Today’s young people are the most informed generation ever — no product goes unreviewed, no meal un-Yelp-ed, and no candidate hired before a good thorough Twitter lurk. Businesses are constantly turning to young people who understand the importance of social marketing for insight, because no one understands how to communicate with a hyper-informed generation better than Millenials themselves. The University of Guelph-Humber recognized the potential and value of today’s media students, and launched EMERGE, a campaign developed and executed by students to support, celebrate, and showcase the creative minds behind tomorrow’s communications. EMERGE recently held their annual one day conference full of engaging and entertaining discussions and innovative workshops, focusing on new media and emerging trends in the field. An awards ceremony and gala kicked off the event on the evening preceding the conference, giving students not only the opportunity to demonstrate their talent but also to mix and mingle with professionals in their industry.
April 20th, 2015 marked the first ever Emerge Media Awards, aimed at recognizing outstanding work in media communications. The program is the first ever students-only media awards program in Canada. Submissions are judged in 6 categories: writing, audio storytelling, digital design, videography, photography, and integrated communications, and must have been completed as part of a post-secondary media studies program in 2014. The competition drew 130 entries from 20 different universities across Canada. The awards were judged by a panel of 31 notable media industry professionals evaluating submissions based on criteria like originality, creativity, professionalism, and presentation. Included in the list of judges was Dianne Rinehart, editorial writer for the Toronto Star, Donna Tranquada, reporter for CBC Radio, and Rose Pereira, Art Director of Chatelaine.
2015 Emerge Media Award winners
Nicole Wiart from Grant MacEwan University wowed the judges with her candid account of new trends in death with the essay “Not like chicken or fish, something new: Meet the people behind Canada’s death revolution”.
Julian Uzielli, student of Western University, took home the award with his audio documentary “Knights in homemade armour” about London’s Belegarth medieval combat group.
Nicholas Kattis, Maria Ramage, and their team from Sheridan College won the award for their website “What are the Chances?” addressing issues of discrimination.
Matthew Rovet from the University of Guelph-Humber reflected on ideas of unpaid work and the struggle of the job hunt for educated young people in his winning film “Internment”.
Katie Wyatt from Niagara College took home the prize with a beautifully lit black and white portrait entitled “Karsh emulation of George Bernard Shaw”.
Jessica Pollock from Ryerson University won by designing a multi-platform marketing strategy with “Promotional campaign for Young Soles”.
Donna Tranquada, Reporter at CBC Radio, admired students’ bravery in putting forward their creative vision to be assessed and critiqued, and emphasized what an amazing learning and growing opportunity it was for participants adding that the critique they receive can only help their work grow to its full potential. Ryan DaSilva, Promotion Producer at Creative Agency at Shaw Media, praised students’ creativity in saying, “It was quite inspiring to see what these students were able to create at the grassroots level, I was very impressed with all the talent and imagination put into each submission.”
Keynote speaker at the event was none other than Branding & Buzzing’s own Sean Beckingham, who said of the event was, “honoured to take part in a program that showcases such a dazzling display of young talent, and couldn’t be happier to encourage the next generation of media communicators to follow their dreams.” Being a Humber graduate himself, he spoke of his journey from graduation to launching his own social marketing agency. Sean advised students on how to navigate social waters, and emphasized the importance of personal branding and understanding how to promote yourself through social media. He capped the night off nicely with the perfect #EmergeTO take on the Oscar selfie.
A big congratulations to all finalists and winners honoured in the inaugural EMAs.
Blown away, so inspired by @seanbeckingham at the #EmergeMediaAwards "find what you like, be social, keep learning" pic.twitter.com/9r1LNdWZc5
— Ady Floyd (@adyleefloyd) April 21, 2015