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Western Kentucky University

Department of Communication - Sam Ford

Sam Ford, M.S.

Sam Ford, M.S.

Director of Audience Engagement, Peppercomm

Phone:  917-770-4227

Career Highlights

  • Co-Author of Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture (NYU Press, 2013)
  • Co-Editor of The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era (University Press of Mississippi, 2011)
  • Named Social Media Innovator of the Year by Bulldog Reporter in 2011
  • Named WKU Communication Department’s Alumnus of the Year in 2012
  • Advisory board member for WKU’s Communication Department and Ad+PR, as well as a member of the Young Alumni Council for the university
  • Have spoken at South by Southwest Interactive and Futures of Entertainment at MIT and at events for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, PR News, CableFAX, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the Popular Culture Association, the Advertising Research Foundation, etc.
  • Regular contributor to Fast Company
  • Have written for Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, BusinessWeek, Chief Marketer, PR News, Bulldog Reporter,, etc.
  • Co-Chair of the Word of Mouth Marketing Assosication's Ethics Committee.
  • Won Kentucky Press Association award for my writing for the Andy Anderson Corporation newspapers
  • Taught courses on popular culture at MIT and WKU

Personal Highlights

  • Married to fellow WKU alum, Amanda Ford, who works for University of Southern California
  • Two daughters: Emma, 4, and Harper,1 (2 in July)
  • Proud Bowling Green resident

Most Vivid Memory of WKU

With many memories on campus, it’s hard to pick out the most vivid. But I’ll perhaps opt for bringing pro wrestler Mick Foley to campus at the end of my final semester here for a lecture at the Downing University Center. It was almost time for him to come out to greet the crowd, and the crowd—realizing that—started cheering right before I went out to check the mic volume. After having performed at a few pro wrestling events myself, I was experienced at playing “the heel.” So, I came through the curtain at the exact moment their cheers rose and raised my hand as if I thought all the adulation had been for me. This drew an almost universal “boo” from the whole crowd. For someone who spent his undergraduate thesis years studying pro wrestling, having several hundred Hilltoppers and WKU guests boo me out of the room was a moment to be treasured.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14