integrated marketing communications

Florida Kids and Family Expo

This blog post is an excerpt of my final project for MMC 5006: Multimedia Communications.


The Florida Kids and Family Expo is a new event that will take place at the Orange County Convention Center this August.  The show is produced by, a comprehensive and free online resource for families in Central Florida, and will become the largest annual family expo in Central Florida.  Florida Kids and Family Expo will take the directory offline and bring it to life as a fun and interactive experience for kids.  This event will showcase the many wonderful local businesses that cater to families and children.  Attendees can also expect animal & reptile shows by GatorLand, bounce houses, rock walls, bumper cars, zip lines and many performances by local choirs, dance troupes and more.  Discounted tickets can be purchased at Walgreens for $5 for children ages 2-17 and $6 for adults.  Children under 2 are free. is a convenient way to research local businesses that serve families with children, ages 0-17, as well as gather information and ideas.  Their mission is to provide news and information on events and activities within their area to help make it easier for parents and children to play, learn and make memories together.

The target audience for the Florida Kids and Family Expo is families with children ages 0-17, parents, single mothers, single fathers, grandparents, godparents, aunts and uncles, and the businesses that serve families with children.

The major strength of this event is the several media partners that are already committed to participate in promoting the expo.  With television and radio partners onboard, the expo will garner excellent exposure to the general public of Central Florida.  The television and radio stations will not only run promotional content on their channels and social media platforms, they will also guarantee the attendance of their on-air personalities as well provide live coverage of the two-day show.  These partnerships will enhance the show’s advertising strategy and will lend credibility to the inaugural expo.

Florida Kids and Family Expo will seize the best results by implementing this IMC strategy.  IMC, integrated marketing communication, is a cross-functional process for creating and nourishing profitable relationships with customers and other stakeholders by strategically controlling or influencing all messages sent to these groups and encouraging data driven purposeful dialogue with them. (T. Duncan (2002) IMC: Using Advertising & Promotion to Build Brands (first edition) New York: McGraw-Hills (from Rhoads lecture).  Marketing messages are so over saturated today, we need to find smarter ways to get our message to the right consumer.  It is stated in our textbook, Brand Media Strategy, “with most media consumed with only the viewer’s partial attention, the impact of advertising decreases.”  This begins to explain why IMC is so valuable.  It allows our messaging to remain impactful by traveling across and adapting to multimedias and multichannels.

What every brand wants out of their marketing efforts is to cut through the noise and to stand out from the crowd.  Using a complete integrated marketing communication plan will keep your message consistent while delivering it across multiple channels.  The Florida Kids and Family Expo, with a little help from MMC 5006, is sure to be a success and prove to be a worthy weekend event for families in Central Florida.

I wish I lived in Central Florida so I could attend this event!

Catersource Event Solutions Conference and Trade Show 2015



In this week’s post, I will be summarizing the use of social media and integrated marketing communications to promote Catersource Event Solutions Trade Show held in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 8 – 11, 2015.  This was written for academic purposes only and while I live in Las Vegas, I did not attend the expo.

Revenue in the catering industry has doubled in the last 10 years,” as stated on  Additional industry stats state, “The catering industry contributed $45 billion to the economy,” as shown on  Caterers across the country attend and exhibit at Catersource to increase sales and market share, generate leads and to discover and explore new industry trends.

Social media is a key element in maximizing your event marketing.  Catersource Magazine, Conference and Trade Show has profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.  They used Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as their main social channels to promote the event.

Before the Event

The Catersource team used Twitter and Facebook leading up to the event to boost interest and share information about the conference and trade show.  Posts and tweets included links to download the trade show app, purchase tickets to special events during the show and book lodging in Las Vegas.  Schedules were shared along with bios of award recipients and notes from keynote speakers.  Notably on Twitter, Catersource shared articles related to industry trends to generate interest and also retweeted photos of attendees on their way to the conference to rev up excitement.  These are all good examples of ways to brand your event using social media while providing interactive touch points for your users to learn about the event.  These posts probably succeeded in generating pre-show buzz.


During the Event


Facebook was used during the four day event to post photos, reminders and links to download the app.  My favorite posts during the event were the Good Morning posts which greeted attendees, occasionally recapped event from the prior evening and shared info about breakfast and the morning conference sessions.  These were friendly, personable and had a relaxed tone.  Each day an album of photo recaps was posted on this channel.  This channel was a valuable platform for information about the event as it was happening.

goodmorning tweet


At first look, Twitter was the main platform used during the event.  There were constant updates throughout the entire four day event.  But almost, in my opinion, too many tweets.  Day One – 28 tweets, day two – 26 tweets, day three – 34 tweets and day four – 22 tweets.  I felt it was a little excessive and some followers may find this amount of posting frustrating and overwhelming.  Most of these tweets only garnered single digit retweets or favorites.  So it could be argued that this level of communication wasn’t as effective as planned.

