Upstate Social Sessions 2018: An Inside Eye

In October 29, 2018
Social Media


You may have seen it on our social media, watched our live updates on Instagram, or picked up on keywords like content creation and crafting a brand, but what exactly was the YPC Media team doing at the George Eastman Museum on October 12? An eight-hour day filled with empowering speakers and entrepreneurs, jumping from room-to-room in the Eastman House, and a whole lot of avocado toast, this year’s Upstate Social Sessions kept us on our toes and eager for each informational and inspiring session, panel, and presentation.

The day began at 8:00 a.m.—or, more like 8:30. (Don’t tell!) After mingling in the Potter Peristyle and eating a few too many Emoji donuts, the team headed down the hall to the Dryden Theatre for the first session of the day, “Everyone Loves a Good Story: Crafting a Consistent, Original Brand” with Melanie Deziel of StoryFuel. Centering her talk on the unique and influential partnership between journalism and marketing, Deziel detailed her journey working in brand journalism at the New York Times to demonstrate the significance of relying on individualized stories to engage a digital audience. “I learned the importance of video and telling a story in the future of social media,” explained Senior Social Media Consultant Joanna Romero. “People can connect with videos that tell a story more than just statistics.”

Customer Relations Department




Although Deziel started the morning off by setting the bar high, four breakout sessions still remained including over forty speakers whose sessions were able to keep Deziel’s momentum going throughout the day. The team dispersed in an effort to hit as many sessions as possible, with diverse topics ranging from sustaining a podcast to artificial lighting techniques to managing new social media notifications. With so much variety, this isn’t to say there wasn’t a common thread woven throughout the conference— “Every session I attended said they primarily use Instagram,” said Marketing Consultant Frank Ferraro. “This is valuable information for clients with visually appealing products/services, but also great knowledge for ad creation.”



With each session, our team picked through the abundance of information, targeting which tips could be put into practice here at YPC. “Ultimately, we want to make sure that we are putting content out there for our clients that people are going to engage with,” Romero said. “Now more than ever, it’s important to stand out and be able to cut through the noise on social media.” Sean Pritzkau, Digital Media Consultant at We Can Do It, spoke on just that—motivating businesses to clarify their mission and tell stories of that mission’s success in order to penetrate the vast, and often overwhelming, world of social media. By committing to speaking to your audience—no matter who it may be, no matter how small it may be—Pritzkau reminded us that small- and medium-sized businesses can find their place online, it just takes a commitment to speak to who’s listening.


In addition to Pritzkau’s talk, the team collectively attended ten sessions covering topics such as podcasting, food photography, becoming business leaders in a social media world, handling social media side gigs, and even exploring how social media impacts politics. “In a landscape that is constantly evolving and changing every day, it’s important to keep up with various trends—not only to follow in line, but to find where you might be able to find a gap in the market,” said Marketing Consultant and Team Leader Donato DiRenzo. “[It’s about] consistency, not being afraid to fail, and finding your voice.”

Customer Relations Department


As the largest, and only, social media conference in Rochester, Upstate Social Sessions taught our team strategies to “tell [our clients’] stories and utilize the best practices to get their message out, attract new business, and keep them top-of-mind to existing customers,” said DiRenzo.


Social Media Consultant Jess LaBella added, “I think it’s important to hear outside perspectives and see how other members of the social media community are operating.” At the end of the day, we headed home with more than just tote bags (although, those were pretty important)—we walked away having learned from the success of others, feeling inspired and capable of creating engaging content and strategic game-plans to ensure our clients’ success in the social media world.




Madison Wayland

Marketing Assistant



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