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Course Descriptions

The newly designed curriculum in the MS in Marketing Communication Management has six required Core Courses including a Capstone (Final Project) and a choice of five Elective Courses.


(All six courses are required)

MGPS 5000 – Business Strategy
Strategy is the heart and soul of any business. The essence of business strategy is to understand your organization's uniqueness and order-winning criteria. This course will focus on how classic strategy paradigms such as differentiation; brand creation; core competency expertise; speed to market; value migration and leadership in the areas of cost reduction, technology and innovation are linked to a sustained competitive advantage. In addition, the course will examine how changes in the competitive landscape such as globalization, the rapid diffusion of technology, excess capacity, shifting marketplace demographics, increasing cost transparencies, the erosion of pricing power and the commoditization and unbundling of products/services; are creating both problems and unique opportunities. This course seeks to integrate and synergize all the disciplines required for effective business management. Emphasis will be placed on the ethical dilemmas that confront managers due to advances in technology, greater access to information, and more collaborative ventures that break down traditional proprietary boundaries. Given the recent wave of ethical lapses in business, students will be sensitized to the ethical considerations in any given decision-making scenario. Utilizing lectures, assigned readings, small group projects, case studies and a business simulation, the students will become proficient at business strategy analysis, creation and implementation within an ethical framework. A final class project will involve the creation of an Individualized Business Strategy Analysis and Action Plan, which applies the techniques learned during the course to any business selected by the student. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be expected to understand classic and innovative strategy paradigms and how to formulate and implement them under ethical guidelines. Students should also gain knowledge of competitive landscapes and the critical alignment between business strategy and the success of the organization.

MGPS 5030 - Creating Customer Value Through Marketing
Marketing activity is the engine that creates value in a business. It provides the focus for interfacing with customers, and is the database for knowledge about customers, consumers and competitors. Marketing focuses on both the achievement of short-term sales as well as the long-term relationship of a company to its customers, thus its critical role to the generation of revenue and profit for a firm. This course emphasizes the role of marketing in creating value for customers, which in turn creates value for owners, shareholders and employees. The course teaches what business managers need to know to create strategies that achieve competitive advantage for products and services. Topics taught in this course include (but are not limited to) analyzing market opportunities, competitive analysis, customer relationship management (CRM), customer decision-making, value of brand, product/service management, segmentation and target selection, product positioning, customer acquisition and retention, and social media leverage. At the conclusion of the course, students will understand (a) how companies create, capture and sustain competitive advantage in the marketplace, (b) the sources of value in product/service offerings and how they evolve over time, (c) the role of technology, operations and distribution in delivering value, and (d) effective responses to preempt, deter or effectively counter competitive moves.

MKMC 5100 - Public Relations Theory and Practice
This course focuses on the critical role that public relations and public relations professionals play as strategic thinkers and business partners in driving organizational strategies and marketing goals. The course provides a structural and practical framework for understanding and effectively employing contemporary public relations, and investigates the challenges of communication and problem-solving across a range of organizations and cross-cultural settings. Trends affecting public relations globally are explored and the integration of marketing and public relations with internal communications is stressed to ensure consistent organizational support and image. Students will engage in critical analysis and discussion of public relations case studies with emphasis on applying course principles in their evaluation. Major topics include, but are not limited to, public relations role in the marketing communications mix, traditional public relations activities, today's public relations activities, proactive public relations techniques, developing and executing a Public Relations Plan, and case studies, best practices and current events. Various learning methods are used in this course, including in-class lectures, readings, discussion of current events in the world economy, and real world case analysis. Upon successful completion of this course students will understand: (a) the role of public relations within an organization's overall marketing and communications effort; (b) how public relations can be a catalyst for business success; (c) how to develop and implement effective public relations campaigns; (d) the importance of measuring public opinion and gauging results, and the methods which can be used; (e) how to use social technologies in public relations planning and execution; and (f) the critical role that public relations plays in both averting a crisis and managing through a crisis.

MKMC 5101- Communication Ethics and Regulations
Marketing professionals can, and must improve their ability to make better marketing and business decisions by understanding the legal and the ethical dimensions behind those decisions. By making more informed decisions, legal and ethical missteps can be avoided. This course reviews the main legal problems of the marketer in a context that considers the history and importance of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (how it is interpreted and applied to mass media in the United States, the protection of intellectual property, theories behind regulation of certain media and the U.S. Supreme Court's role as the "court of last resort". This course provides an opportunity to explore the ethical dimensions of human communication with respect to interpersonal, public, and mass communication. It emphasizes normative ethics in communication studies with specific application to personal and professional venues. This course is designed to sharpen students' awareness of key legal principles, legal reasoning, and ethical standards by which actions are judged in the workplace. This course is not designed to transform students into attorneys, paralegals, ethicists or research scholars, but to provide an appreciation of the issues and to provide a paradigm for their analysis. Various learning methods are used in this course, including in-class lectures, readings, discussion of current events, case analysis and discussion, and real world case analysis. By the end of this course, students should be able to (a) discuss issues of media law and ethics critically, including contract law, intellectual property and advertising law, (b) to find and use legal materials, (c) to spot issues of media law and ethics when faced with common situations as a marketer, (d) develop an ethical basis for making marketing decisions, (e) understand the historical, theoretical, legal and societal contexts within which marketing practitioners work.

