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“I’m Media”: A Special Lecture by Mr Sungjin Hwang

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

On Friday, 20th September, we happily welcomed the new members of the NGL Forum Foreign Students World Reporters. For an hour in time, yet much more in its impression and effect, a special lecture entitled "I’m Media" was given by Mr Sungjin Hwang, a representative of the social donation platform "ShareNCare" and a reputable digital marketing expert.

As it is understood from the title of the lecture, a person is the most important media in terms of being a receiver, a carrier and a transmitter of information at the same time. Mr Hwang discussed the changes in consumer behavior and purchase patterns in the age of information hyper transmission from the old pattern known as AIDMA: Attention (that was triggered by advertisement) → Interest → Desire → Memory → Action of buying the product, to its modern alternative which is referred to as AISAS: Attention → Interest → Search → Action → Share. In the AISAS pattern, the main two steps have become search and share, meaning that consumers find something interesting mainly through what users share through social media platforms, and then they are likely to perform their own search about the product, which might eventually lead to the action of buying. This simply emphasizes how important the steps of search and share are in terms of comparing prices and reading comments of previous users and buyers.

Nowadays, we witness the decreasing importance of newspapers, magazines, radio and TV as opposed to the increasing impact of internet and various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc. This phenomenon led us to the speaker's first message which was: each and every individual of us is a media on their own. In relation to that, Mr Hwang quoted the famous writer Marshal McLuhan's book "Understanding Media": “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.” This can be excellently applied to the concept of social media as tools created by people, which now are making us visible to others and more interactive.

While social media was mainly supposed to help maintain relations between people, we found out that American sociologist Mark Granovetter had mentioned that there were two levels of relations and ties between people, namely strong ties and weak ties, long before the social media age. His theory says that we could benefit more from weak relations than from strong ones, especially in our work and professional lives. For example, if you happen to meet an important person with strong connections, you are advised to keep interacting with them remotely by using social media, so that you always appear as their fan or follower. This way, in case this person is asked to recommend someone from your field for a job vacancy in a renowned company, there’s a high a possibility that they will think of you. Psychologically, when we help others, we feel happy, and simultaneously, we are doing the one who requested our assistance a favor, that allowing us to ask the same from them in case we need their service in the future.

As we see, in the current hyperconnected age, it is extremely crucial that people know you. Each person serves as an impressing source of information, thus remaining in the memory and in the eyesight of others. So, the second message here is that we are living in an age where a person is also a brand on their own.

At the end of the lecture, and due to the curiosity that Mr. Hwang had aroused in all members, he promised to offer an workshop about content making to teach us some techniques along with simple applications that can be used through our smartphones. He also intends to reveal the importance of sharing and the proper use of hashtag techniques to reach the maximum of audience in the upcoming event.

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