Internal Communications Conference | Oct. 10-12, 2023 | Seattle, WA

Next Practices in Employee & Leadership Comms
DON'T MISS THE EXCITEMENT
  • Cultivate a winning culture
  • Increase engagement
  • Attract and retain top talent
  • Motivate remote and deskless workers
  • Enhance executive influence
  • Streamline manager comms
  • Harness AI
  • Optimize apps, intranets, suites and more

Learn how to inform, inspire and engage across two tracks:
Employee Experience & Executive Communications.

Hybrid work models, inflation and economic uncertainty have made it more challenging to keep employees, leadership and stakeholders aligned and engaged. That’s why Ragan’s three-day learning experience, Oct. 10-12, at the prestigious Microsoft headquarters is a must-attend event to discover what’s working and what’s next for internal communicators.

Get ready for inspirational keynotes, informative case studies and crowdsourcing sessions across two tracks tailored to helping you prepare for what’s next. Join hundreds of your fellow communicators for this must-attend gathering!

From Oct. 10-12, we’ll say ‘goodbye’ to the volatility of the past few years and ‘hello’ to confidence and clarity in internal comms. You’ll discover innovative ways to transform every touchpoint on the employee journey into truly exciting, engaging experiences.

Secure your spot to unlock the secrets of a thriving culture — from the frontlines to C-suite.

REGISTER NOW

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Register today! Don’t miss this opportunity to:

  • Build a positive, inclusive culture of engagement.
  • Access exclusive lineups and resources.
  • Align employees and execs with your vision and values for greater success.

FEATURED SPEAKERS

KEYNOTER
Senior Director of Collective Impact
WorkForce Central
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Senior Content Solutions Consultant
LinkedIn
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Vice President of Communications, U.S. and Canada
Nissan Motor Corp.
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Vice President of People, Culture and DEI
Seattle Mariners
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AGENDA

Pre-Conference Workshops
Tuesday, Oct. 10
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Building Your Presence on LinkedIn

Sharing thought leaders’ perspectives and inspiring employees to engage on LinkedIn can help shape the reputation of your company, articulate brand values, build community and draw interest from potential customers, partners or employees. This workshop will provide the strategies and tools necessary to help your leadership and employees become more successful thought leaders and digital citizens on the platform. You’ll learn how to:

  • Promote multiple brand pillars through thought leadership on LinkedIn.
  • Set up your LinkedIn profiles for success.
  • Help your thought leaders focus their voice.
  • Use a variety of content formats available on LinkedIn.
  • Inspire your employees to participate in the conversation.
  • Learn about, connect with and expand your followers.
Senior Content Solutions Consultant
LinkedIn
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12:30-1 p.m.
Network and Nosh Break
1-2:30 p.m.
Cracking the Manager Comms Code: Turn Good Managers into Great Communicators

Employees want open and timely communication with managers, whom they trust the most. They depend on their managers to translate strategies to help them do their jobs well, to provide the why behind decisions and to confirm that the work they are doing is contributing to the company’s vision and goals. Communicators, HR and the executive team bank on effective manager communication, the most important communication channel in an organization. They rely on their managers to engage people, change perceptions, motivate behavior and positively impact business results. But too often, information gets stuck in the middle as managers face barriers such as lack of training, accountability and collaboration. Join Ragan Consulting Group’s Julie Baron as she delivers strategies and tactics to:

  • Eliminate barriers to effective manager communication.
  • Establish a baseline understanding of manager communication requirements.
  • Work with managers to strengthen their communication skills and better communicate change.
  • Create a process and tools like people leader events, toolkits and talking points.
  • Ensure managers are a prepared and informed resource that can drive the behaviors needed to develop a competitive advantage.
Affiliate Consultant
RCG
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2:45-3 p.m.
Networking Break
3-4:30 p.m.
Mastering AI-Powered Writing and Storytelling

Thanks to a host of new AI tools, you can craft clear, compelling and, yes, even caring content, copy and communiques faster — all without sacrificing personality, voice and results. Join this hands-on, interactive workshop tailored to employee and executive comms pros who want to stay effective, efficient and relevant. You’ll learn how to streamline content creation processes, deliver personalized messages and optimize your messaging for clarity and impact. We’ll cover:

