared in various printed media, including music CDs, children’s books, and large printed murals.

In 2004 and 2006, she was awarded Earthwatch Institute S. A. Rosenbaum Fellowship through the Phil Hardin Foundation. In recent years, she has been illustrating, designing, and publishing her own children’s books.

 

Q: Tell me a little about your drawing journey. When did you start? Why did you become interested in drawing? What has your career path been like as an artist and professor?

A. My drawing journey started at a very young age. I have been doodling since I can remember holding a pencil in my hand. I knew that drawing and design were a long-term goal, as I knew that I had not only a passion for it but also talent in it as well.

In undergraduate college, I became a little discouraged because there wasn’t as much support for designers being in a small town. There always seemed to be a disconnect with making art a career path. However, later in my college career, I started to do some commissioned work, painting murals and designing other things like album covers, and I developed momentum for living a life as an artist.

After I decided to live in Oxford permanently, an art position opened up at the Oxford Middle School. I had a good friend at the time, who was also teaching, and she was a huge inspiration to me. I decided to take the job, and I have been designing and teaching art and design ever since.

Q. Why did you decide to begin doing your series of Inktober drawings? Can you describe some of them for us and the thought process behind them.

A. After teaching for several years, I decided to get my MFA in illustration. This led me to my instructor position at the university. I began using my graphic design expertise more, and I found that I was doing less traditional/free-hand illustration and design as a general practice.

When I discovered Inktober on Instagram, I thought it would be a great way to stay in practice with drawing and illustrating. Even though I use digital media (my iPencil and iPad with Procreate, a drawing app), this enables me to practice my drawing and illustrating skills, but in a more efficient manner.

With the individual drawings themselves, I take the word prompts for each day and brainstorm a concept for a drawing/illustration. I gather whatever visual resources I need to reference for my drawing concept, and then I draw. Ideas do not always come easily, but that is expected when drawing every day.

After my first year participating in Inktober, I received several requests for prints. After that, I decided to design illustrations that could also be reproduced easily, and I started my own print shop on INPNT.com. This made it easy for people to access my illustrations and choose what media and size they want with any particular illustration. My store also offers framing options. This site has been an efficient way to provide these choices while cutting out the extra leg work in printing all of them myself at a higher expense.

UM assistant professor of IMC earns honor for study about vaccine discourse on social media

Posted on: September 2nd, 2022 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media assistant professor has earned an honorable mention in the Nafziger-White-Salwen dissertation award juried competition.

Dr. Amanda Bradshaw, Ph.D., assistant professor of integrated marketing communications (IMC), said her three-part dissertation examined vaccine-related social media advertising and organic vaccine discourse on social media in the early months of COVID-19 (March to May 2020).

“Notably, the World Health Organization identified vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to our societal health in early 2019, well before the spread of the novel Coronavirus,” Bradshaw said. “Thus, this work has implications beyond COVID-19 and is not limited to the current health crisis, but rather contributes to the formulation of effective social media messaging strategies to combat vaccine hesitancy holistically – including COVID-19.”

Amanda Bradshaw stands outside with trees behind her.

Amanda Bradshaw, Ph.D.

Bradshaw said she became interested in this topic while managing strategic communication for a medical group that specialized in pediatrics.

“Anecdotally, we were seeing more expectant and new mothers coming in who were unprepared to make childhood vaccine choices and were choosing to delay or decline one or more standard childhood vaccines,” she said. “The policy of the practice, at the time, was to dismiss these patients rather than engage in dialogue or shared decision making.”

When Bradshaw began working on her doctorate at the University of Florida, she sought to explore better ways to communicate about vaccines with expectant and new mothers — both in clinical settings and via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter that mothers frequently access seeking health information.

She said her first study utilized the theoretical foundation of framing theory to explore the framing of vaccine-related advertisements in the Facebook Ad Library. She believes it is only the second study to use the Facebook Ad Library tool, invented in 2018, to examine vaccine-related advertisements, and the only study since Facebook implemented new policies to eliminate vaccine misinformation on its platform.

