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13 Nov 2015

We all know that if you can’t write well, you won’t be of much use in the marketing and communications industry. That’s why our profession is so important. The ability to communicate truthfully and effectively helps organizations immensely. Which brings me to the Calgary Mustangs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The Mustangs are not playing well. In sports, that often ends with the firing of the head coach, which is exactly what happened. That’s nothing out of the ordinary, and the team issued a pr… Read More >

Communicating to your own staff often gets the short shrift. Sometimes you can be so focused on getting your message out to your customer, you forget that important audience of those closest to you. It might get passed between public relations and human relations. Maybe no one really has time for it. But we should make time and here’s why: Employees who don’t think they are getting information are disconnected and dislike their jobs. In a poll last year, it was found that the top three causes of negativity at work are all… Read More >

By Ronda Weaver, MarCom Sponsorship Chair One of the first things I do with new clients is a competitive audit to analyze what their competition is doing, especially as it applies to inbound and online marketing. This can help you discover new markets, provide insights into content that needs to be developed, and clarify your unique value proposition. Obviously this always starts with a few good google searches and a thorough review of known competitors’ websites. Not sure who your competitors are? Here are a couple tools … Read More >

Poor millennials. It seems lately this generation is the new cultural punching bag. They are seen as entitled, addicted to their smartphones and unwilling to pay their dues. The recent Saturday Night Live skit about millennials in the workplace touched on all of these:                    I’ll admit. I laughed pretty hard. I’m right on the edge between generations as I was born in 1981. Some charts classify me as a (much older) mil… Read More >

14 Sep 2015

The Myth of Brainstorming The Myth of Brainstorming (is it just a bunch of BS?) By Heather Berndt, MarCom Visual Communications Chair On a recent episode of On Being with Krista Tippett I heard something surprising about the brain. According to neuropsychologist Rex Jung, when it comes to creativity, brainstorming is one of the worst things we can do to generate ideas. I also learned there is plenty of research going back to the 1950s that supports his statement. Say what? As a graphic designer who has sat through many a mastermind session, hearing that a t… Read More >

Anniethology: Armchair Marketers and Social Media I think we’ve all experienced the well-meaning but often misguided armchair marketer. I can’t be the only one who has had to bite her tongue at, “I like to make my own posters in Publisher.” Or “I do a bit of writing myself.” You don’t say? Look, it’s great you took a design class in college. So did I, but I’m not a designer. Just like psychology 101 doesn’t make me a psychologist. The area of marketing and communications that is now the worst for this phenomenon is social m… Read More >

MarCom Mumblings: Working With Uncle Sam The first MarCom breakfast features Gallatin Public Affairs talking about government affairs. In my two main jobs as a professional, I have been able to experience work in government relations and have come up with what I believe are some good tips when it comes to working with local, state and federal governments. Here they are, in no particular order: Know thy enemy There may be opposition to what you’re asking the government for. After all, government work involves public money. There may be naysayers and skeptics. Cas… Read More >

To relive the awesomeness of this past year, here are a few tidbits and tricks from MarCom's expert presenters:   1. Cause marketing campaigns must tie to the company's brand and values in order to work. Three panelists - Eric Dahl with Crowdswell, Jessie Wuerst with Avista, and Keith O'Brien with Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery gave us insight into aligning for-profit and nonprofit organizations, how to track success, and when to walk away from partnerships.         2. … Read More >

It’s 2015, and life is a lot different than, say, 2000, or 1995, or any year prior to 2005. That’s because our lives are now more public than ever, thanks in large part to the Internet and easier access to information.  I’m not so sure that’s always a good thing. We now publish things online – in public – that we used to say in friendly circles. There are many tales of people getting fired for what they post online, but there are also tales of people being fired for what they say in other … Read More >

Spokane Regional MarCom Association Honors 2015 Spark Award Winners   SPOKANE, WA (May 4, 2015) - Avista’s “125 Years and Counting: Avista Honors History, Community and Service” campaign and Desautel Hege (DH) and CU Direct’s “20 for 20 Giveback Campaign” shone brightly at Spokane Regional MarCom Association’s 20th annual Spark Awards events on April 22.   The Spark Awards are presented by the Spokane Regional Marketing and Communications Association (Spokane MarCom) to reco… Read More >

When you’re working with a professional designer, do they struggle to understand your point-of-view? Are you wondering how to help them develop the best possible design that represents your campaign? Struggle no longer!  Here are five simple tips to help get your designer on the right track: Tip 1: Designing Program It’s really important that you let your designer know that Publisher is the best program to design in. How else can you send the file to everyone in your office for feedback? Sometimes designers might w… Read More >

10 Apr 2015

Last month, Starbucks made news because of its “#RaceTogether” campaign, which aimed at starting conversations about race relations in America. A bold campaign like this is sure to gain criticism, and this one sure did. But why? Why would a global company like Starbucks be criticized for wanting to simply have discussions about race relations? What’s wrong with that? Here’s why: Because Starbucks is a coffee maker, not a comparative ethnic studies class. Here’s what Tai Tran, a social media marke… Read More >

As one who works in technology, I’m often an early adopter searching out the latest tools, tricks and tips. In addition, working solo, I like finding tools that make my life easier. So, I thought I’d share a few favorite helpful websites and apps! Graphics Canva -  Definitely not a replacement for a fabulous graphic designer, but great for making up simple graphics for social media, blog posts, and other one-offs Pixlr -  Web-based version of photoshop Placeit -  Can enter a screenshot/videos onto v… Read More >

The Scene: Beware of Automated Social Media Feeds Here at WSU Spokane, we are currently working to redesign our website. One feature we are considering is a feed of Instagram photos that use the #SpokaneCougs hashtag. These photos with that hashtag would be featured on a page under the “Student Life” umbrella. It’s a fun way to connect with current and prospective students and is something that we’ve studied from other universities. But while this all seems like a good and fun idea, we must think about any unintended consequences. We can’t make this… Read More >

MarCom Mumblings: Preparing for a job interview By Jonathan Manfredonia, MarCom Internship Chair Do your research! Employers don’t just want skilled candidates. They want to hire individuals who want to work and will thrive in their organization’s culture. By doing the right research beforehand, you can confidently demonstrate your interest in the company and make sure they’ll have no reservations about hiring you. Beyond just knowing the basics of what services the organization provides and who their customers are, you also want to show that you’re awa… Read More >

Our next breakfast program on emergency communications couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Last month, a perceived threat hit the WSU Spokane campus – where I work – and I was thrust into emergency communications mode. Thankfully, the threat was taken care of in a reasonable amount of time, without incident. But my team and I learned some things about emergency preparedness, and although there were no communication hiccups, there were still lessons to take away. Without providing too many details –… Read More >

Those pesky millennials, with their eyes on their phones all day. How can companies and organizations reach them? I don’t know all the answers, but being a millennial myself, I know nostalgia works. As a child of the 90s, I love it when I get to harken back to the days of Ace of Base, Saved by the Bell, SNICK and Super Nintendo. That’s also why I’m a big fan of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Fallon does a tremendous job of slipping in 90s references, subtle or not. This Full House sketch reminded me of … Read More >

08 Jan 2015

By Annie Gannon, MarCom Programming Chair and Vice President There are a lot of questions you don’t want to get while you’re at the doctor’s office. Especially when you’re nine months pregnant. So when the nurse practitioner looked at my blood pressure cuff and asked very seriously, “Are you still working?” I felt nothing but panic. Of course I was still working. Where do you think I was headed after this quick checkup? I had three weeks until my due date, a new employee starting that day and my tr… Read More >