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Second Annual Meek School New Media Conference ‘Innovate! 2015’ Huge Success

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Lewis D’Vorkin opened the conference Thursday morning with “Digital Innovation in Content Production and Delivery.”
Photo by Samantha Mitchell

Innovate! 2015 is the second annual new media conference that the Meek School of Journalism and New Media has sponsored, along with HottyToddy.com.

Innovate! 2015 welcomed professionals in the industry along with students and faculty to discuss the ever-changing landscape of journalism and marketing, and where the industry may be heading. The conference brought in speakers like Lewis D’Vorkin from Forbes, Hank Price, the President of the WVTM-TV Chapter in Birmingham, and Fred Anklam from USA Today.

Students were eager to hear what the professionals had to say about the up and coming technologies, as well as where they saw the field going with the new media.

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D’Vorkin presenting at the Innovate! 2015 New Media Conference.
Photo by Samantha Mitchell

D’Vorkin was up first and discussed the changing landscape of publishing as well as content marketing.

“There is nothing better in the world than good reporting, good storytellers- but journalists don’t own journalism anymore.”

Forbes hires contributors from around the world to discuss important and interesting information to their audience and D’Vorkin feels that it is important to keep them engaged. He discussed the importance of technology and how it has been playing into the development of better journalism, as well as marketing. This being said, he mentioned that nonlinear storytelling works best and that journalists should be thinking about smart and concise news information.

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Hank Price talking to the audience at the New media conference.
Photo by Samantha Mitchell

Hank Price was up next and started with the question, “Is your organization innovated?”

Price delved into the dissection of the target audience of television and how TV has now become the core of a “multi-platform media brand.” He discussed institutional trust and relational trust and how it important now more than ever to gain and maintain the trust of your organization’s audience. He then discussed true innovation for organizations and how it important to stand out in the world of media.

“True innovation never has an immediate return,” Price commented.

The conference took a short break for lunch, and Professor R.J. Morgan showed off the Meek School’s drone over the grove.

Fred Anklam spoke about print's digital path. Photo by Amelia Camurati
Fred Anklam spoke about print’s digital path.
Photo by Amelia Camurati

The conference commenced with Fred Anklam who discussed print’s progression into digital and what it entails for the industry as a whole. Anklam is senior editor at USA Today and discussed the dissection of their audience from print and digital, showing that 20% were still in print, whereas 65% reside from mobile alone. Anklam also discussed the importance of the “how to” getting information to consumers, whether mobile, print, or social, and how USA Today has been able to distinguish itself from others in the field by doing so.

“The acceleration of change is so fast that we almost can’t keep up with it,” Anklam commented.

The conference wrapped up with a “Tech Talk” with Professor Wenger along with Professor R.J. Morgan, who discussed the potential of tech tools, such as Google Glass, Apple Watch, and drone journalism and marketing. They demonstrated footage of the Grove with the drone and how it may be fruitful for the industry for the future. Participants of the segment even got the opportunity to test out the tools as well as the drone firsthand. The conference was a hit, and so was the #innovate2015!

It was a very inspiring conference and many left feeling innovated. D’Vorkin summed it up best in his talk when he said, “The key to any successful company is a unique identity, an identity that works for both your audience and your business.”

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Lewis D’Vorkin with Forbes.
Photo by Samantha Mitchell
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Hank Price presenting at the Innovate! 2015 New Media Conference.
Photo by Samantha Mitchell
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Screenshot taken from Twitter during the “Tech Talk” segment.
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Screenshot taken from Twitter during the “Tech Talk” segment.
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Screenshot taken from Twitter during the “Tech Talk” segment.

Samantha Mitchell is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at smitche3@go.olemiss.edu.

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