Social Commerce Days, held over a two day period, brings a core group of W2O employees to Syracuse University to take part in various events. Last week, I was fortunate to be joined by the following eight W2O employees for social commerce days:

  • Gary Grates
  • Jim Larkin
  • Shai Reichert
  • Stephen Yoon
  • Abigail Rethore
  • Angie Gette
  • Kursten Mitchell
  • Jaclyn Stahl

Throughout Social Commerce Days, W2O employees were invited into classrooms to offer guest lectures to students in both Public Relations and Advertising. Classes we spoke to included:

  1. Public Relations Research
  2. Public Relations Campaign Planning and Execution
  3. Advanced Writing for the Digital Age
  4. Creative and Conceptual Media Planning
  5. Public Relations Ethics

Along with guest lecturing, W2O employees attended an exclusive event with Hill Communications, the student-run PR firm. The first 30 minutes consisted of Q&A between W2O and Hill Communications. Topics covered include client relations, social media engagement, content creation and analytics. For the last 30 minutes, W2O employees broke off to offer more detailed advice pertaining to individual client teams. This event was a huge success. As one student put it, “Being able to explain our current efforts and problems to your team and hearing their input really sparked some great ideas.”

The marquee event of Social Commerce days was an interactive workshop held with around 30 students. The event, promoted as an ACES workshop, would expose students to case studies of W2O Group work. To start, students were presented with a 40 minute case study that showed students a soup to nuts look at how we pull through ACES for clients. Next, students were presented with actual data from a potential client and briefed on the current situational analysis of the client. Then, students were presented with 5 questions and given 40 minutes to build out a campaign pulling through ACES using our data. We finished with a discussion around what students came up with and offered feedback based on our experiences.

After the workshop, Gary delivered the Social Commerce Days keynote address to students, faculty and community members. His keynote, titled, “An Unconventional Career… Preparing for a Life of Discovery and Connection,” focused on the evolution of the industry, employer expectations and the need for students to never box themselves in as a practitioner. As one student captured:

Gary’s keynote truly resonated with students, and a sample of the online conversation around it can be found here.

Overall, Social Commerce Days was a huge success at Syracuse. Students were excited to engage and interact with W2O employees. To keep an eye on our partnership with Syracuse University and to continue to stay updated on Social Commerce Days content, check back to the center’s website.