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Capturing Attention: Strategies for Modern Communication

Online communities house massive amounts of human productivity and social engagement and support billions of people who consume content created by others. Digital spaces are now the locations for professional and personal communication. Attracting viewership and capturing attention have implications for various aspects of society including politics, economics, entertainment and public health.

On March 2, 2022 USC Annenberg Assistant Professor of Communication Marlon Twyman shared his current research on what makes some types of content more attractive than others and the most updated strategies content creators can use to build their audiences. Moderating this discussion was CPD Associate Director Stacy Ingber in CPD Director Jay Wang's stead, who connected the public diplomacy dots and drew implications for current scholarship and practice.

About Marlon Twyman

USC Annenberg Assistant Professor of Communication Marlon Twyman is a quantitative social scientist specializing in advanced computational and statistical methods, with a particular focus on social network analysis. By merging perspectives from social networks, organizational behavior and computational social science, his research program focuses on how teams, online communities and organizations form and interact in the digital age. More specifically, he studies questions related to team-formation processes in collaborative technology platforms. He received a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in the Technology and Social Behavior program and a dual degree in communication studies and computer science. He earned a BA and MS in biomedical engineering from Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio) and has acquired professional experiences as a consultant for topics related to IT implementation, healthcare quality and policy, as well as experience as a materials science researcher. 

About Jay Wang

Jay Wang is Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and Associate Professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He previously worked for the international consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients on matters of communication strategy and implementation across a variety of industries and sectors. Wang has written widely on the role of communication in the contemporary process of globalization. He is co-editor of the newly published book, Debating Public Diplomacy: Now and Next. He is author of Shaping China’s Global Imagination: Nation Branding at the World Expo and several other books. He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Communication.


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