Tag Archives: PR News Digital PR Summit

Digital PR Summit – Quick Closing Thoughts

OK, shutting ‘er down for right now.  It’s been a long day and I see work emails piling up so I’ve got to spend some time addressing those.

The last panel of the day (that we’re missing) is about “Leveraging Video for Your PR Efforts.”  As a old filmmaker, I understand the power of video in telling a story.  The immediacy of social media has changed the rules in terms of production value, but there is great value in telling stories in pictures, regardless of how highly produced (or not) it is.

The sessions here were pretty good.  The morning started off slow, the afternoon picked up.  Heard some really good things here today and it’s been good to get other people’s perspectives.  Hearing all of this, though, gives me great confidence that the direction we’re going (FH TX, as a group) is the right direction and we will lead the way.  We have much work to do ahead of us, but it’s the right group and we’ve got the right people doing it.  I have no doubt.

Panel 5 – Digital PR Summit – Smart Digital Tactics During a Crisis

Here we go again.  Rapid fire today.

Panelist – John Bell (360 Digital Influence, Ogilvy)

5 trends in Digital Crisis Mgt:  1) Everything happens at lightning speed, 2) People demand hyper-transparency, 3) Dialogue is as important as message delivery, 4) Search reputation delivers multimedia, 5) Brand detractors have the same tools

Understanding what to do in the first 24 hours is critical.  Don’t have to respond/react quickly all the time.

2-way dialogue is essential.  You have to be ready to answer for everything.

Panelist – Dallas Lawrence (Burson-Marsteller) – this dude is no joke.  Seems like a real smart guy, straight-shooter, fast talker.

How you sell this crisis planning in the online space?  We are great storytellers for our clients, but horrible about telling our own stories.

3 key online threats today: 1) accidental 2) deliberate but uncoordinated 3) organized campaigns

You have to be prepared to tackle any of these threats.  Do you have a social presence?  A voice?

Good, interesting stats – 75% receive news, 50% actively gather news, 37% create news.

If marketing is running social media, do they know how to handle crisis?  There must be integration with corporate communications.  If not, it’s fatal.

6 out of 10 members of the House of Representatives are on Twitter and more Republicans on Twitter than Democrats.

Panelist – Gary Spangler (DuPont)

Going to talk about “issues” management, not particularly “crisis” management.  Search is a huge component.  Paid search specifically.  Buy keywords, send them to your content.  Yes.

If you deliver your voice in a valid, transparent, caring way, consumers are willing to hear your point of view.

If brand has negative attack and all the brand does is set the record straight on the negative issue, the issue is still going to remain.  The brands have to turn it into a positive.  Need to leverage relationships/earned media at this point.  When writing a press release, make it a social media press release.  Create that same piece of content in a way that it can be blogged, tweeted, etc… Don’t have to use them, but you have them.

Between issues, you need to be developing relationships with influencers.  Build trust.  This is such a vital component to managing any issue/crisis.

Panelist – Sarah Tyre (Ketchum)

Again, it’s important to have a presence.  Also, as much as you can, set ground rules/expectations.  So, if someone has a complaint w/ their vehicle (let’s say), here’s the person/channel to contact.  Secondly, you’ve got to listen and respond.  Respond quickly, openly, honestly.

If someone asks, “what should my digital crisis management plan be,” your first question back should be – “Do you have a regular crisis management plan?”  The approaches can’t be independent of one another.

Three steps – Diagnose (goals, set focus), Manage (strategize, determine best voice, engage), Redefine (measure, optimize)

Need to train company/organization on crisis response.

Don’t look at social media space in a vacuum.

Questions – what are the most underutilized tools in crisis management?  John – SEO/SEM and video.  Dallas – Twitter and general council.  Gary – email and web pages.  Sarah – SEM. (All of these are basic.  Smart.  Don’t need to overthink “channels.”)

Dallas gives another nugget in the Q&A session:  Over-communicate, don’t make the problem worse.

Panel 4 – Digital PR Summit – ID & Engage the Right Influencers

Panel 4 here.  2 more to go. Big news is that I won the raffle during this session and it’s Stephanie’s new book – Perspectives on Social Media Marketing (when I won, she said, “oh, you don’t need this, he’s a digital guy.”)

