Looking for strategic, creative talent?

The 2014 Integrated Marketing Communications graduating class crossed the platform to collect their post-grad certificates June 11 at Conestoga College’s convocation ceremony.

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A few of our IMC grads ham it up for the photographer at Convocation.

Many of these bright, young grads are now seeking employment. They have been tested and proven to work well under pressure, to cooperate with others on the team, and to effectively communicate their ideas.

Contact our program co-ordinator, kdenstedt@conestogac.on.ca, if you are seeking talent for your company, and she can direct you to candidates worth considering.

Partnership with mall wins national award for Fairview Park Mall

Partnerships between Conestoga College students and Kitchener’s Fairview Park Mall have earned the Mall an award at a National Conference.

TrophyAccording to Leah Landriault, Fairview Park Mall’s Marketing Manager, the Cadillac Fairview Property Award “recognizes a property team  that has demonstrated excellence in all areas of Operations.”  
Click on the audio file below to hear a recording of the announcement made at Cadillac Fairview’s National Conference in Montreal recently.
The Mall team is proudly displaying its trophy at the Mall.
S130tudents in the Visual Merchandising Diploma Program worked with several retailers, creating uniquely-themed product displays that were distributed throughout the Mall.
 
 
Students in the Integrated Marketing Communications Post-grad Program created engaging, interactive events that informed and educated mall shoppers about Cadillac Fairview’s  “Green at Work” initiative. 
M1390001M1230022The events involved the project management principles, event management visioning, advertising, public relations, media relations, and collateral design skills taught in the program.  This collaboration also resulted in a mention in Cadillac Fairview’s 2013 sustainability report on page 10.
 
Both Conestoga programs have worked with the Property Management team at Fairview over the last two years, giving their students ‘real world’ experience in the field of visual merchandising and in event management, an important element of integrated marketing communications implementation.
 

 

Tips on living and working ‘green’

Fairview Park Mall will be the site of a one-day event Saturday, March 22, that IMC students designed and pitched to the mall’s marketing manager. 

The event will celebrate Cadillac Fairview’s Green at Work initiative. 

The event is designed to be educational about how to live and work a ‘green’ lifestyle and will include five interactive display areas with activities to engage youth and information for adults.  THEMUSEUM has been a strategic partner as has Sustainable Waterloo Region.

The event is the result of a class project for the program’s Event Management and Project Management classes. Lessons in the Creative Strategies and Media Technologies course, and the Media Relations course also came into play as students designed the promotional and collateral materials and pitched local media about the event.

Come join us at Fairview Park Mall and see what our students can accomplish and to learn a little bit more about being ‘green’ in the month of March!

Our students are appreciated

The IMC students recently held fundraisers as part of their event management and project management courses. They designed, promoted and implemented these events under very short timelines.  The three events raised a combined $700 to give to three charities.  This week we received the following letter:

Dear Kim,

I’d like to acknowledge the fabulous efforts of your students Andrew, Christina, Kyle, Katie, Christian, Karly, and Anastasiia in delivering an exceptional fundraising event to support Lutherwood’s Safe Haven Shelter.

Andrew was our contact person and he was very thorough and thoughtful in his communications with us.  We had a staff change midway through the planning process for the event and Andrew very graciously worked with some confusion at our end.  I also appreciated that he took the time to drive up to our children’s mental health centre in North Waterloo to pick up some promotional material.

When I arrived at the event (on a cold and windy winter’s day) I found two groups of very enthusiastic students.  

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One group cheerfully accepted bottle donations at the Beer Store, the other was running the BBQ.  All were smiling and very positive – great representatives on behalf of both the college and Safe Haven Shelter.

We have a large annual fundraising campaign at Lutherwood so it is delightful when such a fine group selects our charity and does great work to raise money for us.

With gratitude.

Donna

Donna Buchan, M.Sc.N.  |  Executive Director, Lutherwood

inspire! Graphic Design for Non-designers

Submitted by Sarah Rodrigues, IMC 2014 Candidate

I had the pleasure of attending the Communicate and Howe! inspire! event on March 7. James Howe has organized several of these seminars, largely aimed at not-for-profit and charity organizations, where he brings in local experts in the seminar topic.

The topic of this seminar was “Graphic design for non-designers.” Our experts, experienced graphic designers Amy Allen-Muncey (CuteGecko), Nathaniel Robertson (Communitech), and Brendan Waller (dsgn network) gave us some tips to help improve the quality of our designs.

Amy touted the importance of using grids when setting up a design. No one will ever see them or know they were there, but they help create a precise, clean look without any guesswork. People may not consciously notice that everything is exactly lined up on the right or that each section is the same distance apart, but they will unconsciously find the design more appealing.

She also discussed brand consistency; using the same logo, fonts, and colours on all materials creates a professional image for the brand. She suggested that if you’re not sure where to start, mimic the placement style of a brand you love; they’ve spent millions of dollars researching where things should go, so it makes sense to do something similar.