  • A deep dive into Natural Language Processing tools like ChatGPT — and how to use them for clarity, tone and readability.
  • Personalized communication at scale: Techniques for using AI-powered writing to create targeted and engaging messages for diverse internal audiences.
  • Data-driven insights: How to harness AI analytics for insights into audience preferences so you can create more tailored and impactful emails, posts, speeches and more.
  • Streamlined writing: How to use AI tools to make your content creation, editing and proofreading workflow more efficient — saving you time, stress and effort.
  • Practical use cases and breakouts: We’ll workshop the best prompts to generate everything from mission statements to thought leadership pieces, employee surveys, strategic business updates, internal memos and more.
Senior Storyteller, Author "Brand Storytelling"
Microsoft
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5:45 p.m.
Attendee Meet-Up

All attendees are invited to join us for a casual dutch meet-up at BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse.

7211 166th Ave. NE, Redmond,WA 98052

General Sessions & Employee Communications
Wednesday, Oct. 11
8:00 a.m.
Registration Opens
8:15-8:45 a.m.
Breakfast Session
Challenges to Efficiency in 2023: Your Employees Need the Digital Workplace of the Future

The era of asking employees to do more with less is upon us. And ultimately, with the rate employees are already working, that won’t be sustainable for long.

Everyday employees struggle to be their most efficient at work, with too much time spent on “low-value tasks,” and notifications that force context switching between multiple applications. Boiling down to a lot of time and productivity, not to mention concentration, lost throughout the workday. Simple to use digital assistants can help streamline employee productivity, and cut down support tickets for your IT, HR and Ops teams, allowing all employees to focus on high-impact tasks and high-value initiatives that better suit their time and skills.  Join LumApps to learn how automation with a human touch can drive real business value and help improve employee enablement and efficiency. Attendees will learn how to:

  • Automate mundane tasks and improve employee productivity.
  • Streamline access to apps, knowledge, and resources.
  • Initiate processes in the flow of work.
  • Improve employee efficiency and satisfaction with their digital workspace.
Senior Sales Engineer
LumApps
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9-9:15 a.m.
Welcome Remarks
9:15-9:45 a.m.
Keynote
Amplifying Comms with AI: Insider Strategies, Shortcuts and Secrets of Success

While marketing and external comms may have a handle on AI, the benefits and best practices for workplace comms are less clear-cut. Not anymore! This exclusive, enlightening keynote will offer insights into Microsoft’s behind-the-scenes experiences — detailing how its internal comms teams have been adopting and adapting to AI in their day-to-day work. You’ll hear:

  • Storytelling: How to ideate and create compelling narratives with AI.
  • Meeting prep: How AI can help prep your execs, SMEs and employees for meetings, townhalls and even media engagements.
  • Team synergy: How Microsoft leverages AI to drive innovation and enhance collaboration with its comms teams — so you can do the same.
  • Measurement: How to set measurable goals, track performance and effectively communicate the value of your employee and executive comms using AI.
  • Bonus: Fun, fantastic ways to tap into AI for image generation (think data viz, infographic and illustrations for blog posts, internal branding, emails and more).

 

KEYNOTER
Vice President, Communications Strategy
Microsoft
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9:55-10:20 a.m.
Panel
The Future of a Healthy Hybrid Workplace: Boosting Employee Engagement and Satisfaction

Employee engagement is on every communicator’s mind now that remote workplace models are here to stay. But engagement and even employee wellbeing don’t have to take a hit — not if you apply the latest best practices for fostering a thriving hybrid work community that combines the best of remote and in-person collaborationJoin to hear hard-won lessons from Seattle Children's Hospital and others. We’ll cover:

  • Internal comms audits: What data shows about employee preferences — and how the stats can inform content and channel strategy
  • Success stories: How Seattle Children's and others have integrated a hybrid workplace model — so you can do the same. 
  • Fostering collaboration: How to balance the needs of on-site and remote, connected and non-desk employees to drive teamwork, trust and transparency. 
  • Tools meet storytelling: How a content “Engagement Calculator,” CEO townhalls, a revamped intranet and a human-centered storytelling approach can help anchor your remote or hybrid workplace strategy.
  • Navigating RTO: How to navigate the complexities of “Return to Office” transitions. 
Director of Internal Communications
Seattle Children's Hospital
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Janine Narvali
Vice President, Business Development & Americas SMB Sales
Appspace
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10:30-10:50 a.m.
Unifying a Global Workforce: Salesforce’s Best Practices for Supportive Workplace Culture

