Author Archives: Carissa McCabe, APR

Top Presentation Tips From SXSW

It’s been just over a week since I returned from South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) where – in addition to learning about the latest in social media strategies – I had the opportunity to attend dozens of presentations in a variety of formats. I learned a few new presentation tips and enjoyed some effective presentations that inspired me to share some helpful pointers.

Stories Beat PowerPoints Every Time

The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr

The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr

In a panel focused on the power of storytelling, neuroscientist Shonté Taylor noted that storytelling engages the right side (aka, the more creative side) of the brain. Specifically, she described how the body releases reward hormones such as dopamine when the right side of the brain is positively engaged, as can happen when a person is enjoying a great story. She went on to describe those reward hormones as “lighting up” the brain in a positive way, and left me with the point that if you light up the brains of your colleagues and customers, they’re going to remember you.

Reflecting on the various presentations I attended during SXSWi, the most memorable really did include great storytelling elements. Speakers from National Geographic and Outdoor Afro shared compelling stories and – often – images that took me beyond bullets on the screen. One week later and I can describe in detail the stories they told and the lessons they shared in a way that I cannot for other speakers who didn’t weave personal stories, images or testimonials into their presentations. Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Tuesday Sessions

Believe it or not – we’ve reached the end of another amazing SXSW! We had a busy day of packing, automobiles and planes to begin our journey back home – but couldn’t help but squeeze in a few more sessions to take with us on the road.

SXSW may be over - but we leave you with Jim & Carissa squeezing in one last blog post from the Yeti flagship store in Austin!

SXSW may be over – but we worked hard on squeezing in a few more sessions and a final blog post!

Jim’s Take:

  • I tried to work some variety into my schedule on the final day of SXSW, and in the session titled “Investing to Change the World,” a panel of bankers, investors and financial planners talked about how many individuals today are working to align their investments with their values. There are several individual stocks and mutual funds that fit the bill (humanitarian companies, environmental-friendly companies, etc.), and surprisingly, many are outperforming the market itself. The key is just like any other investment – look for companies who are investing in their own long-term success and are inherently resilient. Who wouldn’t want to invest in companies that produce returns AND are making a difference in our world?

Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Monday Favorites

Day four at SXSW and if the decor at our dinner spot was any indication, things finally got weird in Austin…

Nomnom:

The food was delicious, but the ambiance was even better at Ranch 616.

Not an official member of the waitstaff, but an attentive host at Ranch 616 nonetheless!

Not an official member of the waitstaff, but an attentive host at Ranch 616 nonetheless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Sunday Favorites

From deviled eggs to celebrity sightings, the Old Fashioned tour of Austin continued with a flash of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Birds” in between. Keep Austin Weird, you guys!

Nomnom:

There’s nothing evil about a delicious deviled egg…

Deviled Eggs from 24 Diner

Deviled Eggs from 24 Diner

Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Sunday Sessions

We’re just wrapping up our third day of sessions at SXSWi and with the time change and cold weather it wasn’t easy to hop out of bed this morning. But – nothing gets you going like a strong, inspirational session and hearing from Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, fit the bill perfectly. He reinforced two themes we’ve heard throughout the conference: live your truth and do your best. With that – here’s our best at a recap on today’s sessions!

Jim’s Take:

  • Given our work with the City of Denver’s Denveright and Stay Legit Denver
    Smart Cities: defined

    Smart Cities: defined

    campaigns, I opted to check out a Smart Cities session to start the day. As Google’s second Fiber City, you’d think it would all be rainbows and roses in Austin. But when only 15% of residents who live in affordable housing have in-home internet, the challenges of truly becoming a Smart City – with a plethora of transportation and mobility options, well-connected to the internet and related devices, abundant affordable housing options, etc. – are multi-layered, and ever-changing.

  • In a panel that consisted of representatives from Vox Media, VICE, and The New York Times titled “Social Video and the Future of Consumption,” the focus (even for traditional media outlets) is swiftly turning to live video experiences. The challenge with live video, of course, is taking the live element and ensuring it’s adding value or more context to the story in some way – underscoring the extreme importance of being as creative as possible with videos, rather than just producing videos for video’s sake.
  • Summing a panel titled “Shopping and the Sacred Social Space” up in one line (with panelists from Facebook, Imagur, eBay and Flipboard), and one that’s been a common theme at SXSW 2017: Everything you do content-wise or digital-wise needs to have some kind of value for the end user – emphasize experience, and give more than you take.
  • At the end of the day I attended a session titled “Where we’re going, we don’t need cars” which featured the CEO of Car2Go, among others. Three important statistics for Denver as it grows:
    • By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will have moved back to urban centers
    • Personal vehicles sit idle 96 percent of the time, causing a huge issue with parking/space in already space-constrained urban centers
    • Every 1 Car2Go car (or other, related car sharing service) on the road removes 11 vehicles from our roads and parking structures

Read more after the jump…

From Beta to Bots, Teens to Tricks – What’s Happening in Social Media This Week

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It’s hard to believe, but we’re only weeks away from the end of the first quarter of 2017! Now that we’re well on our way into the “New Year”, how are your social media plans going? Have you tried something new? If so, how are you measuring for success? We might be early in the year, but if you’re hoping to track trends now is the time to capture metrics from January and February before the details slip away from you. And if you need help, your friends at CenterTable are at the ready! In the meantime, we’ve pulled together some highlights in social media news this week. Read more after the jump…

In The Mood: Creating The Perfect Climate for Creativity

Whether it’s dreaming up the perfect copy for a social media post, crafting a pitch for a key reporter, or strategizing how to report metrics to executives – the daily life of a communications professional requires a lot of widely-varied creative ideas and solutions!Rethinking the Creative Process | GroundFloor Media

Some days the creativity flows like a river and other days the creative process takes a little longer to get going, which is why I read two recent articles with great interest!

