SIPA Online: PR Stranger Wanders into the World of Publishers and ROI

This was originally published on the SHIFT Communications “Slice” Blog

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the SIPA (Specialized Information Publishers Association) Marketing Conference in gorgeous Miami Beach, Florida (I know, the life of a PR flack is tough). I was asked to do a little work (the nerve) and present on social media news releases.

In our world- especially here at SHIFT, home of the Social Media Press Release Template, this can be an “old hat” subject (dirty secret; it’s not old hat– still much to do and learn). At this conference, I was very interested to present in front of a different crowd- which, to my surprise, was very eager to learn and came armed with questions. I was also pleased and flattered to find SIPA board members in the audience.

Below is the presentation I gave, with slides synced to audio. Special thanks to Todd Defren, without whom I would not have been able to sharpen my plagiarism skills to present on his and SHIFT’s behalf:

Why did I consider myself a “stranger” at this conference? SIPA is very ROI-focused, and PR is notoriously, well, not ROI-focused (more dirty secrets!). One basic presenting tenet that was proved at my session? Bring data. People were very interested in the ins and outs of press releases and new social media formats, but the takeaway that was re-broadcast at the conference? The statistics on social media release vs traditional release performance from Andrew Parker (see slide 18). I provided context and caveats, and this was not what I considered the lynch pin of the presentation, but numbers rule.

That was more true at the next day’s panel on “Social Media Success Stories,” with Hunter Boyle of Marketing Experiments and Matt Bailey of Sitelogic. Hunter and, particularly, Matt were quite at home from the analytical side, but I was able to answer a pointed question about the ROI of Twitter with two points: Dell Outlet’s $3 million Twitter account (thanks to Jay Berkowitz for serving up the exact number from the audience), and was able to recount revenues realized from Twitter networking in my PR work. Numbers from a PR guy? I astonished myself.

What are you doing to get outside your normal comfort zone (for me, that’s the “social media” crowd, such as the one at BlogWorld Expo)? And what do you need to present to them to make sure you, as a stranger, can get your message across?

Also: a quick thanks to Mike McKinney and the folks at Comhaus, who worked diligently during the SIPA Marketing Conference to capture the sessions on audio and/or video. I hope to have access to the panel soon, and will share a link to other sessions when it is available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *