A couple weeks ago I attended FutureMidwest a “technology and knowledge” conference held in Royal Oak, Michigan. They did a fantastic job with programming and the event overall. There were some short key lessons I wanted to share that I took away from the speakers.
Online integration forces listening. Tim Schaden, CEO of Fluency Media gave a presentation on the importance of integration in improving your listening and overall communication. He encouraged all channels, services, agencies and internal teams to work together. This is something that I think is overlooked in many companies. Do you really need ten different Twitter accounts run by each department?
Blagica Bottigliero shared the importance of community building and also reminded me of the power in story telling. Her talk about the Gal’s Guide was filled with emotion and passion. She was able to share the story of the site by telling several shorter stories from her life and past experiences. I think that I need to start focus more on storytelling in my speeches.
Social media is forcing PR back to its roots. — Beth Harte of Serengeti Communications, gave a presentation focused on how to integrate “people relations” into online public relations, marketing communications and social media strategies. Beth encouraged PR pros to know ROI because this not just a practice for marketers. Also, ask yourself the question – how do these tactics help my strategies. If you can can’t answer that your campaign is a waste of time and money.
Ken Burbary who is the Head of the Digital Strategy and Social Media practice at Ernst & Young gave a killer presentation on monitoring online analytics. I really couldn’t even begin to do his preso justice in such a short recap so instead it out on slideshare.
A large part of this conference was also focused on the revitalization of the Detroit community through not only technology but a united community. The messages of bringing Detroit back to a level of respect that it deserves reminded me a lot of my hometown, the lovely Cleveland. I’m not trying to say the cities are in the same situation, but I still related to what these leaders were trying to accomplish for the Detroit neighborhood.
This video will give you a better idea of what I’m trying to convey. They played it before the Friday night keynote speaker. I got chills and again, I’m not even from Detroit. Again, totally awesome conference – hope next year it can expand to truly encompass more of the Midwest scene. This conference could turn into something even bigger than originally imagined.