Meet W2O Group’s Vicky Lewko



Vicky Lewko is the group director at W2O Group, as well as the director at WCG, where she serves as client partner, day-to-day client contact and engagement lead, developing strategic programs and analytics, working with her teams to oversee tactical activities.  Lewko has over 13 years of experience providing strategic counsel, directing campaigns, and providing client service.  She has led programs for companies such as EMD Serono, Bristol-Myers Squibb, General Mills and Yahoo!.  Lewko was on campus last week for #SocialCommerce Days, and we had the opportunity to speak with her about her thoughts on social commerce and social media, as well as her experience at SXSW 2013.

Q: What is social commerce?

A:  It is about the integration of social media, traditional public relations, and analytics.  It’s where they come together in the seamless delivery.  I think terms like “media relations” and “social media” are losing their value.  It is all social commerce now for clients, consumers, and people at large.  It makes more sense this way.

Q: Where do you see social media going in the next few years?

Vicky_LewkoA: It depends on the sector.  Just by the nature of consumer brands, they are further ahead.  What we are seeing now is brands with more regulations pushing into newer channels.  Healthcare, for instance, is getting more aggressive when it comes to social media.  Companies in this industry are starting to pick up Twitter, Facebook, and branded communications.  When consumers search for information in these industries, they are getting misinformation.  Participation in social media allows them to make sure the right information is out there.  It is something they struggle with, and you have to make sure you have regulations and a monitoring system set up.  Promotion through Twitter is something that is important, but it has to go hand-in-hand with good content.  Paying for advertising is not enough.  Smaller brands will begin testing the waters with Twitter advertising.  Vine is a part of that, as well.

Q: How far do you think communications professionals should take their education in social media?

A: Far.  For me it is one of the first things I look for on a resume.  I am looking for well-rounded individuals.  The best practitioners are integrated and have a little bit of everything.  You must have an understanding and curiosity.  If I am not learning and growing, I am stagnating.

Q: Can you tell us about your experience at SXSW?

A: At SXSW we trained the trainers.  We immersed them and got them familiar with W2O Group.  Professionals came to share their knowledge and learning.  We had two days of intensive training with professors, and on the third day we had our own social commerce summit.  We brought experts from different industries, as well as some of our clients, for ten-minute talks.  SXSW is the best place to network and learn about what is coming up.

Q: Do you have any advice for Newhouse students?

A: Take advantage of all that Newhouse has to offer.  As someone who is hiring, that is what I am looking for.  Get as much hands-on experience as you can before you leave, and don’t feel like you are limited just because you’re not in the workforce yet.  Find out about the newest tools, do research, and read blogs.  The trends change, and it is important to be up-to-date.

*For more information about SXSW 2013, including podcasts from the event, visit Aaron Strout’s post on the WCG World blog.  Aaron Strout is the managing director at W2O Group.