Business Fluency Boot Camp for Communicators

Thursday, July 23, 2020
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET

A One-Day Virtual Immersion Course Hosted by George Washington University and Ragan Communications

Develop the business skills communicators need to succeed in the new normal

Your business is facing unprecedented transformation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Do you have what it takes to get a seat at the table and join the important conversations around your organization’s future? Financial skills and business fluency are the keys to success, as it becomes increasingly important for communicators to demonstrate their value in these difficult economic times.

In partnership with George Washington University, this four-hour information-packed course is grounded in the principle that to be a strategic advisor to your organization, not only must you know your business, but you also need to know about business. As you prepare for the challenging road ahead, don’t miss out on this chance to develop the skills that will make you indispensable.

Now is the time to hone your business acumen and prepare for your transformed role. This information-packed virtual boot camp will teach you the business skills you need to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. You'll get expert guidance, case studies and resources to develop a strong understanding of the complexities that leaders face during an economic downtown, and the knowledge you need to be a key player in your organization’s financial future.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Manage and interpret financial statements, and develop and oversee organizational budgets
  • Speak the language of business and finance, and use financial tools to evaluate trends
  • Master the business planning process and differentiate between a strategic and an operational plan—and understand their relationship to communication planning and activities
  • Create strategic plans that deliver profitability and demonstrate your value to top leaders—and see case studies and examples of such plans
  • Understand how the business environment has shifted due to COVID-19 and what impact it may have on economic success—or failure

Bonus takeaways for all attendees:

  • Certificate of completion
  • Glossary of business and accounting terms
  • Executive summary of the boot camp
  • List of helpful tools, resources and guides for developing communication plans and budgets
  • Sample strategic plan templates
Don’t miss this unique opportunity!
Thursday, July 23
11-11:10 a.m. ET
How to Be the Business Advisor Leaders Need in the Pandemic

As COVID-19 transforms the state of their businesses, leaders need guidance on how to move forward and protect their organization’s future. Hear a communications executive’s perspective on how to fill that critical role by providing key insights on business sustainability and creating successful strategic plans that will satisfy the C-Suite.

You’ll learn:

  • How to write communications plans in the business language leaders understand
  • Which key performance indicators and programs are most important to leaders during the ongoing crisis
  • Ways to position yourself as a strategic advisor and earn the trust of executives
11:15 a.m. -11:55 a.m. ET
Business and finance fundamentals: what public relations and communications professionals need to know now

With your organization’s business outcomes shifting in unprecedented ways, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of its financial wellbeing as you plan for the future. During this session, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the terms, tools and tactics used by business and finance professionals in their planning and operations, and the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis as well as during the ongoing crisis.

You’ll learn:

  • The trifecta of financial reports and key components you should from them
  • The language of business: key terms you should understand
  • Annual and quarterly reports: how to read them, and write them
  • An understanding of the terms and principles at play when describing and planning for an economic downtown
Noon-12:25 p.m. ET
Executive and financial communications: High influence roles for PR/communications professionals

With corporate reputation and financial performance in serious jeopardy due to the pandemic, organizations need communicators who can offer valuable insights on these topics. As your job duties change, executive and financial communications are likely to become a growing component of them. Learn how you can wield significant influence in this role and become more familiar with financial communications principles.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Use executive, financial and investor communications principles to land a seat at the table (C-suite and Board)
  • Understand what matters most to your CEO, and what keeps him/her up at night
  • Harness your strengths to be indispensable to the CEO, CFO, and General Counsel
  • Understand where the action (and information) is in financial communications– annual/quarterly earnings, proxy, disclosures
  • Tell the "big event" stories: IPO, mergers & acquisitions, succession and product launches
  • Unite employees and investors in a shared mission – not us vs. them
12:30-12:45 p.m. ET
Case Studies from Top Business Leaders—and Ways to Keep Building Your Business IQ

When trying to grow as a business professional, a lot can be learned from the examples set by some of today’s top leaders. Hear what sets these executives apart in their business and communication approaches and what lessons you can take from them. You’ll also receive dozens of tips to continue expanding your business acumen.

12:50-1:20 p.m. ET
Communications Planning and Budgeting

Too often, communications plans propose big ideas but don’t think through costs and budgets. In a time of economic difficulty, you need to paint a clear picture of the numbers to win approval from higher ups. Now that you can speak their language, it’s time to tie your communications plans to their goals. We’ll discuss key elements that need to go into a strategic plan along with helpful budgeting and measurement tips.

You’ll learn:

  • How to differentiate between goals and objectives—and effective examples of both
  • Weave business and financial planning into the strategic plan you present to executives
  • Find the right strategy to go about budgeting programs and include the right items
  • How to set measurable goals that make it clear to executives how you’re delivering profitability
1:20-1:40 p.m. ET
Interactive Planning and Budgeting Activity

Put your newfound knowledge to the test—using our virtual event platform, you’ll be divided into small groups and work with fellow attendees to create a strategic plan and budget for a campaign or company affected by COVID-19. In the final session of the day, we’ll have a representative from each team share some insights on their mock budget.

1:45-2 p.m. ET
Attendee Mini-Presentations and Top 10 Takeaways from the Day

Don’t miss out on this closing session where we wrap up the day’s learnings and set you on a new track to success.


Lawrence J. Parnell
Associate professor and program director, masters in strategic public relations
George Washington University
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Adjunct professor
George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management
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Associate Professor
Depaul University
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Manager of Strategic Programming
Ragan Communications
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Reasons to sign up for this virtual workshop

  • You’ll listen to and interact with skilled experts on communications and business acumen.
  • You’ll receive all presentations and handouts.
  • You’ll get access to an on-demand recording of the event for 12 months.
  • You can attend this immersive workshop without having to leave your desk.
  • You'll receive an executive summary of the event and a glossary of business terms.



You should attend if you spend at least a quarter of your time in any of these area:

Public Relations • Internal Communications • Executive Communications • Corporate Communications • Social Media • Marketing Communications


Join us for Business Fluency Boot Camp for Communicators;
Registration $549
Ragan Insider Registration $449
Nonprofit Registration $399

Phone registrations and group pricing: For group orders please contact our customer service team at 800-878-5331 or

For questions, please contact customer service at or by calling 800-878-5331.

Please visit our FAQ


Cancellation Policy: Fees are non-refundable. Substitutions will be accepted up to 7 days prior to the event for another virtual event of equal value.