Nearly 300 people packed the ballroom at the Grand Hyatt in New York on Oct. 6 to learn the latest digital PR strategies, tactics and best practices from digital and social media experts.
Digital topics ran the gamut—measuring ROI, digital PR during a crisis, engaging the right influencers online and more. To be sure, the power of digital platforms in reaching influencers and buyers was on display at the summit.
Nick Mendoza, director of communications at Zeno Group, mentioned being in Costa Rica and utilizing Apple iPhone 4’s Facetime video chat feature to while on the beach to connect with friends back in the U.S. “The potential of new digital technology such as this should be really exciting to communicators,” said Mendoza.
The topic of communicating through mobile was also covered in a case study on an all-mobile campaign to sell a car, Volkswagen’s GTI. In fact, no paid media was used. “It all came down to economics and a company believing that we could reach the consumer this way,” said David Herrick, VP of communications of MWW Group, which helped engineer the campaign.
But it's not all about digital technologies. In her keynote speech, Sarah Evans, owner of Sevans Strategies and a popular PR blogger and tweeter, says it's not the latest social media tools—it's creating the strategies first that count. “Get a social media policy in place first,” said Evans. “Then showcase what you do best, and give information freely to others.”
Digital has transformed PR crises into immediate, 24/7 events, said Dallas Lawrence, managing director at Burson-Marsteller. Lawrence outlined the three main types of crises: the accidental threat, the deliberate threat and the threat that Lawrence feels is the most dangerous—organized campaigns against your brand, which Lawrence said are digital driven.
A top tip on measuring ROI in social media: “It’s all about tying together digital media measurement with traditional metrics,” said Tim Marklein, executive VP, measurement and strategy, at Weber Shandwick.