OXFORD — As new director of the integrated marketing communications program at the University of Mississippi’s journalism school, Scott Fiene hopes to help students get passionate about the field and learn to use all the discipline’s tools.
With more than two decades of corporate public relations and marketing communications experience, Fiene has plenty of knowledge to offer students in the program, which has enrolled more than 140 undergraduate and 17 graduate students since its launch in fall 2011.
“Integrated marketing is, first and foremost, a customer-centric program,” Fiene said. “It is an integration of advertising, public relations, direct marketing, sales promotion, Internet marketing and every other customer touch – and how those disciplines go together to create a coherent story. It is designed to make all aspects of branding a company work together, rather than in isolation.”
The Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications program is housed in the university’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media, where Fiene is an assistant professor. What’s more, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools recently approved the program’s expansion to the university’s Tupelo and Desoto campuses, he said.
Since joining the faculty in January, Fiene has worked “to help students understand how to maximize all marketing communications tools into one seamless unified force,” he said.
That meshes well with the philosophy of the journalism school to provide “superior education and hands-on, real world experience,” Dean Will Norton said.
“The Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications gives students an opportunity to understand the changing role of journalism from different perspectives while developing multimedia and intellectual skills necessary to succeed in media industries,” Norton said.
Fiene , the former owner of MagnaStar Marketing Group, an Iowa-based consulting firm specializing in marketing communications research, strategy and customer relationship building, also knows a lot about providing integrated marketing plans to help companies grow. MagnaStar clients included Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Nationwide Agribusiness, Iowa Farm Bureau, GuideOne Insurance, Federal Home Loan Bank, Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Interstate Batteries, Drake University, Iowa State University and Meredith Corp. He was also vice president of marketing at Principal Financial Group.
“My second goal is to get students excited about IMC and to have a passion because it combines academic knowledge with old-fashioned customer relationship skills,” he said. “It’s a hands-on program that includes research, planning and development of marketing communications – definitely winning combinations.”
Before joining the Ole Miss faculty, Fiene taught marketing and sales courses at the Drake University College of Business. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in journalism. In 1992, he earned a master’s in journalism and mass communications from Drake University.
He is a member of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and past president of the Iowa Chapter of the American Marketing Association, and has served on the board of the International Association of Business Communicators.