8 takeaways from Ragan and PR Daily’s Social Media Pre-Conference

Insights from the first day of Ragan and PR Daily’s Social Media Conference in Walt Disney World.

A speaker at the pre-conference workshops at Ragan and PR Daily's 2022 Social Media Conference

Three days of insights, networking and a little bit of pixie dust started at Walt Disney World Wednesday with the pre-conference workshops for Ragan and PR Daily’s Social Media Conference.

With hands-on sessions on social audio, SEO and visual storytelling, attendees got a taste of what the rest of the conference will offer: practical, actionable takeaways they can apply to their organizations tomorrow.



Here are a few of the insights from these workshops:

Social Audio Workshop with Timmy Bauer, founder of Dinosour House; Brian Fanzo founder and CEO of iSocialFanz; and James Carbary, founder of Sweet Fish Media

  • A creative premise makes content creation easier. Once you have the hook for your idea, it has the potential to become your audience’s favorite content or show.
  • James Carbary, founder of Sweet Fish Media, shared that he follows Jay Acunzo’s teachings on creating successful audio content and it all begins with premise development. To come up with the premise, it’s broken into three parts:
    • The Quest: to embark on an ambitious journey to improve, rethink or more deeply understand something and let your audience access that.
    • The Mashup: Take multiple things the audience already loves and combine them into something specific for your niche.
    • The Gimmick: A fun, clever and typically named conceit or mechanic that alters the way the content is structured and experienced.
  • “I love that with a creative premise, it’s a constraint that I think actually makes content creation a whole lot easier,” Carbary explained. “When you get focused and say your show is going to be about doing hard things you can’t go and talk to the same people that all of your competitors are already talking to on their shows, but you’re going to talk to them in a different lens, it’s going to be a different angle.”

SEO Workshop with Rachel Vandernick, founder of the Vander Group

  • Great SEO is really about content. After all, the role of SEO isn’t to rank No. 1 on Google. That might be a step along the way, but its true goal is to get a user to convert. And ranking alone won’t do that. The opposite is true. Content alone will not solve your search problems. Of the 300-odd factors that Google uses to determine rankings, you can’t control many of them, like site load times, Javascript deployment and so on.
  • Comms pros can offer up a range of data that can help respond to audience questions — which is really the most important part of SEO, including survey data, social media and blog comments, complaints, reviews, and interviews, focus groups, and more.
  • Always remember to EAT when you’re creating content: use authors who offer expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. PR pros can help line up these experts and massage their writing for maximum readability.

Visual Storytelling Workshop with Tod Plotkin, CEO/founder of Green Buzz Agency, and Michael J. Lamp, chief digital & social officer for HUNTER

  • There are endless ways to share your work or service via video. The five main categories are branded documentary, sizzles, event highlights, company overviews — generally used for recruiting or sales to show others what makes you special — and motion graphic explainers/animations that can take a dry subject and make it more exciting. “What you pursue depends on who you’re trying to reach and where your audience is.”
  • It’s important to understand what different social media platforms can do for a brand and how to best position them, Lamp said.
    • Facebook: Be in touch. Used to position product as a hero, but it is the harder sell.
    • YouTube: Be explained. Used to provide support and credibility and is the reliable sell.
    • Instagram: Be seen. Used to borrow and establish influence for the aspirational sell.
    • TikTok: Be entertained. Provide social currency and can be the engaging sell.
    • Pinterest: Be inspired. Encourages creativity and usage for the contextual sell.
    • Twitter: Be in the know. Allows brands to act in real-time for the informal sell.

“Remember to think about who you’re in competition with on social,” says Lamp. “It’s not just brands, it’s ANYONE on social.”

Follow #RaganDisney to keep up with all the action from the event.

Allison Carter is executive editor of PR Daily. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn. Isis Simpson and Jon Minnick also contributed to this report. 


One Response to “8 takeaways from Ragan and PR Daily’s Social Media Pre-Conference”

    Ronald N Levy says:

    An additional takeaway is that there’s a LOT to learn about crisis communication. Just as students who go to college make themselves worth more, so do students who attend Ragan conferences. Job recruiters are attracted by not only knowledge gained but also by motivation demonstrated. Those who try harder do better.

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