In today’s post, Rachel Bayley, PR and Communications Manager at HML, shares her experience as a delegate at last month’s Marketing Leaders Masterclass in Leeds.
Don’t judge a LinkedIn message until you’ve properly read it!
I’ll start with a confession; when I first received the message via LinkedIn from John that I was invited to the Marketing Leaders Masterclass in Leeds, my first thought was “great, more LinkedIn spam”. LinkedIn is by far the best social media channel for the company I work at (HML, the UK and Ireland’s leading mortgage servicing company based in Skipton), but I feel it has gone a bit spammy and Facebook-like. I’m now seeing inspirational quotes and photos, which is great for the other social media channels, but I don’t want to see the same type of updates on LinkedIn too.
My second thought after reading John’s message was “I can’t spare time out of the office.” However, whereas actual LinkedIn spam is packed with badly-written invitations to connect and dubious-sounding webinars, it was clear when I actually read John’s message and saw the delegate list that this was an organised, quality event hosted at the impressive Elmwood in Leeds.
Asda, Provident, The Co-operative Group, JD Williams and Irwin Mitchell were just some of the brands attending the masterclass, a delegate list I couldn’t really argue with! So I took the plunge and, deciding I hadn’t invested in my own development for a while, put myself down as an attendee.
I was greeted by Elmwood’s bright and modern offices, its endless marketing and brand awards and lots of tea, coffee and biscuits – the staple diet of many of us in PR and marketing. It was a good start.
Duncan McCallum for McCallum Layton was the chair and kicked off proceedings by asking if research is any better now than it used to be? He urged delegates not to crumble to the pressure of the demand for instant research results by throwing a planned and considered approach out of the window. I think his words certainly resonated with me – we’re in a sector which wants data, comments, feedback etc now now now, and is sometimes willing to except a lower quality for the sake of speed. A balance certainly needs to be achieved and Duncan’s words provided food for thought.
A lesson on neuroscience
I’m not a science person – or a mathematical one for that matter, so I always knew I’d go into a career that required good communication and writing skills. However, Sarah Dear and Simon Preece not only made neuroscience fascinating, but also effortlessly linked it back to brand perception.
This was by far my favourite presentation of the day. I’d recommend you contact John McCambley for the slides and I certainly cannot do it justice here, but how something as simple as the shape of a box around a brand name can change a shopper’s perception was certainly interesting. Working in a very niche B2B sector means I don’t get involved with consumer marketing, but I think the next time I go food shopping I’ll think about the experience in a whole different way (did you know we only read seven words on an average 40-minute shop as we pick up items depending on their recognisable colour and shape?).
A thought-provoking event
I won’t discuss all of the other fantastic speakers and their presentations or this would be a long blog indeed, but the fact I was excitedly discussing the half-day event with my colleagues upon my return meant it was well worth me taking a second look at that LinkedIn message – and booking half a day out of my schedule. In order for the marketing and PR sector to keep evolving, we need to get out of our busy daily bubbles and connect with our peers to learn and develop – the free Marketing Leaders Masterclasses are a fantastic way to do this and I look forward to seeing when the next one will be.
If you would like to attend the Brand & Audience Engagement Masterclass on 14th July 2015, please register your details.