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Digital Marketing Expert, Ohio Wesleyan Graduate to Discuss Internet-Empowered Consumers’ New Influence on Brands

April 3, 2007

Nita Rollins, Ph.D., director of thought leadership for Resource Interactive, one of the nation’s pre-eminent technology marketing and communications companies, will discuss “The Open Brand: When Push Comes to Pull in a Web-Made World” at 7:30 p.m. April 17 in the Bayley Room of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s Woltemade Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship. Rollins is a 1981 summa cum laude graduate of the university.

Rollins has spent much of her professional career helping leading companies around the world to assess, create, and optimize the digital experiences of their customers and other constituencies. Resource Interactive’s current clients include The Coca-Cola Co., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Procter & Gamble Co.

During her presentation, Rollins will discuss what she describes as the “sea-change in marketing” caused by the participatory culture of the World Wide Web, particularly evident in the Digital Millennial generation. The title of her lecture also is the title of her upcoming book, co-written with Kelly Mooney, president of Columbus-based Resource Interactive. The book is scheduled for release in September.

“The open source software movement was the first indication that our consumerist society would not be conducting business as usual online,” Rollins says. “New behaviors — creating, sharing, influencing — were becoming widespread enough to blur forever the roles of producers and consumers, celebrities and average citizens, traditional authority figures and the new truth tellers and taste makers.”

As a result, Rollins says, traditional advertising has become ineffective, and marketers need fresh strategic direction. “The way forward in the Web-made world is through being open to consumers’ new expectations and interventions,” Rollins explains. “In other words, brands must be O.P.E.N. — on-demand, participatory, emotional, and networked.”

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, dedicated to preparing students for a lifetime of learning, service, and leadership. Located in Delaware, Ohio, 20 miles north of the state capital, Ohio Wesleyan is a coeducational, residential, privately supported undergraduate institution. The university is ranked consistently by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top 100 liberal arts colleges and is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives.” The faculty includes more than 135 educators, all of whom actively teach and hold either doctoral degrees or the highest recognized professional degrees in their fields. Approximately 1,850 students representing 44 states and 45 countries attend Ohio Wesleyan. More information is available at www.owu.edu.