Around 50- 60 people attended the Digital PR Bootcamp held at the Century Club in London for a day-long event featuring talks on a range of subjects. These included The Brand Newsroom Approach, content and distribution, setting smart KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), SEO, visual PR and crisis comms.
It was incredibly informative and due to the fact it was delivered by several different speakers, with lots of breaks in-between, it was easy to stay focused. It was also great to speak to other PR people to see how they deal with different parts of their jobs and to compare notes.
Here are some of the things that I learnt:
- Daniel Ekbladh, a photographer and content curator for MyNewsDesk in Sweden, around 85-per-cent of videos are now viewed without sound. When creating video, PR companies need to think about how the way that people consume content is changing and a lot of videos will be seen on phones at work/lunchbreaks/in restaurants/on public transport when the person can’t play the sound aloud, so they need to consider using subtitles.
- He also said that videos get 135% more organic reach than still images, and users will watch a live video for three times longer than one which is pre-recorded. According to research, a person’s attention span on the web is only five seconds long.
- For interviews, Daniel’s top tips were to create a headline, ask open questions, get the person to put the question into the answer, stay quiet when doing an interview/taking pics as you may just get something from the person that you otherwise wouldn’t have. Finally he said to use a microphone as people will stay watching a video even if the pictures are bad, but if they are taking the time to listen to it and the sound quality is poor, they will switch off.
- Back in 1996, Bill Gates said: “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.” Fast forward a few years and the way people consume their news is changing. People still read newspapers, news websites, and watch TV, but often they will hear about the news first from their friends through social media. The team at MyNewsDesk were saying that companies need to create insightful content, which will make people come back to the company. But don’t drill people with a sales pitch as nobody likes to be sold to.
- When handling crisis comms, it’s important to get the language right. If you speak in too much of a corporate tone, people will assume that you are hiding something, said Kate Hartlet, COO of Polpeo.
- There are five key things to consider in relation to SEO when creating content to showcase a company: Video/images, brevity (It has to be an article which can be condensed down into a tweet about the story), localisation (people find it far more interesting to see content which is relevant to where they/their family/friends live), more use of the human voice and proximity of trending subjects.
- Kate Parker, UK marketing manager for MyNewsDesk, said that companies need to find ‘a higher purpose’ as she said that people don’t buy *what* you do, they buy *why* you do it. When creating a campaign, she advised people to: Set objectives, engage your audience, involve other relevant stakeholders (e.g. Local councillors, MPs or other authoritative figures), use innovative technology and solutions, and finally be ready to react. She added that it can be great to get somebody else to talk about why they like the product/service/business, rather than just speaking to staff for quotes/videos/pics.
- Don’t be afraid to show personality in everything that you do. There’s no point in using fancy language to convey a message that could be made simpler and thus more effective. Innocent smoothies are a super example of showing personality behind a brand. They will talk about their products, but they will also post other relevant content such as TV programmes, events, and fun facts which don’t mention Innocent.
- KPIs can be used to define how a company is performing against their targets, where they need to focus their efforts, and decide what’s going to inspire and motivate their target audience. There are four content personas, which are promoters, professors, preachers and poets, and ideally you want to be a variety of all four.
- If you want journalists to put links onto stories, there needs to be content on the link which they just can’t write in the article. We were shown an example of a quiz about how many drivers would still pass their driving test to promote the AA, and naturally if somebody is writing about the quiz, they will want to include the link for people to try it for themselves.