MKMC 5102 – Social Media and the Business Imperative
Social Media has played a large part in changing business communications. With the creation of new tools and channels more people are publishing and contributing to online conversations. The mass adoption of social tools has lead to varying types of interactions and the maintenance of online relationships; both personal and commercial. As the traditional online audience has morphed into the content creator, businesses must contend with consumers creating, altering and even enhancing their marketing efforts. This course, in contrast to the tactically-oriented elective course, explores the strategic implications, challenges and opportunities offered by the world of social media. The objective of this course is for students to learn how varying sets of Social Media tools work together as an integrated system and actively apply these concepts to the their own present and prospective professional circumstances. Through the use of presentations, discussions and dialogues, assigned readings, case studies, and student projects the students explore implications of Social Media and integration of the knowledge and skills around Social Media to apply them in a business setting. Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to integrate their understanding of Social Media and its respective dimensions in business marketing challenges and will have mastered the pervasive impact that Social Media has on business marketing.

MGPS 5010 - Communicating Effectively
Communication is crucial to the success of all leaders, but as you climb within an organization the ability to write and speak effectively is magnified. One needs to be able to talk, write and present effectively to a diverse group of stakeholders, such as customers, supervisors, subordinates, peers, buyers, etc. And while business leaders have marketing strategies, expansion strategies, finance strategies, even exit strategies, successful leaders also have communication strategies. This course explores how individuals can develop and execute effective communication strategies for a variety of business settings. The course emphasizes the essentials of developing personal communication skills, inclusive of persuasive verbal and written communication, influence mapping, and communicating for buy-in. Students study audience analysis, communicator credibility, message construction and delivery, and are given the opportunity to learn best practices in presentation skills, particularly important for those wishing to pursue entrepreneurial interests. Globalization confronts almost every aspect of business from recruiting and managing a diverse staff to providing products and services, which cross language, time, and cultural barriers. This course delves into the two areas impacting a leader's success in the global arena: technology and culture. Through a blend of class discussions, seminars, observations, practice, feedback and reflection, students will study frameworks for effective communication in a global environment and then apply these lessons in team and individual projects. Upon successful completion of the course, students will have learned how to; understand the purpose of effective communication and how it can facilitate or hinder individual and organizational performance, appreciate the importance and the management of challenges in communicating to internal and external stakeholders, deliver effective oral and written business presentations, incorporate technology to facilitate more effective communications.

CAPSTONE (required)

MKMC 6000 – Final Project
This course is the culmination of the M.S. in Marketing Communication Management. The purpose of the Final Integrative Project is to provide the student with experience in conducting an applied research project. This project provides students with an opportunity to use academe and professional knowledge and skills in addressing an actual business issue. The student chooses a topic of importance to them, either inherent to the organization in which they currently work or have worked, or one which is of interest as the student moves forward in his/her career. Upon approval of the proposed topic, the student works with a qualified faculty member to research and write the thesis. The finished thesis must demonstrate the student's ability to conduct comprehensive research and articulate original ideas and thought processes that make a contribution to the body of knowledge in the field. In addition to the final paper, the student orally presents the findings to an evaluation committee. All final papers must be of an academic and research standard that is consistent with the requirements of current journals and publications. The student's project must be approved in advance by the Program Director.

ELECTIVE COURSES (Choose five courses)

MGPS 5050 – Leading Effectively and Ethically
This course is designed for students to understand and apply key theories and best practices in leadership. Students will gain familiarity with important leadership concepts and hear, first-hand, the lessons-learned from leaders in business, government, military, and non-profit organizations. This is a highly interactive course that will engage students in identifying and applying what they've learned towards leading teams/organizations through challenging business scenarios. Topics include leadership concepts such as: situational leadership, transformational leadership, "Level 5" leadership/emotional intelligence, and "neuroleadership", cross-cultural models and theories, leadership competencies and assessment tools, actions and behaviors that model best practices in ethical leadership, and leadership development approaches. Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to integrate their understanding of leadership fundamentals in their own development as leaders as well as in the development of others through leadership development programs, mentoring, and coaching.

