Summit panelists say new media is consumer-controlled

Lewis B. O'Donnell Media Summit panelWhere is new media heading? Wherever you decide, said a panel four experts who gathered for the fifth annual Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit on SUNY Oswego’s campus.

This year’s panel discussion, “Your GPS Directions to the Digital Media World,” drew more than 300 to the Sheldon Hall ballroom Oct. 14.

“Things are really changing,” summit founder and 1977 Oswego graduate Louis A. Borrelli Jr. said. “The media—especially in the last few years—has been dynamic.”

A major factor has been the emergence of social networking sites like Facebook, which offers unprecedented interactivity to users while also monitoring their online habits. Marketers want to “merge the brand with the conversation,” Facebook Account Director Matty de Castro said.

“Finding a way to initiate that two-way conversation ... is indispensable,” E.B. Moss, founder and principal of the Moss Appeal marketing agency in New York City.

Maintaining a Web presence is no longer a one-way street for advertisers or organizations.

“We’re not just pushing the message out. As soon as we push the message, they’re going to talk right back to us,” de Castro said.

The new hyper-interactive scene has benefits for businesses that use social media correctly.

“They have to be transparent; they have to be available. They have to be authentic and true to their mission,” Moss said.

Older forms of mass media are drawn to social networking platforms as well. NBC Sports Vice President and Creative Director Mark Levy said his company is interested in using a Facebook application to closer engage its audience for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Our advertisers want to know how we are going to reach these people in the younger demographic and that’s one way we’re trying to do that,” said Levy, class of 1986.

“We have to deal with how to use (new media) and how to incorporate it with our advertisers’ messages,” he said.
That challenge also exists in radio, where 1977 Oswego graduate Rick Yacobush tries to find the right new-school methods for advertisers in the Syracuse market. Basically, phenomena like Facebook, Twitter or whatever might be next don’t work for everyone.

“It’s always got to be in the client’s best interest. Never forget that,” the market sales manager for Clear Channel Radio said.

After the panel, more than 70 students joined six alumni from across the media spectrum for “Career Connectors.” ESPN’s Emanul Adjekum (class of 2005), music artist manager Michael Gewirtzman (class of 2005), technology director Jim Griffin (1997), video and sound engineer Larry Rubinstein (class of 1981), Yahoo’s Seth Thibault (class of 2005) and radio marketing executive Koren L. Vaughan (class of 1995) joined News 10 Now General Manager Ron Lombard in discussing their careers with students.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Next Media—Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit panel, from left: moderator Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ‘77, Matty de Castro of Facebook, marketing entrepreneur E.B. Moss, Mark Levy ‘86 of NBC Sports, student representative Robert Stobie ‘10 and Rick Yacobush ‘77, Syracuse market Clear Channel sales director.

(Posted: Oct 14, 2009)

Tags: alumni