Week 3: A Conversation with Guest Speakers Dan Portnoy and Matt Meeks

Ami Magal

Ami Magal

By UCLA X425 Student Ami Magal

In his book, “The Non-Profit Narrative,” Dan Portnoy writes on page 12: “We find the best story when we connect the facts. Why? Because we want to understand the humanity. It’s a basic desire that we want to understand our world.”

Can Portnoy

Can Portnoy

Actually, Portnoy summarized the essence and the core of Social Media in three short sentences.

In their guest speaking appearance, Portnoy and Matt Meeks discussed a range of topics, beginning with the question of who “owns” social media?

Dan thinks the answer depends on who is charged with implementing the social media effort; it’s not important what department within an organization he or she represents — so long as they can get out the message. Matt agreed that there is no one particular person who owns social media. In his opinion, it is the message, not the messenger, that is the key to success.

Matt Meeks

Matt Meeks

Understanding who “owns” social media can also help us understand what lies ahead for social media. Different types of publishers — from large companies to small organizations to the self employed — must all learn to craft messages specifically for their target audience. They all may use the same social media platforms, but their messages can’t be the same.

Dan said that while technology will change, the most successful messages are always the ones that are honest and authentic. This discussion brought us to the issue of content marketing. Dan again suggested that what’s old will be new, which in my understanding meant that conveying your message with integrity is the future of social media. Interestingly within this context, Matt also brought up how social media has provided a new platform for celebrities to promote brands.

Another issue that was discussed involves the use of social media during a crisis. Matt, in his capacity as chief digital officer for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, discussed how he is using social media to defend and improve the Archdiocese’s image amid crisis situations.

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