Cutting through the Clutter: How to ID and Engage with the Right Influencers

Panelist – Stephanie Agresta (Porter Novelli)

All things digital should be grounded in community.  Big shift in how “digital” has been thought about in the past.

The amount of time and effort that goes into this can’t be about the platform.  It’s understanding that we need to manage an ecosystem of relationships.

Showed their “Engagement Protocol” – Listen, Set Objectives, Asses Influencers, Define Participation/Content Strategies, Develop, Measure/Optimize.

Who owns SM – PR or advertising?  Some of the challenges for ad agencies is what it means to develop and manage things like editorial calendars.  PR also has advantage of being able to craft messages around different scenarios.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide case study – their community management started long before the “launch.”  Approach a combo of “influencers” and consumers.

Some of her favorite tools to find “influencers”/thought leaders – klout.com, oneforty.com, slideshare.net, and of course, search.twitter.com

Panelist – Deirdre Sullivan (MWW) – consumers are no longer influenced by branded ads.

Users are now turning into valuable contributors.

There are a zillion conversations out there in many different communities.  How do you join the conversation?

1. Build social capital – present yourself as a trusted source/authority.

2. Become influential – if you want to attract other influencers, become one yourself.  Create content.  Speak your mind.

3. Develop strategic partnerships – you don’t have to “pay” to play.

Panelist – Heidi Sullivan (Cision)

You must be able to understand which “influencers” are most appropriate for your brand/industry.  Not all influencers are created equal.  It’s not necessarily the number of eyeballs, but the impact within that community.  As you look for influencers, it’s important to look beyond “followers.”

Her 5 key steps to ID’ing, finding the right influencers:

1. ID your keywords

2. It’s all about RESEARCH – more and more agencies are beefing up their research staff.

3. Do the math – Web analytics + social analytics.

4. Map your results – it’s more than just their “followers.”

5. Engage – build that relationship! Rule of 1/3 – 1/3 is about you, 1/3 is conversation/engaging, 1/3 is social karma (find other articles you like, retweet their stuff) – (I don’t do a good job of the conversation/engaging part – gotta work on that!)

Panelist – Kellie Parker (Sega – Community Manager)

Been doing community for 10 years now.  She works w/ PR & marketing within Sega.  Most of the time, it’s the same content, just framed/said differently, depending on audience.

Measuring return on “new” marketing is about measuring more of the intangible vs. the tangible.  Big shift.

It’s important to evaluate your current measurement tools.  Do you know how to use them?  If not, get a hold of the vendor and ask them questions.  They probably have webinars.

Questions – how many people do you have working in your SM dept?  Kellie – there are 3 of us.  Have a staff member in London.  Helps for time zones.  They’re active 2/3 of the day, which is a great advantage.  Small, scrappy team.

Question – a lot of times there is no one on the client side who is an advocate and not willing/able to run communities, what’s your perspective on “selling” it in to the client and managing the community?  Stephanie – from a community management perspective, there are CM’s on staff, fully disclosed as PN staff.  Ideally, there is someone on the agency side who can own, or halfway own, community management.  There can be a hybrid, too.  From thought-leadership perspective, you can always partner with SM influencers – have them guest blog for instance.  Approach from content-management, story-telling perspective.

Question – What’s your view on sentiment analysis on listening platforms?  Kellie – it’s good and bad.  Quick look, finger on the pulse.  You’ve really got to go into the conversations and see what the real sentiment is – if you want to do a good job of managing the community.  Understanding this can even affect business b/c you learn what people like/don’t like and then can filter than information back to the right people in the organization.

Keynote – Digital PR Summit – Social Media: What’s on the Horizon (Keynote)

Lunch Keynote:  Social Media – What’s on the Horizon?

Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans)

“What I’m going to say is probably not that cool.”  (But she’s got cool boots on).

In February, she tweeted an earthquake that happened in Chicago, then posted on CNN iReport and before you know it, she had NYTimes and CNN calling about the story, then before you know it, she had business leads because it seemed like she “got” social media.  She said, “I don’t do traditional advertising/outreach for my business.  It takes time to build relationships.”

It’s not about the next Twitter or FourSquare.  It’s about understand how people use online communications and bringing a little structure and focus on how to use social.  It’s about creating tactics NOT around the tools – not platform specific.

