Why It Matters by Alex Lefley:

Last week Richard Edelman spoke at the World PR Forum (WPRF) in Melbourne on “PR’s time to lead.” Edelman was the digital partner for the event and the Melbourne team took the opportunity to leverage this as part of Edelman’s sponsorship of the forum. With this in mind, this week’s Friday Five discusses our top five tips on how to maximize the impact of your sponsorship using social media to deliver the best ROI possible.

1. Find a conference that aligns with your PR and social beliefs and objectives

There are many conferences out there and most won’t be relevant to your core objectives. What is important is to do your research first – look at previous speakers and what topics they covered. Is there a theme for the conference that aligns with your organization’s thinking? Do they have an established social and online presence that you can tap into?

2. Establish key influencers and engage with them as early as possible

Building conversations around the event and your sponsorship is key to building your audience, not only at the event itself but also in the run-up. As with all influencer outreach, it’s vital that you carry out your research beforehand and ensure that they are open to being contacted and understand what they have written about in the past. With our activity around the WPRF, we sought online influencers who would be interested in the speakers based on their interest areas, and then set up interviews to support this.

3. Have an engaging booth at the event, bring transmedia storytelling to life and leverage your sponsorship assets

Using a booth as more than just a marketing push tool is a fantastic way to drive deeper engagement, not only with the audience at the event but also with the participants who were unable to make it. The Edelman booth had a video camera and a laptop setup so we were able to record interviews with key attendees and live edit on the spot. We also used AV to demonstrate the transmedia storytelling in action.

4. Create content as you go (in the lead-up to and during the event)

Repost and utilize your own assets to promote your sponsorship and engagement with influencers. Edelman used its Australia blog to promote the influencer outreach in the lead-up and during the forum.

5. Socialize your content

Finally, use your social channels to cross promote any content created. Twitter (using the conference hashtag helped us trend number one in Australia during Richard Edelman’s speech), Facebook and even Instagram can be used to great effect when sharing content with your target audience.

The true value of sponsorship should be measured in how well you can leverage it to amplify your activities with your target audience. A holistic approach that touches on the different parts of the transmedia cloverleaf will allow you to achieve this.

Image Credit: Robert Scoble

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