It was the first time I had ever participated in a digital-only congress and it was great fun. How it works you ask? Well, it’s online only – you sign up in order to watch the live broadcasts of the presentations on the designated date and time, and you participate in a live chat after each presentation.
I was invited as a speaker by one of the agencies I take care of at HubSpot (they organise the event) as they noticed that my background was social media and PR and I had written a dissertation and a book on the topic, so they thought it would be quite useful for the participants to learn more about this.
You can still watch the video here, but I thought I'd share the slides of my presentation with you as they very much summarise my findings from back then, adding up some more research and still making the point that PR pros are unfortunately slow to catch up with all that’s being happening in the realm of social media, 10+ years later.
After the presentation, I got some interesting questions during the chat, a few of which I want to share here too:
Q: You mention reliability a few times. What’s the best way to profile yourself as a reliable brand, a reference point for consumers?
A: Storytelling – case studies and customer stories as a fantastic way of showing results and proving reliability.
Q: How should you engage your audience better?
A: It depends, of course, on the audience and the buyer persona. It’s important to know what their pain points and challenges are so that you can offer them relevant content. For example, make sure you are monitoring for hashtags that are relevant and jump onto those conversations – social media is a two-way platform, never forget that.
Q: How would you rate the importance of user generated content?
A: Very highly! Right now, I’m seeing a trend towards not only user generated content, but brand-user co-created content – if you can involve your customers into your storytelling, that’s fantastic and it works because it makes it relevant and real-life. You need to prove the value of your business and what better way than with the endorsements and stories of your customers.
A few days after I had my presentation finalised, the latest Digital PR Report by the PRCA was published. One of the major findings supports my point that more education is needed in the area of social and digital for PR pros, but investment in digital and social is going up.
I know this was very research-heavy, but are there any other numbers you want to add?