Afterwards, I (Marshall) headed to a panel called Brand Building Through Live Video, specifically talking about how Facebook Live is disrupting the social media space. Bob Gruters, Facebook’s group director of global marketing solutions, was on hand to talk with brands like WWE and ESPN to talk about the still developing feature.
Gruters emphasized that it’s still the early days for Facebook Live, and the company is trying to learn best practices as quickly as possible to pass along to brands. He did stress that not everyone should go live, and those brands who do should have a reason. If you don’t know that reason, ask yourself, “What do I represent for my users?” If a reason emerges, then Gruters suggested going live as a more authentic counterpoint to the more mediated, targeted content that brands push out on Facebook. And if you do go Live, he stressed that your content should be thoughtfully produced, keeping in mind that most people will not be able to see fine details in the video since they’ll be watching on a five-inch screen.
The New York Times might not be the most frequent media contact at Integrate, but since they do set the agenda for so much of the news business, we decided to attend a panel with their executive editor, Dean Baquet. He hit on many popular topics of the day, although some of the more interesting moments of the talk came when he talked about surviving and thriving in a new economy of information.
Baquet predicted that the next two years will see a rise in explaining the process of journalism to readers, making it clear both who writes a story and how they get it. If the Times considers something important enough to cover, they want to make sure that urgency comes across to the audience. And if they aren’t reading or clicking on important stories that their journalistic ideals call them to cover, the answer is never to nix that reporting. Rather, it’s the responsibility of the Times to ask how they can get people more interested in those topics. We look forward to seeing how their example trickles down throughout the media world!
Jillian and I reconvened to see the hottest ticket at SXSW, former Vice President Joe Biden, who came to Austin to discuss his foundation to keep the momentum going in defeating cancer. Though we entered the talk thinking that as PR and social media pros, we could do little to help, both of us left feeling incredibly empowered to raise our voices for some seemingly simple fixes in technology and data sharing that can prevent needless loss of life to the disease. On a more general level, too, Vice President Biden’s speech served as a great reminder that our greatest challenges can only be overcome with cooperation and a willingness to challenge the established order.
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