Sessions 2013

[See sessions for this year’s conference.]

Session descriptions for Y’all Connect 2013:

#Blogchat Live! How Your Brand Can Use Blogging and Social Media to Tell Its Story

Mack CollierMack Collier: Twitter’s most popular chat is taking place live in Birmingham. For 1 hour, smart people meet and discuss blogging and social media, sharing and learning from each other. Exactly how it happens on Twitter. It’s not a session, it’s not a lecture … it’s a discussion. Leaning at a conference happens when you have a chance to meet with your friends and peers and discuss what you heard. You bounce ideas off each other, and build on the points raised by others.

You are the star. It’s all about you sharing your smartitude with others. At #Blogchat Live, you get to share what you know and what you’ve learned with others, and they do the same with you. Together, we build off each other’s points and all come away smarter for having participated in a wonderful discussion. This chat will focus on using digital tools to tell the story of a brand. Come with your questions, suggestions and ideas.


  • Insights from Mack, our other speakers and attendees on best practices for corporate storytelling
  • Transcript of the live #Blogchat

• 2:45 p.m., Ballroom O

Content Marketing: What, Why and How to Kick Butt at It

Shelly KramerShelly Kramer: Content marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing your business, and today, brands and companies of all sizes are laser-focused on content. But quite often, they either don’t know where to start, they don’t know how to do it or they don’t have the internal resources or budget to make it happen. Creating great Web content that delivers results doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process and it takes time, effort and energy. But as part of your overall integrated marketing strategy, it’s a powerful, powerful thing.

This session will not only empower you to immediately begin creating killer content for your website or corporate blog, it’s quite possible you’ll be so psyched about it that you can’t wait to get started. You’ll come away from this session prepared to begin developing and creating stellar content that will not only serve your customers and prospects, but also help generate leads and sales.


  • How to understand and define your audience and develop a content marketing strategy.
  • How to write for the Web (which is completely different than any other kind of writing).
  • How to understand the basics of well-optimized content in easy-to-understand (and even easier-to-implement) language.
  • How to effectively distribute your content across the web.
  • How to measure the impact of your results using your analytics, some awesome tools and smart reporting.

• 2:45 p.m., Ballroom A

Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared

James SpannJames Spann: “Don’t be scared, be prepared” is an old saying in the weather business when tornado warnings are flying and storms are life threatening. For most people in the communications and public relations business, the storm is an intense change in how people are reached. What worked 20, 10 and even 5 years ago just doesn’t get it done today. No need for fear: Change is actually your friend if you are willing to embrace it and have a vision.

James now reaches far more people on social media than television; the power of social media is unprecedented, powerful and growing at an exponential rate. He will unveil all his secrets: what works, what doesn’t work and other tricks learned along the way.


  • James will help you tell your story to more people that you might imagine across multiple platforms and wide demographics.

• 9:45 a.m., Ballroom A

Essential Tools for Before and After Posting Your Story

Mitch CanterMitch Canter: Summary TBA.

• 4:15 p.m., Ballroom N


Get UNstuck: A Workshop for Smart Businesspeople

Erika NapoletanoErika Napoletano: Do you have analysis paralysis? Ever feel like all of your ideas suck? Need one more piece of motivation to finally take the leap? Well, all of that’s going to stop and you’re going to walk away from this workshop with tools, ideas and thoughts to make it happen — in your life and in your business.

Bring your No. 1 challenge with you to this workshop — and be sure you can state it in 1 minute or less. You’ve never worked like this before, and once you have, you’ll change the way you work … forever.

Be sure to bring something to write on. Your devices won’t help you here — it’s time for old school pen and paper.

• 1:30 p.m., Ballroom A

How to Focus on Inbound Marketing Using Content + Social Media

Shelly KramerShelly Kramer: Content marketing and social media are the cornerstones of any inbound marketing (and integrated marketing) strategy. As brands and agencies rush to create branded content, they are often realizing that great content alone isn’t enough.

