Advisory Board Members Debora Wilson and Graham Woodlief Speak About the Future of Communications

By Carolyn VanBrocklin

Today, Debora Wilson and Graham Woodlief, members of the School of Communications Advisory Board, spoke to students in the School of Communications at Elon University about the changes their respective media outlets have been making in response to the economy and the general changes in media. Wilson was the president and CEO of the Weather channel, and Woodlief is vice president of Media General, Inc.

Debora Wilson and Graham Woodlief speak to communications students about the changes their companies are making to accomodate changes in communications.

Debora Wilson and Graham Woodlief speak to communications students about the changes their companies are making to accomodate changes in communications.

Woodlief’s company is trying to lose their dependence on ads and consolidate the things they do. They’re also looking to do what students in Janna Anderson’s class do already: send one reporter into the field with a still camera and a video camera, with the expectation that they will cover many media platforms at once.

The Weather Channel, according to Wilson, is trying “to figure out what’s going on with customers and consumers.” The channel is making an effort to anticipate the consumers’ needs and put them into the production. In the workroom, the employees are given more responsibility to see how much they can handle.

Even more than ever, today companies appreciate “a spirit of enthusiasm and engagement,” Wilson said. According to Woodlief, people need to have the vision to move forward.

Both Wilson and Woodlief have seen an increased use in civilian reporting, and both reacted positively to it. “It’s exploding” Woodlief said. “We’re doing everything we can to use such content.” Wilson and Woodlief realize that user-generated content is something that consumers are interested in seeing these days.

Woodlief believes that print production will have a niche in the future, although it certainly will have changed. To remain successful, Wilson said that companies need to “make the right strategic decisions” and choose innovative products. “We must look at what’s happening in the marketplace and look at what customers are telling us,” Wilson said.

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One Response

  1. It’s good to see you got a start by getting the story online before the still photo or the video, but you spelled Wilson’s name wrong. Check it and correct it. Spelling a name wrong is a cardinal sin of journalism. Don’t ever do it!

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