The Integrated Marketing Communications online graduate program at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media has been named a finalist in the PRWeek US Awards 2016 “Education Program of the Year” category.
PRWeek is the leading trade publication for the public relations and communications industry, and the Awards are considered the communications industry’s highest accolade, celebrating the best of the best in corporate, agency, nonprofit and public relations education.
“The PRWeek Award is the most prestigious recognition a university’s public relations education program can receive,” said IMC Program Director Chad Mezera. “I am extremely proud of this achievement and what it says about the Reed College of Media and our online program’s faculty, students and curriculum.”
PR Education Program of the Year finalists were determined by a panel of judges from agency, corporate, nonprofit and government teams, as well as public relations education professionals. The award recognizes achievements in curriculum and faculty quality, continuous improvement, advances in enrollment, thought leadership and industry influence, and success in preparing and populating the public relations workforce. Other finalists joining West Virginia University in the education program category include DePaul University, Georgetown University, Syracuse University and University of Florida.
The PRWeek recognition is the second national award earned by the IMC program this academic year. In October, the program was “named “2015 Outstanding Online Program by the Online Learning Consortium, the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide.
As part of the PRWeek US Awards selection process, judges evaluated the program’s direct impact on the public relations industry and its workforce. The IMC program’s awards entry highlighted results from a recent student survey:
• 100% of respondents said they had or would recommend the program to a friend or colleague
• 94% rated overall program satisfaction at an 8 out of 10 or higher
• 85% reported that their degree led to a better position and/or promotion
• 76% had seen a salary increase of $5,000 or more per year
Launched in 2003 with an initial class of 17, the IMC master’s degree program is now WVU’s largest graduate program with nearly 500 active students. The program gives communications professionals the theoretical grounding and practical skills they need to build, implement and measure integrated communication programs in today’s dynamic digital environment.
The academically rigorous program offers a customizable master’s degree in IMC and a graduate certificate in IMC. Characterized by small class sizes, personalized attention and access to the most current thinking and innovative methods in the field, the program is both specialized and flexible, requiring no on-campus classroom attendance.
“Our courses are taught by industry leaders who bring more than 15 years of experience on average to our classrooms,” added Mezera. “IMC faculty members own strategic communications agencies. They are published authors, and they’ve worked with some of the most valuable brands in the nation and the world, including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Kimberly-Clark and many others.”
The program’s curriculum emphasizes a holistic approach to marketing communications. Professionals are able to choose from courses in brand equity management, creative strategy, global brand communication, crisis communication, digital storytelling, mobile marketing, public affairs and multicultural communications, among other subjects.
PRWeek will reveal the winners at a gala dinner and ceremony on Thursday, March 17 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.
CONTACT: Kimberly Walker; WVU Reed College of Media
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