Some 76 percent of marketers who have strategic SEO campaigns in place also invest in the development of branded content as part of an inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing has been predicted to eclipse any other kind of marketing efforts by 2015 (and we think that sooner is probably a safe bet). So if you want to know more about using content marketing and a solid content strategy paired with the power of social media channels to get eyeballs to your content, this is the session for you.


  • Learn how high growth companies (large and small) are using inbound marketing to drive leads and sales in both B2B and B2C markets.
  • The Power of Data: How to use analytics to drive your content and social strategies.
  • Tactics for identifying your most effective corporate assets and strategies for using them.
  • How to utilize your internal resources to help create effective content.
  • Learn how to give your content legs (and make your team feel like they’re a bunch of superstars).
  • Tracking and Measurement. Data is a critical component of the social and content marketing efforts. Learn how to create monthly reports that will help you monitor and track the effectiveness of your efforts and use this data to guide your strategy moving forward.

• 11 a.m., Ballroom O

How to Make the Unsexy, Sexy

Ike PigottIke Pigott: Summary TBA.

• 2:45 p.m., Ballroom N


Nice Finishes First

Peter ShankmanPeter Shankman: One simple philosophy rules Peter’s life: “Be nice to people.” In his latest book “Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Out and Collaboration Is In,” Peter explains how companies that focus on customer service, employee retention and simply “being nice” actually generate up to 30 percent more revenue, profits and sales than companies who still believe in the “kill your young” mentalities of the 1970s and 80s.

Peter will explore the multiple ways that creating a “nice” company is more profitable, not only for the company, but for employees, shareholders and customers as a whole. He’ll offer several real-life examples, featuring companies you use every day, showing how slight top-down changes produce real revenue growth. See what Peter has already taught NASA, NAPO, Sprint, American Express, Hyundai, the Department of Defense, Saudi Aramco, Fox Entertainment and hundreds more companies: It all starts with being nice.


  • A minimum of six actions you can implement in your company right now to start seeing immediate growth

• 1:30 p.m., Ballroom N

Opening Keynote

Ike PigottIke Pigott: Summary TBA.

• 8:30 a.m., Ballroom A


The Power of Storytelling: Bold Results Through Brutal Honesty

Erika NapoletanoErika Napoletano: You lean in. Stop what you’re doing. You watch the video when you’re supposed to be writing a proposal that’s already 2 days overdue. Why?

The power of storytelling has sucked you in, leaving what you were supposed to be doing behind. What if you were able to tell stories that made people forget what they’re supposed to be doing?

You can — and there’s a formula to getting it done. If you’re ready to transform the way you connect with your audience (and maybe the other most important people in your life), this workshop will get you on your way. Create bold results for your brand by embracing brutal honesty.


  • Your Story: What makes it (and you) special
  • Why Some Stories Don’t Work: discover the Meat Suit and if you’re wearing one
  • The Storytelling Formula: What every story has to have in order to work
  • What Scares You: How every fear you have is fodder for your next loved story
  • Case Studies: Powerful stories, their similarities while being vastly different
  • Your Homework: An assignment to carry with you from beyond this workshop into every facet of life and business, designed to help you continuously craft stories that people want to hear.

• 9:45 a.m., Ballroom O

Psychology of Online Antagonists

Andrea WeckerleAndrea Weckerle: Online troublemakers come in many different variations. Some are simply disgruntled individuals who have a complaint and want to be heard. Others wreak havoc online because they enjoy getting a strong and emotional reactions out of you. Still others are intent on intentionally doing damage to your company or brand.

Knowing how to deal effectively with each type of online antagonist is paramount in today’s online business climate.


  • Learn how to identify each different type of online antagonist.
  • Find out what makes each of the different types of antagonists tick.
  • Learn how to best manage each of the different type of antagonist.
  • Develop the emotional management skills that allow you to stay in control when the attackers come after you.

• 9:45 a.m., Ballroom O

Rising Above the Noise: Create Stories Millennials Can Hear

Jenny SchmittJenny Schmitt: They’re the largest generation ever and only half of the 100 million Millennials are in the workforce, yet their presence is affecting our work and consumer cultures at nearly every level. Get ready to discover what makes, motivates and moves this massive generation and why it matters to you, your brand and your bottom line. In a fast-pace session, you’ll learn who Millennials are and what’s shaped their outlook and habits. You’ll discover how they’re shaping the culture of work, shifting our interactions, using technology and reinventing how stories are told.


