An Introduction to our W2O Group Center for Social Commerce Ambassadors

Posted by: in Communication, Communication Strategy, Corporate and Strategy, Culture, Innovation, Inside WCG, Intern/Internship, Public Relations Practice, Social Commerce, Social Media Insights & Trends, Thought Leadership, w20 group on March 5, 2014

Our partnership with Syracuse University is off to the races in 2014. We just completed our latest edition of Social Commerce Days, an exciting opportunity to bring W2O Group employees to Syracuse to speak in classes, hold workshops and talk with professors. For a more in-depth look at what went down, have a look here at Michael Westgate’s  post and here at Adam Silverstein’s.

What’s just as exciting is the launch of our first-annual W2O Group Center for Social Commerce Ambassador Program. This program offers two students the opportunity to immerse themselves into W2O Group and the Center for Social Commerce for a period of one year. They will intern with W2O Group this summer, and upon finishing go back to Syracuse with roles and responsibilities to bring forward what they have learned. In the near-term, they will be joining us at SxSW to begin integrating themselves into our offerings as well as capturing content at all of our events. They are eager to meet everyone and get started.

Instead of trying to introduce them to you myself, I asked each of them to pull together a brief introductory blog post. With that, I’d like to introduce Nick Jones and Lauryn Botterman.

Nick Photo

There is no greater rush than receiving that email. You know, the email where you find out you’ve gotten the internship you’ve so desperately sought? Yeah, that one.

I can still remember the exact moment. The slight ding from my phone. The sudden jolt of the car as it lurched to a stop at the red light. The anxiety roiling in my stomach. The flood of relief upon seeing the subject line. The fist-pumping, feet-stomping and exuberant yelps and yeehaws that followed in excitement.

The opportunity to be a 2014 W2O Group Summer Intern and Center for Social Commerce Student Ambassador is an honor. The chance to work with such a renowned and forward-thinking agency is truly incredible. As this is my first blog post, I’d like to introduce myself:

I am currently a junior at Syracuse University with a dual major in political science and public relations. I am an active member of Hill Communications, an award winning student-run PR firm. In the past, I have served as an account supervisor for accounts working with international nonprofits, small towns and small businesses. I have held internships with Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, NY, Congressman Daniel B. Maffei and have staffed several political campaigns.

This summer, I will intern with WCG’s Corporate & Strategy team in NYC along with working on Corporate Social Responsibility work. I believe the work of W2O Group and its affiliates represents the cutting edge of the communications industry. The use of digital/social strategy and technology allow for insights into consumer and corporate behavior that were previously inaccessible. This wealth of information is game changing and can be used to develop highly targeted strategies and content. This access to data, and the proper use of analytics, will allow the communications industry to create some of the most creative strategies developed to date.

Over the last week, I’ve seen firsthand how W2O is using data and insights to transform business and politics. As a Syracuse student, I’ve been treated to Social Commerce Days before, however, this was my first time with a look behind the scenes. I was exposed to all facets of the company from an intimate dinner with Torod Neptune, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Verizon to the many presentations delivered by members of W2O (Thank you Antonio, Dani, Adam, Alyssa, Taylor, and Michael!).

As I write this post, I’m preparing to head down to Austin, TX for SXSW. This will be a great taste of the industry, its emerging technology and all its promise. I look forward to learning even more about W2O and immersing myself in the hustle and bustle that is SXSW.

You can follow my SXSW experience, step-by-step, via Twitter @NickJonesSYR.

Lauryn Photo

Hello all! I’m thrilled to be on board as a  2014 W2O Group Summer Intern and Center for Social Commerce Student Ambassador through our partnership at Syracuse University. First, a brief introduction:

I am a creative thinker with a strategic mindset, a media connoisseur, and an aspiring leader in the communications industry. As a junior public relations major at Syracuse, I serve on the Executive Board of our PRSSA chapter and am also an Account Associate for Hill Communications, our student-run PR firm. My previous internships at EPIX, a premium entertainment channel, and Danielides Communications, a boutique PR firm, have allowed me to explore public relations in both in-house and agency settings. I look forward to building my knowledge and sharpening my skills as an intern in WCG’s Healthcare division this summer.

The W2O team allowed me to immediately dive into my role as Center for Social Commerce ambassador. I met with company representatives last week when they visited Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Public Communications for “Social Commerce Days,” a series of presentations and workshops meant to expose students to the cutting-edge industry insights pioneered by W2O.

After fervently live-tweeting presentations on behalf of the Center (@SocCommSU) and taking careful notes, it was clear that the buzzword of Social Commerce Days was #analytics. W2O has been an undisputed champion in the realm of data-driven communications. But the real takeaway of the event was this: Data means nothing if it’s not followed by analysis and actionable insights. As Michael Westgate noted in his keynote speech, brands can utilize a “socialgraphic” methodology to assess their share of social conversation, consumer engagement rate, and competitive affinity to create more targeted and creative campaigns. As Taylor Carr further explained, the communications industry has shifted from an era of coverage to an era of influence. By identify and engaging with those that are truly influential on social media, brands can mobilize third-party advocates to drive organic buzz.

I’ll keep these insights in mind as I carry on my ambassador duties in Austin, Texas this week for W2O’s participation at SXSW. It’s been a great experience thus far. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead!

Follow my SXSW journey on Twitter: @LaurynBotterman.

By: Taylor Carr

Taylor Carr is a manager within the Corporate and Strategy team at WCG.

Find me on: Twitter
Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on! Join the conversation #precommerce.

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