MGPS 5060 – Project Management
This class provides a comprehensive overview of project management. Students learn how to effectively plan, manage, and control projects that encompass both individual and group efforts in business settings. Basic concepts and tools of project management, such as the work breakdown structure, scheduling, creating milestones, Gantt charts, managing cost, and stakeholder considerations are introduced. The course will include a series of discussion on each of the core knowledge areas and process groups associated with the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Students will also learn more about the social side of project management, including team building, managing virtual teams and developing and implementing effective project communications. In addition, this class draws upon concepts, models, tools and technologies associated with formal project management methodology, including MS Project and the emergence of social networking and learning tools. Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to integrate the technical and soft skill sides of project management to prioritize goals, write a project charter, create a work breakdown structure, establish reliable project budgets and schedules, implement project tracking techniques, manage teams, and create effective strategies to control the project budget, schedule, and quality.

MKMC 5600 – Brand Management
This course focuses on strategic and creative management of brands. It examines how innovative managers create brands that connect with customers by studying customer lifestyles, tapping into cultural meanings, managing customer experiences, and executing brand strategies, including brand naming and visual identity to advertising, new media, retail, packaging, product innovation and service. Specific topics will include: how companies create, capture and sustain competitive advantage through branding and brand equity; the branding process and building a customer relationship; brand building through customer networks; brand valuation and analytics; brand architecture, including building a global brand and brand extensions; brand research and measurement; how to survive a brand crisis; roles and responsibilities of brand managers Class sessions will combine case studies, practical management tools, industry speaker perspectives, and small group exercises. A group term project will tie together all the concepts of the course in an applied challenge. Upon successful completion of this course, students are expected to have learned (a) the creative and strategic nature of branding, (b) the practical frameworks for managing a brand and experience project, and (c) tools for implementing a brand strategy in visual identity, communications and new media. Students are evaluated for their ability to master new concepts, think strategically, and generate truly creative solutions to everyday branding challenges.

MKMC 5601 – Reputation Management
Reputation is broadly defined as the sum of the images constituencies have of an organization; constituents form images based on a company's communication, performance and behavior. This course is designed to impress upon the student that a good corporate reputation has tangible and intangible benefits and value. The course will examine risks that involve public visibility and possible reputational harm. Through case studies and best practices, as well as analysis of the short- and long-term reputational effects of the global credit crisis, the course will describe and explain the value of reputation components, including integrity, governance and transparency. The course also will stress the need for a formal mechanism, such as a reputation management plan, to periodically measure and manage reputation, in an increasingly diverse and globalized marketplace. These steps show senior management's commitment to protecting reputation as the corporate asset it is. Upon the successful completion of this course, students will be keenly aware of practical and theoretical factors that affect a firm's general corporate reputation in their global and local business environments. Specifically, they will be able to meet the challenges of how societal expectations of business are changing; the increasingly difficult task of managing corporate reputations globally and locally; remaining loyal to customers, employees and other key constituents; how to avoid organizational myopia; and how to view reputation as an asset that needs to be effectively managed like any other asset.

MKMC 5602 – Global Marketing Strategies
This course is designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to create global marketing strategies that provide competitive advantage. The aim is to combine the development of a conceptual framework with real life current examples of global marketing practices across a variety of industries. Students will gain an understanding of specific concepts, consideration and strategies that must be skillfully applied in conjunction with universal marketing fundamentals to ensure success in global markets. The course is practical, hands-on, and applied, thus allowing students to analyze and plan global marketing strategies. Extensive use of cases presents a challenging and real-life environment in which to apply and hone decision-making skills. Topics include: Global marketing environment, including social, cultural, legal and regulatory; Competitive dynamics, including how to understand, anticipate and effectively respond to competitive threats; Global market entry strategies, including strategic alliances, licensing, joint ventures; Product, brand and pricing decision sets; Global marketing communications; Leading a global marketing effort. Upon successful completion of the course, students will have (a) enhanced their knowledge and skills to understand and apply the frameworks, concepts, and methods used in the development of effective global marketing strategies, (b) gained practical experience in the application of processes used to develop market strategy, (c) discussed and debated internal and external barriers to strategy implementation, as well as approaches to overcoming these barriers, and (d) explored commonalities and differences across countries and cultures.

