I recently had the privilege of attending the PR News Digital PR Conference in Miami, FL, June 1-3. Although I was there as a speaker (I’ll be sharing information from my presentation in a future post), I was eager to hear what my peers in communications had to say about their respective industries. It was surprising for me to hear that many ideas were being reiterated throughout as the conference progressed!
If I could summarize the whole event into three words it would be: “Content is king!” Audiences in the digital space are getting information from every direction, and there is a lot of competition from message senders to get onto feeds. Before the online information frenzy, traditional marketing and PR departments could live siloed and still run successful campaigns. Now, they are forced to integrate, as both sides are required to get the reader’s attention.
Things to consider when creating content online now emphasize multi-media presentation, creativity for stand out messages, and effective use of technology to engage audiences on their native platforms. The use of video, coupled with storytelling, is pushing conventional practice to really get to know the reader and deliver content that is relevant by bonding them visually and emotionally to the brand. Tod Plotkin, Founder and Principle at Green Buzz Agency, shared that he has seen click-through rates 40-times higher when using videos versus text. (Lisa, one of our blog’s co-founders talked about the same idea in a previous post!)
Another key take-away that was emphasized by many was the importance of collecting data. Social listening is an immediate way to quickly get information and feedback from consumers that would have otherwise taken lengths to gather through traditional methods. It also is dire to have these metrics on hand to justify the implementation of new strategies that the C-suite may be hesitant to undertake.
As health communicators, we are in a fortunate situation from a content curation standpoint. We are in the business of caring for people; our business revolves around the well being of others. There are endless opportunities for stories and visuals from real-life testimonials. Although sometimes our budgets can be limited or our creativity hindered by governmental regulations, a little bit of ingenuity can go a long way.
We have the upper hand in connecting with our audiences on a level which is most personal – one’s health. I’m excited to see how this shift is changing our work. The days of those scary or boring PSAs that we remember watching in elementary school are no longer!
For an executive summary with other highlights from the conference, click here.