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Hollywood to Higher Ed

Learn From the Best of Hollywood Marketing


Harness the power of Hollywood.

Stories have the power to inspire, educate, and build a devoted audience. And if anyone’s figured out storytelling, it’s the entertainment industry. 

But a smash hit at the box office doesn’t happen by luck alone. The best stories — on the big screen or in the palm of your hand — are backed by exceptional multi-channel marketing strategies to reach audiences and build buzz.  

Marketing is the key to success. And to be successful, industry marketers take risks and innovate, using the latest marketing tactics, digital and social channels.

mStoner presents Hollywood to Higher Ed with a lineup of experienced entertainment marketers, brand builders, and content producers.


Register Now

On-Demand Presentations

Registrants receive immediate access to the entire conference upon purchase.

Watch sessions at your own pace as you stream this virtual conference from the comfort of your home.

Price and Discounts


Current mStoner clients receive 50% off.


No question is too big or small!

Email us for answers.

Sessions at a Glance

How Hollywood Works: An Insider’s Guide to How Movies and TV Get Made (1 hour 44 minutes)

Demystifying the World of Influencer Marketing (23 minutes)

Communicate With Your Community (38 minutes) 

Athlete Storytelling: Humanizing Modern-Day Superheroes Through Content (1 hour) 

Be a Star On Campus: The Body Language of Successful Marketers (1 hour 33 minutes) 

Coming Up Next … Video Content Wars: Who’s Ready for Battle? (55 minutes) 

Augmented Reality in Digital Marketing (1 hour) 

Meeting in the Middle: Finding the Intersection of Your Brand, Your Audience, and Our Internet (45 minutes) 

"Sessions were informative, engaging, and thought-provoking. Each provided useful tips and strategies that I'm excited to put into action."

mStoner Conference Attendee

Draw inspiration from entertainment's best.

You’ll learn how creatives in Hollywood:

  • Understand and connect with target audiences.
  • Optimize content across platforms.
  • Spot the "real deal."
  • Advocate and persuade through executive presence.
  • Take calculated risks.
  • Work with influencers.
  • Build hype.
  • Increase exposure.

After hearing from speakers on topics such as video and influencer marketing to augmented reality and brand storytelling, you'll be inspired to approach your college or university marketing in new ways.

Built with your entire team in mind.

If you work in one of the following roles, you won’t be disappointed:

  • Digital marketing specialists
  • Social media managers
  • Web managers and directors
  • Enrollment marketing and admission professionals
  • Storytellers and content producers
  • Marketing and communications strategists
  • User experience and visual designers

This conference offers something for everyone on your marketing and communications team — especially those who wear multiple hats.


Session Details and Speakers

How Hollywood Works: An Insider’s Guide to How Movies and TV Get Made

This session will give you an overview of the entertainment industry as a whole — delivering an understanding of the interplay between creators, managers, agents, producers, and executives and how it relates to packaging projects and giving them the best chance of success in the market. You will come away with a specific understanding of how it all works in TV series development and feature-film development — from concept to pitch to scripting to release.

We will draw from the strategies Hollywood creatives use to make impactful content for a specific audience and distill it, so you can employ the same fundamental tools when reaching your own audiences (prospective students, current students, colleagues, board members) in the most impactful way.


Colleen McAllister, writer, film & TV executive

Colleen has worked as a creative executive and producer for Illumination Entertainment on the Minions franchise, “The Secret Life of Pets,” “Sing,” and “The Grinch.” Following this, Colleen became director of current series at Hasbro Studios, driving creative on the broadcast, digital, and publishing platforms for their major TV franchises such as “My Little Pony” and “Littlest Pet Shop.” She is currently a head writer on a new animated TV series coming to Netflix in 2021 and is an adjunct professor for Ithaca College’s Los Angeles Program.

Demystifying the World of Influencer Marketing

We live in a time when everyone fancies themselves an influencer. In fact, it’s the No. 1 most desired career choice for Gen Z. How did this happen? And how can your institution tap into the power of influencer marketing?

Successful influencer engagement is both art and science. In this session, we’ll explore the evolution of influence and what it means today. You’ll learn what makes programs successful and better understand the right levers to pull when building an influencer marketing program. You’ll also be given an inside look at how digital creators of today are able to wield influence, and how to distinguish the “real deal” from the one-hit wonders.

At the end of the day, not all influencers are created equal. This session will give you the tools you need to to tackle your next influencer campaign with confidence.


Mariel Gurrieri, director of brand partnerships, Fullscreen Media

Mariel effectively drives client marketing solutions by leveraging insights and data, cross-platform creative, and measurement solutions — resulting in more than $4M in revenue. Mariel’s marketing philosophy and passion is focused on connecting with people on a human level. She consistently leverages her deep understanding of the next-gen consumer to help educate her clients and demonstrate how they can champion meaningful causes that resonate with those audiences. Mariel spent eight years at Viacom working across Comedy Central, Spike TV, CMT, TV Land, MTV and Logo in production research, ad sales research, and ad sales. Her diverse experience at Viacom laid the groundwork for her ability to think holistically about client needs.

Communicate With Your Community

Analytics and data collecting tools give higher ed marketers important insight and understanding into their target audiences at scale. So it’s easy to overlook or forget the importance of connecting locally. Listen to and participate in the culture that you yourselves have created with branding and marketing. Your institution gathered the students, professors, and working professionals — now is the time to listen to what they’re saying.

There is an undeniable power in face-to-face conversation and human connection. It allows you access and understanding into a culture, genre, social group, or a movement that may not be open-source information otherwise. It’s the inclusiveness that keeps us a part of the community as opposed to apart from the community. In this session, you’ll learn how to open up a path for dialogue and input, creative brainstorming, and relevant conversation to better understand the needs of your clients, students, and peers.


Jacob Boll, photographer

Jacob is a portrait photographer based in Los Angeles. He applied his craft across various photographic platforms before settling on his true passion: photographing people. Jacob has photographed directors, actors, authors, musicians, spiritual gurus, entrepreneurs, and inspiring creatives. In 2019, Jacob was awarded Emerging Photographer of the year by PDN magazine.

Athlete Storytelling: Humanizing Modern-Day Superheroes Through Content

Sports are a uniquely unifying experience for humans and one of the ultimate pastimes on the planet. The athletes who play the game are larger-than-life individuals, often put on a pedestal by fans and asked to serve as role models for youth.

Thanks to technology, athletes and fans can now connect in unprecedented ways. Athletes at all levels can showcase their voice and personality through digital content and can amplify their message to become a voice for change in the world.

This session will explore the behind-the-scenes details of athlete storytelling to help you humanize these modern-day superheroes on your campus. We’ll look at the evolving digital landscape and the challenges and opportunities it presents.


Devin Dismang, producer, storyteller, content creator

Devin is an Emmy Award-winning and Telly Award-winning producer, storyteller and content creator with more than 10 years of experience working with professional athletes. After spending time with franchises such as the Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Falcons, Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bears during his career, Devin now owns his own company that specializes in creating content for brands and athletes with clients such as Nike, Puma, Los Angeles Lakers’ JaVale McGee, Kyle Kuzma, Troy Daniels and many more.

Be a Star On Campus: The Body Language of Successful Marketers

Resources on campus continue to be scarce as the need for more sophisticated marketing grows. How do higher ed marketing and communication professionals generate positive attention — not only through the quality of their programs but also through their personal presence?

Actors and politicians are coached to bring out their executive presence, but what about you? Can acting secrets from Hollywood open doors on campus? Learn from two experts in higher ed, theater, and body language on how you can harness the power of executive presence on campus to:

  • Build respect for marketing.
  • Persuade administrators.
  • Advocate for increased funding.
  • Inspire friends and donors.
  • Interview for advancement.
  • Collaborate with colleagues.
  • Win at campus politics.

Learn how to make the top components of executive presence work for you and your colleagues. You’ll gain useful, practical tips on how to attract the right kind of attention, and respect from campus leaders.


Dr. Jan Palmer, president, Communication Excellence Institute




Dr. Neal Palmer, executive vice president, Communication Excellence Institute

Drs. Jan and Neal Palmer have been principals of Communication Excellence Institute (CEI) in Southern California for 34 years. CEI specializes in leadership development, consulting, and executive coaching for academic administrators. They have been popular presenters on dozens of campuses and frequent keynote speakers at leadership conferences. Their specialty is how to use body language and vocal presence to build credibility on campus. By showing higher ed leaders and staff how to project executive presence and dynamic energy, the Palmers have been instrumental in bringing out the best in campus professionals and teams. Jan was a professor of communication and performance studies for 20 years at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and Arizona State University before founding CEI. Neal, a linguist, was a researcher in Eastern European studies at the Library of Congress and senior technical writer and speaking coach at Cal Tech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

Coming Up Next … Video Content Wars: Who’s Ready for Battle?