“I compared my findings with previous baseline findings to discern whether vaccine advertisements were framed differently on Facebook following a series of steps taken by the largest social media platform to actively lessen health misinformation in its sponsored posts,” she said.

Bradshaw said her second study utilized counterpublic sphere theory to explore the discourse related to #DoctorsSpeakUp, a hashtag invented by pro-vaccine doctors to collectively promote vaccines on Twitter, but which was instead hijacked by anti-vaccine advocates. She said analysis revealed that the majority of tweets subverted the original message and advocated against vaccines, instead.

Her third study explored what source credibility cues mothers rely on when evaluating the trustworthiness of vaccine messages on social media, and whether a mixture of positive and negative comments, as appear organically on Facebook, influence mothers’ willingness to share these messages.

“In its entirety, this work illuminates the strategies that pro-vaccine campaigns on social media should employ to resonate the most with their target audience and to achieve greater reach, awareness, and ultimately increase vaccine uptake, being mindful of potential backlash such as what was experienced in the #DoctorsSpeakUp hashtag hijacking,” she said.

Gregory P. Perreault, Ph.D., an associate professor of digital journalism in the Department of Communication at Appalachian State University, said the Nafziger-White-Salwen Dissertation Award is the gold standard for excellence in dissertations in the field of communication.

“Our entire research committee, which includes scholars with impressive qualifications in every aspect of mass communication, reads and evaluates all of the finalists for this award,” he said. “The competitiveness of this year is impressive, not only because of the sheer number of submissions–one of our highest–but because of the quality of the submissions, which were absolutely remarkable given the challenges that doctoral candidates faced in accomplishing their research in the midst of the pandemic.

“Dr. Bradshaw’s dissertation is emblematic of the analytical quality that we ask for in the award, but could never have expected under such difficult conditions. Her work is testament to the sort of scholarship that deserves recognition and attention within our field.”

The school’s associate dean, Dr. Deb Wenger, said the award helps confirm what the school knew about Bradshaw when they hired her.

“Dr. Bradshaw is already having an impact on the field of communication and in our classrooms. We are lucky to have someone with her skills as a scholar and as a teacher as part of the integrated marketing communications program,” Wenger said. “We look forward to celebrating many more of her accomplishments in the future.”

These were some of Bradshaw’s key takeaways from the study.

Vaccine hesitancy is not new, and vaccine decision making is complex and multi-faceted.

“Vaccine hesitancy has existed long before COVID-19 and was in fact, labeled a top-10 global threat in early 2019, prior to the pandemic,” Bradshaw said. “Thus, it is not a new phenomenon.”

Bradshaw said vaccine decision making is complex and multifaceted, and there is no one-size-fits-all PSA or communications campaign that will encourage everyone to vaccinate. Vaccine choices are nuanced and influenced by many factors, including the perception of safety and efficacy, antigen, individual factors related to a person’s health and history and social influence.

“But, pro-vaccine campaigns can be used to move the needle and encourage some fence-seekers who are still undecided about vaccines to vaccinate,” Bradshaw said.

They can also encourage pro-vaxxers to share vaccine-positive messages that may influence others in their peer network to make similar choices by helping to normalize vaccination, she said.

Effective pro-vaccine messages are two-sided, focused on individual benefits rather than community immunity, and are not shaming

Since COVID-19, Bradshaw said the topic of vaccination has become more politicized, and pro-vaxxers are more hesitant to engage in the topic, especially on social platforms, due to worries over controversy or the perception that deciding to vaccinate is a personal choice.

“Thus, effective pro-vaccine messages should seek to be two-sided and encourage a dialogue rather than being shaming or moralistic,” she said.

The participants in Bradshaw’s third study, who all identified as pro-vaccine, disliked messages that had a moralistic undertone or shaming message (e.g., everyone who is smart vaccinates without question), she said.

