The whirlwind that was Leeds Digital Festival 2020 has now come to an end. The two weeks were jam-packed with great sessions celebrating digital culture and sharing skills. With coronavirus pushing most people into a digital way of operating, this festival came at the perfect time. Our team attended a range of events over the fortnight, here are some insights we thought were worth sharing.

How to maximise digital to make traditional PR go further

Account manager Kate has a traditional journalist background, and to expand on her digital PR skills she attended a webinar all about how to incorporate digital techniques into a traditional PR campaign. “This session gave a great overview of how factoring digital into your planning process can maximise results,” she said. “Consider digital right from the beginning when you’re generating ideas and involve your creative team from the get-go.”

Top takeaways:

  • Think digitally right from the start of a campaign – you’ll maximise the impact by integrating digital right from the start instead of sticking it on at the end.
  • Get your digital team involved, they might have a different perspective that you hadn’t considered. Some of the best ideas come out of teamwork and collaboration.
  • Already some way into a campaign? Review the brief and make digital part of the plan – but don’t forget to factor it into your budget planning.

Lessons from a journalist

Our digital PR manager Matthew joined award-winning journalist Suzanne Bearne for a masterclass on securing coverage where she unveiled some of her secrets of what makes a journalist tick. “Getting Suzanne’s personal insight was invaluable as she is in the industry dealing with PRs on a daily basis. Understandably, different journalists will be looking for different things but getting insight from a journalist’s perspective really helps us to understand what they respond to, allowing us to tailor our approach and make sure we’re working together to tell the best stories we can.”

Top takeaways:

  • Research who you are contacting and keep checking you’re reaching out to the right people – especially as many journalists have recently been furloughed, made redundant or adjusted their roles and remits.
  • Explore new ways of getting out there such as podcasts and digital publications, don’t limit yourself to print.
  • Images can be the deciding factor. Make sure you have high resolution, captioned images to support your story.

Everything you need to know about video

Abigail, our account executive, tuned in to a broadcast all about video and how to use it to promote your business. She said: “I found the session really helpful and it has definitely made me more open to using video for future campaigns. From TV adverts and mini films to three-second clips for social media, the scope for video is vast and can be fantastic for showcasing brands, products and people.”

Top takeaways:

  • Sound is just as important as visuals. Make sure you consider everything from background noise to music and voiceovers.
  • Everyone can create a video, you don’t need a mass of equipment and software. Most smartphones have really good quality cameras and can produce fantastic content.
  • Quality over quantity. A long video doesn’t necessarily mean a good video. In some cases, you can successfully get your message across in a three-second video.

Thanks to Leeds Digital Festival for another great event, proving that digital can reign supreme. With most businesses been forced to embrace digital technology and distance learning due to coronavirus lockdown measures, this festival came at a perfect time, showing that we don’t all need to be experts to operate digitally.


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