SAScon Day 1: brain theory, Twitter awards and a fine lunch

Yesterday’s SAScon brought together some of the best thinkers and speakers from across the digital world. SAScon stands for Search, Analytics and Social conference and was set up by a group of digital people in Manchester who knew that our fair city deserved to have a conference rivalling that of other cities.

The first event was launched in 2010 and I’ve been lucky enough to go every year apart from one, when I had a newborn who seemed to take up a lot of my time!

As a PR agency it is our job to keep on top of what is happening in the digital marketing world as we work so closely with other agencies and individuals bringing together all of our skills.

It’s good to see this event grow so much every year. The first year was heavily SEO focussed and I was only one of about five women there. This year, it was clear there was a really good mix of all digital marketing disciplines and industries attending.

The sessions reflected this change, although as an SEO geek I could quite happily sit through all day sessions on the witchcraft of search engine marketing and optimisation. There was a good mix of social media, content marketing and general technology talks.

Session: Learn how to produce human success content

For me, the highlight of yesterday’s sessions was Danny Ashton from Neomam Studioswho talked about his research on how content marketing triggers responses in different parts of the brain.

Now my knowledge of biology is fairly basic – despite the heady heights of gaining a C in my GCSEs –  but his talk gave just enough detail to give it context and back up his research with scientific fact but not too much to make it incomprehensible.

The visual comms agency used Triune brain theory to look at how different types of content marketing affected different parts of the neomammalian brain.

Now, I’m not going to get too sciencey – mainly because I’m not that clever. The good people of Neomam have done all the hard work so we don’t have to.

So to cut to the summary – the perfect piece of content marketing will:

  • Be easy to digest
  • Involve an emotional hook
  • Use proper research as its basis to get past the gatekeepers/ fact checkers of the publishing world


Twitter awards from Melbourne

The headline sponsor for the event Melbourne produced some amusing Twitter awardsfrom yesterday’s sessions, which had everyone chuckling. It’s good to see an event sponsor doing something a bit different to raise their profile.

As a PR company, we too often see businesses sponsoring events and they expecting tons of coverage for plonking their logo on marketing material. You can’t buy proper press coverage – you have to actually put in some hard work to create an interesting story. So nice one, guys and gals at Melbourne server hosting, we like your work.

MMU Business building

For the last few years, SAScon has been held at the new MMU business building, which is super snazzy and nothing like educational buildings when I was at university many moons ago.

The fact that it can comfortably provide wifi for a few hundred people means that it will probably always be the preferred place to hold conferences. The wifi meant that I could use two devices, check my emails, tweet about the event and still do a little work throughout the day.

I should also add that SAScon always provides an amazing lunch, as well as teas, coffees and pastries throughout the day. So thanks MMU!

Everyone in the PR and digital marketing industry should make an effort to check out SAScon so get on it for next year.

The author

Lizzie is an Associate Director in the Manchester team

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