Eastern Michigan University
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Alumna Mary Kramer Heads Detroit’s Largest Business Publication

Published April 25, 2013

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Mary Kramer

Mary Kramer

It's been five years since Mary Kramer (MS08) earned her master's degree from Eastern Michigan University, but the impact of her education lives on in a printed publication that reaches 150,000 and website that averages 206,768 visitors per month.

"The media world turned upside down the decade before I enrolled in Eastern," says Kramer, 60, vice president and publisher of Crain's Business, a leading business newspaper and website. She worked for six daily newspapers before joining Crain's in 1989.

"In order to lead my organization-Crain's Detroit Business-as publisher, I needed to hit a re-set button in my own life and learn more about how marketing--particularly digital marketing--was changing the advertising and marketing options our clients had before them. Going back to school was the right thing to do," adds Kramer, who earned a master's degree in integrated marketing communications (IMC).

Not only did the IMC program "re-set" her marketing skills, several professors allowed Kramer to shape her class projects around her professional goals. "For example, I designed and completed a survey of young professionals as a course project that directly affected my goals at work," she says.

She also has expanded the reach of her publication by creating an e-newsletter for Crain's advertising clients-an idea that was "hatched" during the IMC program; by utilizing social media; and by adding a digital strategy director. These changes helped Kramer build a "solid team" over the years, not only on the journalism side, but also on the sales, marketing and online operation side.

Kramer says Eastern was the best choice for her graduate degree because of its scheduling flexibility, its proximity to her Detroit home and its faculty. "The program was online, it was local, and I was impressed with the interaction of the professors leading the program." In fact, she was pleasantly surprised to discover that EMU faculty regularly attend weekend campus events. "That's not the norm at many universities!" she adds.

Kramer has served on various boards in the education and philanthropic arenas and has received numerous awards and honors for her civic involvement. She holds honorary doctorates from several universities, including Eastern.

Crain's, founded in 1985, covers business news--including nonprofits and philanthropy-in the five-county metropolitan Detroit area. Daily "Michigan Morning" and weekly "Crain's Michigan Business" e-newsletters, as well as a monthly print publication, extend that coverage statewide. For more information, see http://www.crainsdetroit.com/.


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