Ever wonder how "big tech" unifies a global workforce? Come learn from Salesforce, as they share how they supercharged their internal communications and built a strong culture and brand, using Haiilo's 360° communication platform. Discover the best practices and strategies for clear messaging and team collaboration that will help you develop empathetic, resilient, and people-centric approaches to build strong relationships with your employees. Don't miss this opportunity to get ahead of the curve in creating a healthy and productive work environment.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to create a sense of togetherness and build strong relationships with your employees.
  • How a people-centric approach can strengthen your brand and identity.
  • How a global comms platform can provide consistent, shareable information and ensure trust in leadership stays strong.
Mikaely Quaranta
Senior Manager, Social Community and Management and Employment Enablement
Salesforce
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Account Director
Haiilo
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10:50-11:10 a.m.
Networking Break
11:10-11:35 a.m.
Unlocking the Power of Your Employer Brand: A Comprehensive Guide

More employees are carefully evaluating their next move in today’s tumultuous labor market. This session outlines how to create a strong employer branding program that puts you back in the driver’s seat. With 20 years of employer brand experience between them, two Microsoft execs will help you level-up your employer branding strategy in this session — so you can attract and retain the best and brightest for your brand in any job market. Join us to explore:

  • Employer branding foundations — from market research to measurement.
  • Understanding perception and employee/candidate needs: Insights into conducting surveys, interviews and focus groups (and how to analyze results to ID success factors).
  • Creating a narrative that endures: Crafting an employer brand that reflects your values and culture — plus how to incorporate authentic employee stories and experiences.
  • Scaling your employer brand and internally and externally across the entire employee life cycle — including ideas for assessing and optimizing your initiatives.
Director of Marketing and Communications for HR Programs
Microsoft
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Senior Manager of Employee & Executive Communications and Employer Brand
Microsoft
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11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Interactive
Mastering Mindfulness FUNdamentals: Exercises to Boost Wellbeing at Work

A staggering 80% of professionals experience high levels of workplace stress, according to recent research. Join this fun, interactive experience led by mindfulness consultant and director of HR for the Memphis Grizzlies to lighten your stress levels — and those of your teams. You’ll discover how to apply the latest mindfulness techniques to cultivate a more harmonious work environment and unlock greater wellbeing and productivity at your organization. By the end of the session you’ll:

  • Understand the complimentary relationship between comms and mindfulness—including how to increase intention and attention in communications.
  • Master applying mindful micro-moments into your (and your team’s) workday to decrease stress, maintain focus, create self-awareness and do your best work.
  • Practice “Stable Attention” with an interactive “Just This” exercise that you can take back with you to help teams, execs and employees stay focused, develop a peaceful “home base” and boost wellbeing.
  • Harness essential “brain facts” that help your teams understand why they think, feel and do the things that either add or detract from transformative comms.
Human Resource Manager and Mindfulness Coach
The Memphis Grizzlies
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12:30-2 p.m.
Networking Lunch

Enjoy a networking lunch with your colleagues, and then take a trip to Microsoft’s Visitors Center where you'll have an opportunity to explore interactive exhibits, put your gaming skills to the test, and learn about the future of AI.

2-2:30 p.m.
Interactive
Let’s Play! Unlocking Digital Engagement with the Employee Journey Board Game

Get ready to get interactive! Join this fun, illuminating activity where we’ll unveil an innovative “Employee Journey Board Game” designed to entertain and educate. Not only will we play the game together — but you’ll also get new ideas on how to improve the overall employee experience at your company when you return. Together, we’ll discover and enjoy:

  • New “Employee Activation Index” results: The latest data on what it takes to engage employees in today’s digital, multigenerational workplace.
  • A hands-on experience mapping out the touchpoints in any employee’s lifecycle.
  • New ways to ID critical moments in the employee journey — plus how to address pain points and seize opportunities for increasing engagement when “big moments” happen.
  • Ideas for crafting tailored employee experiences using insights gained from your peers.
Workplace CommsTech Senior Consultant
Integral
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Vice President, Digital and Marketing
Integral
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2:40-3:05 p.m.
Making Culture Contagious: How to Create a Winning Employee Ambassador Program

