Some of the country’s leading media professionals gathered at Birmingham City University this week for the second annual Rethink Media conference to discuss the latest trends in digital media and to learn how organisations can generate engaging content to meet the rapidly-changing expectations of today’s audiences.

With a line-up of industry speakers including Buzzfeed’s Jonathan Perelman and Ben Cooper, Controller at BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra, the event, organised by the university and held at its new Parkside building in Eastside, looked at ways of driving creative business models.

The conference was hosted by TV presenter Jason Bradbury.

Main topics of discussion at Rethink Media focused on how to best create sharable content and increase online engagement.

“The emotional quota matters more than the intelligence quota”, said Jonathan Perelman, GM of Video and VP of Agency Strategy at Buzzfeed .

“Even very specific content can reach a giant audience through the emotional force of sharing. We need to think about content not just for consumption, but also for communication. We want to create something that speaks to people,” he added.

Panel debates led by Inderpreet Sahota, editor at BBC Asian Network and Stacey Barnfield, editor of the Birmingham Post, posed questions on the challenges facing organisations with audiences and consumers now creating content themselves and running their own digital channels.

“There are a lot of ‘random acts of digital’ happening. I think it’s important to avoid ‘carpet bombing’ and take a targeted, strategic approach to online content,” said Ben Cooper.

The event also saw the launch of the Media Power 20 (MP20), which aims to recognise those people having the biggest impact on the changing media landscape.