Executive Summary: PR News’ Digital Summit

Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, Hyatt Regency—Huntington Beach Resort and Spa


Influencer Marketing: Seek Out and Build Rapport With Brand Ambassadors

William Karz, VP of digital marketing, Discover Los Angeles; Christina Sponselli, director of social media, University of California, Berkeley; Tom Gubbins, North American sales director, PressPage

  • Assess your objectives upfront: what are your goals, who is your audience?
  • Influencers on Facebook generally have a greater reach than those on other social media platforms
  • Key metric for measuring influencer effectiveness is Cost per Thousand, or the price of 1,000 impressions on one webpage
  • The ideal influencer has a highly engaged following; has an established audience on various platforms; have brand-appropriate message, theme and content; and feature thoughtfully produced content
  • Think of the people you would ask to promote your business if you only had 10 letterheads left 

How to Win Budget Dollars for Paid Social From C-Suite Skeptics

Lauren de la Fuente, VP of marketing and communications, Boingo Wireless; James Chong, senior manager, social customer engagement, TOMS

  • It’s essential to produce a few different sets of creative and ad copy and to do A/B tests on them to see which are most effective
  • Paid social can help you reach new audiences by targeting interest groups that aren’t directly related to your brand
  • There’s more to paid social than paying for it: Boingo uses Spotify playlists and LinkedIn posts to extend its reach
  • TOMS has found Facebook to be its most effective paid social platform
  • Company employees can be your best social advocates 

Video Strategies With the Lens Focused Sharply on ROI

Cynthia W. Curiel, sector VP, communications, Northrop Grumman Corporation; Sahara Jayaraman, SVP and head of digital brand lab, Hotwire PR

  • For B2B companies like Northrop Grumman, video can help humanize your brand and attract Millennials to your workforce
  • Video will account for 74% of all internet traffic this year—500 million people watch video on Facebook worldwide every day
  • A CPI like “Reach” is an important metric, but it gives you no clarity on whether people are actually viewing your content—a key measure is View-Through Rate, or average percentage watched (how long are people watching?)
  • Tell your story succinctly: the average completion rate for a video 30-60 seconds long is a mere 2%-5%
  • Video isn’t a big click driver so have a separate strand of activity better suited to driving clicks—while video is a powerful tool, it must be part of an integrated distribution strategy
  • You don’t need a Hollywood story: Great stories are all around us, we just need to be open to seeing them 

Luncheon Keynote Presentation: How to Be an Online Influencer—for Your Brand but Mostly for Yourself

John Lincoln, author, “Digital Influencer: A Guide to Achieving Influencer Status Online,” CEO, Ignite Visibility

  • Determine your goals, who you need to influence to accomplish those goals and where those people spend their time online
  • Figure out how you will publish (blog, video, podcast etc.) depending on the type of content your demographic likes to digest
  • Determine how you want to interact online, and set up social media profiles where your demographic spends the most time
  • Start your own personal email list (add family, friends, clients, etc.) and build a list of sites and media contacts where you might want to publish one day
  • Start by blogging for the company you work for, then start guest blog posts on other sites 

Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories—or Both?

Matt Steele, social media and public relations supervisor, San Diego Zoo; Brycie Jones, senior communications officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • 60% of Snapchat users are under 25 (with only 2% Baby Boomers) but more than half of new users are over 25
  • Be creative. Snapchat is meant for silliness—let your brand be creative/get weird
  • A Snapchat view is typically higher quality engagement than a Tweet, and most users watch more than one snap
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is looking to reach an older audience so it has a presence Instagram (where 51% of users are over 34 yeas old) rather than Snapchat
  • Instagram has a more robust data platform than Snapchat
  • Start small on Instagram Stories by using what you already have; make use of Instagram’s ability to share links

 Use Facebook Live to Harness the Power of Live Streaming for Your Brand

Caitlin Angeloff, head of social media, DocuSign; Kerianne Mellott, social media director, eHarmony

  • Plan ahead: strategize a content calendar way before you go live. That doesn’t mean you need a script but you should plan the intro, middle and wrap-up
  • Think about your set: think about every inch of what will be shown on the screen (and try to get your logo in the shot) and make sure you have great light and audio
  • Measure ROI: after each broadcast, view your analytics. If you want to track clicks and traffic to your site, add a link with tracking capabilities.
  • Create engaging content: make sure there’s an element of value throughout the broadcast, either through entertainment or solid info

 Humanize (and Visualize) Your Organization With Instagram

Sara Baumann, public relations manager, Hotel del Coronado; John Carroll, manager of local business outreach, Yelp; Nicole Steiner, brand manager, Certified Angus Beef

  • On Instagram, it's better to have that one person that loves your brand than 10 people that aren't engaged.
  • On Instagram, have a creative consistent brand voice and be authentic. "Inspire, don't sell."
  • Authenticity is critical: Instagram Stories is a great way to show a behind-the-scenes take on your brand
  • If your brand has more than one distinct type of audience, opening an Instagram account for each audience is more effective than trying to reach both at once

 What’s Next in Social Media

Chip Ross, director of social media marketing, tronc (formerly Tribune Publishing); John Carroll, manager of local business outreach, Yelp; Randy Brasche, VP of marketing, Zignal Labs

  • More people now get their news via social media, making news itself more informal, packaged as “stories” on Instagram, Snap and soon Facebook
  • Video is king, keep it short and snackable, and keep it relevant
  • Social channels are no longer where you just post content, it's where you engage with customers. Talk to your audience, not at them—there are no more barriers between brands and consumers
  • The tools in social media are moving toward immersive experiences—create dynamic content that invites consumers to experience your brand
  • Instagram continues to grow, now has more than 150 million daily users, matching the entire user base of Snapchat
  • Localized social media platforms like NextDoor are gaining traction