Your brand’s biggest cheerleaders may be hiding in the org chart. But activating and supporting them can be difficult. If you want employees to be stewards of the brand, you need to build trust and demonstrate an authentic understanding of their needs. Only then can you create the care and commitment that inspires them to be vocal and proud ambassadors for your brand. In this session, you’ll learn:

  • How to build a successful employee ambassador program from the ground up.
  • Smart step-by-step strategies to grow your program authentically.
  • How to mobilize employees to officially represent your brand and business.
  • Measurement: How to track, present and deliver measurable results for your program.
  • Bonus: Examples of how employee ambassadors can shut down bad press and advocate for their organization in times of crisis.
Vice President of Communication,Culture & Strategic Initiatives
Sonic Automotive
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3:15-3:25 p.m.
Lightning Talk
Content That Taps Into Human Engagement

Crafting effective internal communications that engage employees in a diverse workplace can be tricky at best. The easy part is penning the message, whereas the challenge comes in determining if it resonates. Join this session to explore tricks, tips, and effective channels:

  • Think outside the box for incentives that measure response.
  • Understand how and when to communicate to a diverse workforce--from boots on the ground to the back office.
  • Make it personal through storytelling that focuses on employee stories and experiences.
  • Create a sense of pride and purpose through Social Media, All Hands Meetings, and Company Newsletters.
Director of Global Internal Communications
First Onsite
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3:25-3:45 p.m.
Networking Break
3:45-4:10 p.m.
Panel
The Engagement Gauge: Cracking the Measurement Code to High Performance Cultures

Deciphering data in today’s hybrid workplace can feel like drinking from a firehose. The good news is that new approaches can help you cut through the clutter and decode your data for the insights you need to boost engagement and foster a high-performance culture. Join to discover how to more efficiently measure your workforce efforts and campaigns — and how new tools like AI can help you create an “engagement gauge” tailored to your organization. You’ll learn:

  • Essential Tools: Tech, apps and tools to help measure engagement across digital workspaces (including native AI functionalities and AI add-ons).
  • Empowering Employee Voice: Techniques to gather and integrate employee feedback so you can craft targeted strategies for remote and hybrid teams.
  • Dashboards and ROI: How to present analytics to show return for your digital workplace tools — so you lock in (or boost) budget and resources.
  • Continuous Improvement: Extracting actionable insights from your data to optimize productivity, wellbeing and performance for your workforce.
Director, Global Internal Communications
Alcon
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Internal Communications Manager
First Mode
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Director, Customer Success and Growth (North America)
Swoop Analytics
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4:20-4:45 p.m.
Fortify Culture and Collaboration: Evolving Leadership Comms with Commtech

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, effective and measurable communication is the foundation for a robust internal culture. Discover how to strike the perfect balance between driving business results and fostering a strong sense of culture and belonging through a harmonious blend of human touch and cutting-edge tech. Join to explore the transformative power of leveraging the latest commtech and AI-driven solutions to enhance organizational culture and create a sense of shared purpose. We’ll explore:

  • What’s new and what’s next: Why the next generation of AI, commtech and data-driven insights are part of the new performance equation — for all internal comms.
  • Harnessing Employee Experience Platforms (EXPs) to enhance engagement, create personalized employee journeys, foster greater collaboration and sense of culture.
  • How to elevate executive comms with commtech that enables transparent, trust-building experiences like interactive webcasts and virtual town halls.
  • Striking the perfect balance: How to infuse high-tech with human touch to add a personal and authentic touch to your digital communications.
  • Tying it all together with culture: How tapping tech to foster meaningful connections supports and amplifies culture — plus, inspiring lessons and examples to emulate.
Senior Director Employee Experience
Microsoft
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4:45-4:50 p.m.
Quick Gleanings from the Day
5-6:30 p.m.
Networking Reception on Microsoft Campus
Thursday, Oct. 12
8:15-8:45 a.m.
Breakfast Session: Gauging Sentiment to Engagement: Best Practices for Measuring Employee Communications

Email, Teams and Intranets are the top three corporate communications channels, yet communicators struggle with knowing what’s going on and how effective their messaging is, while employees struggle with communications overload and either missing or ignoring critical messaging. Join Michael DesRochers, Managing Director of PoliteMail, as he covers key findings of PoliteMail’s annual benchmark report, insights and best practices to measure and improve strategic corporate communications in Outlook email, Teams, and intranets.

