Social Media Savvy conference attracts world class speakers to Belfast

  • World leading experts in crisis and reputation management, social media professionals at the top of their game and local communicators of distinction will converge in Belfast on Thursday to explore lessons and learning from the ongoing health crisis.

    With few signs of the Pandemic abating, Social Media Savvy; a one-day conference now in its third year, typically exploring latest trends, insights, news and updates has brought together a line-up of formidable practitioners.

    Donald Steel, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an expert in crisis and reputation management and highly sought-after international speaker will give this year’s keynote address at a hybrid event which can be attended either online or in-person at the Titanic Hotel on Thursday, October 7. 

    The former Chief Communications Adviser for the BBC and associate Fellow of the BBC Academy, is now Vice President of Crisis Communications at Kenyon International Emergency Services as well as an independent global crisis practitioner. He will speak from a social media perspective.

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    Donald is much sought after on international speaking circuits and is a coup for Social Media Savvy and attendees. He will be joined by others, including leading local PR man Chris Love whose job it is to advise and make executive decisions under extreme pressure, respond to risk and uncertainty and make the call when there is no obvious or easy resolution. 

    Commenting on his attendance at the conference Donald Steel said: “I can’t wait to come back to Belfast. It’s such a good humoured and resilient city and resilience is certainly required in a crisis. I’ll be speaking about some of the mistakes companies make when under pressure. Mistake number one is failure to respond quickly enough. This is even more true in the instant social media age where a crisis is often played out on social media. It allows others to seize the agenda.”

    Mr. Steel also added: “Once you have lost control it is hard to get it back. Secondly, a failure to tell the truth. Lying is a very bad strategy in a crisis. The most important impact of a crisis is on human beings. When you lose money, it’s important but you can work hard and make some more. When someone dies, they cannot be replaced. When people are affected in a crisis, interview responses should be focused on them.”

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    Helen O’Rahilly has also been confirmed. Helen has had a long career in television in both the UK and Ireland. She was Channel Executive of BBC One, Creative Director for Factual Programmes, Editor of Watchdog and also spent a period of time as the first woman to hold the Director of Television role at RTE. She recently returned to her native Dublin after 30-years in London to care for her late mother and aunt.

    Rather than gearing down, she used her free time to launch a nationwide Covid lockdown group and write a best-selling book. A prolific Twitter user, she used the platform to launch and promote her lockdown projects, support business and lighten the load through some very entertaining posts. 

    Speaking about what inspired her during this time, Helen said: “We all felt overwhelmed when the pandemic struck. I didn’t like that feeling so I asked myself “what am I good at?” and how can I use that to improve the grim situation? I’m good at talking, typing, cajoling, spotting other people who spark on social media. That was the moment that began a movement. At Social Media Savvy, I’ll be telling "The Tale of Two Kitchens” but it's not about cookery (and, perish the thought) certainly not about making sourdough either.”

    Event host and Social Media Trainer, Ashleigh Watson MCIM said: “The theme for this year’s Social Media Savvy conference could not be more relevant. During the Pandemic, social media has played a defining role in keeping us all connected. It has also enabled and enhanced communications helping individuals and organisations to stay in touch, be responsive and adapt to change.”

    To book your place at the conference click here.

    Source: Written from press release.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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