“Multifaceted stories in social media engage audience and are likely to be shared,” says the winner of Miltton’s thesis competition.

Nearly 40 Master’s theses from Finland and abroad were submitted for Miltton’s Thesis Competition, which was held for the fifth time.  Larisa Topalo won the competition with her work, Multiplatform social media storytelling: Case NikeWomen.

The winner of Miltton’s fifth Thesis Competition, Canadian Larisa Topalo graduated from Aalto University, School of Economics. In her work Topalo deduces why, and how, companies should create and direct their content through various social media channels in ways that best serve their target audiences.

“They key to using multiple social media channels successfully is to tell a multifaceted story that focuses on the client, not the brand. Content such as expert advice has more value for the audience and is more likely to be shared. When brands combine useful content with a multiplatform approach of using each channel for it does best, they can achieve high rates of engagement on social media,” Topalo says.

The panel of judges for this year’s competition included Karoliina Partanen, Vice President, Communications at Kesko, Mika Toikka, Vice President, Global Marketing at Outokumpu, Pirjo Laaksonen, Professor of Marketing at the University of Vaasa and Heikki Karjaluoto, Professor of Marketing at the University of Jyväskylä.

The finalists received plaudits from the judges on behalf of their innovative methodologies and topicality of the subject matters that had been chosen, as well as on their presentation and argumentation skills.

“The works of all five finalists were fantastic. It was great to see that universities are increasingly emphasising presentation skills and topicality. From the perspective of a judge representing a company, the finalists presented a great deal of applicable material for the business world,” Toikka notes.

The winner was determined by a combined score, based on the innovativeness of the topic and methodology, the relevancy and meaningfulness of the thesis to the business world, the theoretical and empirical approaches taken, as well as the presentation of the work itself.

The panel of judges also gave a special mention to Niklas Harki’s work, Utilizing online video to lead an organizational culture in the digitalized world of the information age, for its well composed and accurate content, and presentation culminating in a excellently produced video.

“Students have a lot of useful information and plenty to give to the business world. Therefore, in order to bridge the world of business with research and academia, it’s important to offer students platforms through which to present their theses,” says Fredrik Heinonen, partner at Miltton.

The winner of the competition received €3,000.

The finalists of Miltton’s Thesis Competition 2016: 

  • Niklas Harki, University of Oulu, Utilizing online video to lead an organizational culture in the digitalized world of the information age
  • Louna Laurila,  Aalto University, Consumer psychographic surveys as part of the decision-making in customer relationship management in omni-channel retail environments -Case Tokmanni
  • Hanna Ruokomäki, Aalto University, To Play or not to Play? Gamification Features on Arts Organizations’ Websites
  • Annamari Säteri, University of Jyväskylä, When a brand comes a media – Why brand journalism is consumed and how does the audience react to its content?
  • Larisa Topalo, Aalto University, Multiplatform social media storytelling: Case NikeWomen


For more information:

Fredrik Heinonen
 +358 40 55 00 281


Larisa Topalo