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Marketing and Advertising Management program incorporates digital media into curriculum

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Development of content for digital media is becoming increasingly important to companies already juggling the demands of preparing creative content for traditional media channels such as newspapers, magazines, household mail-outs, radio and television.  Marketers are now charged with the task of creating and disseminating digitalized content online for websites, social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook, audio and video for live streaming,  and blogging. The list is long, and all indications suggest that it is only going to get longer. The availability of digital media has prompted a change in consumers’ expectations. A car manufacturer without a website, for example, would be unimaginable.

As a result of the exponential growth of the influence of digital media, marketing professionals are engaging in training and skills development themselves, and seeking new employees who are adept in this area. For colleges, ensuring that students are learning skills that are relevant in the job market is an imperative.

For more than 40 years, Holland College has been consulting with experts to develop the curriculum of its programs – an approach which ensures that the training students receive prepares them to enter their chosen field with confidence and that they are able to contribute to the team immediately.

To address the increasing demands of consumers for more digital media, the college’s Marketing and Advertising Management program has modified its curriculum to ensure that students are knowledgeable and skilled in the development of digital marketing campaigns and management.

“Our advisory panel includes experts from the marketing and advertising industry,” explained Tim McRoberts, Manager of Business Programs at Holland College. “In consultation with them, we were able to determine what skills would be of most benefit to employers when they hire graduates from our program, including skills related to digital media.”

Graduates from the program are finding themselves assigned to digital media projects. Colin Malone graduated in the spring, and within a week he started his new job, Digital Specialist for The Guardian, part of the Transcontinental Atlantic Media Group.

Malone is responsible for selling online advertising, executing online promotions and contests, overseeing the Reader Panel surveys, setting up events and increasing the paper’s Facebook following, and preparing e-mail blasts.

“The Guardian is much more than a newspaper now,” he said. “There are so many different avenues for advertising.”

His boss recently sent him to Newfoundland to learn more about how The St. John’s Telegram’s digital sales team functions.

“My position at The Guardian is relatively new, and the company believes in investing in employees to make sure they have the tools to do the job as best they can. The St. John’s Telegram already has a digital media team, so I was able to learn a lot from them, and now have a network I can turn to when I have questions.”

Malone sees his role expanding over time as new digital media emerge and are incorporated into the company’s marketing plans.

Will Beckett graduated from the Marketing and Advertising Management program this spring, too. He went straight to work as Marketing Manager for Lawmark Group, which owns Charlottetown-based Cruise Holidays, Discount Car and Truck Rentals, Fleet First Auto Sales and Absolutely Fabulous Salon Boutique. His responsibilities include traditional activities such as writing radio copy, designing and booking ads, and creating posters; but he figures that about 80% of his day is spent on digital media.

“My boss, Ken Lawrence, is very media savvy. He’s pushing us into the market of social media,” Beckett said. Rather than viewing digital and traditional media as separate tools, Beckett sees them as complimentary.

“Social media and marketing principles go hand in hand, [Digital and traditional media] each have their strengths, and each augments and supports the other.”

Program Manager Tim McRoberts agrees.

“Our Marketing and Advertising Management program will continue to have the right blend of training in both digital and traditional media, all underpinned with the fundamentals – strong writing skills and sound business practices,” he said.  “In addition, I commend our faculty for continuing to take steps aimed at ensuring they remain current in their field.”

You can join Holland College’s Marketing and Advertising Management Facebook page here.

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Written by Sara Underwood

July 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Alumni, Students

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