About and History


The Department of Communication Studies at UNCW is committed to the teaching of integrated marketing communication at the undergraduate level. The number of undergraduate IMC programs housed in speech communication and communication studies departments in the U.S. is growing. We planned the initial IMC Conference in June 2011 because we had recently added IMC to our curriculum and because we saw a need for a forum to share ideas about teaching and research in IMC. IMC brings advertising, public relations, event planning, promotions, direct marketing, word of mouth marketing and social media together in a holistic fashion and this complex intersection provides numerous opportunities for scholarship and applied learning. 

Our first conference theme was IMC and CMM: Finding Common Ground, which featured Coordinated Management of Meaning, developed by W. Barnett Pearce and Vernon E. Cronen, as an entrance into a theoretically-grounded conversation in IMC. Vernon E. Cronen served as our keynote speaker and the first conference was marked by idea-driven conversations as attendees discussed the teaching, research, and practice of IMC while enjoying the culture and history of the city of Wilmington and its coastal location.


The theme for 2013’s conference was IMC and the Polis. Although the polis is a term frequently associated with rhetorical studies, we encouraged scholars from across the communication discipline, working in multiple methodologies, to consider the relationship between IMC and the public sphere. Some of these areas included how IMC is used by and shapes non-profits, small businesses, and multi-national corporations, how IMC influences and informs local, state, federal, and international governments, and how IMC impacts and responds to public policy issues such as education, the arts, the environment, and health care. How does the ongoing blurring of boundaries between public, social, and private raise challenges for understanding the polis, publics, and IMC practices?

We look forward to welcoming our conference attendees - faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and IMC practitioners - to southeastern North Carolina and the University of North Carolina Wilmington!

Jeanne M. Persuit, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, and Richard K. Olsen,
Conference Planners
Department of Communication StudiesUniversity of North Carolina Wilmington

2013 Conference Panel Photos

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