Looking Forward to the Next 100 Years of Communication

Tomorrow the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University is celebrating 100 years. Students will learn from alumni about their experiences in the industry. Panels, luncheons and social gatherings give these K-Staters the opportunity to honor their school and build everlasting relationships.

I was asked by a former professor to be on the advertising panel at the centennial. I’m excited to join Kristin Brighton of New Boston Creative and Kathy Lafferty of Sunflower Publishing. Sharing our combined experience will offer students insight on current and future trends in advertising.

Three years out of college, I offer the following advice to students and young professionals:

Get involved early. Student organizations, internships, work experience and keeping up-to-date with industry news will help prepare you for your future in advertising. It’s critical that you demonstrate to potential employers, to your references and to those who may refer you to a job opportunity that you have a passion for a growing industry and are part of the conversation.

Manage up. Go above and beyond what you are expected to do. Let’s face it, regardless of your awesomeness, your first job will be entry level.  Use the time as a junior staffer to pay attention to and learn from your manager’s style. Build a relationship with him or her, make their job easier by keeping them in the know, update them on the jobs you are working on and show them you’re “getting it.” By paying attention you will gain insights on how your manager operates so that you can better represent the company.

Focus on the future. Social media and mobile devices are more than a trend; they are tools that we’ll each use more in the future. In the near term, we’ll see our phones and tablets evolve with expanded capabilities and more use to consumers, thus to advertisers too. Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, feels so strongly about mobile devices that he encourages businesses to invest in the future by building apps first and websites second.

Given the interest in and capabilities of augmented reality, real-time and location-based applications the opportunities for advertisers are unlimited in the digital realm. If you haven’t seen “The Wilderness Downtown” project yet, I recommend you do. This HTML5 experiment is unlike anything we have experienced before. This convergence of technology and personalization is just a hint of what we have to look forward to in the future of advertising.

What do you see in the future of advertising?

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