Creativity Isn’t About Talent, It’s a Mood

If you’re a fan of Monty Python, you’re a fan of co-founder John Cleese who – it turns out – is obsessed with creativity. This recent article describes some of Cleese’s best tips for setting the right mood for creativity which include:

  • Creating a space/time oasis where you can get away from daily distractions and disturbances
  • Sticking with problems just a little longer than when the “easy way out” appears… the alternative is almost always more creative
  • My personal favorite: making mistakes because “while you’re being creative, nothing is wrong”
  • Embracing humor, because it’s essential to spontaneity and playfulness, two key ingredients to creativity
  • Keeping a light hold of the problem you’re pondering, as you’re likely to be rewarded with a creative solution when you least expect it

Read more after the jump…

New Year, New Look for some Social Media Platforms

 

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Only a few weeks into the New Year and we’re already seeing new design and features from Snapchat and LinkedIn. It’s been five years since LinkedIn’s desktop interface had a makeover, and we’re thrilled to see the focus on the user interface in this version. While Pinterest and Instagram aren’t making themselves over, they are looking to help your brand look its best and we’ve got a few articles to help you make the most of what they’ve got to offer. Read more after the jump…

How to Plan for Media Coverage in a Year With No News

Looking ahead to a new year can be exciting when you’re crafting PR plans to support new products, big events, major milestones or exciting announcements. But, if you’re going into 2017 with nothing new on the horizon, don’t lose heart. There are still ways to keep your brand in front of the media and in the news!Google Alerts - 2017 PR Ideas For Media Coverage

Monitor for trends and breaking news

It’s always a good idea to monitor for trends and breaking news items that relate to your brand. This is easily accomplished by establishing Google Alerts relevant to you and having a list of brand spokespeople who you can quickly position as experts as the trend or news emerges. Now is a great time to freshen your list of experts, including their areas of expertise, current contact information and preferred methods of contact so that in a time-sensitive situation you can reach them quickly. Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Social Platform Updates = Holiday Cheer

weekly-reads-header-5Just in time for the upcoming holidays some of our favorite social media platforms are offering up some reasons to cheer in the form of updates and improvements. If you’re looking to connect live with friends and family in the coming weeks there is no shortage of platforms by which live video is readily available to you. And, if you’re hopeful to connect with a large group at once there are now multiple ways to group chat!

Speaking of connecting with groups, check out this Forbes article about Houseparty – a new app that allows group video chats of up to eight people. The app is apparently blowing past Snapchat in terms of popularity with Generation Z (under the age of 24) and is one to keep an eye on in the New Year! In the meantime, enjoy this generous helping of social media goodness.

Thrillist: Everything You Can Do With Snapchat’s Huge New Update

From group chat to Shazam to paintbrushes to scissors – Snapchat has bundled quite the package of cheer just in time for the holidays! While the paintbrush and scissor options are on “slow roll” (aka – you may not have access just yet), group chat and the ability to Shazam a song via Snapchat are available today.

Fortune: Snapchat is Making Its Geofilters Simpler for Businesses to Buy

Snapchat is making a handful of design templates available to businesses interested in buying geofilter sponsorships on an on-demand, self-serve basis. Geofilters can cover as little as 20,000 square feet or encompass several city blocks and start as low as $5. Previously only individuals could access templates when purchasing geofilters, so this is great news for brands and organizations!

TechCrunch: Instagram Now Lets You Bookmark Posts for Later Viewing

In a move that positions Instagram against Pinterest, Instagram is now allowing users to save favorite posts via a new bookmarking button that appears below the post in a user’s feed. Useful to Instagram fans, the data collected on the backend will also benefit advertisers as more data becomes available about users’ favorite content.

Mashable: Get Ready to See a Lot of Live Video on Instagram

This week, Instagram began rolling its live-steaming features to users across the U.S. while other countries will gain access in the coming weeks. To check whether you have access to live video, swipe into the “Stories” camera in the app and look for “live,” and get more details from this helpful article.

The Verge: You Can Now Broadcast Live From the Twitter App

If live video options on Facebook and Instagram aren’t enough, now you can broadcast live video from Twitter, too, “powered by” Periscope. To broadcast live from Twitter, tap the button to compose a new tweet and then tap “live.” Those who have used Periscope before have a slight advantage, but newbies will find it pretty intuitive, too.

Entrepreneur: 6 Holiday Marketing Tips From Twitter’s Head of Content Planning

Inspired by brands as diverse as Snickers, REI and Lowe’s, Twitter’s head of content planning provides a few smart suggestions for how to harness information gained through analytics and turn it into marketing opportunities for your brand this holiday season.

What CenterTable and GroundFloor Media Blogged About This Week: