Erin Reilly


Erin Reilly is an innovator, director, founder, educator, strategist with 20 years of experience inventing new approaches, products, services and experiences. She is founder of ReillyWorks, LLC helping others to understand and strategize about storytelling, engagement, play and learning through emergent technology.

Her latest applied research is on engagement, through development of a new framework titled: Leveraging Engagement, with “Fan Favorites” article in Strategy + Business providing case studies.  As part of this research, she has led multiple teams to conduct engagement research in the areas of unscripted entertainment, transmedia entertainment, music and sports. In conjunction with this research, she worked with engineers and data scientists to design Fanalytica, an insights dashboard that extend beyond volumetric and sentiment to text / visual cognitive computing that makes data actionable.

As a researcher, strategist and creator, Erin is currently focused on investigating topics such as “phygital” play and learning, as well as new forms of engagement and storytelling in augmenting our public spaces, virtual reality and OTT (over the top) programming. Current projects in development include Winklebeans, a sensor-based toy that connects to a data-driven story world, a VR narrative study to identify best storytelling techniques and practices that evoke empathy and engagement and CARPE parks, a collaborative augmented reality play experience in your public park.

Erin was on the founding team of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab holding the positions of Managing Creative Director and Research Fellow. In her roles, she designed and taught courses, built university-wide initiatives like the Blackstone LaunchPad, raised money to support Lab projects, fostered relationships with other academic institutions and industry partners. oversaw all aspects of lab programming and conducted research on the future of media and entertainment.

Before coming to USC, Erin was Research Director for Project New Media Literacies at MIT and also has conducted classes as a Visiting Lecturer at MIT’s Comparative Media Studies Department and Harvard University’s Project Zero Summer Institute.  She is known for her social entrepreneurship activities in founding Zoey’s Room, one of the first social media citizen science programs and networks for young girls to connect with women role models.

Erin is a writer with a combination of academic and industry publications including the New Metrics & Measurements chapter in The Edison Project book, T is for Transmedia: Learning through Transmedia PlayVisualization as a New Media LiteracyShall We PLAY?, PLAY! (Participatory learning and you)and Designing with Teachers: Participatory models of Professional Development.

Erin is a graduate of Emerson College and has her Master of Fine Arts degree from Maine Media Workshops + College.  She has been a frequent guest lecturer worldwide at universities as well industry conferences such as SXSW, Sandbox Summit, Nintendo Marketing Summit. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Board President of NAMLE (National Association for Media Literacy Educators) and serves on advisory boards, such as Disney Junior and PBS Emmy-award winning Sci Girls. Erin consults with private and public companies in the areas of audience engagement, creative strategy and transmedia projects.