Some great things they used their Twitter channel for included a sponsored post and cross promotion of their other social channels.  A tweet went out on day three promoting an exhibitor’s booth at the trade show.  Mercer Culinary was having a Blow Out Sale at Booth 1549.  This is a prime example of Twitter working during an event to drive traffic to certain locations inside the event.  Not only was this tactic used to increase flow for the Mercer booth, this type of promotion was used to direct attention and traffic to the contests held at the event.

mercer culinary blowout sale

Catersource used social media to tweet updates on the Diced competition taking place, including tweets leading up to the event, thank you to sponsors of the competition and announcements of judges and the winners.  Catersource also used their Twitter channel to share photos they originally posted on Instagram.



The most active channel for engagement was Instagram, which was used to execute 50 posts over the four days and most of those images received double digit double taps.

It should also be noted that Catersource pinned to the conference board on their Pinterest profile seven times and did not use their Google+ account at all.  They appeared to have one preview video on YouTube months before the event and this would be a good opportunity to use this channel in the coming weeks to share recap videos.

Overall, their branding was consistent across all three channels and carried the theme and look of the event.  They used their chosen hashtag, #CSES2015, on all their channels and posts making it easy for attendees to follow the conversation and get information about the show. e Catersource team shared content promoting their exhibitor and sponsors but could have added a spotlight or two about those companies that made their event possible.  Most posts included images and/or links and many included tags of a sponsor, exhibitor, speaker or winner.  They were also sure to incorporate retweets of what their attendees were sharing.


An additional source of integrated marketing communication was the Catersource website.  This is where anything and everything related to the the conference and trade show was housed.  Video recorded conference sessions are being offered on-demand for a fee which is an excellent way to offer conference content to any who could not attend.  I opted in to their emails and newsletter from this site while the show was in session but didn’t receive anything directly related to the event.

What Stood Out

In researching how Catersource promoted their event in the months before arriving in Las Vegas, I discovered Catersource’s 12 Days of Holiday Giving on Instagram.  For 12 business days last December, Catersource offered a daily prize drawing to boost registration for the event. This promotion capitalized on the holiday season while promoting their event and encouraging a call to action.

twelve days

twelve days insta

What Was Missing

After the Event

At the time this post was made, Catersource had yet to do any follow up of the event on their social media channels.  The show ended with one tweet thanking the sponsors and attendees for a great show and see you next year.  This post didn’t make it to their other two channels though.  There wasn’t a single Facebook post on the last day of the show.  That channel was completely silent on day four.  This is not to say they didn’t rock the last day of the show on Twitter and Instagram.  But once the show was over, communication ceased. This is something to be very careful of while promoting an event.  Don’t drop the ball once the event is over even though your entire team may be exhausted.  Have post planned and schedule to capitalize on the momentum from the show to begin promoting next year’s event or recapping the highlights of this one.

thank you

Social Media Calendar Example

Epcot Social Media Schedule

This week we are creating one month of fictional social media posts for a brand – Epcot at Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.  This is hypothetical and is only a class assignment.  This is not a real schedule for Epcot.

Planning a month long schedule takes extensive planning and research.  You must review event calendars, actual calendars, international calendars, performance schedules, construction schedules and more to have a comprehensive understanding of all the content that will go into your social media editorial calendar.  Then cross reference all of this information with your goals, strategy, objectives and tasks for the time period.  Without further ado, here is my editorial calendar for Epcot for the month of April 2015.

Park: Epcot

Month: April 2015

Goals: Promote Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival to keep momentum as we roll into weeks five through nine of the annual event.  Drive traffic to live performances.


Wednesday, April 1:

FB: Don’t fall for any of these April Fool’s Day pranks. Be cautious. #aprilfools

Twitter: Don’t fall for any of these April Fool’s Day pranks. Be cautious. #aprilfools

insert graphic with April Fool’s typesetting


Thursday, April 2:

FB:  Happy Pascua Florida Day!  Florida residents receive 10% off admission to Epcot with your Florida ID.  #pascuafloridaday  #epcotsavings

Twitter: Show your Florida ID and save 10% off admission to Epcot today only!  #pascuafloridaday #epcotsavings

Include graphic for Pascua Florida Day – can we incorporate mouse ears in some way?



