Posted by: Cindy Downes | November 7, 2009

College Challenge

Fox News Channel announces the 7th Annual“Fox News Channel College Challenge,” a nationwide competition for undergraduate students majoring in journalism, broadcast journalism, communications or an equivalent.

It requires teams of two to four students (juniors and seniors only) to research, write, produce and submit an objective broadcast news story.

The winning team will share a scholarship of $10,000 and the team’s school will receive a matching grant of $10,000.

For more info, go to the FoxNews Web site.

Posted by: Cindy Downes | October 30, 2009

Mazda Campaign

My last project for IMC is to create a IMC campaign for Mazda. For me, this was a tough one. I’m not a car enthusiast at all. But, you gotta do what you gotta do!

So, the first thing I did was to create a survey using Survey Monkey. I sent the survey to all my friends and family, asking 16-24 year olds to answer it. The questions were to help me find out what my target knows about the Mazda brand, their perception of Mazda, and what influences them to buy a car.

I received 88 responses; 55 of from people between the ages of 16-24 (my target market). However, of the 55, only 32 actually fit Mazda’s description of the target they want to address.

I also did some secondary research to learn something about my targets’ demographics and psychographics.

My next step was to research the Mazda car for myself, since I didn’t know anything about it. I researched online and went to the local Mazda dealer to talk with the manager about the Mazda brand and the type of customers who bought them. Very helpful! I must admit, I came away intrigued with the brand myself – maybe my next car?!

After outlining my primary and secondary research, Mazda history and SWOT, I’m now working on goals and objectives for the campaign.

Screen shot 2009-10-30 at 12.41.17 PMOne book that has been extremely helpful and that was recommended by my teacher, Dr. Lori McKinnon, is IMC, Using Advertising & Promotion to Build Brands by Tom Duncan. If you need to create a marketing campaign, I highly recommend this book, not only to read, but as a resource for examples.  (DISCLOSURE: I will get a referral fee if you purchase that book from the link.)

My next assignment is to come up with a BIG IDEA. What do I think will effectively promote Mazda to this target group. I’ll have to think on that one a while. It’s not due until next week!

Posted by: Cindy Downes | October 30, 2009

Getting my cap and gown!

I’m going to Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, tomorrow to pick up my cap and gown for graduation.

Since I was able to take all my classes here in Tulsa or online, I have yet to visit the Stillwater campus, so I thought this would be a great excuse. I might even eat at Eskimo Joe’s!

Posted by: Cindy Downes | October 26, 2009

Style Guides

More than 70 links for students that includes a detailed list of MLA, APA, Chicago and CSE style guide resources.

Posted by: Cindy Downes | October 25, 2009

The Reconstruction of American Journalism

I just read through the document, The Reconstruction of American Journalism by Leonard Downie, Jr. and Michael Schudson. I found it a bit disturbing.

The article discusses the current transition of traditional media in light of the Internet, and the future funding of traditional media.

“As this report will explain, credible independent news reporting cannot flourish without news organizations of various kinds, including the print and digital reporting operations of surviving newspapers. But it is unlikely that any but the smallest of these news organizations can be supported primarily by existing online revenue. That is why we will be exploring a variety and mixture of ways to support news reporting, which must include nonmarket sources like philanthropy and government.” (emphasis mine)

The authors recommend creating government-sponsored news organizations (tax exempt and government funded – in part or in full) as the solution to this problem.

In addition, they want universities to train students in “enterprise and accountability journalism, which by definition bring new information to light, can grow into society-changing work not that dissimilar to academic research that makes original contributions to knowledge in history and the social sciences.” (emphasis mine)

My question is: if government funds the news media, who is going to watch the government? Will we be able to criticize the government if they control the media? Isn’t this a problem in China?

Also, is it the role of news reporting to “change” society? What happened to news reporters simply reporting the news? Using the media to “change” society sounds like propaganda to me. Do we really want government-sponsored, propaganda-based news?

You may (or may not) agree with the current government or like some of the current media offerings, but what will happen when we get a new batch of politicians? How will these people restrict free speech in the process of “supporting” news reporting and “providing” independent reporting. How will this or a new administration want to “change” society using the media or restricting the use of media? You can’t just look at one administration. These rules will evolve as the government evolves, either for good or for bad.

I, for one, am tired of our government bailing out failed and/or outdated companies using taxpayer money. We didn’t bail out the manual typewriter manufacturers or the stagecoach manufacturers. I’m sure jobs were lost, but progress created new jobs in the same or in new industries. If the traditional media dies, a new media industry will take its place. New jobs will be created and media will still be independent of government. Then let’s spend our government money on reeducating those who lost jobs so they can compete in the new industries.

If we keep bailing out automobile manufacturers, banks, and newspapers with government funding, we may keep the same jobs, but will it be worth it? What will we lose in the process?

Cross posted on Socially Orange.

Posted by: Cindy Downes | October 19, 2009

My final project for IMC – Need Help!

As most of you know, it’s my final semester at OSU. One of my final projects is creating a marketing campaign for Mazda. To create this campaign, I have to do research on my target market, which is young persons, ages 16 – 24 year.

I have created a survey to help me find out more about this age group. As you know, I’m far from that age!

Here’s the link:

I would really appreciate it if you would take this survey for me. It  shouldn’t take you more than 5-15 minutes of your time.

All your answers are anonymous so I won’t know who answered what.

Please pass it on to anyone you know who is 16-24 years of age.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for helping me with this project and enabling me to finally graduate from college!


Posted by: Cindy Downes | October 17, 2009

The countdown has begun . . .

I have only nine weeks left before graduation on December 12th. I’m already missing school! I’m taking one class online, so I don’t see anyone in that class. My other class, IMC, is in the final stage where I work at home on my final project and meet with my professor once a week to show my progress. I only have one or two classes left with students. Kind of sad. I really did enjoy meeting the kids and getting to know them. It was a great experience and one I will never forget.

If you’re thinking about going back to college later in life, do it. It’s worth it for the experience of hanging out with the younger students. They’ll keep you young!

Posted by: Cindy Downes | October 17, 2009

Free College Classes

An article in CNN online news today, Welcome to the University of iTunes, details how hundreds of universities and business schools (including OSU) are offering recordings of their lectures, seminars and conferences free to the general public via iTunes University, YouTube EDU, Academic Earth, MIT Open Courseware, and Open Courseware Consortium.

I discussed how this will affect colleges around the world on my blog, Socially Orange.

Posted by: Cindy Downes | October 13, 2009

OSU’s School of Journalism and Broadcasting

The School of Journalism and Broadcasting at Oklahoma State University is continuously working to improve its programs to meet the challenges of new media. It’s one of a few colleges that offer a degree in Sports Media or classes like Social Media. It’s also working on a new degree program that will combine advertising and public relations into one program called Strategic Communications.

Read more about OSU’s programs and teachers on my Socially Orange Blog.

Posted by: Cindy Downes | October 10, 2009

Conversations with a Marketing Consultant

During my time on jury duty, I had the privilege of meeting Carrie Eller, a self-employed Marketing Consultant in Tulsa, and talking with her about marketing.

Eller has a degree in fine arts and art history from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. After graduation, she went to work for the Tulsa Opera and then for the Philbrook Museum. Although her degree was in art, she actually ended up doing fundraising development for both of these organizations. This experience led to a job at F&M Bank as the Director of Marketing, and eventually, starting her own business as a Marketing Consultant.

You can read more about my conversations with Carrie Eller on Socially Orange.

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