What future does PR and communications have? My visit to Marketing Show North

What future does PR and communications have? My visit to Marketing Show North

If there is one thing that Scriba PR does well – let’s be honest there are tonnes – it’s seizing opportunities for learning and development.

I took that on and ran with it – all the way to the North West in fact – as I headed to the Marketing Show North conference to discover the latest developments in the world of PR, marketing, digital communications, media and broadcast.

Arriving in sunny Manchester at EventCity, it was packed full of stalls from northern-based businesses with representatives offering insights and information on their specialist subjects – including our friends at Force24.

As part of the conference, there was also a chance to take in a range of short seminars. And, although there are challenging times for many industries pre – dare I say the dreaded word ‘Brexit’ – the great news is that there is hope and it’s not all doom and gloom!

I sat in on a lecture from the very inspiring PR guru Amanda Coleman, head of corporate communications with Greater Manchester Police, who discussed the challenges and opportunities facing communications throughout 2019.

Describing the way in which news was now being consumed, Amanda covered how we societally put people into ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ categories by building them up or knocking them down in an instant, and judging how they might come across on social media or other platforms.

Amanda also explained how, following the rise of fake news, a lot of audiences are now less trusting of what they read but – as PR professionals – we have a duty to continue providing people with valuable, insightful and engaging content.

And whilst Brexit looms ever closer, Amanda believed that our industries had a key role to play in telling the right stories during quite a chaotic time. We have the chance to position thought leaders well and hold people to account that need to be. She also added that organisations should listen to their audiences more, promote inclusivity and encourage young and diverse people to enter into our sector to represent today’s society.

Wrapping up, as part of the PRCA – the world’s largest PR professional body – she listed four priorities for its Council to tackle, these being:

  • To demonstrate the value of this market
  • To understand those changes
  • To get a seat at the ‘top table’
  • To ensure diversity

Moving on from Amanda’s insightful talk, there was also a key takeaway from a seminar I enjoyed with James Brockbank, managing director of Digitaloft.

Being a multi award-winning SEO, PPC and content marketing agency, Digitaloft has seen many of its digital campaigns go viral following creative ways to engage the media – and how great storytelling played a huge role.

James explained how many professionals in the industry fall into the trap of pushing out copy for the sake of it and almost adopting a ‘pitch and pray’ attitude – the hope that someone will read or publish their news.

To combat this, he listed 7 key questions that every content creator should be asking themselves in order to turn good copy into great pieces which earn links and drive engagement. These were:

  • What is the purpose of this article?
  • Why are we doing it?
  • Who is our audience?
  • What gives a competitive advantage?
  • What campaign could I launch?
  • How will I promote it?
  • What does success look like?

Overall, the Marketing Show North was a very insightful conference and hopefully my updates have helped you with your quest to create effective content for your business or brand. See you at the show next year?

By Hayley