3 Ways PR Pros Are Driving Conversations at SXSW


The PR community is not only a core audience at SXSW Interactive, but also one with a major voice. The popular festival provides a wide-reaching platform that PR pros can leverage to do what they do best—build buzz and drive conversations. To that end, Jason Winocour, agency partner at Hunter Public Relations, provides three ways in which PR pros at SXSWi are doing just that. 

  1. Taking a prime seat at the ever-growing smorgasbord of SXSW Interactive programming: This year's festival had hundreds of education and programming sessions covering more than a dozen themes, such as "better tomorrow," "convergence," "gaming" and "government and global issues," to name just a few. "PR pros were well-represented throughout, especially in the convergence panels that focused on the blurring of lines and continued integration among marketing disciplines," says Winocour. Sessions in which PR pros had a seat at the table included "More Smart, Less Stupid: PR for Better Business," sponsored by the Council of Public Relations Firms, and "Branded Documentary: Cause Marketing's Best Media," which focused on the creation and marketing of Pantene's highly successful Beautiful Lengths program in which girls and young women donate their hair to create free wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment. 

  2. Jason Winocour

    Curating the Conversation: PR pros at 3M, Dell and Pepsi managed Twitter feeds and larger activations that curated the conversation at SXSWi, and gave attendees a sense of which big ideas, new technologies and innovations were generating the most buzz. "Dell and Pepsi created interactive boards in which attendees could view and join the conversation, and 3M invited guests to join the innovation conversation through a specially created app using iPads on site at the Fast Company Grill and the Mashable SXSWi House," says Winocour. 

  3. Leveraging Celebrities to Stoke Buzz: Publicists took a leading role in generating social media buzz, ink and airtime for a host of celebrities who descended on the festival, including Joss Whedon, Matthew McConaughey and Jay-Z. American Express tapped Jay-Z for an exclusive concert streamed live on YouTube to introduce and showcase a new experience for card members using Twitter. 


As the interactive sessions wind down and conclude on March 13 and the music portion of the festival commences, the tone and sounds resonating from SXSW will no doubt change. However, the 2012 event proved that when it comes to digital innovation, PR pros are not only participating in and driving the discussions, they'll likely be returning home with new and inspired strategies for their clients or brands. 

Follow Sahil Patel: @sizpatel




Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Social Media 20/20 Summit

PRN_summit_ads_175x135_ep

This gathering will feature some key influencers and operators in social media, sharing their knowledge and experience in a full day of eye-opening sessions. You will take away practical knowledge to increase the visibility of your brand and expand its reach on social media.

Use code “150off” at checkout.

Get $50 off PR News' Media Relations Guidebook

book-mediarelations-180x150

This 8-chapter resource contains practical implications for some of the most innovative developments in media relations, including the technologies, methodologies and mannerisms that determine the ecosystem in which PR pros practice this essential part of their craft.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.