#HPMSocial - A Blogging Event from Handpicked Media (Blogging Top Tips)

Today was the Handpicked Media Gets Social Event (#HPMSocial) and here is my attempt at somehow capturing all that took place! 

We arrived for a 9am start, and the actual events started an hour later. This gave me an opportunity to meet some new faces, as well as old! Although billed as breakfast, there wasn't really anything I wanted to eat (just pastries and Alpen bars really) so I just stuck with a coffee.

The first speaker was Garry from Why Communicate, who was aiming to give a tech bootcamp for bloggers. Now I'm a geek, so I'm perfectly happy having techy talk thrown at me. He covered the following topics:

1. Understanding your visitors (google analytics, keywords, bounce rates etc)

2. Enhancing your blog (content quality, frequency of content, images, rss feeds, social media buttons, blog rolls, comments - getting and giving etc)

3. Social Media - twitter, facebook, tumblr, flickr, linked in, instagram, plug ins, bookmarks, video)

4. SEO - keywords, filenames, alttags, meta tags, url names, internal links, directories, guest posting, webmaster tools, sitemaps, linking out, email signatures, blog awards.

The second speaker was Rebecca Miskin from Hearst, talking about the future of print in an online world. She presented a lot of statistics, comparing online to print, and the interactions with media that the average women have day to day.

Speaker number three was Sháá Wasmund, the founder of smarta.com and Cosmopolitan Business Women of the Year. Now Sháá is my kind of speaker. She is all about making things happen - taking action. She isn't embarrassed by making money, and being brave and asking for things you don't believe you could get. Very inspiring, and definitely my kind of lady.

I was so busy tweeting that I didn't take any good pictures - apologies!

Speaker 4 was Mark Borowski, a publicist. This presentation certainly felt a little more abstract, but I enjoyed it and loved that for once I wasn't being patronised as a blogger. He went from discussing Jedward, to how the Nazis were one of the best branding agents of all time. Thought provoking stuff.

The final speaker was Jane Cunningham, British Beauty Blogger. Jane spoke about the relationship between PRs and Bloggers. Jane had plenty of experience to share, and lessons to be remembered for both sides of the PR relationship. I was too busy tweeting to take notes, but here are some points I remember from her talk. Please let me know if you remember them differently!

* Bloggers are heavily connected to their blogs. They are often an extension of themselves. PRs must remember that bloggers may find it hard not to take it personally!

* It may seem like the sky is raining free samples, but PRs usually have a very limited budget, and it is often the same budget they always have. So they now need to share samples not just with printed press and other traditional media, but bloggers too.

* Don't feel too bad if you didn't get offered a sample or invite that other bloggers were. It may be that your blog didn't meet the specific criteria, or that they just don't know about you yet!

* Don't feel you have to accept every sample that is offered to you. Give feedback to the PR with ideas for things that may be more suitable for you.

* Don't judge other bloggers on whether they choose to monetise their blogs. 

* PRs are people too, often very overworked people. They are learning, just as you are.

The day ended with two guest panels - one Beauty, and one Fashion. The guests were all fabulous in their own right, but I felt that this section wasn't as successful as the rest of the day. There were definitely some guests I would have rather given them a bigger platform, as asking brief questions to such a large number kept it a little shallow. That isn't a reflection on the guests at all.

Did you attend? What did you think? What would you like to hear about at a blogging event?