Focus on these things first – need to have these things in place:  SMP and ID how organization is going to be structured around SM.

Some guidelines that she outlined:

Find an opp to showcase what you do best.  Many times, you’re going to be the first company to do something in this space.  That’s a GREAT opportunity.

Hijack a conversation.  Livefyer (check it out)

Meet a need in an innovative way – #journchat – online weekly community dedicated to making industry better, networking.

Ask them what they want.  Give them what they want.  If you ask people what they want, you have to be prepared to give them what they want.

Don’t underestimate mainstream or traditional media.

Generate A LOT of quality content.

Do it for a good cause.  She talked about her Blogworld ’09 experience & Beat Cancer initiative.

Give freely, give often.

Questions – what do you think about the recent Gladwell article in The New Yorker?  (Impacting “real” social change.)  She doesn’t necessarily agree with it.  Social media is another tool and it can work and it can be valuable.  If it works, it works.

Question – Can you talk about the Crisis Center experience?  Crisis center came to her and E.D. said, “I heard you do something w/ computers.  The shelter is way behind on payments owed to the state.”  So, they launched a letter of support.  E.D. said they used to have reporters come in and tell about their experience staying the night.  So, Sarah said she would go in and stay the night and tell her community about it (Crisis Overnight).  This was the first time she asked her community for anything.  $161,000 raised over 3 weeks and the doors remain open.

Question – Tips on how to build relationships w/ journalists online.  What works the best is real, engaging conversation online.  If you find something that they’ve written that you like, tell them about it.

Question – smaller groups/non-profits workflow re: social media.  Should we hire an intern to run social media?  Think of dividing responsibilities with current staff.  And change as regularly as needs to change.  Sometimes, unions can change what people can/can’t do.  But if you can adjust job descriptions, you should explore.

Panel 3 – Digital PR Summit – Measuring ROI for Digital PR Efforts

Panel 3 here.  Best panel of the day.  This is from the mind’s of “doers,” not “talkers.”  It’s good.

How to Measure ROI for Your Digital PR Efforts – Tim Markein (Weber Shandwick), Johna Burke (BurrellesLuce), Danielle Brigida (National Wildlife Federation)

Tim up first –

Step 1 – Define the Outcome.  Start by defining clear, precise, measurable goals.  Even if you don’t know HOW you can do it, you know WHAT needs to be done.  If it’s to sell X product, that’s your goal.  It’s the best place to start.  Then, it’s about getting the right type of data to measure it.  (Easier said than done.)

Step 2 – Assess channels and audience.  There are not many tools that effectively look across various channels.  Need to look channel by channel and see how we’re doing in this particular channel and how we’re engaging specific audience in this channel.

Step 3 – ID your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).  There are number of things you can measure like traditional PR – impressions, sentiment, etc…  It’s about measuring content and how content is accessed and shared and amplified.  Traditionally, people measure traffic on website.  Search is important.  Syndication is often overlooked.  Are people seeing your brand/messages someplace else?  That’s equally as important to how much traffic you drive to your site.

Content measures, Conversation measures, Community measures, Outcome measures.

Step 4 – Build your dashboard.  There are way too many metrics.  There’s no single metric.  So, which are the 5-10-15 metrics that are important to you and how do they fit together?

Step 5 – Get “inline” with your analytics.  Integration of traditional, digital, and social media, WOM and other new influence patterns, too.  Measurement – meet Strategy.

He showed example of the wedding dance on YouTube, then how it was used on The Office.  Online and offline worlds are very integrated in the way they work together.

Takeaway – There are a lot of challenges ahead.  We need to be open minded.  We need to challenge traditional assumptions around these metrics.  Ultimately shift from impressions to engagement.  What are the business outcomes?

Danielle – they don’t measure Facebook fans b/c they see organic growth.  OK, that doesn’t do us any good.  We know we’ve got that.  What now?  How do we need to measure now?

This is a process.  You have to be invested in it.  The more you invest, the more progress you’ll see.

What she usually does – compare traditional metrics with social metrics.  You can measure friends, fans – they’re good to track and to a point, helpful.  Another focus is how many people are seeing it?  Impressions are OK.  But most important – what are people doing with your content and how are they sharing?