Friday, April 3:

FB: Join us for the Garden Rock Concert Series!  This weekend’s musical act is The Orchestra!  Shows at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8:00pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday at America Gardens Theatre. #theorchestra #gardenrock

Twitter: The Orchestra is rocking all weekend at Epcot’s IFGF. #theorchestra #gardenrock

The Orchestra - Promo b-w photo portrait resized


Saturday, April 4:

FB: Happy Passover to all our friends around the world.

Twitter: Happy Passover to all our friends around the world.

create passover graphic with world showcase images


Sunday, April 5:

Happy Easter!  It’s not too late to make dinner reservations at one of our many international restaurants with table service and special Easter dinner menus.  #easterdinner #epcotdining

Twitter: Plans for Easter dinner?  Think Epcot Dining. #easterdinner #epcotdining

Photo content – disney characters enjoying an easter dinner


Monday, April 6:

FB: Anna and Elsa topiaries are a spectacular favorite at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival.  Enjoy a behind the scenes look of the royal sisters with horticulture manager, Eric Darden. #frozen #freshepcot

Instagram: Behind the scenes of Anna and Elsa topiaries.  #freshepcot #frozen


Tuesday, April 7:

FB: Timber! Don’t miss axe-throwing Canadian Lumberjacks performing daily on Mill Stage in the World Showcase.  Today’s remaining showtimes are 11:45am, 1:15pm, 2:15pm, 3:45pm, 4:45pm and 6pm. #lumberjacks #epcotshows

Twitter: Timber! Don’t miss axe-throwing Canadian Lumberjacks performing six times daily! #lumberjacks #epcotshows



Wednesday, April 8:

FB: Light up the night. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth Firework Spectacular.  Nightly at 9pm. #epcotfireworks

Instagram: Light up the night.  IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth Firework Spectacular.  9pm nightly.  #epcotfireworks



Thursday, April 9:

FB: Butterflies on the Go presented by Go Go SqueeZ details the epic journey of the Monarch butterly.  #futureworld #butterfliesonthego #freshepcot

Instagram: Butterflies on the Go presented by Go Go Squeeze.  #futureworld #butterfliesonthego #freshepcot



Friday, April 10:  

FB: Join us for the Garden Rock Concert Series!  This weekend’s musical act is The Village People!  Shows at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8:00pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday at America Gardens Theatre. #villagepeople  #gardenrock  #ymca

Instagram:  The Village People are rocking all weekend at Epcot’s IFGF. #villagepeople #ymca  #gardenrock


Saturday, April 11:

FB: Epcot Poll: What is your favorite Epcot attraction? #epcot

Twitter: Epcot Poll: What is your favorite Epcot Attraction?  #epcot

post graphic with question in typeface


Sunday, April 12:  

FB: Today is International Day of Human Space Flight!  Celebrate with authentic NASA-style training and out-of-this-world space launch on our shuttle simulator at Mission: SPACE. #beanastronaut  #shuttlelaunch

Twitter: Celebrate International Day of Human Space Flight on our shuttle simulator at Mission: SPACE. #beanastronaut #shuttlelaunch



Monday, April 13:  

FB and Twitter: Visiting Epcot soon?  Be sure to check out these 10 tips and tricks to Epcot before you arrive.  #epcothacks

create blog article to link


Tuesday, April 14:

FB: Matsuriza showcases the time-honored form of drumming, Taiko.  See performance schedule for this entertaining percussive troupe here:


Twitter: Let the beat drop.  Check out this Taiko troupe perform in Matsuriza! #epcotshows


Wednesday, April 15:

FB: Don’t Stress Tax Day!  Unwind and enjoy fresh tastings at one of the many outdoor kitchens at the International Flower and Garden Festival.  #freshepcot #epcotdining

Twitter: Unwind and enjoy fresh tastings at one of the many outdoor kitchens at  Epcot’s IFGF. #freshepcot #epcotdining

outdoor kitchen


Thursday, April 16:

FB: What to pack when you vacation to Epcot?  Check out pinterest for more information than you’ll ever need! #epcot #packrat

Twitter: Check out these pinterest posts for your Disney vaca packing lists. #epcot #packrat



Friday, April 17:  

FB:  Please welcome John Secada to the Garden Rock Concert Series stage!  Performances at the America Garden Theatre Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8pm.  #gardenrock #justanotherday

