Digital Media Learning and Literacies in Media Management & Communications

When I get asked what I do, I usually say I teach Management and Marketing. If I get asked what I research and why, a few years ago I would have told you the following:

“Since the inception of my PhD, I have been reading about and researching the psychology behind technology usage and exploring the role of human . Namely the differences in perceptions, behaviours and contexts of usage of differing users of technologies: from the expert to the less expert, from the web desginer to the non-designer; from the highly engaged to those that see digital technologies as not that relevant to their lives.”

However, over the last few years this has evolved (as all things evolve) as I’ve been witnessing the evolution in marketing theory, media practice and marketing philosophy because of digital media and electronic technologies. And in all honesty, it’s really hard trying to keep up!

The initial aim of this earlier commercial and academic research was to develop our understanding in how and why people adopt and use digital technologies and inform how and why we use digital media in business management, media/ and marketing. I’m still interested in this, but increasingly as I tranverse along this academic, research and philosophical journey about digital media in business and society, and how marketing is evolving, it is the conception of ‘knowledge’, ‘‘ and ‘‘ about and with digital media in business that is resonating in my work most.

“As our environment evolves, so too do we: our knowledge, our skills, our learning and like it or not, business, media/communications and marketing management are evolving.”

Knowledge, Learning & Literacies …

The interesting thing, is if we use the words ‘digital media learning’ or ‘digital media literacies’ business and management schools and the communications or marketing profession don’t appear to have a deep rich investment in the discourse. The discourse on learning and literacies of digital media is heavily focused on the social context of high school , and university departments in the disciplines of , the arts, anthropology or media/digital media (amongst others) with specific focus on researching (or teaching) learning and literacies. Coupled with this is the support of industry and government partners interested in the policy debate about digital media literacies – in youth, in schools and in certain areas of higher , esp. as it pertains to equality and access.

Don’t get me wrong, these approaches to digital literacies is very important and management schools are interested in . They are higher providers after all and is a core part of their product offering with student fees from undergraduate and postgraduate programs the main revenue source of their business models.

However, much management research on digital marketing (and some of mine can be included in this) is focused on how we use digital technologies to improve firm performance, increase marketing efficiency and effectiveness and most significantly improve click through, satisfaction or sales (e.g., website design), increase loyalty (e.g., loyalty cards and scanner technologies); or improve data acquisition for competitive advantage (e.g., RFID).

Although interesting and relevant, these inherently focus on outputs from the use of digital media and technologies – the effect they have. But not on as much as the knowledge, skills, and learning contexts required in business and management (esp. media & marketing management). This would facilitate their usage or design OR more importantly to ensure that actors/agents in the process can not just use them effectively, but also responsibly, ethically and in tune with their socio-cultural evolution. In short:

  • If ever there was a field who’s activities and processes have been fundamentally changed by digital media – it would be media/communication and/or arts, entertainment and nonprofit management.
  • If ever there was a field undergoing dramatic change in skills, language and philosophy – it would be media/communication and/or arts, entertainment and nonprofit management.
  • If ever there was a field who’s impact is so great (good and bad) on society, youth, education and culture – it would be business, media/communication and/or arts, nonprofit management.

And NO – it’s not just about selling more stuff through digital media or building a better website. It’s about education, ongoing professional development and instilling tomorrow’s [and today’s] business, media/communications and marketing professionals with the knowledge, skills and key insights so they can participate, engage, be informed and most importantly act responsibly in the digital media space. Long gone is the focus on the model T-Ford through mass production or a business case about a Fortune 100 company or PR/Communicatiosn through printed press release. It’s about digital learning, literacy, participation and engagement.

Why is it important?

Digital media literacy for marketers and media/communications management professionals and education is increasingly important:

  • For Community Participation: Media management and communications professions are increasingly expected to adopt and use digital media technologies to reach, communicate and interact with the communities within which they coexist [Mandated by society and organisations].
  • For Digital Community Engagement: Business management and communications professions have to actively engage – “be involved, interested, interact, converse with and share information with” those more socially and technically digitally literate than themselves on a daily, weekly and monthly basis – from web designers, social media [web] consultants, programmers, engineers and expert users – as they adopt and use digital media technologies in their marketing and business activities?
  • Because of Community Impact: It is the communications and related business professions who develop, design, produce and make the decisions on the use of digital media in marketing, customer service, PR, promotional, product development and community engagement activities. And it is these that can (and do!) have a profound impact on society, youth, culture, and education. Be it for the marketing of a charity like Oxfam, an arts organization like NTW, a government initiative like Safe Sex, a new music or literary star like J. K. Rowling, or a product offering like Skittles, Cadbury, Orange or the Toyota Lexus. Marketing has an impact! Good and bad!

Digital Media Literacies in Business, Media Management and communications is about exploring the digital knowledge and skills that are evolving in business, management and the marketing profession.

The aim is contribute to the discourse about the core digital knowledge, learning and literacies  ’learners’ in Media Management and Communications require so they can participate not just effectively, but also appropriately and responsibly.

So! Now when people ask me:

  • What: I research & teach Digital Media Learning and Literacies in Media and Communications Management, especially focused on arts, nonprofit and education contexts. 
    How: Through practice-led and research led teaching [situated]: I work with practitioners and researchers to develop insights from cases and research projects, to inform theory, practice and education about how and what we do in digital media management & arts management
    Why: Because I want to help students, management, academe and the community develop the skills to learn, participate and engage in the digital space – effectively, appropriately and responsibly … and to write about the journey :-)


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The3Marketeers (7 years ago)

#marketing Digital Media Literacy in Business, Management & Marke | Case Insights

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drkellypage (7 years ago)

Digital Media Literacy in Business & Marketing Education: Why it is important? Why I do what I do

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caseinsights (7 years ago)

Digital Media Literacy in Business & Marketing Education: Why it is important? Why I do what I do

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