Check this tool out – PostRank Analytics – rate blog posts and content based on ENGAGEMENT.  Looks pretty useful for blogs, not any other channels.

It is about building relationships.  When you invest in people, they’ll invest right back into you.  Investing takes time.  Just like friendships.

Now up Johna – re: URL shortners – highly encourage brands to go out and pay for own account because otherwise, competitors/anyone can see results.

Most effective people are those who can explain in simple terms how this social media activity is impacting their business.  C-suite might not talk our language.  Need to talk theirs.

The one drawback to social – there’s a reason why corporations have offices and everyone doesn’t sit in cubes – there are decisions that need to be made by the right people, not by everyone.  Be careful about opening things up to everyone – “social.”

Personnel are one of the biggest groups of any brand’s influencers.

Listening is a very active sport.  Just because your monitoring doesn’t mean your listening.

Lead generation is something that C-suite absolutely understands.  Yes.

Questions – How do you determine what success looks like?  Johna – first need to understand where your audience is and how you’re affecting them.  It’s no good if you’re not affecting them.

Danielle – it’s all about the small victories.  It’s good to have goals and goals change.  That’s OK.  You’re never “done” with social media.

Tim – invest the time to figure out what this data means to who you’re showing it to.  Translate them into business terms, appropriate for brands, as much as you can.

Question – you say social media is not free.  What are the costs involved?  Tim – social media is about relationships.  Relationships require people.

Panel 2 – Digital PR Summit – The Next Generation of SM Tools

Panel 2 of the day – this should be interesting.  Again – best part is the questions at the end!  Maybe I’ll start just recapping questions?

Panelist – Jason Winocour (Hunter PR)

He’s going to talk about geo-location apps today.  Not going to get into privacy today.  Show of hands in the room – who’s on FourSquare, Gowalla, FB Places – only 50-75 raised their hands, out of a room of 400+.  Giving 101 overview of FourSquare, Gowalla and FB Places.  The thing about FourSquare that’s problematic is that their BD team is overwhelmed right now.  It’s difficult to work with them.  (AMEN!)

He’s geting into case studies, starting with Starbucks/FourSquare.  Another case study – Market Fair Mall in New Jersey – mayors got special parking spots (primo) at the mall parking lot.  Nice.

Gowalla – he’s focusing on our Chevrolet/SXSW case study!  Specifically, talking about our free rides to/from the airport when people checked into the airport on Gowalla.  Very nice.

FB Places – Are they going to become the Walmart of geo-location?  No rewards, incentives, gaming element YET.

Scvngr – involves skill along with just basic checking in b/c it’s a real-life scavenger hunt.

Now, out of geo-location, he’s going to talk about blogging platforms.  Alot of people are blogging.  Alot of people are reading blogs.  What’s the new way to blog?  Introducing Tumblr and Posterous.  Both are good platforms.  Stronger social aspect – allows re-blogging and “liking.”  Bloggers can post from email/SMS.

Another panelist – Nick Mendoza (Zeno)

The tools he’s going to focus on: video, social media management, group buying.

Video – users watch an average of 15 hours/month of online video.  Ooh – learned something new – you can edit YouTube videos with Tube Chop.  Where have I been?!

Alot of people haven’t developed a social video strategy, much less a live video strategy (using tools like UStream).

Effective videos sell and entertain.

Show of hands again – how many people use social media management tools to listen?  About 50% of the room raised hands.  I want to look into Sprout Social.  Tools like this are important to understand what’s being said about you/your brand, and gives you better insight as to how to respond/engage.  Also allows for syndication of content.

Group buying now – he’s talking Groupon and the like.  Yipit – look into this.  This company aggregates all of these deals into 1 place.  Group buying is all about the DEAL (D = daily, E = experience, A = awareness, L = local).  One of the unique benefits of group buying is that it enables conversation to extend into people’s own social communities.

Questions – what do you think is going to be the next Twitter or Facebook?  Nick – 3 pillars right now – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter.  What’s next – Scvngr, FourSquare – something related to mobile because people have their mobile phone in their pocket every day, all the time.  He talked about Facetime on iPhone 4 and the power of using video, real-time services.

Jason – agree with everything Nick said, but he extends it into Augmented Reality.  Walking down the street, you can see deals, information on businesses you’re passing (nice that he mentioned this, although he didn’t specifically say Out-of-Home or Interactive Out-of-Home).  Also mentioned gaming.

