Erin Reilly is Managing Director & Research Fellow for Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism. In her role, she oversees all aspects of lab programming and conducts research on new media literacies, transmedia play and learning, fan engagement and the future of media and entertainment.
Erin’s research is currently focused on investigating topics such as tangible play and learning, as well as new forms of storytelling from augmenting our public spaces, virtual reality and OTT (over the top) programming. Her most recent prototypes were to develop a sensor-based toy that connects to a data-driven story world, as well as a dynamic book to create an experimental platform to explore new forms of reading and writing as well as joint media engagement between children and their caregivers.
Over the past two years, Erin has been conducting research on fan engagement, through development of a new framework titled: Leveraging Engagement, with an initial case study on Fans. Passions. & Brands. Global Study on Football (Soccer). As part of this research, she has led multiple teams as they conduct engagement research in the areas of unscripted entertainment, transmedia entertainment, music and sports.
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’s publications include: New Metrics & Measurements: Leveraging Engagement, T is for Transmedia: Learning through Transmedia Play, Visualization as a New Media Literacy, Shall We PLAY?, PLAY! (Participatory learning and you), and Designing with Teachers: Participatory models of Professional Development. Having received multiple awards, such as Cable in a Classroom’s Leaders in Learning, Erin is a recognized expert in the development of processes and resources for educators and students and conducts field research to collect data and help shape the field of digital media and learning.
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 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 Vice President board member 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.