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Takeaways from Social Media Week Chicago

Social Media Week is wrapping up today and several of our staffers participated in events and sessions throughout the week. Our own SVP of Digital Content Heidi Sullivan held two sessions on Content Marketing and the PR Professional, and other sessions around the city involved discussions on branding, storytelling, social media and more. Here, we’ve outlined some of those sessions with top takeaways from our staff, so you can learn, too!

amanda headshot

Amanda Belo, media researcher
Not Social Media, Social Action
Takeaway: Inspiring people to move from being advocates to activists to catalysts and agents of change involves knowing your audience and their value, engaging with your audience and empowering them to want to act. A diverse set of research methods will help to carry out those strategies.


Neal Gregus, media researcher
The Next Generation: Content Marketing and the PR Professional
Takeaway: No matter the product, service, or business, it is necessary to seek out an audience. It’s no longer enough to assume your customers will find you.

Emily Zimmerman, senior media researcher
Jump! NU Knight Lab’s New Tools for Social Journalism and You
Social media is being used to advance the interest in reporting.

Hibo Aden, broadcast research supervisor
The Women Driving Chicago’s Digital Renaissance
Takeaway: It’s valuable to have a great network of people and build on it, but you also have to be a valuable source in return.

elyse eltrich

Elyse Eltrich, media researcher
The Secrets of Storytelling Through Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned Converged Media
Takeaway: At the end of the day what matters most is your story. The story is still the heart of a campaign.  The delivery and creativity are what get you noticed, but connecting consumers with an experience they can relate to is key.

Allison Richard

Allison Richard, East Asian media supervisor
The Human Manifesto for Social Media
Takeaway: Humans are social by nature, and media has always evolved to adapt to social behavior. Social media strategies should look at the why (motivation behind social behavior), when (sequence programs to people’s journeys) and where (channels that are most suited to address behavior) factors.

gina pics
Gina Joseph, social media community manager
Every Brand Is A Story…How Will Yours Be Told?
Takeaway: Brandtrust’s Daryl Travis went into detail on how the human brain receives and interprets information, and one thing that really made sense was “A story is a word picture.” He said, if you meet someone named Jim Baker, you’re likely to forget his last name. But if he said “Hello, my name is Jim and I’m a baker,” you would forever remember his profession because he just told you a story. Brands need to think in those terms. So interesting!

teresa dankowski

Teresa Dankowski, content marketing manager

The Shift In Social Branding
Takeaway: It was during the Q&A portion, actually—someone in the audience asked Chris Shaw, “What’s the biggest difference in how you approach B2B versus B2C [with regard to content and branding]?” And Chris replied: “Nothing. They’re people.” I thought this was genius. Sometimes, in marketing, we lose sight of the audience. We give them what we think they want, and not what they actually need. In B2B especially, we tend to assume that people are as technical as their brand, and will just want to read white papers all the time. Remember that there are different ways to provide value, and different types of content to deliver this value. People—whether B2B or B2C customers—want to be informed, entertained, engaged.

About Lisa Denten

Lisa Denten is the Social Media Manager of Cision U.S., where she leads social strategy, coordinates the blog editorial calendar and manages public relations campaigns. She regularly hosts Cision webinars, was chosen as a #FollowFriday guest on industry blog Spin Sucks, and has spoken on panels for Inbound Marketing Summit and Publicity Club of Chicago. She worked in the newspaper industry before joining Cision in 2008. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter at @lisaml15.

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