by Katie Wilson | Senior Manager | PBS Digital
Spring is on the way, and with it, thoughts of #TechCon17 bloom in a digital mind. This year promises even more sessions dedicated to digital strategy, audience engagement, product discovery and other fascinating topics.
We have 30 Digital sessions for you to select from, and we are adding 4 Development sessions for a total of 34 Digitally focused sessions! You will not want to miss a minute. Leave early and you pass up “10 Low Down Dirty Tricks to Speed Up Your Digital Video Production” from PBS NewsHour. Arrive late and you’ll miss "Investing in Innovation" from KQED's Colleen Wilson. Peppered throughout the conference are sessions dealing with interconnection, public safety, organizational structure, and too many other topics to list.
See below for a few highlights and check out the full agenda here.
COMING UP ACES: MARKETING
Found Audience Using Curate To Attract National Attention to your Local Station: A Workshop Curate is your tool to customize the user experience for your viewers and members across PBS digital properties. Customize links, images, PBS newsletters, show pages and more on this easy-to-use interface! With new features for 2017, spend some time at a workshop (bring your laptop and PBS account login!) with Eric Freeland, Joe Hilton, and Leif Brostrom.
DOUBLE DOWN ON: STRATEGY
YoPro Talks: Leadership Panel
For the first time at TechCon join YoPro (PBS’ young professional initiative) for a leadership panel. Bringing the heavy hitters, hear from PBS’ Chief Digital Officer & CMO, Ira Rubenstein, PBS’ CTO Mario Vecchi and WUCF- TV’s Director of Communications, Jennifer Cook. The panelists will discuss and share their career paths, lessons learned, career advice, and much more. This session is meant to be informal, the audience participates by guiding the direction of panel by asking questions.
Digital Immersion: Building a Digital Department
So your station wants to build a “Digital Department” but doesn't know where to start. How do you create an organizational structure that prepares you for growth and evolution? How do you get buy-in as priorities shift and workloads change? How do you prepare for the constant change that digital brings? You'll hear from KPBS's Tammy Carpowich and ThinkTV's Justine Moore who will discuss the obstacles and victories in building their digital departments. This session is part of the Digital Immersion Project from PBS Digital and CPB.
KNOW HOW TO HOLD 'EM: CONTENT AND ENGAGEMENT
Experimenting with Digital Engagement Tools to Have Fun and Make an Impact
This session will present several mini case studies involving innovative experiments in social and digital engagement at WCVE/Community Idea Stations. Supercharge your social media engagement with available digital tools to increase your reach and engagement and to strengthen your community. By shifting the way you view and use social media, your station can move beyond simple promotion of your content to creating strong connections with - and among - your fans and other community non-profits. Learn how the Community Idea Stations/WCVE used scavenger hunts, infographics, video storytelling, Facebook Live, Google Maps, SnapChat filters and other digital tools to reach new audiences, increase the fun quotient in our programming, strengthen our connections with other non-profits, and create a sense of community around important issues. We will also reflect on creating a realistic budget for social media, managing (and creating) realistic expectations for management, and evaluating the success of your digital experiments.
Engaging Niche Audiences Through Digital Marketing
This session will discuss the value in identifying and reaching niche audiences with hyperfocused social campaigns. Rewire's Bryce Kirchoff, KCTS's Stacey Jenkins and PBS's Matt Schoch will share strategies for catering to your unique audiences to figure out what genres they love, and illustrating that your brand understands why they love it. Using The Great British Baking Show and content verticals as examples, learn the value of live-tweeting, GIFs, original digital content, and leveraging a “human” voice.
ANTE UP: DEVELOPMENT & FUNDRAISING
Measure the Money
Google Analytics is the standard tool that most stations use to measure their digital experiences. But few have taken advantage of a powerful feature in that tool that allows them to measure online donations. Google Analytics has the power to tell you exactly what marketing activities are driving donations, how donors enter and leave your site and what content they consume when they are there. Dan Haggerty will walk you step-by-step through an implementation of this feature (known as Enhanced eCommerce Tagging), show working examples, share insights and give you tips and tricks for avoiding some of the most common challenges. You will leave this session with a clear understanding of how you can specifically track the online behavior of your membership and the exact dollar amounts that each type of behavior generates.
HIT THE JACKPOT WITH: PRODUCTS & TECHNOLOGY
Accessibility is an Everyone Issue
What if you came to a show's website, but couldn't watch any videos? What if you couldn't make a donation to a station? That wouldn't be acceptable. Yet this is the reality for many users on the internet today. Lars Klores will be giving an introduction to the reasons why accessibility on the web matters. He will discuss the efforts of PBS to make PBS.org and other PBS digital products accessible to users with a range of disabilities. This includes color blindness, inability to use a mouse, deafness, or complete blindness. He will also discuss the legal dangers of remaining inaccessible. Chip Cullen will then give a live demonstration of navigating a website as a disabled user, using a keyboard and a screen reader. He will also discuss common accessibility issues and basic fixes.
Facebook Live: Best Practices And Basic Production Setups
Although they didn't invent live streaming, Facebook's streaming product "Facebook Live" has emerged as a unique way to reach and directly engage your fans, viewers, listeners and members. In this session, WGBH's Tory Starr and Shane Miner will walk through some great use cases of stations using Facebook Live and introduce you to what WGBH has classified as the "four tiers of Facebook Live Page 26 TechCon Agenda as of 2/27/17 production," ranging from basic iPhone broadcasting to a full studio setup using the Facebook Live API. We'll also leave time at the end to answer your questions, and demo the MEVO camera, a low-cost pocket-sized live video camera that lets you edit while you film.
Reimagining Websites Through a Better Bento
At last year’s PBS TechCon, Bento 3.0 was introduced as a key priority for improving the station and producer communities. Bento is PBS Digital’s website building tool, which is leveraged by a majority of stations and producer. Bento 3.0 aims to address concerns In this session PBS's Jen Hinders will take attendees through a live demo of the environment, outlined feature roadmap, and product insights from peers who have launched using the new version of the tool.
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