“In fact, they related more to the idea that good parents do ask questions — and seek credible sources to answer those questions,” she said.

Bradshaw said she learned that messages centered on personal health benefits tend to be more effective in promoting childhood vaccination than messages that encourage individuals to vaccinate for the sake of others in the community.

“These messages should be grounded in research and point users to credible links/sources to do additional research,” she said, “particularly for those who tend to process information more centrally and who want to access more than peripheral cues about vaccination.”

The need for stakeholder buy-in and credibility 

Before undertaking a vaccine campaign on social media, Bradshaw said the effort should be carefully thought out and strategized, garnering buy-in from major stakeholder groups.

“In the case of the #DoctorsSpeakUp campaign, the voices of the medical community were quickly drowned out by anti-vaccine advocates, and only a small minority of tweets studied (<17%) originated from pro-vaccine doctors, despite the campaign’s original intent to bring the medical community together to promote vaccines,” she said.

Bradshaw said the campaign could have been more impactful if organizations such as the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, etc. endorsed it, actively participated in it, and encouraged their members to do the same.

“Interestingly, at the time of data collection in Study 1, most of the aforementioned organizations, state health departments, universities, and other major medical entities were silent and not publishing paid vaccine content on Facebook,” she said,” which was a bit surprising due to the timing and context of the research (March-May 2020).”

Bradshaw said Study 1 also revealed that 26% (n = 41) of advertisers representing an array of vaccine stances were individual political candidates or their political campaign representatives, which may have contributed to the continued politicization of vaccines, including the (then-hypothetical) COVID-19 vaccine.

“In short, despite the potential backlash, there is an important role for medical professionals and organizations to play in communicating about vaccines on social media,” she said.

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker

Don’t miss the Farley Things Welcome Event Thursday, Sept. 1

Posted on: August 29th, 2022 by ldrucker

The graphic promotes the Farley Things event that will be happening Sept. 1

 

We hope to see you “Running up That Hill” to Farley Hall Thursday, Sept. 1 when we host the “Farley Things” Welcome Event.

Current journalism and integrated marketing communications (IMC) students, as well as others interested in learning more about our programs, are invited to the 1980s-themed “Stranger Things” Welcome Week 2022 event that will begin at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day until 5:30 p.m.

There will be exciting activities including an involvement fair, an opportunity to meet some of the school’s professors, 1980s music, and students are encouraged to wear ’80s or “Stranger Things” attire.

Here are the events:

Involvement Fair: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., meet the leaders of student organizations, explore opportunities, and collect free stickers and prizes. This will be located on the first floor in the hallway near the Overby auditorium.

Pops With Profs: From 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., grab a popsicle and chat with School of Journalism and New Media professors.

80s Jam Sesh with the Dean: From 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., wear your BEST 1980s or “Stranger Things” attire and join the fashion fun and dance party on the Farley Hall lawn. We want to see your best dance moves. There will be prizes and trivia.

Calling all fashion entrepreneurs: Do you have a clothing business you’d like to show off at “Farley Things?” We want to see your style. Join the fashion show on the Farley Hall lawn by dressing in your best 1980s-inspired fashion. Interested? CONTACT ccsparks@olemiss.edu or umjimcambassadors@gmail.com for details before 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Let’s make “Farley Things” fun. Attend the event, make new friends, have fun with your major, and help us defeat the mind flayer while dancing and enjoying popsicles in killer outfits, of course.

Travel Changes You: University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professors reflect on impact of study abroad in Italy

Posted on: August 25th, 2022 by ldrucker
Some of the students who participated in the study abroad trip to Italy.

Some of the students who participated in the study abroad trip to Italy. Photo by Mark Dolan.

Each night in his Florence apartment, Mark Dolan opened the shutters of the screenless windows and let the cool air rush in as he fell asleep to the sound of people talking on the cobblestone streets four stories down.

“Many of them (were) leaving the bars, some laughing, others arguing, and though I don’t speak much Italian, I understood much,” he said. “Their voices would rise amid the terracotta tile roofs.”

