Flash Communications

Tales from a student-PR agency at Kent State University

Leave a comment

FlashCast: YouToo Social Media Conference

Many of our interns helped plan and attend this year’s YouToo Social Media Conference, which took place Friday, April 8, 2016.

Attendees this year heard from a variety of great speakers, including Kyle Michael Miller, lead social media producer for NBC’s TODAY and Scott Monty, CEO and founder of Scott Monty Strategies.

We recapped this year’s YouToo conference and discussed our favorite parts of the day in our latest episode of the FlashCast podcast. Check it out below!


What did you think about this year’s YouToo Social Media Conference? Let us know in the comments or by emailing us at flashcomm@kent.edu!

Leave a comment

YouToo Social Media Conference Recap

IMG_0947I can’t believe the ninth-annual YouToo Social Media Conference has already come and gone! A lot of preparation went into the day, and the day could not have turned out better.

Kyle Michael Miller

The morning began with a keynote from Kyle Michael Miller, lead social media producer for NBC’s TODAY show. Kyle spoke about everything from content to his working environment. He reminded us all to look for stories.

One thing he said that really stood out to me was, “People aren’t going to Facebook for the TODAY show. They’re going for their mom, friends and dog.” I thought about that quote a lot during the rest of the day, especially when I was in a later session and Alyssa Purvis from Key Bank said the same thing. Being in charge of a brand, you become enthralled with what the brand is doing, and it’s important to you. However, it may not be so important to others, and that is where creativity and research come in.

Kyle shared with us the story behind the post of Kathie Lee Gifford talking about her recently deceased husband and why it was so successful. “Authentic moments always win in the social space,” Kyle said. People can tell when you’re being unauthentic. People are responsive to raw emotions. As Kyle said, does anyone really pass up a video of a husband crying after seeing his wife’s new makeover?

Another huge theme of the day was social media analytics. Looking at the analytics of posts to see how they were received by your audiences is beyond important. Having the ability to judge the success of a post on more than just how many likes it received can help you craft future posts and learn more about what content is best received by your audiences. Kyle talked for a while on Facebook analytics and how he uses them daily to track the reception of posts. That information then carries over into future posts.

Two key takeaways from Kyle’s keynote:

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Takeaways from YouToo Social Media Conference

Haley Keding shares her takeaways from the 2015 YouToo Social Media Conference

Haley Keding shares her takeaways from the 2015 YouToo Social Media Conference

A few weeks ago, I attended the eighth annual YouToo Social Media Conference where I learned about social media’s place in the professional world of PR. The conference was phenomenal, and I loved listening to keynote speakers Gini Dietrich, author of “Spin Sucks” and founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, and Mark W. Smith, mobile web editor at The Washington Post. Both professionals had great things to say at the conference so I wanted to share some of their tips on social content and ethics that stuck with me.


Mark W. Smith opening the YouToo conference with “What IS Social?” Photo by @ebatyko

First off, it’s important to understand what makes social content good or bad. Smith said that when people scroll through their timelines and news feeds, they want short, quick information, so good social content is short, sweet and to the point. If readers choose to click on a link, he said they want to clearly understand what they will read and the experience they will have from that link. This is definitely a tip I want to use on my social media accounts- especially Facebook. Thankfully, Twitter has a 140 character limit, but on Facebook, it’s easy to write a paragraph or two- or five. When I post things in the future, I plan to treat it like a news lead; I’ll keep it to one or two sentences and get the main point of my post across clearly and quickly. I don’t want anyone to be bored with my posts or confused about what I’m telling them, so I plan to ditch the cutesy, fluffy intro for the sanity of my Facebook friends.

Continue reading


Planning for 2012 YouToo Conference

Kasey Fahey, Flash CommunicationsThanks to guest blogger Kasey Fahey, senior public relations major and student assistant at Flash Communications, for providing this post about the upcoming YouToo Social Media Conference. Kasey shares how she and the Flash team are helping with online promotion and media relations.  Flash is working closely with Jennifer Kramer in the College of Communication and Information, along with the 2012 YouToo Planning Committee to make the event a success. This year’s focus is mobile and measurement. Be sure to register now for the event on Friday, April 13. 