  • Learn just who is a Millennial and what makes who they are.
  • Learn why Millennials matter to you, your brand and your bottom line.
  • Better understand the Millennial mind-set at work and takeaway real-world tips for managing, motivating and working with them.
  • Better understand the Millennials mind-set as a consumer and takeaway insights to help your stories and your messages reach and resonate.

• 4:15 p.m., Ballroom A

The Secrets for Driving Real Social Media ROI

Nichole KellyNichole Kelly: Are you ready to get past all the social media hype and get down to business? Nichole will reveal where social media fits in the sales funnel to properly align expectations on what it can and can’t deliver. She’ll show you what you are doing now that undermines social media ROI and causes it to fail in organizations. Finally, she’ll show you how to really measure social media to connect to core business objectives like sales volume, revenue and cost deflection.

You’ll walk away with a new understanding of how social media can drive business results, where to look for leaks in your funnel and what key performance indicators really matter for analyzing and optimizing results. Get beyond fluff social media strategies and metrics and start driving social media success with a tangible framework that you can take back to the office and implement immediately.


  • Show your CEO and CMO that you understand what really matters in business and where social media fits.
  • Connect social media impact to core business objectives like sales volume, revenue and costs.
  • Learn how to get the right framework in place to get bottom line metrics.
  • Understand whether or not your social media publishing process is preventing accurate measurement results.
  • Get the ammo you need jumpstart your career by learning how to translate social media into their language.

• 4:15 p.m., Ballroom O

Storytelling of Biblical Proportions

Mitch CanterMitch Canter: Jesus was one of the most influential storytellers in history. What can we learn from Him in order to better tell and share our own stories?

  • Storytelling Methodology as practiced and perfected by Jesus
  • How small teams can make a big difference (and allow you to pour into a group who will evangelize you till the end)
  • The Golden Rules of Customer Engagement

• 1:30 p.m., Ballroom O

Think Like a Rock Star

Mack CollierMack Collier: It wasn’t supposed to be like this. You launched a new blog or maybe you created a Facebook Fan Page, thinking that you’d tap into these amazing social media tools as a way to connect with your customers and create raving fans and passionate evangelists for your business. It’s 4 months later, and you have 12 fans on your Facebook page, and virtual tumbleweeds taunt you as your blog struggles to reach 10 visitors a day.

What happened? Many companies find themselves in this exact situation, and this workshop will show you how to think like a rock star. Rock stars don’t have customers — they have fans. And this doesn’t happen by accident, rock stars have a very special connection with their customers that makes them become raving fans for them and their products. Some companies are finding that they can use social media in many of these same ways to build vibrant online communities that are passionate about them. [Video preview]


  • The four key things that Rockstars do to create fans for their work and how you can do the same with your social media efforts
  • The keys to building a vibrant community around your social media efforts
  • The importance of “fishing where the fish are” when you’re trying to build awareness
  • How to create content that taps into the “Bigger Idea” that’s more relevant and exciting to your customers

• 11 a.m., Ballroom A

Your 30-Day Plan for Conflict Management Online

Andrea WeckerleAndrea Weckerle: More and more people are talking about you and your organization online. They can also easily find out what others are saying about your business, whether it’s good or bad. Sometimes, they’re unable to tell the difference between what’s true or what’s simply an opinion or even a lie.

With millions of active users online, it’s no surprise that online misunderstandings, reputational harm and public relations disasters are commonplace. Knowing how to actively mitigate against these problems is vital in today’s global environment.


  • Execute your conflict inventory and assessment.
  • Clearly identify your specific online conflict management goals.
  • Determine whether you need to bury negative information about your organization.
  • Create your unique social media conflict resolution response flow chart.
  • Draft a robust employee social media policy.

• 11 a.m., Ballroom N

Note: Speakers, topics and schedule subject to change.

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