Takeaways from PRAXIS8 – the Twitter version

In the 2018 PRAXIS in Hyderabad, I only conducted a masterclass workshop on building one’s personal brand using social media.

This year, for the 2019 PRAXIS at the Grand Hyatt Goa, I was there for the entire event. The location does matter, I suppose 🙂

PRAXIS is the kind of event that the Indian PR industry desperately needed and deserves.

Now, to the readers of this blog, I had in mind the audience who were not on-ground when I wrote my tweets from the event. I have written a lot about Twitter threads already and thought of using them to tell my version of the PRAXIS story.

The basic idea is that if someone were to be interested to know what happened in PRAXIS in 2019, there are a few options: seek the video footage of the whole event and go through them, read blogs by other attendees who may have captured one or more sessions, find the event hashtag on Twitter and read those tweets and so on.

The video footage of the whole event may not be available publicly, and may also need a lot of time to go through. Blogs are a good idea, but searching them may be difficult, even though LinkedIn makes it easy if posted within that network. The event hashtag idea needs more thought – if I click on any event hashtag I get to see thousands of tweets because the most pressing concern of any event organizer is to ‘trend’, and for this purpose, most are forced to ask all participants to tweet as much as possible. For an outsider wanting to use tweets as a way to ‘consume’ the event, this adds to severe noise and goes in all directions randomly throwing nuggets about the event to everyone. The ‘bigger-number’ obsession is already the bane of the PR and advertising industry, and we could all do with shifting the focus to quality over quantity.

Also, except for the video footage, every other version is a point of view – PRAXIS through the eyes of someone else. Now, I combined that thought with the fact that we’re all time-starved… enough that 15-second videos have become the new norm, thanks to TikTok. So, if someone is time-starved and yet wants to know a quick overview of what happened in PRAXIS this year, what should that person do?

So, before landing in Goa, I thought hard about this as a potential need gap and was thinking of ways to address this. The most obvious way would be to make notes of each session and frame them as a long’ish blog post after a day or two of the event. I have done that earlier with WPP Stream. But, guess what – why should I consider only the audience to be time-starved? Why are content creators not time-starved? 🙂 So, I gave it more thought – is there a way I do not have to go back to the event after I have moved on from it and still make it worthwhile/useful for readers in the future?

Here’s the result of that thought.

I wrote all my event-related tweets in the form of a Twitter thread. And picked a couple of things that really stood out for me from each session (I sat through most of all the sessions) in each tweet. It took a conscious effort from me to remember that every tweet I write is a reply to my own previous tweet, but after a few tweets, it became easier/natural.

These are not the summaries of each session, but merely what stood out for me in each session, seen from my eyes. This is ‘Takeaways from PRAXIS8, the Twitter version’.

As I have mentioned very often in my book, the way we create content on social media need not always be spontaneous. That’s how we started when social media was new (“see what I had for breakfast” and “look at what my cat is doing”). But as the platforms have evolved, we could do a lot better in terms of storytelling on social media if only we think harder on how we tell those stories and consider more seriously about who they are meant for.

The best way to read this thread is to see the event agenda for the 1.5 days and then see the corresponding tweets from me in the thread. Because it is a thread, it is sequential and it flows in the same sequence as the agenda!

And if something intrigued you in any tweet (for example, the Puerto Rico campaign by Ketchum), you could always Google for more context. If individuals mentioned (and tagged) in my tweets interest you, you could search them on LinkedIn and connect with them, or follow them on Twitter.

There are funny side-comments (like Richa Chadha’s innocent comment on Devdut Pattanaik) and a whole lot is interesting insights into the theme this year – Trust – from a range of Indian/international speakers.

The agenda:

The Twitter thread (33 tweets): click on the first tweet below to open the thread on Twitter.