The Speed of Now

Edelman hosted its sixth Academic Summit at DePaul University in Chicago. The three-day event included a strong lineup of speakers from Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Quartz, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Huffington Post, LinkedIn and more. This year, the summit centered on the idea that while storytelling is not new, the channels we use to communicate are.

Here are a few key takeaways:

Thought Leadership Reigns Supreme

Brands must create content that positions themselves as thought leaders. Storytelling must align with shifting social values and perspectives. Vice President of Corporate Communications at CVS Caremark Carolyn Castel said, “Our decision to stop selling tobacco was simple. Tobacco isn’t healthy.”

Linda Thomas, managing editor for online news and content strategy at Starbucks, spoke about content marketing strategies. She reinforced the idea that storytelling has to evoke emotion and in doing so, must focus on people not products. “You can’t see emotion in a coffee cup, but you can in a story about people,” she explained.

Cultivate – and Share – Your Corporate Culture

Stacey MacNeil, Vice President of Employee Communications at HP, spoke to the idea that brand success stems from cultivating a strong company culture. By taking a newsroom approach, you allow your employees to have a voice, which in turn will lead to a stronger brand message. A newsroom approach is a communicative strategy that generates conversations in real-time. This strategy allows your team to keep up with trending news stories, create relevant content and communicate with one another to improve performance.

Identifying Outliers

SimpleReach’s Eddie Kim spoke about amplifying content through paid media. He stated, “10% of your content will drive 90% of your traffic and engagement.” In order to be successful, you must identify your winners. Once you do, you can allocate paid distribution spend intelligently. He offered the example of BuzzFeed, which produces at least 300 pieces of content per day.  Since “content is a game of winners,” only 5 to 10 of Buzzfeed’s pieces will take off virally on any given day, and those are the ones content creators should put spend behind.

Are you in LA next week?

Eddie will be presenting at the 4th annual invitation-only Siemer Summit, to be held July 17th, 2014 at 4:00 PT at Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, California.

On July 22nd, 2014, he will be speaking at 2:30 PT at OMMA’s Premium Display at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles. His panel will explore digital, data, scale and transparency.

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About Alexis Krantz

Lover of startups, tech, fine dining, and french bulldogs.

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