The Future of Social Media

Social media is now ubiquitous in the US. Facebook still dominates in terms of shear numbers, but young people are actively opting out of larger platforms for narrower platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Mobile allows always-on connections, but wearables, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are making social a larger part of our lives than ever before. How does one keep up with these trends? What’s next for social media? Come hear from a panel of experts as they give their own forecasts for what the future holds.

Panelists: Stafford Wood, Rob Hudak, Jordan Cranch, Chelsey Laborde Blankenship, Ben West, and Leslie Presnall.

Planning Your Social Media Future

Digital, social and mobile media are a moving target. How do you keep up with the latest and greatest opportunities and avoid setting yourself up for failure? Come sit down with a social media expert to talk about your own goals for social. How do you best take advantage of the newest social media tools?

Panelists: Stafford Wood, Rob Hudak, Joe Martin, Jordan Cranch, and Ben West.


Dr. Lance Porter

Social Media Analysis and Creation Lab: SMAC
Doris Westmoreland Darden Distinguished Professor
Manship School of Mass Communication
Louisiana State University

Focus Area Lead
Cultural Computing
Center for Computation and Technology
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

          MEET THE PANELISTS          


Stafford Wood

Stafford Wood has a versatile skill set and background. She is the founder Covalent Logic, an Accredited Public Relations professional, a graphic designer and web developer, a cyber-cop and beta tester at AOL in the mid-90s, and expert in pre-Renaissance Eastern European History, specifically focused on Romania and Dracula. has the equipment for any job from FRCs and a TWIC card to high heels and a well-stamped passport. She is as comfortable with a CEO as with a valet. She earned Junior Achievement and Baton Rouge Business Report’s Young Business Person of the Year and earned her firm an extensive collection of trophies from advertising, public relations, corporate communications and graphic design award contests from around the world, including the US Chamber’s Blue Ribbon Award. She studied Eastern European politics at Boston College and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from LSU, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.

Session: Morning & Afternoon

stafford wood
Rob Hudak

Rob Hudak

Rob Hudak is the Interactive Creative Director, Creative Technologist, and Shareholder at Zehnder Communications. Rob has spent more than 20 years at the intersection of online technology and communication. As creative technologist for Zehnder, he draws on his experience as a graphic designer, creative director, programmer and animator for a 360-degree approach to creative solutions for the agency’s social media team. Throughout his career in New York’s Silicon Alley and New Orleans’ Silicon Bayou, Rob has had a hand in creating some of the earliest interactive advertising and cutting-edge applications.

Session: Morning & Afternoon 

Joe Martin

Joe Martin is the Co-Owner and Creative Director of Red Six Media. He is a valuable, yet humble member to any creative team. Joe enjoys putting his “incredible mind, fantastic sense of humor, and keen eye for design and illustration” to the test at Red Six Media every day. He holds a B.A. in advertising from LSU and is a member of the American Advertising Federation. Martin is from Dallas, Texas. He has always been involved and intrigued with creative endeavors. He went to LSU for architecture originally and ended up in advertising, specifically creative concept/design. Red Six Media proved to be a challenging but fun way to pursue these passions.

Session: Afternoon

Joe Martin
jordan cranch

Jordan Cranch

A Baton Rouge native and Manship School grad, Jordan Cranch has spent the past six years of her professional life as the creative voice behind some of New Orleans’ most iconic names. A Brand & Content Strategist at the boutique branding and interactive agency, Deep Fried Ads, Jordan spearheads the organic and paid social efforts for an array of clients across the tourism and hospitality, non-profit, healthcare, and economic development industries. She was recently recognized as New Orleans Ad Club’s Social Media Person of the Year for her contributions to the growth of social media marketing in the city. Outside of work, she proudly serves as the Volunteer Director of Communications for New Orleans’ largest LGBTQ+A recreational sports league, Stonewall Sports – New Orleans. And when she is not doing that, you can find her gleefully perusing her Reddit mobile app or training for her upcoming 7-day backpacking trip through the Alaskan backcountry. Just kidding, she hasn’t started training yet.

Session: Morning & Afternoon

Chelsey Laborde Blankenship

After graduating from the Manship School with a concentration in public relations, Chelsey Laborde Blankenship started her career in the nonprofit world at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge as their resource development/marketing associate. Believe it or not, Chelsey first volunteered as a communications intern for the Boys & Girls Club as a student and that non-paid internship turned into a full-time job after graduation. After almost four years at the Boys & Girls Club, Chelsey wanted to expand her experience by working for a full-service advertising agency. She joined the team at FUSE – now SASSO – as the social and digital media specialist where she built the social media management department from the very start. During her four years at FUSE, she worked her way into account management working with brands like Rotolo’s, Community Coffee, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, Blu Spero and Traction Sports Performance – to name a few. In 2014 – while still working full-time at FUSE – Chelsey launched her own business, an online women’s boutique called SoSis (shopsosis.com). Since then, she’s been the core website developer, social media manager and overall marketing guru for SoSis. In July of 2016, Chelsey stepped away from the agency she worked for for more than four years to focus on SoSis and offer digital marketing consulting to smaller businesses on her own with her new business, CLB Consulting.

Session: Morning

chelsey laborde
ben west

Ben West

Ben West is a digital marketing manager with experience on both the agency and client side of the business. He used to be the voice behind some of the biggest spirit and craft beer brands in the US, but is now I’m taking on the challenge to master the B2B world. He is the current digital marketing manager for Abita Beer, Relyon, Petro Guardian, and 4LP, LLC. He is the former voice of @Fireballwhisky.  He holds a B.A. in Mass Communications – advertising from LSU. He is the former social media strategist and supervisor at Zehnder Communications. Per his twitter, he is a dad, music lover, picture taker, and food eater.

Session: Morning & Afternoon

Leslie Presnall

Leslie’s roles include writer, social media specialist, content creator blogger at Southern Flair, and founder of Baton Rouge Fashion Council. For Southern Flair, she helps small business owners leverage their social media accounts, email lists and content to reach their local customers. The Baton Rouge Fashion Council is an organization for local designers and boutique owners to collaborate and network together through pop-up shops, social events, and runway shows. Leslie holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication, history, and textiles apparel & merchandising from LSU. She is also a certified secondary education teacher in English.

Session: Morning

leslie presnall
rs19_sponsorlineArtboard 1