Game-changing trends identified at the Ragan/Southwest conference

This week, communicators descended on the Southwest Airlines headquarters in Dallas for a conference by PR Daily publisher Ragan Communications. Here’s what one attendee learned.

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Content is the new marketing.

Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications, told us we need to start thinking of ourselves as “brand journalists” and our companies need to realize they are “media outlets.” If we aren’t shaping the story, someone else is. Our messaging needs to be communications mixed with entertainment, and grab people’s limited attention. The new formula: great content + engagement = success.

Employees and customers want passion and purpose.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, mentioned that a big part of people’s happiness is linked to doing something that has meaning for them, and is contributing to the greater good. Companies must be more than profit-driven, but aspire to contribute to a better world.

As the brand/communications team from Interface explained, they made radical changes to their modular carpet business, embracing sustainability and creating a sense of pride within their workforce that has translated into a more successful company.

Trust your people.

Hire the best and the brightest, and get out of their way as a manager. Southwest looks for people who have “a warrior spirit, service heart, and fun-loving attitude.” As Tony Hsieh from Zappos declared, “We don’t motivate our employees, we inspire them.”

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