MKMC 5603 – Social Media Technologies
The implementation of any Social Media campaign requires a thorough understanding of the tools available. As the popularity of Social Media became part of the fabric of daily business life the availability of Social Media technology also exploded. With the creation of new tools and channels, businesses are challenged to stay ahead of the curve. The exponential growth of content presents a unique set of challenges to any business. The signal to noise ratio is incredibly high. Businesses are challenged not only with the implementation of social media campaigns but also with the monitoring of them. This course, in contrast to the core course, explores the tactical capabilities of various popular social media technologies and how to best utilize them. The objective of this course is for students to learn how varying sets of Social Media technologies work and how which channels the tools are most effective in addressing. Through the use of presentations, discussions and dialogues, assigned readings, case studies, and projects, students explore the various tools and how they may be applied in a business setting. They will learn how to build and configure their company's presence on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus and how to measure the impact of Social Media using Social Analytics tools. Upon successfully completing this course, students will understand the tools and technologies behind various popular social media platforms, be able to integrate their understanding of Social Media technologies, and address tactical challenges in rolling out social business marketing campaigns.

MKMC 5604 - Corporate Communication
This course explores the role, structure and operation of the corporate communications function within the organization. Students will analyze business models and strategies to determine the most effective corporate communications structure for a given business or organization. They will learn to staff the function through the filter of required competencies, corporate culture, resources, and strategic business objectives, as well as how to select and obtain quality work from external vendors. Students will also become familiar with the major corporate communications activities and how functional roles can be integrated to form a seamless internal and external voice for the organization. Emphasis will be placed on developing and managing the budget against committed activities and maximizing the resources available to achieve objectives. Students will learn to manage communications teams and projects, and will study the traits of high-performance corporate communications organizations through case studies. In order to generate and demonstrate the value of communications and Public Relations to senior management, students will learn how to measure and evaluate communications programs. Upon successful completion of this course, students will understand how to: build and adapt a communications function to the needs of the overall business with measurable results; staff and manage a communications department; integrate and align the communications function within the larger business organization; manage and build a corporate reputation program; understand the role and importance of brand messaging; prepare budgets and establish priorities that address the organization's business objectives and goals; create and manage a high-powered communications team that delivers business results, and; measure the effectiveness of the communications function.

MKMC 5605 – Consumer Behavior
Business success begins with understanding what consumers want and need, and ends with consumer satisfaction, so a clear understanding of consumer behavior is essential to successful marketing. This course examines the basic concepts of consumer psychology and the application of those important concepts to marketing decisions. The goal of this course is to introduce students to these important concepts, review conceptual models and empirical research in consumer behavior, and focus on the factors that drive the consumer decision-making processes. In this way, students will understand how marketing strategies and tactics can affect those processes. The course explores consumer characteristics, the influences of perceptions and attitudes on consumer choice, and the influence of culture, family and unique situations on consumer behavior. Topics covered include the formation of attitudes, the role of self-image in consumer behavior, understanding emotions and how they affect decision making, decision processes, social and cultural influences, information processing and ethical issues. The course is built on a lecture and discussion format, and is supplemented by readings, discussion of current events and real world case analysis. Upon successful completion of this course, students will (a) understand the basic drivers of consumer behavior, (b) be able to produce a thorough understanding of consumer decision processes and how this can be harnessed to create effective marketing strategies, (c) anticipate consumer reactions to marketing tactics and understand how to enhance the effectiveness of marketing tactics, and (d) understand the relevance to market segmentation, product positioning, product development and promotion.

MGPS 5070 – Generating Growth and Innovation
Nothing is more central to a business than the products and/or services it sells. And, for the majority of businesses, whether small entrepreneurial firms or large established companies, this mandates growth and innovation. The business leader must now be an innovator, ever more important given the rapid evolution in products and business models. Yet, the strategies and processes used to determine which products to make, how to make them or where to get them, and how to bring them to market are not well understood by many firms. The result is that promising new products and ideas are discarded, marginal products are developed and many products fail in the marketplace. The core objective of this course is to help students understand the role (and challenges) of innovation strategy in a company's growth, best practices for leveraging innovation, and the capabilities required to drive accelerated growth. The course provides frameworks and methods for generating growth and innovation through organic growth options, new products and services and alternative partnerships such as mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. It examines ideation, the end-to-end innovation process, innovation portfolio decision-making and governance, and key organizational enablers of innovation sustainability. At the conclusion of this course, students will possess the insights and skills around the development, launch and management of innovative growth options. They will appreciate the risks and rewards of bringing innovation to the market, hold an understanding of consumer psychology and its impact on adoption of innovation, and will have learned the marketing strategies necessary to develop, introduce and manage new products, services and partnerships.

MKMC 5650 – Special Topics in Marketing Communication Management
This container course, offered periodically, examines special topics and emerging issues in marketing, public relations, and communication using a seminar approach. The course will enable the students to explore the most current challenges affecting the leaders of tomorrow, focusing on evolving approaches to and best practices for managing the marketing and communication function in an organization.



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