Public Relations Society of America

Social Media Pros Love the Event App

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) International Conference is the nation’s largest gathering of communications professionals, bringing together over 1,700 people annually. Over the course of three days, participants make lasting connections, get up to speed on the latest and greatest PR trends, and share communications best practices.

More than just a Digital Agenda

While PRSA had used a static electronic agenda in the past, conference organizers were looking for an app that was more engaging. They were particularly excited about DoubleDutch’s activity feed, which elevated the app from a digital agenda to an interactive digital experience.

Creating a Social Community

This year, the conference theme was “Leading the Way: A Fearless Future for PR”, and PRSA wanted to deploy an app that reflected this forward thinking approach. PR pros are always socially connected, so we wanted to be sure to create a cutting edge, social network that would add value and enable attendees to network and capture conference highlights.

Off the Charts Engagement

“If you give PR professionals a way to communicate and it’s effective, they are going to use it,” said Rosanne Mottola, PR Manager at PRSA. Attendees were already posting in the app before the event had even started and speakers were using the activity feed to drum up interest in their sessions.
"Planning for my Tues morning Expert Express session on future of employee communications. What will the industry be talking about in 2016? Share your ideas -- what's crazy today may be a best practice tomorrow."
Mike Mcdougall,
President, Mcdougall Communications

With an audience full of social media power users, there was some concern that app adoption would be low. Everyone was already blogging, tweeting, posting and sharing on so many outlets – would they take to another new social network? The answer was a resounding yes. Engagement levels were off the charts, with an average of 180 in-app actions per user. What was even more exciting was to see how these numbers stacked up next to similar conferences. At PRSA, 72% of the attendees that downloaded the app were active users – meaning they used the app more than ten times throughout the conference – while other association conferences of a similar size have an average of 52% active users. That’s a whopping 20% point difference: pretty impressive.

Still Room to Grow

PRSA was thrilled with the digital dimension the app added for conference attendees as well as the actionable data they were able to utilize post event. They are hoping to make improvements to their PR and social management of the program based on user engagement and are looking to incorporate new features like live polling, which has proven to increase app engagement by 25%, at their 2015 event in Atlanta.
"If you give PR professionals a way to communicate and it’s effective, they are going to use it."
Rosanne Mottola,
PR Manager at PRSA

With an audience full of social media power users, there was some concern that app adoption would be low. Everyone was already blogging, tweeting, posting and sharing on so many outlets – would they take to another new social network? The answer was a resounding yes. Engagement levels were off the charts, with an average of 180 in-app actions per user. What was even more exciting was to see how these numbers stacked up next to similar conferences. At PRSA, 72% of the attendees that downloaded the app were active users – meaning they used the app more than ten times throughout the conference – while other association conferences of a similar size have an average of 52% active users. That’s a whopping 20% point difference: pretty impressive.

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