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5 Key Thoughts from the PR + Social Media Summit, #prsms

Photo courtesy of Gee Ekachai via Instagram

Last week the 4th Annual PR + Social Media Summit was held, and if you weren’t there, well, you were probably following along from home (read: work) at the #prsms hashtag.

Right? Right.

Just in case you didn’t go and weren’t listening on Wednesday, here’s a rundown of 5 key thoughts to take away from the summit.

1. Not Everything is a Social Media Crisis

Augie Ray in his keynote burst some social media bubbles and at the forefront were crises. Not everything that appears as though it’s a crisis will turn out to be one.

As an example, NBC took a lot of heat for its Olympics coverage this summer. The tape delays were probably the most known one, but there were several other public outrages, too.

But NBC ended up garnering its highest ratings for the Olympics, and the network, which forecast itself to lose $200 million in the process, ended up breaking even.

2. Tell Your Story Visually

Gee Ekachai, whose Instagram photo is featured in this post, presented about that social network at the summit.

The main takeaway from her presentation? That visual storytelling is growing and so popular because it can cross language barriers.

(As an aside, I share a lot of pictures of my dogs on Instagram. I was happy to learn that the first photo on that network was of a dog.)

3. “Not Everyone Is Going to Be a Fan of Your Brand.”

I tweeted this quote, but forgot to give credit to its author. And now I can’t remember.

Regardless, it’s an important reminder. As much as anyone involved in social media is fixated on growing a brand, getting new likes and followers, it’s important to remember this.

Some people won’t be swayed and that’s OK. Instead, try to recognize those who love your brand, and give them content and interactions that will continually solidify that feeling.

4. Listening is of the Utmost Importance

“Brands who pay attention, get paid with attention,” said Molly McKenna Jandrain during her breakout session on “Sharing Your Brand Story.”

To me it seems like social listening is not talked about as much as other parts of social media like humanizing, tools to use or metrics to track.

But listening is half of social media — by definition, social media takes two partners, and you have to listen to the other partner to keep the interaction going. If you’re not listening — and even if you are — take time out to see how you can improve in this area.

5. Be an Industry Leader

No, those aren’t words that Nick Symmonds uttered about himself, but he might as well have done so. He’s an industry leader for Olympic athletes.

Nick seized an opportunity this year and sold a space for a tattoo on his shoulder through eBay. Summit sponsor Hanson Dodge Creative won the auction, and the two have a mutually beneficial relationship because of it.

The auction started because Olympic track athletes can show only one logo when running in races, and Nick wanted to bring attention to that and get it changed. He has brought a lot of attention to the issue, and he has found opportunity where none existed, by partnering with Hanson Dodge and growing his personal brand.

That’s what happens when you’re an industry leader.

Read more about the summit

You can read some of my curated recaps on Storify:

And if you still want to read more, I recommend this recap — 3 Takeaways from #PRSMS — from my Twitter friend Abi.

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  1. October 15, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Love the takeaways, Dan. Especially #3 – I wrote about this earlier this year. See also: Erika Napoletano’s awesome read, “The Power of Unpopular.”

  2. October 15, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Some really good thoughts here, Dan. I like #4 in particular – so many brands fail to listen, instead simply doing what they think is best. This is why I love data – so much listening to do in numbers!

  3. October 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Dan, in regards to #2, story telling through pictures. I guess another great example could be Pinterest, right?

    In regards to #3.. I have learned, not only recognize who, but mention them also. Like Twitter for example. Thank those that retweet your tweets. That can go a very long way. And I agree with #4 and #5 is a pretty cool story and example. Thanks for sharing this info.

  4. October 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Great post, Dan. I wasn’t able to make it to #PRSMS this year, so thank you for recapping — this was really useful.

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