Nathaniel talked first about images. Absolutely NO clip art! Use high-quality photography. If you are able to take high-quality images on your own or hire a photographer, do so. If your funds are limited, there are many stock photography websites that sell images fairly cheaply. If there are two or three images that particularly represent your brand, invest in them and use them on all your marketing materials.  He also suggested creating infographics to represent numerical data – particularly money, percentages, and ratios – to increase visual appeal.

Next he discussed the importance of fonts. First, limit your materials to two fonts; this is usually a sans serif font for headers, and a serif font for body copy. Free online fonts are a good place to start if funds are limited, and there is a wide selection available online. Using the same fonts in all pieces is important for consistency.

Brendan believes that marketing design doesn’t have to be complicated. Using .png files for your images means you can use them online and in print (at 72 and 300 dpi respectively) and incorporate them into your Word document headers for quick letterhead. He highly recommends the .png format for its versatility, colour-savviness, and transparency options.

He also suggests that in-office printing can be made easier by matching your print material to your office printer’s margins. That way, if you need to print something in a pinch for a client, you know it is already set up. When printing in-office isn’t an option, trust your local professional printers (as opposed to a copy shop). They are professionals for a reason, and the quality is worth paying for.

Overall the event was highly informative, and gave me greater confidence that I can design reasonably-attractive pieces myself without hiring a professional. That said, if finances allow, I would still go the pro route!

Check out the CRAWL method referenced in this article for some more great tips: http://nonprofitmarcommunity.com/top-5-design-tips-for-non-designers/.

Personal SWOTs

Today in Portfolio class the IMC class reviewed the creation of a career planning report, something the students can use to motivate and guide them in their job search.  The first step is to ‘know thyself’ and the students were directed to create a personal SWOT. Turns out student Sarah Rodrigues had recently addressed this task in her personal blog. We liked what she had to say about the process and felt she had something worthwhile to share with her colleagues. Read about it through this link. Thanks Sarah!

Personal SWOTs.

via Personal SWOTs.

Talent Collision at Communitech

The Event Centre at Communitech was a hive of networking Tuesday, Feb. 11 for close to 30 Conestoga College students and grads and over 35 start-up companies out of Laurier’s Launch Pad and the University of Waterloo. The event was designed to bring ‘start-ups seeking talent’ together with ‘talent seeking opportunities’ in the areas of marketing communications, technology, business development and design.

Thanks to Communitech’s Marketing Department for its support of this initiative.

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Students learn while raising money for charity

Submitted by Sarah Rodrigues, IMC 2014 Candidate

As part of the IMC curriculum, students are placed into teams and asked to plan and execute events to raise money for local charities. These events give students practical experience in event planning and project management.

DVLB Postcard FinalThe first event will take place on Monday, February 10, 2014, at 7 p.m. It is a live music night, taking place at Death Valley’s Little Brother in Uptown Waterloo to benefit Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region (www.wcswr.org). The event will feature local amateur talent, a silent auction, and a fabulous door prize. If you would like to attend, visit the event page (tinyurl.com/WCSWRMBV) for more information.

The second event will take place on Thursday, February 13, 2014, at 2:30 pm. Students will take over the Conestoga College Blue Room and host an Olympic Video Game Event to benefit Canadian Tire’s JumpStart program (http://jumpstart.canadiantire.ca/en). There will be video games, snacks, drinks, and giveaways. For more information visit the event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/1434411650127271/).

The third event will also take place on Thursday, February 13, 2014, at 3 p.m. Students are hosting a Bottles for Burgers bottle drive to support Lutherwood’s Safe Haven Shelter.(http://www.lutherwood.ca/mentalhealth/services/safe-haven-shelter) at the Real Canadian Superstore on Highland Road.

finalBannerPeople returning bottles to the Beer Store are encouraged to donate them instead and will receive a delicious burger. Check out the event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/597650230304658) for more information.

Follow the @IMCatConestoga twitter account for live updates on the events!

Students hired to implement first-semester plan

For their first-semester final project, Conestoga’s IMC students are placed in teams and assigned a real client. Usually this client is a local business in need of a marketing communications plan for a product launch, event, or overall strategic plan.

This past semester the students produced exceptional work for Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty, Tubeline Manufacturing, Our Place Family Resource Centre, KW Power & Sail Squadron, and Swan Dust Control.

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Swan Dust Control was so impressed with the marketing plan that they have hired their student team to implement it for their business. The students will focus on branding, content generation, social media management, advertising, and media relations to increase awareness of the business in both current and new markets.

Swan, which has no in-house marketing department, was not sure of the quality of work that students would turn out; they hoped for a roadmap from which they could build future marketing efforts. Instead, they received a complete integrated marketing communications plan, ready to implement.

The students are looking forward to working with Swan over the next five months on their marketing efforts.