Twitter:  Please welcome John Secada to the Garden Rock Concert Series Stage. #gardenrock #justanotherday



Saturday, April 18

FB: B’net Al Houwariyate is a musical journey with exhilarating sounds, rural chants, urban beats and spirited rhythms that inspired Spanish Flamenco. Look at today’s performance schedule at World Showcase. #epcotshows

Twitter: Enjoy the exhilarating sounds of B’net Al Houwariyate. #epcotshows




Sunday, April 19:

FB and Instagram: Goofy About Spring?  We are!  Visit our beautiful topiary displays of your favorite Disney characters before their gone! #freshepcot #goofy



Monday, April 20:

FB: Meet your favorite Disney princesses around the world at Epcot.  Find your princess’ location and schedule here:

#disneyprincess #epcot

Twitter: Meet your favorite Disney princess around the world at Epcot. #disneyprincess #epcot



Tuesday, April 21:

FB: Make a reservation to swim with the Disney Dolphins!  This exclusive and intimate encounter is limited to eight guests per day.  Call 407-WDW-TOUR. #epcot

Twitter: Make a reservation to swim with the Disney Dolphins!  Call 407-WDW-TOUR. #epcot




Wednesday, April 22:

FB: Celebrate Earth Day and hear about conservation efforts to protect coral reef, sea turtles and more at The Seas with Nemo and Friends. #earthday #nemo #freshepcot

Twitter: Happy Earth Day!  Visit The Seas Nemo and Friends to hear about conservation efforts. #earthday #nemo #freshepcot



Thursday, April 23:

FB: The Paul McKenna Band is strumming contemporary tunes from Glasgow in the United Kingdom Pavilion.  Seven showtimes today!  #epcotshows #paulmckennaband

Twitter: Seven showtimes today for the scottish persuasion Paul McKenna Band. #epcotshows #paulmckennaband



Friday, April 24:

FB: Guess who is playing the Garden Rock Concert Series this weekend?  The Guess Who rocks the stage at America Garden Theatre, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8pm.  #gardenrock #guesswho

Twitter: Guess who is playing Epcot’s IFGF? #gardenrock #guesswho



Saturday, April 25:

FB: Baby, You’re a Firework. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth Firework Spectacular.  Nightly at 9pm. #epcotfireworks

Instagram: Baby, You’re a Firework. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth Firework Spectacular.  9pm nightly.  #epcotfireworks



Sunday, April 26:

FB: Don’t miss nationally known author, landscape designer and professional horticulturist, Jessi Bloom today at noon and 3:00pm on the Fresh Epcot Stage. #freshepcot

Twitter: Don’t miss professional horticulturist, Jessi Bloom today at noon and 3:00pm on the Fresh Epcot Stage. #freshepcot



Monday, April 27:

FB and Twitter: Be sure to pick up a Garden Passport and get it stamped at all your stops along the way! #freshepcot

create graphic with garden passport


Tuesday, April 28:

FB: Oh no!  Test Track will be closed today for scheduled maintenance. Please enjoy one of our other thrill rides at Epcot. #epcot

Twitter: Oh no! Test Track will be closed today. #epcot

text only post


Wednesday, April 29:

FB: Epcot Poll: What’s your favorite part of the International Flower & Garden Festival? #freshepcot

Twitter: Epcot Poll: What’s your favorite part of the International Flower & Garden Festival? #freshepcot

create graphic with question


Thursday, April 30:

FB: Celebrate International Jazz Day at World Showcase.  Enjoy food and music from 11 different countries. #epcot #jazzhands

Twitter: Celebrate International Jazz Day at World Showcase.  #epcot #jazzhands



Big Brands Social Media and IMC

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), according to Wiki, “is the application of consistent brand messaging across both traditional and non-traditional marketing channels and using different promotional methods to reinforce each other.”  IMC is what confirms the same idea is being distributed through television, outdoor, radio, email, social media and any other mediums being used by a brand.  If all these channels are not in sync, it could result in the consumer receiving contradicting and confusing messages.

In this post, I will examine the social channels of three popular brands and evaluate their IMC.  I chose three brands from several different “best of social media” lists on in 2014.



