Editor’s Note: During the YouToo Social Media Conference on April 10 at Kent State University, Ben Brugler and Ryan Collins challenged the student attendees: send us your best recaps for a takeover of our Microbrew blog, typically reserved for AKHIA interns. University of Akron student Israa Eddeb, a public relations major, is featured on Day 3 of the takeover.

Israa Eddeb

Have you ever wished you could time travel? Or that you could be in more than one place at one time? I know I did at the YouToo Social Media Conference Friday, April 10, 2015 at Kent State University. This conference had social media professionals and speakers with extensive advice and useful tips on how to be successful online and how to brand yourself using social media.

The only problem? I was unable to be at every lecture, because attendees had to choose between breakout sessions. Luckily, however, social media saved the day. Thanks to all the active audience tweeps, I was able to search the hashtag #YouToo2015 on Twitter and find most of the inspiring quotes from all of the presenters. You can also find the tweets here.

So, if you weren’t able to time travel to see all of the breakout sessions at once, or if you just couldn’t attend the conference at all, here is some of the important information you might have missed out on.

Gouda or Game of Thrones Anyone? - Speaker: Mark W. Smith

Israa Eddeb

Mark W. Smith, editor for mobile Web at The Washington Post, focused on the curiosity gap on social media. Main points that stood out in his speech were “Be declarative.” and “Give away the ending in your headlines.”

Mark referenced BuzzFeed’s online quizzes to support his claims about capturing people’s curiosity online. For example, BuzzFeed has quizzes like “What type of cheese are you?” or “Which Games of Thrones character are you most like?” Headlines like this intrigue and engage online users because they exemplify one of Mark’s principles of successful headlines: give away the ending. Mark also suggested avoiding questions unless they let users know exactly what they can expect after they click.

Israa Eddeb

“I Hate You, Signed, Anonymous”- Moderator: Amanda Vasil. Panelists: Jan Gusich, David Barlaam, and Tom Green

During this breakout session, a panel of knowledgeable speakers discussed cyberbullying. Amanda Vasil, Change Agent at AKHIA, moderated this lecture and presented key facts and stories about the effects of cyberbullying.

Jan Gusich, CEO of AKHIA, Tom Green, OSBA Certified Specialist, Kastner Westman & Wilkins LLC, and David Barlaam, HR director, Global Talent Acquisition & Domestic Relocation, The Lubrizol Corporation, taught us how to change and decrease incidences of cyberbullying online. They emphasized the importance of making positive posts and suggested we avoid being negative on social media because once something is posted online, it cannot be taken back.

Israa Eddeb

"Spin Sucks" - Speaker: Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing company, and is also the author of Spin Sucks, a book about how to be an honest and responsible PR person. She captured the crowd’s interest by starting her speech off with a Miley Cyrus reference.

Israa Eddeb

Gini recounted the story of how Miley’s genius PR people were successfully able to turn critics into loyalists using decidedly non-traditional strategies, like her provocative dance with Robin Thicke. She specifically explained why this oversexed shock routine worked for Miley. It worked because ultimately, it was honest. “Don’t lie,” she said. “Sex sells, but only if you’re selling sex.”

Dietrich also discussed a variety of ethical issues that public relations and social media practitioners face today. The ultimate emphasis of her presentation was, well, “Spin Sucks,” or to put it another way, honesty in PR and social rules.

Until Next Year, YouToo

Israa Eddeb

This was my first YouToo Social Media Conference, and I left it filled with motivation and excitement to apply the knowledge I learned to my future PR career. I look forward to attending again next year because, just like Mark W. Smith said, social media is always changing.

Need a quick fix?
• Here are “11 Awesome Quotes” from the 2015 YouToo Social Media Conference by Monina Wagner, Social Media Community Manager at Content Marketing Institute.
• Check out Dr. Mike Sevilla’s blog post about the 2015 YouToo Social Media Conference.

Special thanks to the sponsors who made the conference possible.