Getting used to the rhythms of Italian life changed Dolan, his three colleagues and the 52 students who participated in a study abroad program in Italy this summer.

Dolan, a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media associate professor of multimedia journalism, taught an 8 a.m. photography class called “Smartphone Storytelling” that covered shooting and editing with iPhones and using layering and masking techniques to produce images that could be journalistic or fine art.

“It’s a kind of immersion in a place, and then you realize you’ve only scratched the surface …,” Dolan said. “After the first photo assignment, much of the challenge was how to escape the cliches – the wine glasses, motor scooters, and espresso cups …

Hillside homes in Italy above the water.

Hillside homes in Italy above the water. Photo by Mark Dolan.

“To attempt this in a country so visually rich was rewarding professionally … The cities we inhabited became expansive classrooms, these actual ancient cities of Renaissance – Florence, Venice, Rome.”

Dolan said he hopes the experience enriched his students.

“Being in college is the perfect age to stand on your own in a world that is utterly different from everything you know – and to be responsible for yourself and the deadlines within what were often 12-hour days,” he said. “You come to understand yourself, paradoxically, by being outside of yourself. It’s a wonderful moment of change, of becoming, a hugely empowering experience.”

The group spent three weeks in Florence with side trips that included San Gimignano, Chianti, Pisa and Venice. After leaving Florence, they spent four days in Sorrento and a final week in Rome with a stop at Vesuvius and Pompeii.

R. J. Morgan, Ph.D, associate instructional professor of journalism and IMC, taught a course called “Writing With Voice.” He was impressed by how students articulated their sights, sounds and emotions when newly experiencing many strange-but-beautiful settings.

“Having the ability to slow down and pay attention to the world around you at a deep enough level to be able to write about it is a useful skill both professionally and personally,” he said. “The more details you’re trained to notice and observe, the more vivid and lasting those memories will be.”

Ben Johnson and other students have a meal together in Italy.

Ben Johnson and other students have a meal together in Italy. Photo by Mark Dolan.

Christina Sparks, instructional associate professor of integrated marketing communication, said she taught “Brand and Relationship Strategies.” Students learned how brands are positioned and marketed differently in different countries.

“They discovered new brands, as well as current brands,” said Sparks. “One example is Nutella. It is an Italian brand that is well developed in Europe, but marketed differently in the U.S.”

Students also explored cultural communication considerations of global brands and presented their research to the class.

“You get to know them and have the opportunity to be a part of their expanding perspective and deeper learning experience as they explore different cultures and develop broader thinking,” she said.

Jason Cain, Ph.D., interim IMC program coordinator and assistant professor of integrated marketing communications, taught a class called “Global Communication Systems.” Cain enjoyed witnessing students navigate Rome.

“It’s a big city that just so happens to be built into and on top of a very old city,” he said. “Many students find it quite daunting, and a lot of them never quite get over the culture shock. However, many of them do, and by the last couple of days, have really dug themselves into what I believe is one of the prettiest cities on Earth.”

Cain said he hopes students realize people are both different and similar, which creates opportunities and complications in global communication. He hopes students grow from stepping outside of their own experiences, and that the trip made them curious and hungry for more adventures.

“There’s no doubt a level of privilege involved in being able to travel around the world,” he said. “I’m constantly trying to find ways to make it more accessible for more students because I feel that, for those who can, when you are put in a situation where you are in a place long enough to be something more than a tourist, I think it changes you.”

Cain said he was changed by traveling abroad, and he has witnessed the same growth in students.

“I hope at the end of the day, they better comprehend that there are people in all these places all over the globe not so different from them with their own hopes, dreams, and fears,” he said.

In fact, one Sunday in Rome, Dolan attended Mass with Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica. While in line with a family from Wichita, he learned he needed a ticket. So a priest from South Korea took off his backpack and generously gave Dolan the extra one he had.

