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.

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IMC resources

A program that professes to prepare students for the work world gets the class out of the classroom when possible.  And when it isn’t, guest speakers can be an integral part of bringing the work world into the classroom.

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Every year the IMC faculty appreciate the assistance of the Home Hardware Head Office when it takes the class on a tour of its central warehouse and includes a presentation by its public relations staff.  Understanding the business and all of its facets is an important lesson.  Home Hardware is also a uniquely organized business and the relationship between the head office and the store owners – who own the central warehouse – is a key factor in the PR office.

The class then stretched its creativity at the felt lab where they were exposed to emerging technology that will impact their work world. This was followed by a tour of Quarry, a marketing communications agency where the lab is located.   The class heard from a few employees who talked about their area of focus, connecting some of the dots for students who heard them talking about matters that have been raised in class.

Guest speakers bring their expertise into the classroom. Frank Mosely of T Stone Mailing is a mail expert and Ellyn Winters of Ignition Communications has worked with a variety of clients in the tech sector.  Each came into the classroom and provided invaluable insights into the marketing communications field.