2017 School of Communication & Media Colloquium: Digital Innovation


KENNESAW, Ga. (Sep 26, 2017)This year the School of Communication and Media hosted their 5th annual colloquium focusing on Digital Innovation and Communication. Students were encouraged to attend the colloquium not only to learn from top professionals in the field of digital media but also to network with these professionals for internship and career opportunities. The Colloquium hosted 5 concurrent panel discussions all focusing on different aspects of the impact digital innovation has had on communication.

Adobe Sparks Interest with KSU Students

The Adobe Spark panel b brought a new realm of excitement for program attendees. Students received hands-on training for a new Adobe product; Adobe Spark. A capacity crowd filled a digital lab for two sessions of creative instruction. Within 30 minutes, students were able to produce a social media post and a multimedia document. They also learned some fast design techniques and real-time posting.

Digital and the Professions

Tyler Hartsook, digital strategist at 22 squared, shared his experiences in working with large and small companies to develop effective digital strategies for them. As a recent KSU graduate that has quickly established himself as a thought leader in the ever-changing realm of digital marketing, Tyler showed students how quickly young professionals can establish credibility and enjoy success in their careers as well as for their clients. Tyler also stressed how important it is to bring creativity and new ways of thinking to client's strategies. Who would think to incorporate Instagram into the marketing strategy of a conservative, 120-year banking institution? Tyler did, and shared this story as an example of how professionals can leverage creativity with digital media for unique and successful strategies.

The News Process: A Digital Tsunami

In “The News Process: A Digital Tsunami,” panelists Jennifer Rigby, news director at WXIA-TV, and David Armstrong, director of the Georgia News Lab, discussed how technology has changed reporting on local news and investigative reporting. Both styles of reporting are at a crossroads, seeking a way forward in the digital age. Of particular concern is how best to present stories, particularly complex stories, that are compatible with how people consume information today. Armstrong talked about how the Georgia News Lab has developed a collaborative model that helps makes investigative reporting more affordable and diverse. By pairing experienced journalists with young, well-trained data and digital savvy reporters, the Lab is trying to preserve the vital mission of investigative reporting and lead it into the future.

Digital Careers: Atlanta Food Bloggers

The “Digital Careers: Atlanta Food Bloggers” panel at the 2017 SOCM colloquium was a smash hit. The panelists included Megan Roth and Kathleen Cone from Hungry Girls Do it Better, Morgan Bryant from Eat Here ATL, and Olivia Tuttle from Melissa Libby & Associated PR firm. Our SOCM students were treated to a crash course in being an “Instagram Influencer” and the amount of dedication it takes to create a digital brand. Morgan encouraged them to “find your voice” and focus on a niche that they were passionate about.” Megan and Kathleen advised the students on the importance of networking and persistence, and warned them that on their path, they’ll likely hear the word “no” a lot. For anyone looking to start an online brand like Hungry Girls Do it Better, they suggested spending a lot of time on social media sites (especially Instagram), searching geotags in your area, and “liking” everything to get yourself noticed. Olivia noted that clients seem to be asking for more video promotion and she stressed that videography skills are going to be quite important in the future for online influencers.

The Changing Media Management Landscape

The media industry is transitioning from an era dominated by branded traditional media like The New York Times and the major television networks, to a more diffused, consumer-oriented era in which tools and technology used to disseminate news and information will be as important as the content itself. But, quality content should always be king, and the journalism and entertainment giants that lead the industry have the upper hand at delivering the quality content consumers want and need. This was the take-away from “The Changing Media Landscape” panel at the 2017 Communication Colloquium. The panel featured J.K. Murphy, managing editor of the Marietta Daily Journal and vice president for content for Times, Journal, Inc.; Rick Perez, former senior vice president and general manager, movies and series portfolio for Turner Broadcasting Latin America; and Julius Suber, former senior vice president for CNN News Features.

These three speakers will also be featured in the spring MENT 4430 "Media Management" course.