Resources for journalists reporting on social media


Image: C MicuThe following Fairfield University faculty members can speak to different facets of social media and its growing importance:

For perspectives on the how consumers use social media to discuss brands and what makes online brand content viral, please consider as a resource Fairfield University faculty member Camelia Micu, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing at the Charles F. Dolan School of Business. Dr. Micu used Twitter in her recent research endeavors to understand consumer behavior in social media.

"I have started to become more interested in social media, especially with regard to what consumers discuss about brands on social media," she said. "Companies have great opportunities to connect with their customers via social media and to engage them in sustainable, positive word-of-mouth. In order to do so, it is imperative for businesses to understand what people talk about and what makes them share brand content with others via social media. My research is investigating those relevant conversations (as reflected in consumers' brand beliefs) that already show engagement with a brand, so that companies can better target their market with the 'right' message."

Dr. Micu has also studied cross-cultural consumer behavior and advertising and its effects on a 'subsequent product trial' - also known as the process of allowing consumers to try/test a product before purchasing it. During this line of study, she has looked at several variables of interest, including attractiveness in advertising, regulatory goals, and advertising content/attribute type.  

Before academia, Dr. Micu worked in the corporate sector at Coca-Cola. She teaches in the undergraduate and M.B.A. programs in the areas of marketing research and customer values. Dr. Micu has published in top marketing journals, including the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Advertising, and Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. In one of her papers, she explored the effect of advertising in English in non-native English-speaking markets. She holds a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Connecticut.

Image: Mike SerazioFor stories on social media as it pertains to popular culture, advertising, politics and new media, please consider Michael Serazio, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication. Dr. Serazio is the author of "Your Ad Here: The Cool Sell of Guerrilla Marketing" (NYU Press, 2013) and "Selling Millennials: The social construction and technological bias of a consumer generation," which will be published in the journal Television & New Media. An upcoming edition of The Journal of Communication will include his work, "The new media designs of political consultants: Campaign production in a fragmented era."

"For advertisers, social media is the next great frontier for colonization," said Dr. Serazio. "It tantalizes with two key elements that corporations crave and that traditional media comparatively lack: credibility and a lack of clutter. For decades, these advertisers have known that word-of-mouth is the most powerful medium to move product - Facebook, Twitter, and other recent platforms materialize that opportunity in digital form. Of course, the more saturated that social media become with marketing messages, the more it saps that competitive edge - seeming less credible and more cluttered."

Dr. Serazio's book investigates the proliferation of brands into pop culture, social patterns and digital platforms amidst major transformation of the advertising and media industries. His work has also appeared in Critical Studies of Media Communication, Communication Culture & Critique and The Journal of Popular Culture.

Dr. Serazio holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and a B.A. in communication from the University of San Francisco. He is a former staff writer for the Houston Press and he occasionally writes essays on media and culture for The Atlantic.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 2, 2013

Vol. 46, No. 133