Writing Certificate Course for Communicators

3-part series • On Demand

Compose More Convincing, Clear and Creative Copy


This is NOT a boring writing course rehashing tired rules you already know.

It’s an advanced writer’s intervention designed to help you kick bad habits
and enhance your writing skills—so you can enjoy the results and recognition you deserve.

Register for this immersive three-part certificate series to become a faster, more creative and more persuasive writer.

Includes Writing Certificate Upon Completion of Course

Master new writing fundamentals • Find your voice • Persuade audiences
Compose bold and blooper-free writing • Craft convincing copy
Sharpen storytelling • Improve inclusive writing • Write faster with flair
Self-edit like a pro • Enhance your credibility and career

Writing isn’t just a tactic—it’s a strategic differentiator. According to the latest Ragan and HarrisX survey, it’s the No. 1 most valued skill for communication executives. What’s more, writing also is the top skill communicators would like to see improved among their team members.

Translation: Enhancing your writing style doesn’t just enhance your reach and results—it enhances your value as a communicator, your career and your reputation.

This three-part virtual course with Jill Stewart (instructor, DePaul University), Lynn Douglas (course associate, Columbia University) and Jim Ylisela (senior partner, Ragan Consulting Group) will give you the skills you need to take your writing to the next level—or to reinvigorate your results if you’re mid-career and stuck in a rut. The curriculum and bonus guests will help you increase your value as a strategic communicator and wordsmith.


  • New fundamentals: Compose bold, clear writing with often overlooked principles
  • Write Like a Journalist: Powerful techniques for crafting credible-yet-compelling headlines, subject lines, teasers and leads
  • The Oops Checklist: Biggest grammatical and stylistic mistakes communicators make—and how to avoid them
  • Persuasive Messaging: Applying the theories of persuasion to your copy
  • Self-Editing Hacks: A checklist to fine-tune and fact check copy fast
  • Inclusive Language for Writers: Phrases and terms to add to your lexicon
  • Made to Stick: How to make everything you write more “sticky”—from irresistible blogs, social media posts and even emails
  • The Neuroscience of Stories: How to hook audiences from your first sentence
  • Storytelling Hacks: New ways to transform boring topics into blockbusters
  • Creativity for Communicators: Harnessing your inner poet for bold, brilliant copy

Classroom Materials:

  • Reading List for Strategic Communications Writers
  • Clear and Concise Technical Writing Guide
  • Why and How to Create an In-House Style Guide
  • Inclusive Language Checklist
  • The Art of Storytelling
  • Checklist: Apps and Tools to Help Writers
Don’t miss this unique opportunity!
Price: $799   Insider Price: $699   Nonprofit Price: $649


Hone your writing skills in just a few short weeks. You’ll receive assignments, a certificate of completion and a writing style guide you can tailor to your organization.

Module 1: Powerful Principles
Principles of More Powerful Writing in Communications

Communication strategies often fail to make an impact due to lack of clarity and poorly written messaging. This session is the refresher you need to eliminate confusion and doubt in your copy so you increase your writing’s effectiveness—and your impact at your organization. You’ll learn:

  • Fundamentals revisited: Often forgotten building blocks of stronger copy
    • Precise word choice (e.g. mastering homonyms, homophones and pronouns)
    • Writing smarter sentences by adding a layer
    • Coherent, scannable paragraphs
  • Value of verbs: How to root out passives and avoid too much “ing-ing”
  • Weeding out wordiness: An exercise to reduce repetition and redundancy
  • Techniques to advance the clarity and concision of your copy
  • How to harness the power of tone and intention in your writing
  • AP “must haves”—plus common errors and pet peeves to avoid

Instructor: Jill Stewart is a writing coach and adjunct instructor who teaches at DePaul University’s College of Communication.

Guest: Jaime Bedrin is a journalist and media writing instructor at Montclair State University.

Module 2: Persuasive Writing
The Art and Science of More Persuasive, Creative and Inclusive Copy

Now that you have the competencies of clear writing down, we’ll focus on writing more persuasively and creatively so you convince—and captivate—all readers. You’ll also learn how to apply these techniques to a variety of common communication documents:

  • Process and planning: Smarter ways to gather and structure information
  • Audience awareness: How to implement the WIFM in everything you write
  • Detail and concision: Techniques to keep your copy right and tight
  • Enhancing creativity, cultural awareness and inclusivity in your writing
  • The power of analogy: How to communicate complex information simply
  • How old-school reporting can elevate your writing, including:
    • How to leverage the element of surprise
    • Shortcuts to more effective language usage
    • Ideas to find your hook faster
  • How to write with authenticity and show both sides of a story
  • The Science of Persuasion: How to write persuasively using Ethos, Logos and Pathos
  • The Art of Poetry: How to add color, context and creativity to anything you write (a deep dive into metaphor, simile, vivid descriptions and more)

Instructor: Jill Stewart is a writing coach and adjunct instructor who teaches at DePaul University’s College of Communication.
Instructor: Lynn Douglass is a writer, journalist and former course associate at Columbia University School of Professional Studies.

Guest: Keisha Gaye-Anderson, MFA, is the director of marketing communication at The Jed Foundation.

Module 3: Application & Practice
Tying It All Together: Effective Rewriting, Editing and Storytelling Strategies

Time to strip away the theory and dig into real-world solutions to writing challenges we face daily. You’ll also discover how to harness storytelling at work—regardless of situation or assignment. You’ll learn:

  • Headlining: How to capture attention from headlines to subject lines
  • Storytelling structure insights to elevate your writing and engage any audience
    • Summary vs. dramatic scene narratives—and when to use each
    • Examples of storytelling narratives at work—from podcasts to Tweets
    • How to create scenes for your audiences in everything you write
    • How to sleuth out story-worthy data and stats
  • Workshopping real world problems: Everyday writing mistakes and how to fix them
  • How to overcome writer’s block, approval brick walls and other obstacles
  • 7 tips to self-edit like a pro—plus how to edit your boss without getting fired
  • How to turn your new writing skills into a strategic advantage at your organization so you earn management’s respect

Additional Reading and Resources:

  • The Moth
  • “Made to Stick,” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • Jonah Sachs, “Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell—and Live—the Best Stories Will Rule the Future”

Instructor: Lynn Douglass is a writer, journalist and former course associate at Columbia University School of Professional Studies.

Guest: Jim Ylisela is co-founder and senior partner of Ragan Consulting Group.

Register for this immersive three-part certificate series to become a faster, more creative and more persuasive writer.

Your Instructors:

Writer, Journalist and Former Course Associate
Columbia University, School of Professional Studies
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Writing Coach and Adjunct Faculty Member
DePaul University’s College of Communication
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Co-Founder and Senior Partner
Ragan Consulting Group
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Journalist & Media Writing Instructor
Montclair State University
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Senior Director of Communications
The Jed Foundation
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Manager of Strategic Programming
Ragan Training and PR Daily
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Top 5 reasons to attend this virtual course

  • You’ll listen to the nation’s top writing experts and instructors.
  • You’ll receive a certificate of completion, all presentations and handouts.
  • You’re guaranteed extensive, how-to instruction you can use immediately.



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

Internal Communications • Executive Communications • Employee Engagement • Social Media • Public Relations • Digital Marketing • Brand Storytelling • Content Marketing • Community Management • Crisis Communications • Corporate Communications • Strategic Communications • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Communications


For questions, please contact customer service at

CService@Ragan.com or by calling 800-878-5331.

Please visit our ON DEMAND FAQ