Question – people are just starting to come around to social media, much less these “new” tools.  What can you say about that?  Jason – in terms of getting buy-in, geo-location has to be a natural tie-in with the brand and what they’re trying to accomplish.  Does it make sense?  Don’t try to force fit, don’t do it for the sake of doing it.  You don’t want it to seem like you’re buying a new “toy.”

Nick – a big challenge is legal.  A lot of these initiatives haven’t ever been done before so that might cause trepidation.

Question – hard time convincing marketing executives that when consumers are engaged in these types of engagements, they’re skeptical that the brand should be “involved” in the space.  What’s the opportunity?  Nick – any social network out there is NOT a marketing platform.  We’re there to talk to our friends/communities.  He offered up some research, but didn’t really answer the question.

Jason – people are receptive to hearing from brands.  There’s a balance between commercial content and user-generated content.  It’s about having the right metrics to show how far you can push this.

Panel 1 – Digital PR Summit – Creating the Digital PR Dream Team

Panel #1 of the day at the Digital PR Next Practices Summit – IMO, the best part is the questions at the end!

Creating the Digital PR Dream Team – Mary Henige (GM), Lee Mikles (Archer Group), Holly Potter (Kaiser Permanente)

Mary – (yes, this is one of my clients) – she showed their org chart – Communications surrounding by Marketing

From her perspective, on the Communications team, it’s important to hire marketers.  Need to think like a marketer.  Important that Marketing doesn’t see Communications as the enemy.

Also have graphic designer, who is really important because he/team can create things and talk the talk.

Lee – I think he said they don’t hire interns for community management (“Twitern”) (mic is way down right now) – it’s a temptation b/c they understand social media, and they’re low cost, but they don’t understand your brand intimately.  It creates problems.

The A-Team:  The Digital Genius, The Content Creators, The Listener, The Law

Difference between social networking and traditional communciations – you don’t have the time to craft a perfect response.

Don’t yell – you have to have a voice that’s consistent with your brand.

Your team is not an island – need to be in tune w/ the brand teams, they need to be aware of the social team.

Have a plan – it’s important to have a plan before the “fire” starts.  Make sure people in the company know it.  And are comfortable with it.

It’s important to get the social team pushing/looking ahead so they stay relevant.  And they need to communicate that knowledge with the other teams.

Report on progress – step back on increase sales b/c that’s obviously what we want to do.  But do you want to increase followers

Social isn’t PR – PR isn’t social – customer service, innovation, relationship building.  You can’t have a social team sitting on an island away from the rest of “PR.”

Diane – they re-structured a couple of years ago and added a “PR” department where social media teams were just part of it.  Teams are: Public Relations, Corp Comm, Issue/Brand Mgt, Mktg/Advertising/Internet Services.  They have “Digital Sponsors” group with representatives from each team.  They just hired “Digital Media and Syndication Director.” Others in the Digital Sponsors group – Internal Web Capability, Digital Engagement Svcs, Digital Mktg Strategy.

When they re-organized, they changed everyone’s job description (even the traditional PR practitioners) to include social media capabilities – they listen/monitor, pitch bloggers, engage in conversations, correct misinformation, & facilitate service recovery.

Questions – how are you finding talent? Is it better to find someone more experienced in PR strategy or someone with a digital background?  Mary – in this field, they don’t have to come from a communications/PR background.  Some of this is very much learned.  If you find someone who is agile, risk-taking, and willing to learn – we’re willing to bring them on and train them.  There’s a whole bunch of people who want to get into this, but they haven’t done anything.  It’s about finding the people who have done things.

Holly – It’s nice to find people with strategy experience – how to get your story out overall.  Having a silo’d expertise around social media might not have the impact for the brand that you want.  Good to have balance – risk takers and nay-sayers.  Involving legal team early and often works well for them, too.

Question – What if you’re a team of 1?  What are some strategies for building a team?  Lee – the best thing you can do is show leadership the conversations that are happening.  If you’re not participating in those conversations, then who is?

Holly – listening is really critical.  They create monitoring report each week and share w/ team + C-suite.  The more you’re in it, the more you see opportunities to engage in it.  If you try to address everything in the social space related to your brand, you’re never going to sleep again.

