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Special lesson: I`m Media

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

On Thursday, 2 January, the first activity of the SNS School Program took place at the NGL Forum's office. On that occasion, a special lecture entitled "I’m Media" was given by Mr Hwang Sungjin, a representative of the social donation platform ShareNCare. A highly-acclaimed digital marketing expert, the speaker had visited the headquarters of the Forum before, in relation to the Foreign Students World Reporters Program which finished last semester.

In the course of the aforementioned project, Mr Hwang delivered a series of lectures with the title "I’m Media". Even though the content of the different editions of his presentation was essentially the same, it was always served with a variety of relatable to the students in the audience examples, which made it easily comprehensible and, therefore, useful. Last week's activity was no exception and the young leaders who attended the class had the chance to learn more about some crucial changes in the world of marketing through the shared experience of a reputable specialist in the field.

As the title suggests, the key point of the presentation lies in the idea that since an individual has the ability to act as a receiver, a carrier and a transmitter of information at the same time, each person can be seen as a media on their own, and a significantly influential one, nonetheless. However, this has only become possible recently, after a series of changes in the consumer behavior and purchase patterns characterizing the modern age of information hyper transmission. Since two actants, namely those of searching and sharing, have been added to the complex equation of the buyer mentality, replacing the acts of desire and memory, contemporary businesses began relying on SNS advertisement more heavily than before. In other words, consumers find certain objects or services interesting mainly because of the impact of social media platforms, and then they are likely to perform their own search about a product, which might eventually lead to the action of buying.

Consequently, with the increasing importance of Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, other informational channels such as newspapers and TV have gradually lost their value. This phenomenon was explained by Mr Hwang with a quote from Marshal McLuhan's book "Understanding Media": “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.” His words perfectly illustrate the speaker's first message which states that every single individual is, in a sense, serving as a media. The second point of the lecture referred to the concept that we are living in an age where a person is also a brand on their own. To further elaborate on that problem, the presenter explained American sociologist Mark Granovetter's theory about the so-called 'strong and weak ties'. His research argues that people can benefit more from seemingly superficial relations than from deep ones, especially in professional terms. Therefore, if you happen to meet an important figure, it is essential to continuously maintain an indirect contact with them by using social media, so that you remain recognized as a supporter.

As usual, Mr Hwang's lecture was very informative and, thanks to the use of creative examples, his arguments were easily understood by the participants in the project, overcoming all sorts of language barriers. Moreover, since he is the main mentor of the SNS School, we are looking forward to the next schedule of the project. Various activities such as company visits and interviews with influential for Korea figures are to take place every Thursday for the next two months, so stay tuned to our channels!

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