Why Strategic Communication?
Strategic communication students focus on the meld of good communication and planning with an organization. The term strategic communication is an umbrella term meant to include a variety of communication-related professions, such as public relations, branding, advertising and more. These students are capable of recognizing a good idea or project. They see potential in stories and in people who initiate them. They will have the ability to articulate a plan, an argument, even a vision as the power of communication serves as both an informational and persuasive tool. Overall, they can organize all of these aspects into a clear and succinct plan that involves fulfilling an organization’s mission.
The program emphasizes leading communication theory and practice, grounded in history and strategic planning. You’ll be introduced to the concepts, skills and issues associated with different types of public information campaigns and other forms of strategic messaging. Accuracy, fairness, ethics and depth of coverage will be intertwined in the course curriculum and again be reinforced in the application of all courses in the Associate of Applied Science in Strategic Communication and the Bachelor of Applied Science in Communication and Media Studies degrees.
As the program is firmly rooted in practical experience, students will have internships throughout their academic career. Courses are currently being offered in specialized areas such as Broadcast News Writing, Digital Imaging, Graphic Design and Multimedia Reporting. These courses equip students to successfully complete internships with local weekly and daily newspapers, advertising agencies, radio and television stations, graphic design firms, and public relations departments at local businesses and industries. This program also allows students to apply to be a Cast Member with the Disney College Program.
Good communication is the key to succeeding in this program, and students will have the opportunity to craft specific messages for the public during their time here. In particular, they will write for the campus newspaper, The Chronicle. Recently transitioned online, the newspaper focuses on creating a vibrant space to share campus and community news while students learn the intricacies of online publishing including social media, advertising and more.
Why Communication and Media Studies at WVU Parkersburg?
The AAS in Strategic Communication is a pathway to the Bachelor of Applied Science in Communication and Media Studies. A new degree, it offers a hands-on learning experience in Fundamentals of Strategic Communications, Strategic Communications Writing/Case Study and Strategic Communications Campaign Management. Students are able to pursue a variety of service learning projects as they complete the requirements for these courses.
The Media and Communication department believes its AAS degree and the BAS in Media and Communication are vital parts of the campus community and serve well within the mission of the college. Student and industry interest in the program’s success is evident. Area media outlets, graphic designers, local businesses and marketing firms are depending on the WVU Parkersburg program to prepare media professionals to fill slots.
As the technologies of the industry continue to improve and the Internet becomes a marketing tool itself, more companies will be looking for individuals who have the skills to use the Internet to improve marketing and public relations opportunities – to be the voice of the company. WVU Parkersburg students will be able to meet those demands.
In today’s world, news and information spread at incredible speeds, and it’s the media professional’s job to make sense of it all. As our program continues to evolve, it is our goal to prepare students for the rapidly changing field of communications by teaching what is necessary to work and excel in web, print and broadcast formats. As students learn to perform technical tasks, they’ll take classes in political science, social media, writing, history and fine arts, plus a series of carefully selected courses that teach students to think critically; develop leadership skills; and understand the social, economic and political forces that affect people’s lives.
There is no doubt that strategic communication encompasses a fast growing field that brings attractive salaries. The median annual wage for media and communication occupations was $54,780 in May 2016, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $37,040. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of media and communication occupations is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026 which will result in about 45,300 new jobs. Demand for media and communication occupations is expected to arise from the need to create, edit, translate, and disseminate information through a variety of different platforms.
This year, we can expect a continuation of this trajectory. As big brands lend more of the budget towards social media and small businesses become more involved, knowledge of digital marketing and social networks will help you leverage your position; whether you’re searching for a job, promotion or a raise.