Jarter Jargon

Hanson Dodge PRSMS Wrap-Up

Posted on: October 15, 2012

Last week, Hanson Dodge hosted their annual PR and Social Media Summit at Marquette University. It was a day-long event featuring presentation and keynote speeches from professionals across the country.

In 2011, I was fortunate enough to attend and actually speak on a panel on Social Media and its influence on the Arts & Entertainment. This year, I was able to sit back and relax and soak up some incredible insight from some heavy hitters.

I attended 4 presentations on Instagram, Social Media and the News, a presentation by Augie Ray, and a very interesting panel that talked about Social Media and its influence in the Craft Beer community. All in all there were some great topics discussed, and I can say that I learned a lot.

 

‘Dr. Gee Ekachai on Instagram

The first presentation I attended was a very informational section on Instagram by Dr. Gee Ekachai. She spoke on the importance of the hidden gem, Instagram, for brands to connect with fans. Many people like brands on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, however, Instagram gives a “face” to the brand. People can see products, events, as well as fan-generated content without having to sift through all the nonsense.

Instagram can also be used to bridge gaps between campaigns being carried out by a brand. For example, the Father Marquette account uses many different hashtags including #MUexplore created by Tim Cigelske, later adopted by Gee for one of her classes.

Using an account familiar across campus in collaboration with a single class on campus, the hashtag instantly exploded and many students were discovering beautiful new spots on campus.

 

Social Media’s Influence on the News and Media

This panel was very interesting as well. It dug deep into the ever-evolving media rooms now know as Earth. With the explosion of social media and the interconnectedness of the world (in real time), people can now help journalists create and expand on developing news stories. However, with the newly created direct lines with journalists comes a price. People now expect to interact and experience journalists’ personalities.

We all have an online presence, and this does not exclude those who deliver news to us. It also paints a better picture of who is actually presenting this news to us.This idea also helps to develop the collective brand of media outlets. Journalists are people as much as we are, and as Kathryn Janicek puts it, “I want my people to be able to have a beer with our audience.”

However, this direct line between audience and journalists can be a double-edged sword: If a journalist has to be continuously corrected on facts, or dubious stories are abound, it can be very detrimental not only to the journalist’s credibility, but that of the overall media outlet as well. The expanse of the Internet means that facts can, and should be, checked quickly and easily.

 

Augie Ray on Social Media Bubbles

In this presentation, Augie Ray tackled some great myths of social media. It tackled whether or not we should be overly personal on social media as well as if social media is truly a marketing medium.

In the beginning, social media was meant to be, well, a social medium, but as strategies and studies on social media develop, we are finding out that sometimes it’s not the best advice. Augie urges that our tone matches our objectives. You can’t act one way online and a completely different way offline.

As far as being a marketing medium, Augie argues that if consumers are in charge, social media inherently can’t be a marketing medium. He also argues that because audience trust in TV, magazine, and radio ads are down as much as 20%, in this day and age, consumer trust is becoming a very important currency.

However, in all reality, consumers are not footing the bill. Social media needs revenue so even if you don’t click ads, you still find marketing tactics in front of you. Then what is the big relationship? Augie believes that marketers and their audience mutually create value and build relationships. Money does have to be invested into target audiences, but trying to gain the value and engagement of likes/followers can end up being neutral, or even worse, detrimental. It doesn’t matter to have a bunch of fans and followers, but it does matter how those fans engage with your brand.

 

Social Media’s Influence on the Craft Beer Community

The final panel I attended was a very interesting look at how social media ahas helped the craft beer community evolve into what it is today. What surprised me is the behind-the-scenes grassroots-eqsue effort that has gone into growing and fostering the community. Through the use of social media, breweries have adapted packaging (use of hashtags, QR codes, etc.) as well as marketing tactics to get their specialty brews out there.

The panel included representatives from Goose Island, Milwaukee Brewing Co., and a craft beer critic. Many said the use of social media helps companies announce when/where new brews will be available as well as interacting with fans to see what is a hit and what is a miss.

Overall, this day-long event can celebrate another successful year. Unfortunately, I could not attend throughout the entire day, but I’m confident that the other presentations were on point as the ones I had attended. If you have the opportunity to attend this event in coming years, I highly suggest you do as it is a great and enlightening experience.

 

The following is a list of Twitter handles for the panelists/presenters I attended:

Dr. Gee Ekachai, Diederich College of Communication, Marquette University – @FvrythingPR

Sharif Durhams, Social Media Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – @sdurhams

Kathryn Janicek, Executive Producer, NBC Chicago Morning Show – @kathrynjanicek

Andy Tarnoff, Co-Founder and Owner, OnMilwaukee.com – @AndyTarnoff

Herbert Lowe, Diederich College of Communication, Marquette University – @herbertlowe

Augie Ray, Director of Social Media, Prudential – @augieray

Mike Thiel, Marketing, Goose Island Beer Co. – @Mike_Thiel

Emma Pohl, Milwaukee Brewing Co. – @MBCemma

Brew City, Beer Blog for MilwaukeeMag.com – @InsideBrewCity

 

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