Chanel is the pinnacle of high fashion.  Known for the little black dress and the perfume, Chanel No. 5, designer Coco Chanel catered to women’s fashion and her styles screamed all that was elegant.  Today, Chanel is a billion dollar brand headquartered in Paris.  One of their mottos, seen on several of their sites, quoted by founder, Gabriella Chanel, is “Chanel is above all a style. Fashion passes, style remains.”

chanel twitter

Chanel has pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube and its clear they use an IMC approach.  Their website has buttons to all five of their social media outlets.  While Chanel uses each channel differently, they remain consistent in their general messaging.  You can see the brand imagery across each of the pages in profile and cover photos meaning as soon as you open the page, you know it is Chanel’s.

chanel fb

As expected, their Instagram page, looks quite different than their other social media profiles but is probably their primary page.  Chanel’s cover photo is an updating collage that flips through several of their recently posted images.  Instagram is very popular with the fashion industry.  In this article from it was said that “Instagram has become the modern day Polaroid” in fashion and it is being used by booking agents, bloggers, designers, artists and more to post photos from fashion shows, sneak peeks of new lines, shoes, accessories and more.

chanel insta

I’m not convinced that Chanel is posting often enough on their social media channels.  There are gaps as long as ten days to two weeks between posts on several channels.  These gaps could cause people to follow other fashion designers or unfollow entirely.  And while they use lots of hashtags on Instagram, they seem to be lacking or very light on Twitter.  They don’t drive users to their other social media pages and only link back to their website from Facebook and Twitter.

Overall, I think there is room for improvement in Chanel’s social media realm.  I like that they are using their channels to promote new lines, like Bleu de Chanel, and posting videos from recent shows, but I don’t see the personal side of Chanel anywhere.



Starbucks is the largest coffee company in the world, and is based in Seattle, Washington.  The things they are doing on social media are unrivaled and any company could learn a lot by studying their playbook.  Starbucks is on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Of course, Starbucks is running an integrated marketing communications plan and their content is up-to-date.  You can sign up on their social pages to receive email updates.  However, they only list some of their social pages on their website and not all.  I can’t figure out why they wouldn’t have all of them showing!  It doesn’t make any sense.  Moving on.

Their consistency is one of the things they do best.  You can see in the images below that their brand is carried through all of their sites and often the same recognizable images.  I am writing this post in Trinidad and have not yet seen a Starbucks.  Looking at these pages is like looking at pictures of home and I cannot wait to get back and order my favorite Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte.

starbucks twitter


starbucks facebook

Another area that Starbucks is very commanding in is the use of hashtags and creating real time events.  They do an amazing job of being social off of their social pages. Two that I noticed recently are #starbucksdate and #meetmeatstarbucks.

Meet Me at Starbucks is a theme used to “inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time,” as written on Starbuck’s Instagram page.  The link takes you to their YouTube page which hosts several beautiful videos showing how Starbucks is a part of bringing people together.

starbucks instagram

Starbucks then partnered up with  With many singles adding coffee and conversation as an interest to their personal profiles on Match, online daters can now use a #meetmeatstarbucks feature to set up their first dates.

#Starbucksdate was promoted around Valentine’s Day in conjunction with asking “who are you going to Starbucks with?”  On February 13 people around the world were invited to be a part of the World’s Largest Starbucks Date.


Nike Women

Nike is at the top of athletic apparel.  They have several divisions, all so big they need their own marketing strategies.  For these reasons, we will focus on Nike Women.  Nike Women is present on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and even Spotify.

nike website

Nike definitely uses and IMC approach, sending a consistent message of strength and beauty across their many channels.  They post on all the channels every couple of days and link to their website where you can make a purchase.  The symbolic Nike swoosh is noticeable on all channels and it is clear which brand is being promoted.

I really enjoy following Nike Women because they are not just about shoes and apparel.  They absolutely do advertise their newest product lines, but they are also focused on providing motivation to women to get healthy and exercise.  They have links to exercise videos, inspirational quotes and photos and now ever playlists to accompany your workout.  Check out their Pinterest boards for complete look.

nike twitter

Nike Women does an excellent job of driving users to other social channels.  This allows the consumer to get a full 360 degree view of what Nike Women is about.  Nike Women links Twitter followers to Spotify to download playlists.  They link Facebook friends to their website to buy their latest running shoes.  And they link Pinterest pinners to workout videos by athletes on YouTube.  Incredible example of integrating a marketing strategy!

And while Nike Women is definitely using hashtags, they seem to be a little scarce.  I have seen #nikeplus, #ootd #flyknit and #justdoit.  But not many more.  This would be a great area for Nike Women to get creative and have some fun.  Yet overall, they are doing a fantastic job sending a solid message across their many social media channels.

Brava to all three of these brands and their social media endeavors.