Integrated marketing communications is the strategic blending of advertising, public relations, and marketing tactics to grab consumer attention and build a strong brand. Our program in integrated marketing communications (IMC) examines the natural connections between these different communication methods and provides the 360-degree perspective you'll need to weave them into comprehensive, convincing marketing initiatives.
One of the few undergraduate degree programs of its kind in the country, our IMC major blends coursework in advertising and public relations from the Roy H. Park School of Communications and coursework in marketing from the School of Business. In your first semester you'll take foundation courses that teach you how to write and speak clearly, concisely, and persuasively to target audiences. Later, you will learn to design and create advertisements, publicity materials, and entire marketing communications plans. You'll also learn how market research, strategic positioning, promotion, and customer relationship management increases customer loyalty and brand awareness.
Capstone courses give you the chance to put these skills to the test by researching and developing promotional campaigns for real businesses. Ad Lab students have developed national communications campaigns for Nissan, JCPenney, Coke, and State Farm, which were presented to a panel of top advertising and brand executives at the American Advertising Federation's annual National Student Advertising Competition. Public Relations Lab students developed a campaign for Chevrolet as part of the Bateman Competition sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America. Brand Design and Communication students take on the role of graphic designer as they develop visual brand identities for companies and their products, culminating in the student's production of their on-brand book.
If you seek further real-world experience, you may also take advantage of the excellent internship opportunities offered through both schools. The Park School regularly places interns at a number of national brands, media outlets, and top agencies, including Ogilvy (advertising), Ruder Finn (public relations), NBC, Discovery Communications, Sony, IBM, Disney, and Atlantic Records.
The unique combination of real-world campaign development and forward-thinking curriculum will prepare you for a career on either the client (brand) or agency side of marketing communications and give you a competitive edge. Students typically become advertising and public relations account executives, art directors, graphic designers, copywriters, digital/social media specialists, promotions coordinators, or media relations directors.