By: Hanson Dodge Creative Staff
“The PR+Social Media Summit reminded me of what I love about this business. The audience was wide-eyed and eager to learn and discover. The speakers were energetic and excited to share ideas. Overall, it just had a good positive energy. It was clear that the subject of social media has moved past the question of how do these tools work to what will these tools do for my business. It seems to me the next chapter of discussion will center around how we need to think about these new channels of communication in relationship to the overall marketing mix. A second discourse will need to evolve on the impact of social strategies on brand building overall.”
HDC Partner & President
If attendance is any measure of interest, the Third Annual PR + Social Media Summit clearly demonstrated that the convergence of strategic communications and social media is a hot topic in today’s business community.
The one-day summit, held October 11 at the Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union, drew a record-breaking crowd of nearly 500 attendees consisting of senior executives, marketing and public relations professionals, brand managers and students. Representatives from Pepsi, The North Face, American Eagle Outfitters, Land’s End, IBM and Hanson Dodge Creative (HDC) were among the 32 industry leaders who shared their experiences and discussed how to successfully leverage public relations and social media to move businesses and brands forward.
“We were delighted to once again co-host this great event with our friends at the Marquette University Diederich College of Communication,” said Al Krueger, HDC partner and vice president of public relations and social media. “We’re pleased to announce that this year’s net proceeds of $25,000 will go to a scholarship fund for worthy Marquette students who are pursuing a career in communication and social media.”
“Our students benefit tremendously from interactions with professionals and through the exchange of ideas about social media and PR that happen at these annual summit events,” said Lori Bergen, dean of the Diederich College of Communication. “Our partnership with Hanson Dodge Creative is a prime example of the value of collaboration in enhancing academic programs and career networking for our students. The scholarship funds generated from this interaction are the icing on the cake — we’re terribly grateful for the teaching opportunity and the support for student success that’s generated by the Summit each year.”
Since its inception in 2009, the PR + Social Media Summit has contributed a total of more than $42,000 to post-secondary schools in Wisconsin. Krueger said plans are already underway for the 2012 Summit planned for next October.
“Based on the growing level of interest we continue to see each year, we definitely plan to host and expand next year’s venue of topics and speakers,” said Krueger. “Social media is a young and evolving industry. Hanson Dodge Creative is committed to being at the forefront of its evolution.”
Hanson Dodge Creative and the Diederich College of Communication are interested in your ideas on how to improve the event. Popular suggestions have included topics related to small business, b2b and non-profit organizations. We are committed to leveraging the Summit to advance the industry by drawing marquee brands and thought leaders to share meaningful insights and case studies.
As part of course work, Dr. Gee Ekachai’s Public Relations Writing class at Marquette University wrote and curated blog posts about individual sessions. They can be found HERE.
Here are some reactions to the event from around the HDC studio.
“Inspiring, thoughtful, enjoyable. Memorable takeaway: in any social medium, you have to be prepared to ignore trolls, have discussions with critics and converse with unhappy customers. You cannot avoid negative comments and criticism. The rewards of social media outweigh the pain of critical response, but you have to be prepared for it. My favorite was the Online Reputation Management panel. It was a really good, honest discussion about the rewards and pain of being in social media.” – Bridget Butch, Director of User Experience
“Jenny McTighe’s talk, ‘How IBM Watson Beat Jeopardy, Advanced the IBM Brand and Could Impact You,’ bridged a gap by putting the current tech landscape into historical context. For me, it acted as an overarching reminder that social media is not so much about ‘man vs. machine’ but how technology is a reflection of mankind.” – Betty Strigens, Social Media Coordinator
“One of my key takeaways was that social media is about human connection. And just like the real world, the social media connections that are the most substantive are the ones we will treasure the most. Social media without a sense of purpose is a waste of everyone’s time. Augie Ray’s presentation, ‘A Glimpse Into the Future of Social Media,’ shared the sobering perspective that social media is far from new. It has been alive and well for 22,000 years. The North Face presentation by Pamela Bennett demonstrated how to connect more deeply with the consumer by focusing social media on the brand experience and not products.” – Ken Hanson, CEO
To view the presentations from the event visit the PR+Social Media Summit Slideshare page.
Hanson Dodge Creative is America’s leading active lifestyle agency. The full-service firm was established in 1984 and specializes in helping global brands attain market leadership through the strategic integration of world-class branding, relationship marketing, social media, e-commerce and advanced interactive technology. Clients include Wilson Sporting Goods, Trek, Wolverine, Thule and Kmart.