Question – How did you develop the “right” voice?  Mary – starting about 2 years ago, they had so many people tweeting on their behalf so it’s going to be a little bit playful/different.  A lot of brands make their brands synonymous with 1 person – they don’t agree with this b/c eventually, that 1 person is going to not be there.

Question – 3 key characteristics of a candidate.  Holly – 1) skeptical of anyone who tells me they’re a guru or touts themselves like that.  We all have a lot to learn and in reality, we’re all making it up as we go along.  Anyone who claims otherwise, is wrong. 2) there needs to be a balance between willingness to take risks and challenge the status quo.  Have to acknowledge the PR landscape is not the same as it was 10 years ago.  3) pragmatist – it’s not all puppies and kittens when you go out in social media.  You need to be aware of what’s out there and be able to approach it from a realistic perspective.

Lee – 1) communications background – need to be able to communicate 2) understand there is a measurement aspect 3) they need to be likeable.  They’re going to be conversing with people, they need to be likeable.

Question – does it matter if the staff is in the same building? Holly – I don’t care, but ultimately, news is occurring 24/7, so as long as they’re on it, it doesn’t matter where they are.

Mary – You can coordinate your efforts without being in the same spot, generally speaking.

Question – where things are shifting for your team?  Mary – content creation – searchable, working with marketing, web development.

Lee – integrating the social conversations into all forms of communications.

Holly – content creation, overall, is foundational to everything they’re doing.  The more content they can create that is shareable, the more it’s going to help them.  Video is a critical piece to sharing their story.  They will focus on this over the next 3-6 months.

NYC or Bust – for Digital PR Talks & Awards

I’m headed to New York for the Digital PR Next Practices Summit and Digital PR Awards (brought to you by PR News) tomorrow.  I’ve got a special place in my heart for NYC – my wife and I lived there 2001-2005 when she was going to graduate school, we have many friends there, and our daughter was born there – so it’s always nice to go back.  I haven’t been back in over a year.  Anyway, we’ve (our Dallas office) been selected as a finalist for 4 different awards (Influencer Communications, Social Networking Campaign, Digital Marketing Campaign, and New Website) and I’m the representative to attend.

Awards are a funny thing – they are a tangible piece of recognition for doing great work and for that reason alone, I think they are purposeful.  (I believe strongly in recognition!  But it doesn’t have to be an award).  But if someone/groups/companies are driven by winning awards, then I have questions.  In my opinion, awards shouldn’t be the purpose that drives ideas and solutions.  It’s not whether or not this idea or that idea is “award-winning,” it’s whether or not this idea or that idea achieves the predetermined goals/objectives and ultimately impacts the client’s business.  And sometimes, things just play out in a way that a random judging committee thinks they are “award worthy.”  Such is the case here.  I’m grateful and excited and I think it would be awesome for our group and our clients to be recognized for all of our work.

More than the awards, I’m excited to attend the conference.  I’m new to the “PR” world, but not new to the digital and social strategy/development world.  So, it will be interesting to hear perspectives from different PR/communications leaders through my digital experience filter.  There is a solid lineup from brands to agencies to entrepreneurs.  I like the set-up, too – it’s a 1-day conference filled with 7 different sessions.  The only option is whether or not to go.

It’s going to be insightful because these sessions are centered around what I’m faced with every day, much more than what Out-of-Home component makes sense for a particular initiative.  It’s crisis management and “emerging” online social tools and measurement and influencers – look at the agenda and you’ll get a snapshot of the issues I think about on a typical day.  These are components that impact who, why, and how we communicate on a daily basis.  This is the real driver of our solutions, not any particular channel, like OOH or mobile.  But this is one of the things that I get so excited about with OOH, especially Interactive Out-of-Home – by touching people where they’re out and about, on the places and things around them, we have an opportunity to be more relevant and effective communicators.  Every touch point is a chance to strengthen or weaken a relationship.  The goal, though, is to touch the “right” people in the right way at the right time (how many times have you heard that?).

So, tomorrow, I’ll get a chance to peak inside other people’s heads, which is generally a good thing.  These are talented practitioners, so by and large, it should be a good thing.  We’ll see.  I’ll be blogging the entire day – stay tuned in if you’re interested.