PR+Social Media Summit

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend the PR+Social Media Summit at Marquette University in Milwaukee. I’ve been very interested and active in social media for years now, so it was exciting to attend such an event, right in my hometown.

There were a number of excellent presentations – a whole day’s worth in fact. Rather than recap each and every session I attended, I thought I’d share some quick-hit sentiments that stuck with me.

On transparency and openness:

  • IBM has open Internet for all employees
  • They encourage employees to do this to expose their individual expertise
  • Trust employees – they are the brand
  • Blogging personally helps you find your voice

(From Timothy Blair‘s presentation, “From Experimentation to Implementation: IBM’s Communications Evolution“)

On engagement and community:

  • Community is about engagement – both conversing and listening
  • Be visible and interact
  • It’s not about the tools – it’s about the human element. The tools come and go. Yesterday it was MySpace, today it’s Facebook and Twitter, who knows what it’ll be tomorrow
  • Every single individual in a company has a voice and is part of the overall community
  • It’s being genuine on all platforms from LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter

(From Amber Naslund‘s presentation, “Community isn’t a buzzword. It’s a business strategy.”

On building a personal brand and making yourself known:

  • Just selling yourself through social media won’t cut it – follow conversations, listen to them, engage in them, monitor what’s going on
  • Find ways to show off your expertise/what you do best
  • Generate quality content…and lots of it
  • Share everything from tips and tracks to “trade secrets”
  • Read feeds and chime in regularly
  • Become a source – getting cited as expert gains you tremendous credibility

(from Sarah Evans‘ presentation, “How to Stand Out in the Online World”)

I debated if posting about a social media conference even belonged on a blog about web accessibility. Quickly, I realized it does.


Well, for a few reasons:

  • Those with disabilities and those without them – the same cross-section of society that surfs the Web overall – are delving into social media to be part of the conversation.
  • Many of you reading this probably wouldn’t have gotten here without social media, since Twitter and Facebook are two primary means by which I promote the art of web accessibility.
  • I presume whether you’re a first time visitor or a recurring one, you’re at least somewhat interested in what I have to say. Social media is part of who I am, professionally. Accessibility…user experience…web design…social media…they all are pieces of the puzzle that give me a voice in this industry.
  • My year and a half as a web accessibility blogger has been a great experience. Thanks in great part to social media, I’ve met a lot of fascinating, insightful and all around cool people. I do some of the above bullets better than others, but owe a great deal of the attention I get to social media.

    PR+Social Media Summit was a great experience, one that I wholly recommend to anybody when the next session rolls around.

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