SYRACUSE, NY—Syracuse University’s SI Newhouse School of Public Communications and W2O Group, the independent public relations group known for its work in the healthcare sector and social media realm, have created The W2O Group Center for Social Commerce, which will focus on the emerging field of social commerce.

“With the rapid changes taking place in technology, business and society impacting the role and efficacy of communications, our students and faculty are excited about partnering with a leading organization such as W2O Group and its founder Jim Weiss to guide us into the future,” says Newhouse dean Lorraine Branham.

According to W2O founder, chairman and CEO Jim Weiss (pictured), social, online, digital and mobile media, combined with “increasingly sophisticated and more precise Big Data media analytics and technologies… has led to an evolution and pragmatic disruption of how marketers and communicators are able to view, plan and execute upon traditional paid, owned, shared, and earned media models.

“The result of this new alchemy is the emergence of ‘social commerce,’ which enables marketers and communicators to create demand and drive desired actions and/or revenues via online channels.”

Weiss, a 1987 alumnus of the Newhouse School’s public relations program, said he hopes the W2O-Newhouse partnership will allow students and faculty to gain and share expertise in the area of social commerce.

Newhouse faculty will collaborate with W2O staff to determine the full details of the new Center, which will include field placement at W2O Group offices for students and professors; interactions with experts in areas such as analytics and digital technology; guest lectures; and new course content in social commerce.