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JoAnn Sciarrino

Knight Chair in Digital Advertising and Marketing
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC


JoAnn Sciarrino was named Knight Chair in Digital Advertising and Marketing at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication in July 2012.  Sciarrino, an advertising and marketing executive with more than 25 years of experience, works with the industry to test, deploy and refine digital advertising and marketing business models – and share results and ideas widely within the professional and academic communities.

Recent Activities 

Publication of “Leveraging the Virtuous Circle of Brand and the Extended Self,” Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, vol. 22, no. 2 (spring 2014), pp. 147–148.  The paper is a summary of my work on Brand Attachment’s indirect influence on brand and financial performance (ROI) to improve accuracy of Advertising ROI.  IMPACT:  Invited to speak at 7 national industry and practitioner functions, including Content Marketing World (2800 attendees from more than 40 countries).  Leading practitioners in the Fortune 100 are now using Brand Attachment to plan, measure and optimize media across paid, earned and owned.  

Digital Advertising and Marketing Agency Research (New Media Revenue Models for Community Journalism---continuation of collaboration with Penny Abernathy) working paper submitted.  IMPACT:  Community Newspaper Digital Agency Feasibility Study underway at The News Reporter in Whiteville, NC.  Lessons learned at The News Reporter will be used for subsequent publications, workshops and website. 

Developed Digital Marketing (MBA 755) new course at KFBS.  IMPACT: Over one hundred students from spring 2014 excel at internships and professional careers in digital media.  Invitation to teach MBA 755 again in 2015.

•  What are the most promising changes you see in journalism education as a whole, and why do you think they are hopeful?

I am encouraged by the increasing emphasis on computational journalism in education.  Although computational journalism (as a concept) was first introduced in 2009, it wasn’t until 2014 that journalism schools began to offer data/analytics courses in this new and growing domain.  Furthermore, I’ve also begun to see an increased proclivity of students to WANT to take courses in data/analytics, which is a shift from previous years where educators like me would “beg” students to take data/analytics to make them more marketable to potential media company employers.  Today, thankfully, students are becoming more savy to the benefits of having data/analytics skills and coursework.

      Give us an example of a media company or organization that you see doing innovative journalism with impact. How do you use this example in your teaching?

A great example of a media company doing innovative journalism with impact is ESPN, a true pioneer in cross-platform audience measurement.  The ability to measure audience reach across online TV, video and other digital content on the web and APPs enables ESPN to price advertising much more effectively than media companies who have not embraced this contemporary method.  Without cross-platform audience measurement, media companies often undervalue advertising.