“The family held my place in line, and I ended up on the front row,” Dolan said. “There I was on a floor consisting of tiny mosaic tiles from the 1600s – no pews, folding chairs – and getting to hear a living pope. Awesome.”

To learn more about this study abroad trip, the courses offered, and the School of Journalism and New Media’s future adventures, visit this website for updates: https://omjabroad.squarespace.com/about

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.

School of Journalism and New Media professors offer advice for college students

Posted on: August 19th, 2022 by ldrucker

The graphic features a cork board with pins and reads Advice for Students

A new semester has begun at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, and some of our professors are offering the following advice to students:

Graham Bodie

Graham Bodie

Listen to Other Perspectives. Graham Bodie, Ph.D., professor of integrated marketing communication, said go to class and ask questions that provide deeper understanding, especially around issues that are complex and infused with multiple diverse perspectives.

“Learn to hold two or more seemingly contradictory perspectives as plausible before accepting or rejecting anything out-of-hand,” he said. “Try to read something or talk to someone who disagrees with you every day.”

Speak Up. Bodie said speak with passion and confidence toward a position you feel strongly about and about which you have some knowledge and/or experience, and always listen like you might be wrong.

You Might Be Wrong. “Don’t be surprised when you are wrong, and don’t treat others’ wrongness as a weapon to wield in a battle over who gets to win an argument that may not actually have a single right answer,” he said.

When you have the privilege of being in a position of power, Bodie said “leverage the diversity of views and perspectives on those large, messy, complex problems with which you have been tasked, and take risks on solutions that involve collective intelligence.”

Fail. And remember, we sometimes learn by failing.

“Fail here, while you can do so in a ‘safe’ environment,” he said. “Don’t read ‘safe’ as an environment that makes you feel comfortable. You should sometimes be uncomfortable.”

Emily Bowen-Moore

Emily Bowen-Moore

Communication is Key. Emily Bowen-Moore, instructional associate professor of integrated marketing communication, said to communicate with instructors.

“It makes all the difference in the world,” she said.

Elizabeth Allen Estes

Elizabeth Allen Estes

Read the Directions. Elizabeth Allison Estes, adjunct instructional assistant professor of integrated marketing communications, shared this message:

“Dear Gen Z Student, You are so wonderful in so many ways. But having grown up entirely immersed in digital technology, you tend to assume that you can accomplish tasks intuitively. You will save us both a lot of extra work and sadness if you will read the directions FIRST, and then just follow them. With great affection, Professor Gen X.”

Senior Lecturer Robin Street discusses a class project with two students in her PR Case Studies class. From left, are IMC major Jessica Lanter, Street and IMC major Naiomei Young. Photo by Maddie Bridges.

Robin Street

Record Due Dates in a Calendar. Robin Street, adjunct instructor of integrated marketing communications, said her advice is basic, but effective.

“At the beginning of the semester, get all your syllabi together,” she said. “Then get a calendar, either a hard copy or a digital one. Carefully go through each syllabus and highlight every due date. Then, one by one, put all those dates on your master calendar.

“Yes, it will be tedious, but it will help you so much. If due dates change, be sure and go back and change your calendar.”

Write Reminders. Street said it’s helpful to make note of items a week or two before the due date.

“Write on your calendar on Oct. 15 that a paper is due in two weeks. That way, dates don’t sneak up on you.”

Work Each Day. Street’s second piece of advice is to devote a little time daily towards a big project.

“The longer you put that project off, the bigger it gets,” she said. “I do this myself when I have a lot of papers to grade. I devote one hour to grading. I don’t get them all graded, of course, but it makes headway. Then, the next day, I devote another hour.”

Kristen Alley Swain

Kristen Alley Swain

Build Your Skills. Kristen Alley Swain, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism, said search for ads for your dream job(s). Then make a list of the skills and background these employers want that you could obtain while enrolled at UM.

