About Kim Denstedt

Professor/Co-ordinator of the Integrated Marketing Communications post-graduate certificate program at Conestoga College.

Getting to know the target

Getting to know the target market is a key learning for students in the IMC program at Conestoga College. Data base searches, primary research, and secondary research give students a view of the target through a public relations lens (what’s the company relationship with the target), an advertising lens (what media does the target watch,view, read) and a marketing lens (what consumer needs can the company meet).  As a class exercise, the students are given a random product and asked to create a ‘persona’ of a target for the product. To emphasize the point that one must “paint a picture” of the target, the class is encouraged to draw on their inner artist to do just that and then present a detailed description of their creation.

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Into the Valley

The IMC class is cutting its teeth in marketing communications planning with a real client! Lee Valley Tools Ltd. of Waterloo, in the form of store manager Mike Johnston, has agreed to help the class in this project.

Mike visited the class recently to answer their questions, providing details about the company, its products, and its markets.

Quarry hosts IMC

Getting a glimpse of what integrated marketing communications (IMC) looks like in the ‘real’ world was the goal today as the IMC graduate class visited both Quarry Communications and Home Hardware Stores Ltd. in St. Jacobs.

The students were treated to snapshots of what the daily life of an agency can be like as they listened to a project manager, graphic designer, media planner, web developer, and marketing operations manager discuss their jobs, their priorities and the tools they use to meet cleint expectations at Quarry.  They heard how teams involving designers, copywriters, strategists, and project managers meet to collaborate on client work.  It was a view into the agency side of the business.  (and Steve and Kim were delighted to reconnect with IMC grad Michelle MacNaughton who works as a Project Lead at Quarry!)

At Home Hardware the class heard from the client side of the business.  Jessica Keupfer, Manager of Public Relations, told the students about the collaboration between marketing, sales, advertising and public relations at the Canadian retailer.  The company recently changed its tagline to “Home Hardware, Here’s How”, as a measure to more effectively reach a broader market – not just home owners, but anyone living in any kind of owned or rented accommodation that needs home improvement.  She also provided some insight into the process behind the scenes of a Globe and Mail recent “Report on Business” article about Home Hardware.

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Quarry generously provided their lunch area for the class to enjoy some Pop’s Pizza

Alan Quarry, CEO, chatted with the group about “Heart Beats Hate”, a pro-diversity, anti-bigotry rally he initiated. It will be held at Maxwell’s Concerts & Events, 35 University Ave. E. in Waterloo on Tuesday, Sept. 19.  There will be speakers from the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre along with music and food.  He  encouraged the class to attend.  He reminded them racism exists when we are silent.

Grad advises students

The IMC class was treated to a great presentation today by IMC graduate Valerie Tyschenko.

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She shared her top tips with the class such as treat the work placement you get in the second semester seriously, ask lots of questions and learn from your mistakes now while in school, take advantage of faculty support, and learn from each other. In fact, she recommended that the class should get out and socialize together to build a strong connection with each other.

Valerie was an international student from Ukraine when she was a student. Now she works as a recruiter for Conestoga College.

It’s a real pleasure for faculty to see grads return – especially when they wow you with their presentation skills as Valerie did!

Orientation for 2017-2018 class

Plans are underway to greet a new class of integrated marketing communications students August 29 at orientation.  We have important getting started semester details, a group activity, and graduates from last year to share their best advice for success. Looking forward to seeing Geraldine Westerink, Clare Harper and Juan Duran.