For the past two months, Flash Communications has been hard at work on the 2012 YouToo Social Media Conference. We have been working side-by-side with other committee members to ensure that the fifth annual conference is just as successful as the first. Here’s a peek at what Ryan Collins and I have been up to:

  • Wrote scripts for the conference opening, welcome remarks, room managers and speaker introductions
  • Pitched more than 25 bloggers, newspapers, magazines and speakers to gain more conference coverage and audience outreach
  • Wrote two press releases and distributed them to local media
  • Arranged for students to create multimedia elements during the conference
  • Arranged for students to act as media liaisons and live-Tweet during the conference
  • Updated the conference website including organizing sponsors and speaker bios and building a newsroom and conference schedule
  • Reserved the Kent State University banner for the conference day

I currently serve as the assistant to coordinator Stefanie Moore at Flash Communications. I’m also the account supervisor for a communications campaign for AkronReads for the senior seminar campaigns course. I will graduate in August 2012 after interning at Lief & Karson Communications and Ashtabula County Medical Center this summer.

Ryan was recently elected as the online media manager for PRSSA Kent. He was also a member of the 2012 PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition. Ryan graduates in May 2013, and he is the author of the blog Not Straight Up.

Fellow Flash members Trenton Chavez and Olivia Arnette worked on the conference as well by analyzing tweets and pitching blogs.


So, do you plan to attend?

Leave a comment

No Excuses! Attend the 2011 YouToo Social Media Conference

Tom Crilley, public relations student, Flash Communications Thanks to guest blogger Tom Crilley, public relations student at Flash Communications, for sharing his experience working on the 2011 YouToo Social Media Conference.

I’ve spent the majority of my short time at Flash Communications working on non-traditional promotion of the 2011 YouToo Social Media Conference. It has been…unforgettable, to say the least.

If I recall correctly, last year I intentionally avoided going to the conference by saying I had somewhere really important to be that day. I’m pretty sure I was at home watching a NASCAR race, cheering on Dale Earnhardt Jr. Oh, what a year can change.

Now I’m sifting through old slide presentations and videos from last year’s conference as a means to promote the event this year. It looks like the 2010 YouToo Social Media Conference had the final say in that battle.

Promoting this conference has been a learning experience…. a valuable one. Every day I’m in the office, I’m doing something I’ve never done before, which makes this task more than a line on a resume. It has given me the opportunity to learn how to use different programs and websites, as well as the chance to implement tactics that will effectively increase YouToo’s visibility and SEO. I’m developing skills that will come in handy throughout the rest of my career. That alone makes it all worth the effort.

I learned how to send email pitches in Tim Robert’s media relations class a few months ago. At the time, I looked at it as another assignment I just had to get through, but I had no idea how useful it would become, or how quickly I would have to put those skills to the test. I’ve personalized and crafted email pitches to the VP of public relations for PRSA National, Crain’s Cleveland Business and PR News, to name a few.

I’ve gained first-hand experience using Slideshare while building YouToo’s account, and I’m in the process of making a YouTube account. That is, if we can ever figure out how to convert a DVD file to an uploadable movie file to put on YouTube.

With presentations from Geoff Livingston, Amber Naslund and others, I’m positive that this year’s conference will be memorable and worthwhile. I can’t believe that only 12 months ago I didn’t want to go to an event that you can take so much away from. The fourth annual YouToo Social Media Conference is on Friday, April 15. Check out the YouToo website to register or learn more.

Make sure you’re not being as lame as I was last year by finding an excuse to not go to the conference. And don’t forget to say “Yo, Tom!” (er, something like that) if you see me there. I’ll be the guy running around escorting the media all day. All right, that’s all for now. It’s time to hit the road for the 16-hour journey that will lead me to spring break in Florida.

#YouToo, #springbreak and #NASCAR all in one blog. Success.

NOTE: Time is running out for a chance to win a free conference registration! Don’t forget to use #youtoo2011 in your tweets to count!