Medill students to participate in Chicago’s Social Media Week

Marshall Cohen

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Medill graduate students will participate Thursday in a week-long social media convention, which kicked off Monday in Chicago and 11 other cities worldwide.

Social Media Week is a global convention on social marketing and emerging media taking place this week at various venues throughout Chicago, which joins Los Angeles as one of only two U.S. cities participating in Social Media Week. International hubs like Moscow, Rio de Janeiro and Beirut will host concurrent conventions.

On Thursday, two Medill graduate student groups will present their final projects from a spring Integrated Marketing Communications class taught by Prof. Randy Hlavac, who will also be speaking at the Social Media Week event.

Their session, titled “Finding the Return on Investment in Social Media,” will focus on increasing bottom-line sales through localized social marketing programs, according to the Social Media Week website.

“I’m extremely proud of our students and I’m extremely excited for our ability to show people what we can do,” Hlavac said. “When people see their presentations, they see that the students have mastered a lot of cutting-edge technology.”

The seminar will be streamed live online to an international audience as part of Social Media Week’s initiative to broadcast more than 140 live events this year. After the presentation, the students will field questions selected from posts on Twitter that use the hashtag #SMWsocialIMC.

For Medill graduate students like Gwynne Rowe, this is no ordinary presentation.

“It’s a big opportunity, and the job market these days is not great,” Rowe said. “This is something I can talk about in interviews, and it’s a great opportunity to network. Maybe even future employers will be watching on the Internet or attending in person.”

Social Media Week is a product of Crowdcentric, an international strategy innovation firm. Crowdcentric CEO Toby Daniels decided to bring the event to Chicago in 2011 after two years in New York City.

“Chicago is one of the most important cities in the U.S.-culturally, politically, and commercially-and it would be remiss of us to exclude a city like Chicago that has so much to contribute to the conversation,” Daniels said.