Digital Download Live

Digital Download Live

An interactive event that pulls together the very latest
thought in all areas of digital communications



We live in a world where artificial intelligence is starting to tailor messages to specific individuals and voice recognition has improved to the extent that we will soon be having a proper dialogue with our devices.


In this environment, marketing communications have to be meaningful. And that means adding genuine value to people’s lives and finding ways to use technology to inform and help people. It means engaging people in order to solve their problems rather than simply to get them to click a Like button.



Prior to the start of the main event, a light breakfast of pastries and tea/coffee will be available to those who wish to take the opportunity of some early networking  and start the day off by meeting other delegates.

9.30am PRESENTATION: What’s the Latest in Digital Communications?

Digital’ means a lot of things to a lot of people. There are websites and apps, there’s social media and SEO and email, and there’s private messaging, mobile technology and AI. Among lots of other digital ‘stuff’. PR and communications professionals are, understandably, bamboozled by all this and tend to view everything in isolation. This session will bring you up to date on the latest developments in digital, and you will learn how to best understand how everything works together in order to exploit it.

10am PRESENTATION: Addressing the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on PR & Communications

Stephen Waddington is one of the most respected PR practitioners in the UK. Former President of the CIPR, he is an author and blogger who in January this year launched the #AIinPR Panel for the CIPR to explore the impact that artificial intelligence is having on the PR industry.


Just a couple of days after speaking about this at the World PR Forum in Oslo, Stephen will be talking about how our job roles will be impacted by AI technology. Current CIPR President Sarah Hall has stated publicly that AI could potentially wipe out up to half of the industry, and Stephen will look at how we need to adapt our skills and the way we think and behave, and on a highly practical note, the tools we should all be using to integrate AI into our workflows. AI is both the biggest threat to the communications industry in many years and the biggest opportunity for those willing to embrace it. This session is a must-not-miss opportunity to discuss the latter.

10.30am OPEN Q&A: The Smart Home Revolution – How PR & Communications Has to Adapt to Google & Alexa

Google now recognises approximately 95% of the spoken word; the same as an adult. It is predicted that 40% of UK homes will have an Amazon Echo smart speaker by the end of the year. Voice recognition technology is exploding in a big way, and the opportunity for brands is huge.


Digital PR agency Threepipe has been working heavily with brands to ensure they’re optimised to appear at the top of voice searches. In this session, agency founder Jim Hawker will explain exactly why as a communications professional you need to care about voice technology. He will outline the practical steps you can take to start optimising your campaigns for voice, and he will answer all of your questions about voice search, Google and Alexa. For a great introduction to this topic, listen to Episode Four of the Digital Download podcast.

11.15am INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP: How to Implement & Measure a Great Influencer Marketing Campaign

Influencer marketing is coming under increasing scrutiny as fake followers are exposed and brands finally start to question the value of running campaigns with ‘influencers’. Following a hugely popular Q&A at Digital Download 2017, we’re welcoming back parenting blogger and presenter Emily Leary this year for an interactive workshop.


Emily knows only too well that most approaches made to influencers from communications professionals are very poor. Working in teams, you’ll be presented with a brief and tasked with selecting influencers based on data we’ll provide. You’ll then devise an outreach programme with suitable evaluation metrics. Teams will be assessed in an open discussion that will investigate the nature of influence and how brands and influencers can best work together. For a great introduction to this topic, listen to Episode Three of the Digital Download podcast.

12pm CASE STUDY: How to Increase Sales with Facebook Marketing

When Facebook updated its news feed in January this year it caused much concern among marketers and communications professionals. But the fact is, it had been coming for months if not years, and those doing things the right way need not worry too much. Sadly, those doing things the right way are few and far between!


This session reveals the secrets behind the strategic approach to Facebook marketing that increased revenues for an ecommerce company by 23% in 6 months. It provides a step-by-step guide to creating a robust strategy, from research and data analytics to content strategy, paid media and evaluating the impact of Facebook on a business.

12.30pm OPEN Q&A: GDPR Compliance for PR & Communications

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation finally comes into force on 25th May this year. Within the PR & communications industry it is causing a lot of people a lot of headaches, with much confusion around the responsibilities of different parties and who needs to do what in order to comply. Very few have complete clarity.


Someone with a lot more than most is Response Source founder Daryl Willcox. Having taken GDPR compliance very seriously with regard to his own business, he has great knowledge of how the legislation affects media relations and of elements such as legacy data and legitimate interest. This Q&A session gives you the opportunity to get answers to all of your questions on GDPR from a PR & comms perspective so that you’re fully prepared. For a great introduction to this topic, listen to Episode Nine of the Digital Download podcast.


A big part of the Digital Download experience is its collaborative nature. Many of those who attended the 2017 event created strong professional bonds that have lasted throughout the entire year since. The room is laid out with round tables rather than rows of chairs to help enable relationships to be formed, while the breakout lunch is the perfect opportunity to chat to other delegates and speakers alike.

1.45pm INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP: Podcasting for Marketing Communications

The opportunity for brands and B2B organisations in podcasting is massive. It is unlike any other form of content for the simple reason that you don’t need to be sat in front of a screen to consume it. It really should be on your marketing communications agenda. And the best thing is that with a little training and some imagination, anyone can produce a podcast. By the end of this session, you’ll know how.


If you’ve ever (or never!) considered producing a podcast for yourself or for a client but have been a bit mystified by the technology and the process, this session is for you. In this interactive workshop, Michael Taggart from the Beer & Bytes podcast and I will teach you everything you need to know from ideation to recording to editing to publishing. Working in groups, by the end of the session you will have contributed to your own podcast episode.

4pm OPEN Q&A: Automation, Ethics & How the Communications Job Role is Changing

The rise of fake news, the decline of traditional media, a reduction in levels of trust in stories disseminated on social media and Facebook killing ‘news’ on the network all present big threats to the communications industry. And then there’s the prevalence of fake followers and technological leaps in automation, artificial intelligence and voice recognition.


Deirdre Breakenridge, author of the unique new book ‘Answers for Modern Communicators’, will look at the challenges we face and the ethical impact of aLL the changes. She’ll be offering us the huge benefit of her insight into the topic on a live video conference call direct from the United States for a Q&A about how we need to adapt our job roles. For a great introduction, read The Four Horsemen of the PR-pocalypse and listen to Episode Seven of the Digital Download podcast.

4.30pm DISCUSSION: What’s Next in Digital Communications?

Digital Download Live is not an event that you go away from and forget within a week. The final session of the day will pull together all of the learnings from the day and present a practical action plan of areas to investigate further and things to do in order to ensure that you can start to implement a progressive approach to digital technology within your own organisation. It’s an opportunity to have your say and to input to the group’s learning.


Immediately after the main event finishes, those who want to continue the conversation or take advantage of the networking opportunity will retire to the nearest watering hole (which is rather conveniently next door to the venue!) for a little lubrication.

7th June 2018

The London Art House, Islington