“College is the easiest time to do this – because right now, you have the resources and support to do it,” she said. “For instance, you might produce content for a nonprofit or campus office, attend events related to your interests to help you network, and volunteer for leadership roles in a student club.

“Use every course to help build your professional ‘toolbox’ — add skills, perspectives, experiences, knowledge, content, publications, and other deliverables that will help you succeed in a tough job market. Demonstrating tenacity, a strong work ethic, effective time management habits, and a willingness to actively participate in every class will greatly help you get good references and launch a fantastic career.”

Stefanie Goodwiller

Stefanie Goodwiller

Talk to Your Professors. Stefanie Goodwiller, adjunct instructor of media design, said don’t be afraid to ask questions.

“If you are unsure of something, ask your professor before asking your peers,” she said.

Debbie Woodrick Hall

Debbie Woodrick Hall

Set Goals. Debbie Woodrick Hall, instructional assistant professor of integrated marketing communication, shared a few Ole Miss Student Survival Tips written by Bonnie Brown. 

“So maybe you haven’t answered the question of ‘what do you want to be when you grow up,’” Brown said. “The Career Center can help with that. But you can set some goals for the semester—a certain GPA, some type of behavior modification, establish an exercise routine, actively participate in class. Whatever it is, make it yours, and set yourself up for success! You got this!”

Robert Magee

Robert Magee

Use Memory Recall. Robert Magee, Ph.D., associate professor of integrated marketing communication, said a good way to prepare for a test is to use a blank sheet of paper.

“Write down everything you can remember,” he said. “Then, compare it to your notes to see what you missed. Recall memory is much more difficult than recognition memory, so this will give you an idea of how well you are prepared.”

Define a Concept. “When you’re trying to master a concept, see if you can define it in your own words in no more than two sentences,” Magee said. “If you can’t define it in two sentences or less, then you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s a sign of muddled or half-baked thinking. To write well, you first must think well.”

Lynette Johnson

Lynette Johnson

Look for Opportunities. Lynnette Johnson, Ed.D, said, “Be open to unexpected opportunities that arise. Walk through that door of opportunity…you never know where it may lead. If you don’t ask, then the answer is already ‘No.’”

Ellen Meacham

Ellen Meacham

Get Involved. Ellen Meacham, adjunct assistant professor of journalism instruction, said attend every panel discussion, guest speaker or free event you can.

“It’s a great chance to learn about the world from people who are out there in it,” she said. “You will never have such a distinguished, informed, cross-section of experts so easily accessible again. You will learn a lot, and it’s also a great way to make contacts and network for future internships and jobs.”

Mike Tonos

Mike Tonos

Come to Class. Mike Tonos, journalism coordinator and instructional associate professor, said show up and get to know your instructor, even if that means a one-time, short, one-on-one meeting. This applies across the board, not just to in-person classes.

“For all, do the work you’re assigned,” he said. “In my classes, you’ll get at least some credit for turning in your assignments. The alternative is an automatic zero.”

Debora Wenger

Debora Wenger

Remember — it all matters. Debora Wenger, Ph.D., associate dean, said there’s no such thing as “syllabus day.”

“Seriously, make every class period count and stay on top of assignments,” she said. “It’s always going to be easier to do well in a course if you avoid falling behind.

“Pro tip: Take advantage of every extra credit opp — you never know when you’ll need those three more points.”

Putting Yourself Out There: UM School of Journalism and New Media students land jobs with BBDO Worldwide

Posted on: July 27th, 2022 by ldrucker

When Kirsten Flanik, president and CEO of BBDO New York, spoke during an Overby Center presentation last year, she mentioned that the company was interested in interviewing more University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students.

Flanik brought Olivia Dames, vice president and director of agency marketing for BBDO New York, who is a 2017 UM graduate. Dames earned a degree in business/commerce with minors in marketing and French.

Gulfport native Thomas Lee was in that audience, and his story proves that putting yourself out there sometimes pays off.

