Recap: Making Media Connections 2013

Article by Daisy Carrera and Maria Zavala

This year the Gozamos team was on site at the Making Media Connections Conference, presented by the Community Media Workshop at Columbia College Chicago. MMC brings together “nonprofit communicators, journalists, web advocates, PR professionals, community leaders, social media mavens and more!”


Among the conference’s attendees were many social media gurus who were eager to share their knowledge on the important roles that social media plays for both established and emerging companies and organizations. Though there was an obvious professional presence, the  one-day event also fostered a strong sense of community—everyone was there to give tips and tricks on what has worked for them and their pursuits.

The speakers at the sessions all gathered to share their expertise on applying many forms of media within their own industry, but kept the mood light as they added interactive projects for the audience and cracked a couple of jokes here and there. It was fun learning about other peoples’ jobs and the different ways in which they utilize social media to build their connections and brands and to power up their organizations.

Below is a recap of some of the more intriguing sessions that the Gozamos team was live blogging:

Mobile storytelling: Basics for Community Engagement through Mobile Media really stood out amongst the others. The panelists included Jeremy Gilbert of Medill School of Journalism, Amy Guth of the Chicago Tribune, Jane Hanna of the Field Museum and Charlie Meyerson of Roosevelt University. They enlightened us, beginning with facts about how much we really use our phones throughout the day, “Think about it: the first thing you touch in the morning is your phone to turn off your alarm[and it’s also]the last thing, to turn it on or check your email or messages,” said one of the panelists.

Engagement through mobile media is so easy and accessible for any organization. We are living in a generation where any sort of information is just one click away—and in the case of most people, it’s literally in the palm of their hand. One thing I took away from the discussion among these talented professionals is that to continue building a company or organization is to make it stand out, make your own voice, own it and stay consistent. The room was flowing with positive vibes and the interaction between the panel and the audience was very open. Making Media Connections 2013 let us hear about the kinds of issues that different organizations have and provided answers regarding resources and suggestions for change.

People to follow: @JeremyGilbert , @AmyGuth , @Meyerson

View the live blog on Storify

Oh BAMA! Discover the Tactics Behind Using Technology in Campaigns was an amazing presentation by President Barack Obama’s tech team and how they redefined how technology is used to run a successful political campaign.

The biggest takeaway in their presentation was that you can’t change behavior online. Instead, you have to enable online-make platforms to engage and enable an end user to do what they want to do. “Online tools are not for getting to people to do different things, but to help people do what they want to and are ready to do,” as one panelist put it. It was interesting to hear them talk about engagement through their perspective on digital technology.

In the case of the Obama campaign staff, they measured progress through impact indications: the more shares, the more success and proof that the public is liking what you’re doing. During the various phases leading up the the the ultimate vote, there are different metrics that need to be done. Goals can transform all the time, so constant measurements and new data can help as long as you always remember to “tie your metrics to your organizational goals.”

View pictures and the live blog on Storify

People to Follow: @cgansen , @RyanK , @scottvdp, @kpequeno

Overall, the event was a completely incredible and enlightening experience. In some of the other interesting workshops we learned how to brand organizations, how to pack a punch with WordPress, why news matters and much more. The information discussed during MMC 2013 was all incredibly valuable and relevant, and will shape the future of many communicators as we all soak in the insights and apply it to our everyday lives—whether it be personal or professional.
Gozamos was there through it all to learn and document through Storify. Check out the rest of our blogs on Storify and the Community Media Workshop recap.  Read, learn, enjoy, and share the knowledge.