Effective Digital Communications: Improving Audience Engagement in 2018

This briefing will examine the latest research, techniques and good practice in digital communications and marketing.

Audience engagement in the digital era

  • Social media is now trusted by less than a quarter of the UK population (24%)
  • Over half of Britons (53%) worry about being exposed to fake news on social media
  • 64% cannot distinguish between proper journalism and fake news

Source: Endelman Trust Barometer 2018

The way people consume information continues to change rapidly with an increasing use of technology, online and mobile.

Digital communication affords a vast expansion of opportunity, in terms of methods and reach, but ‘fake news’, changes to search engine, social media algorithms, and the rise of artificial intelligence are just some of the major challenges presented.

So how can professionals keep pace with change and engage audiences in the most effective way?

Attend this Holyrood briefing for an up-to-date brief on the latest research, successful techniques and good practice in digital communication and marketing.

Key issues we’ll examine with you

  • The latest developments in digital communications, marketing and how people are consuming information in 2018
  • Practical tips and methods you can apply in your communication strategies to enhance engagement and impact
  • Case studies of innovative and exemplar digital communication and marketing practice

Who will benefit from attending?

Attendees will be drawn from (but not limited to): communications, marketing and engagement professionals from across the sectors and organisations, as well as public affairs and anyone with an interest in improving their digital communications.


09:15 Registration and Refreshments

10:00 Welcome and Introduction by the Chair

10:05 Session 1: Digital Communications in 2018

10.05 Digital Communications in 2018 

Cat Leaver, Head of Strategy, After Digital, and Head of Marketing and Communications, TEDXGlasgow 

10:25 The Importance of Being Trusted

  • Key challenges / opportunities in 2018
  • Impact of decline in consumer trust
  • How to create trust through Creative / Data
  • The GDPR opportunity

Dr Simone Kurtzke, Lecturer in Digital Marketing, Robert Gordon University

10.45 The Power of Balance 

  • Support - for cogency 
  • Critique - for popping the filter bubble 
  • Balance - for breaking down the echo chamber

Professor Chris Reed, Director of the Centre for Argument Technology, University of Dundee​

11:05 Questions and Discussion

11:25 Refreshments and Networking

11:45 Session 2: Improving Digital Engagement With Your Audience

  • Techniques and tools for engaging, raising awareness and addressing issues
  • Interacting with the public and stakeholders appropriately online
  • Standing out digitally - presence and content
  • Developing effective social media and digital marketing strategies
  • Evidence, analytics and insight – measuring and evaluating the impact of activity

Jim Wolff, Head of Digital, The Leith Agency

12.05 Data-informed Creativity

  • Data driven creativity: from Charmin to Fintech

Dr Chiara Bernardi, Lecturer in Digital Media, University of Stirling

12:35 Questions and Discussion

12:50 Lunch and Networking

13:25 Session 3: Good Practice Seminar

  • A series of inputs will share learning into good practice examples of organisations that have delivered outstanding online communication projects, campaigns and innovations

13:25 Roundtable Discussion:

Taking learning from the morning, delegates will lead the discussion to  identify the key challenges that organisations are facing. We would like you to share learning around how we can work together to create more engaging content ahead of this afternoon's case studies.

13:50 Driving Digital Marketing Within Transport: 'My Glasgow, My Subway', a campaign case study

Hilary Kidd, Marketing Manager, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport 

14:10 Case Study: Scottish Government Social Security Directorate

Kirsten Sweeney, Strategic Communications Manager - Social Security Directorate, Scottish Government 

Carole Edwards, Principle Social Researcher, Social Security Research, Scottish Government

Rachel Dowle, Head of Content and Design Strategy, Scottish Government

14:30 Questions and Discussion

14:55 Summary by the Chair

15:00 Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change


Law Society, Atria One,144 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EX | Map


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Reduced rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Standard rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, housing associations, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Private Sector rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email enquiries@holyrood.com or phone 0131 285 1635

22 May 2018



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