21 things I learned at the #MIPAA Annual Conference 2016

Last week I trundled off to Volkswagens National Learning Centre in leafy Buckinghamshire for my first MIPAA annual conference.

This year’s theme was ‘big stories’ and it focused on some of the most important issues facing comms and the automotive industry. It was a brilliantly organised event packed full of good stuff, and for me, as a relative ‘newbie’ to the automotive industry, it was a welcome opportunity to learn, connect and share.

So, continuing in the spirit of sharing, here’s 21 nuggets of the good stuff that I picked up, in case you missed it.


  • Volkswagen Group has a really swish learning centre andsome top notch training facilities.
  • Good news gets shared. Content that is about good news stories that reinforce our faith in human nature get shared three times more on The Huffington Post than all other sections combined.
  • The next mega trend in journalism will be reporting constructive news and there’s a new book about it.
  • Brexit, Trump and trust. We live in troubling times and politicians and brands can’t get away with spinning the truth anymore, but hopefully you already knew that one.
  • Constructive storytelling takes time but it will play a vital role in giving your brand authenticity, build trust and restore faith.
  • Please, please, please understand your audience. Millennials, for example don’t listen to audio on social media and are far more likely to read subtitles. By understanding your target audience and by using the right channel and the right format your content is much more likely to resonate.
  • IMB don’t just make computers anymore. They’re actually doing really exciting stuff with artificial intelligence.
  • Consumers want to contribute to product and service innovation and they want to tell you their ideas. Listen to them and engage with them in a meaningful way.
  • Self Enabling Vehicles (SEV’s) are on their way and may soon be able to take you to hospital if they detect you’re unwell.
  • But they won’t be here tomorrow. In fact, they probably won’t be here for another ten years and it will be the job of the communications pro to manage consumer disillusionment while we wait for the cool tech to arrive.
  • Cars could be your new content channel. While autonomous vehicles do the driving passengers are going to need something to keep them entertained.
  • Prints dead you say? Not quite, with publications such as Car Dealer Magazine and Car Buyer putting web content back on the newsstand print appears to be alive and well.
  • Measure quality not just quantity. It’s easy to get a big social media following, but don’t just look at the numbers, you need to measure value.
  • 90 per cent of millennials check their social media before they get out of bed.
  • Pizza Hut tweeted Kayne West and Twitter went into meltdown.
  • Half of internet users who don’t use Facebook live with someone that does.
  • It’s not all about millennials on social media. In fact, one in three You Tube users are over 50.
  • We spend more time using media and comms each day than we do sleeping.
  • Having a good product isn’t enough, you need to build a narrative around your product, your business and your people.
  • Our industry is full of brilliant people and we all need to be supported in ongoing development to be the best that we can be.
  • The MIPAA annual conference is one not to miss and next year you really, really, really must go.

Find out more about MIPAA and upcoming events.

If you’d like to know more about Red Marlin or if you’re looking to upgrade your PR and marketing activities give us call us on 01926 832395 or email


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