“Following the conclusion of the event, I walked up to thank both of them and handed both of them my resume,” said Lee, a UM graduate student. He said, “I really enjoyed your presentation and would love to intern with you all if you have any positions available.’

“We stayed in touch after the event. I sent a lot of emails throughout the fall and spring to both of them just trying to keep myself at the top of their minds. Kirsten encouraged me to apply for the internship program. I applied and landed the opportunity of a lifetime.”

The graphic features a world with people standing on top of it and reads: Putting Yourself Out There.

The graphic features a world with people standing on top of it and reads: Putting Yourself Out There.

Flanik and Dames spoke about the global presence of BBDO Worldwide. BBDO (short for Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn, a merger between two companies) is one of the largest advertising agency networks in the world with more than 15,000 people in 289 agencies across 81 countries.

Flanik said she’s had to bring in new voices, like Dames, to keep up with changing times. But she’s not the only UM grad working for the company.

Other UM School of Journalism and New Media grads who have worked for BBDO, according to LinkedIn, include Samantha Rippon, Abbie DeLozier, Jasmine Meredith, Mallary Goad, Micah Crick and Lee.

This is a photo of Thomas Lee standing in front of green trees.

Lee, a UM grad who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis in International Conflict and Cooperation and Arabic with a minor in Spanish, said he decided to shift to IMC for graduate studies because he has always had a passion for language, culture, and graphic design. He puts those skills to use at BBDO.

Greenwood native Micah Crick, 22, started working remotely as an account management intern at BBDO Atlanta before moving there to continue working for the company.

“I found the job by deciding I wanted to work for one of BBDO’s offices,” said Crick, who was originally assigned to an account management team working on competitive research and providing support before she was promoted to business affairs coordinator. Now, she assists business managers in the Business Affairs Department.

Crick holds her diploma while wearing her cap and gown at graduation.

Crick holds her diploma while wearing her cap and gown at graduation.

The recent UM graduate who studied integrated marketing communications with a specialization in visual design and a minor in general business said she has also learned that putting herself out there can be rewarding.

Crick felt like she wasn’t involved in campus activities until her senior year of college. Then, she decided to say “yes” to everything she could. That led to new opportunities, including work with BBDO.

Crick became the visuals editor for The Daily Mississippian her senior year, sold advertising for HottyToddy.com, was involved with the National Student Advertising Competition with Instructional Associate Professor Chris Sparks’ campaign class, and she interned for Parents of College Students/662 Marketing.

Lee, who spent the summer working with BBDO as an account intern in New York City, said his best advice to other journalism and IMC students is to “always have an open mind and apply, apply, apply.”

“I went on a massive LinkedIn internship hunt and got hundreds of rejection emails, but it’s important to not get discouraged,” he said. “ . . .  I truly believe that I would not have been in this position if I did not put myself out there – you never know what can happen if you do.”

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.

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.


You can read additional graduation stories at this link.

Click the images below to read their stories.

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.

How to use social media to leverage your brand and organization

Posted on: April 12th, 2022 by ldrucker

A panel of industry experts discussed the role of social media and big data analytics during the inaugural IMC Connect! event Friday, April 1 at The Inn at Ole Miss.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Rebecca Britt, a professor at the University of Alabama, and featured:

Social media icons

Social media icons

Chris Chiames, Chief Communication Officer at Carnival Cruise Line

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

Amy Rosenberg, Digital Media Director at KQ Communications

Dr. Ike Brunner, Professor at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media

The panelists shared that social media can help solidify a brand and tell a brand’s story. Everyone can see when a brand/company fails on social media. However, social media can also be used to better internal communications.

As a career professional, always ask what can be done to shift, pivot, and change to get clients to reach their goals before the end of a social media campaign. The need to conduct research on the front end about who you are talking to and see how data can tell their stories is also crucial. An organization’s tone and voice on social media also needs to remain genuine on every platform.

The panel on social media and big data analytics was just one part of the inaugural IMC Connect! Other panels included topics such as crisis communication, social justice, 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.