Last Wednesday, Weber Shandwick joined Seattle’s savviest digital marketers at ShowBox SoDo to attend the third annual IN-NW Social Media & Digital Marketing Conference.

Produced by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, UW’s Communication Leadership program, and 206 Inc, this year’s lineup boasted singer/songwriter Hollis Wong-Wear of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ White Walls, Travis Wals of Uber Seattle and a panel hosted by Weber Shandwick’s own Ryan Hodgson – to name a few.

With the help of Starbucks coffee and Top Pot doughnuts, no doubt, IN-NW’ers were energized and eager to engage as things got underway. Just one hour into the conference and five minutes into Weber Shandwick’s panel, #INNW2014 was trending nationally – pretty amazing!


And it just got noisier as the day went on. What was all the online chatter about, you ask? Well, we’ve rounded up our favorite moments and top takeaways for those of you who missed it:

Authenticity is Key

@hrhmedia - Hanson kicking it off

Emceeing the #INNW2014 conference and providing smart, experienced commentary throughout the day was Hanson Hosein, Director of the Communication Leadership graduate program at the University of Washington. The need for brands to create authentic content was a common theme all day. As Hanson stated, “Content marketing is a fine line between authenticity and salesmanship.”

Marketing Isn’t a Bad Word

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Weber Shandwick Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing Communications Ryan Hodgson returned to IN-NW this year with a panel of content marketing mavens including LifeWise’s Emily Agerton, KING 5’s Mark Briggs and our New York colleague Jason Kaufman. Kaufman summed up the conversation around digital marketing and media companies nicely in saying, “Marketing is less of a bad word in the newsroom than it used to be.” 

Live Video “Makes Your Brand Warm and Real” 

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Google’s Amit Fulay discussed the power of live media to generate real, authentic connections. Face-to-face engagements are so powerful, he said, that “they can de-mystify your brand and make it human.”

Value of Comics in Storytelling Continues to Innovate

@robsalk talks how to use comics to enhance digital storytelling

Captain America, the X-Men, The Big Bang Theory and The Walking Dead found their way into the conference as Rob Salkowitz of MediaPlanet engaged everyone on the value of comics in today’s digital storytelling and marketing efforts.

Balance Needs to be Struck Between Digital and Analog Relationships

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Hollis Wong-Wear, whose fame is quickly booming thanks to her collaboration with Macklemore, energized the room not only with her insights and experience of working with Seattle’s music star, her community involvement and activism, but also with her excellent take on the division and blending of analog and digital spaces in storytelling.

And did we mention happy hour featured sweet whiskey cinnamon milkshakes from Snoqualmie Ice Cream? Yeah, that happened.

If you missed out on the action this year, we hope to see at IN-NW 2015!

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