From the bathroom to the boardroom, we are surrounded by screens. According to Pew Research, more than 96% of Americans ages 18–29 own a smartphone. Our reliance on screens has created an insatiable craving for content. And the TV networks, movie studios, and streaming services can barely keep up.

Like Hollywood, institutions of higher education are still figuring out the best ways to produce and provide video content. In this session, you’ll learn about the role of video content in the larger landscape of integrated marketing communication, and how to align content, production, and distribution with your institution’s strategy.


Jared Leigh, consultant & project director, Keeling & Associates

Jared serves as a consultant and project director for Keeling & Associates, a higher ed consulting and professional services organization. Before joining K&A in 2019, he worked as a marketing and corporate strategy consultant for higher education institutions, for-profit corporations, and nonprofit organizations. Within higher education, Jared has performed full marketing and communications reviews and planned, executed, and measured the outcomes of integrated marketing communications plans. He has also worked with numerous corporations and nonprofit organizations — Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, Delta Airlines, Open Road Ski Company, SunTrust, and UPS — on marketing projects. Jared was a member of the marketing and promotions team at Nickelodeon and Viacom for three years.

Augmented Reality in Digital Marketing

This session will take you through the world of augmented reality (AR) and how it’s disrupting social marketing techniques. AR is a new way to organically connect with a worldwide demographic. You’ll learn how brands use AR effectively, strategies they employ for exposure, and how to incorporate AR into your next digital campaign.


Michael Nicoll, founder, Blnk Digital

Michael is an augmented-reality creator and the Founder of Blnk Digital, a creative agency that specializes in Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook augmented reality filters. He has created hundreds of Snapchat and Instagram lenses for the music industry, including viral filters for Billie Eilish, The Beatles, and Eminem.

Meeting in the Middle: Finding the Intersection of Your Brand, Your Audience, and Our Internet

This is awesome.
This is tricky.
This is terrible.
This … might be ok.

The creative process is challenging. Coming up with new ideas to solve old problems is risky, but doing the same old thing and expecting new results is illogical.

Inside one of the industry’s top digital media agencies, producing content is a fast-paced, tech-driven, and data-fueled endeavor. It brings engineers, marketers, strategists, and creatives closer together than ever. Knowing whom to include and at what step of the process is a political and logistical nightmare.

In this session, you’ll discover a multi-step process that will allow you to approach collaboration in new ways. To find the intersection of your brand, your target audience, and our internet, you need to meet in the middle.


Grant Willsea, director of creative development & production, Fullscreen Media

Grant Willsea is a creative professional with more than nine years of experience in the entertainment industry. He has diverse expertise developed through working on everything from feature films with A‑list talent to YouTube videos with children’s toys. At Fullscreen, a social content company that works with both talent and brands, he drives the creative process from development through launch. Additionally, Grant is corporate board vice president for HOBY California, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring youth to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation.

"I was surprised by how much I learned. The conference ended with so many new topics and tools to dig into, and I have a notebook full of new strategy and content ideas too!"

mStoner Conference Attendee

What’s Included in My Registration?

Professional Development for Your Entire Team

Working from home? Registrants will receive the entire conference on demand upon purchase. With your unique password, your team can access the conference landing page anywhere and on any device.

For less than the cost of one registration to most industry conferences, your entire team will walk away with strategies and tips to inspire and improve your college or university marketing campaigns.

Online Networking and Q&A

Ask the tough questions — we trust that you won't hold back!

Viewers can submit questions through the conference page. On June 4, we will host live Q&A with presenters on Zoom. Presenters will answer submitted questions and viewers can ask additional questions. The Q&A session will be available on demand for anyone unable to attend live.

Unlimited, Yearlong Access

Access to each presenter's on-demand recording and downloadable slide deck will be available to your team for a minimum of one year. We encourage you to offer the training to new colleagues. Your team can access on-demand content from an unlimited number of devices and rewatch sessions as often as needed.


"The combination of web, social, content, and print touched on areas related to all team members. ... Hard to find this mix at a conference. Well done!"

mStoner Conference Attendee