8 Key Points to Effective Integrated Marketing Communications
By Didi Lutz President, Didi Lutz PR | October 2008
While I was in school studying for my Master's in Public Relations, students were divided in two theories: there was the IMC group and the PR group. Both had sound arguments, but while the PR group was protective of the essence of pure, strategic public relations, the IMC group believed that the communications process can be practiced holistically by unifying its aspects.
Integrated Marketing Communications, or IMC, is a strategic management process that encourages the blending of Advertising, Public Relations, Sales Promotion and all aspects of the traditional Marketing mix. As we gallop and conquer the digital information age, IMC has become an effective way to communicate across various industries and is particulary successful within the hospitality industry.
As a hotelier or hotel manager, among your responsibilities is to communicate messages to your defined public: your guests, employees, the community, and your target audience as a whole. While we have discussed each one of these communications aspects individually in past articles, we haven't explored what could be done if we mix the all together.
With IMC, you encourage consistency in your message. For example, if you are announcing a renovation, you will want to let everyone know of the new changes, and your plans of encouraging guests to visit. To do this, you invest in an IMC campaign that combines the following:
1) First, make sure your message is clear. There is nothing worse than reading an ad, or a story, or listening to a radio commercial that has no call for action, or doesn't explain the point of the message
2) Advertising. As the most traditional paid form of communication, advertising is becoming more creative each day. Forget just print. Aside from basic online banners and annoying pop-ups, there are multiple ways to advertise to the right media outlets, so invest in good research before you dive into paying a lot of money.