Social Media and the Bottom Line

10-11:15am – Sunday, Feb 17 – World Room (Third Floor) at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

How, whether and why the cost, time and effort of social media are (or aren’t) justified.

Let’s get down to the business of social media. Is it worth it in a news organization? Our moderator and panelists, from groundbreaking media organizations including NowThisNews, BuzzFeed and Quartz, reveal how they justify the cost in time, effort and, yes, money, and the ways social media is crucial to their businesses. As something of a real-world follow-up to last year’s “ROI of Social Media,” we’ll take a clear-headed, hype-free look at:

  • The cost / benefit analysis: How can you measure it?
  • The business imperatives: How and when social helps the business succeed
  • Who should contribute, how, and how much?
  • How to hire. (And by extension how to get hired, and succeed)
  • Ownership and control: policies and where to draw lines
  • How and whether to delineate personal from professional

Plus, come with your questions. We expect a spirited discussion.


Dorian Benkoil (@DBenk) is co-founder and principal at Teeming Media, a digital media management consultancy and entrepreneurship focused on helping companies and individuals use digital, social and mobile media technologies to meet their business objectives. He has devised business models, methodologies and training programs for multiple established and startup organizations, including leading media organizations, technology companies, blog networks and consumer marketers. An MBA (with honors), Fulbright Fellow and award-winning journalist, Dorian teaches Digital Media Management at the Zicklin School of Business, and writes and speaks in numerous high-profile venues. He was founding international, then managing producer at, and a reporter, editor and foreign correspondent for Newsweek and The Associated Press and editorial director at


Eason Jordan (@easonjordan) is the general manager of NowThis News, a social, mobile video news network that launched last fall. Previously, he launched and led Poll Position, a news, market research, and social media company. From 2005 until 2010, Jordan was the CEO of Praedict, an international information services company he co-founded. Before that, Jordan worked for 23 years at CNN, where he served as chief news executive and president of newsgathering and international networks. Jordan is on the leadership council of the Committee to Protect Journalists, the North America board of the International News Safety Institute, and the board of directors of the Fugees Family. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the ONE Campaign.

Zach Seward (@zseward) is senior editor of Quartz, where he guides editorial strategy and leads a team of journalists focused on visual storytelling. He previously worked at The Wall Street Journal, first as a reporter covering education and health, then as the newspaper’s first editor of outreach and social media. Before that, he helped launched Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, where he was an associate editor covering the media industry. He also sometimes teaches digital journalism as an adjunct professor at NYU.

Jonathan Perelman (@jperelman)  is the VP of Agency Strategy and Industry Development at BuzzFeed. At BuzzFeed he will work closely on all aspects of the business, with a particular focus on educating advertising agencies on the BuzzFeed platform and ad products. Prior to BuzzFeed, Jonathan spent six years at Google, most recently as the Global Lead for Industry Relations. He was responsible for brand identity initiatives and relationship management within the advertising and media industries. This also includes aligning Google’s business and public policy priorities.  Google’s Operating Committee awarded the prestigious OC Award to Jonathan for his work on mergers and acquisitions.  Prior to Google, Jonathan worked at Financial Services firm, Unifund, and also was the Deputy Finance Director on Cory Booker’s 2002 Mayoral run in Newark, NJ. The campaign was captured in an Academy Award nominated film, Street Fight,released in 2005Jonathan is a Sr. Fellow at the Center for the Digital Future, at the USC Annenberg School. In addition, he serves on the board of Advertising Week, Ad:Tech, the International Association of Internet Professionals, along with other industry groups. He’s also an advisor to several start-up.


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