Digital PR Trends Discussed at Industry Conference

Past Tides
April 9, 2018 By Grace Wood

The Orange County Public Relations Society of America (OCPRSA) held its first event of the year at the Cove @ UCI. PR Trends: The Future of Digital in 2018 is an annual event exploring the latest public relations tactics, best practices and models. PRSA is the nation’s largest national association of public relations professionals. Panelists for the event included experts Mike Delgado, director of social media and community engagement, Experian; Erin Glover, APR, editorial content director, Disneyland Resort Public Relations; Lisa Jammal, founder, Social Intelligence Agency; Laura Knapp, vice president of digital strategy, Porter Novelli. Brenda Springer, APR, managing director and partner, Reveille, Inc. served as moderator for the day.


“We’re digging into digital,” said Dan Nasitka, 2018 OCPRSA president. “All of us here have to be on the cutting-edge.”


The first question posed to the group explored how different job functions influence marketing execution. Panelists emphasized communication and collaboration as the drivers for both efficiency and innovation. Knapp elaborated, “Ultimately, everyone’s … more integrated. So, even if you are a dedicated agency, you would work with a social agency, an advertising agency and your client.”


Due to the nature of public relations, panelists described professionals must be involved in every step of the process. A successful firm will encourage communication on all fronts.


Delgado added to the discussion, emphasizing the idea of customer satisfaction.


“You are touching content and marketing.–especially on the PR side,” said Delgado. “You want to make sure that you are improving trust and transparency,” Delgado shared. “So, social media at my company falls within PR because everything we do on social helps build trust, transparency and relationships with both existing and potential customers.”


After Delgado concluded his discussion, Glover shared how Disney is adapting and evolving to new opportunities in PR.


“At Disney right now, our frontline cast members are becoming influencers,” said Glover. “Our own employees are some of our biggest voices.” She noted that Disney cast members, those who interact directly with the theme park’s guests the most often, have the most opportunity to deepen customer relationships and enhance communications. Glover shared an additional example of how her organization identified opportunities to gather insights from customers before implementing large changes to attractions at Disney Parks.


To create excitement around the Tower of Terror attraction’s transformation to the premier Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission: Breakout! Glover shared her strategy about the change.


Concluding the event on the topic of engagement, Springer asked panelists to give practical tips on gauging engagement.


Knapp described the importance of their methodology and terminology so their team is clear on how engagement and impressions are calculated.


“At the end of all our reports, we have a methodology and a terminology so that everyone is super clear on exactly how we found this information and what it means to us because everyone does have a different way to calculate impressions and a different way to calculate engagement,” said Knapp.


Delgado suggested using tools like Sprinkler and Hootsuite, which both gather engagement data from different sites and put them on a single dashboard report. He also mentioned, however, that you cannot always rely on third party platforms.


“What’s really difficult are the newer apps that are not sharing their APIs,” said Delgado. “We manually will just track it on a good old Excel spreadsheet.”


When explaining social media engagement to stakeholders as it relates to revenue numbers, Glover elaborated on transparency and credibility. She stressed oversimplification of metrics can be a professional’s downfall if they are not accurate.


“If you lose that credibility with your clients, boss or internal partner, they’re not going to listen to any of your numbers,” said Glover.


Jammal concluded the day by reminding the audience to use clear and concise explanation on engagement decreases when presenting to executive leadership as it can effectively deter misunderstandings.


To learn more about OCPRSA’s upcoming events, visit

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