During this session you will:

  • Learn the key measures of reach, readership and engagement for each of your comms platforms.
  • Key insights and best practices from PoliteMail’s 2023 Benchmark data analysis.
  • Learn what the top-rated communicators are doing to overcome overload and increase readership.
  • Get insights to improve email messaging decisions and timing.
  • Learn how to get a measure of employee sentiment and trends.
Founder and managing director
PoliteMail Software
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8:45-8:55 a.m.
Welcome Remarks
8:55-9:25 a.m.
Keynote
Thrive in a VUCA World: How to Transform Your Workforce Using the Hero’s Journey

From the pandemic to economic freefall and AI, the future is moving fast. The military calls it the age of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity). So how do you manage constant uncertainty for leaders and employees amid exponential change? This session empowers you to flip the script on VUCA — so your workforce can thrive no matter what’s next. You’ll learn:

  • The neuroscience of change: How to think differently about everything.
  • VUCA as a leadership and employee comms strategy — how to transform volatility to vision, uncertainty to understanding, complexity to clarity, ambiguity to agility.
  • The New Hero’s Journey: Bringing your VUCA strategy to life with the power of storytelling — how to inspire your workforce to “battle dragons” and thrive.
  • USAA case study: How a national organization with 36,000 employees and 13 million members collects and cascades their stories to create a resilient, innovative culture.
  • Bonus: 50 ways to boost resilience, morale, productivity and foresight in a VUCA world.
    (Attendees will also receive an exclusive link to a film and early copies of a book.)
KEYNOTER
Senior Director of Collective Impact
WorkForce Central
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KEYNOTER
Author, Executive Producer
It's VUCA: The Secret to Living in the 21st Century
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9:25-9:45 a.m.
Fireside Talk
HR Grand Slam: Energize Your Workforce with Values, Authenticity and Impact

Formality is out and humanity is in when igniting and building a strong internal culture. Execs are now challenged to reimagine their communications style using authenticity, honesty and empathy—as well as aligning employee and organizational values. Join Katherine Cheng, vice president of culture and DEI for the Seattle Mariners, as she shares how to make a difference for your employees, your execs and your stakeholder communities. You’ll hear:

  • Why social impact matters as companies navigate return to office (RTO) policies.
  • Cultivating your “fan base”: Examples and ideas for building a global, local and employee community around values.
  • Baseball, belonging and the bottom line: What DEI and cultural outreach looks like at the Mariners—plus how to foster inclusivity beyond heritage months.
  • Storytelling matters: Lessons from the “Our Stories Are Your Stories” documentary series celebrating the AANHPI community.
  • Workforce trends to watch: How to prepare your teams for what’s next (including how to deal with social impact, DEI and cultural clawbacks in the coming election year).
Vice President of People, Culture and DEI
Seattle Mariners
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9:55-10:20 a.m.
Ace Your EVP: Reimagine Your Strategy to Boost Engagement, Retain Employees and Attract New Talent

In today’s hybrid workplace, clarifying your employer value proposition (EVP) is more important than ever. Beyond perks, organizations must provide a differentiated experience that engages, rewards and supports prospective and current employees. Discover how Yale University is reimagining its EVP and promoting its community, culture, tradition and more. You’ll learn: 

  • What an EVP is and why it matters to your culture more than ever.
  • Ways of gathering community data to inform your strategy.
  • Approaches for promoting your organization's competitive advantages and benefits.
  • Tactics for engaging and retaining current employees, including referral programs, staff publications, digital signage, leadership forums and other engagement tools.
  • Strategies for attracting and welcoming new employees, including creating more compelling careers pages, LinkedIn content, videos and membership programs.
Director of Strategic Communications
Yale
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10:30-10:55 a.m.
Steal These Marketing Strategies to Level Up Your Employee Comms

In today’s rapidly evolving workplace, the C-suite is realizing that attracting and retaining top talent is just as important as attracting and retaining customers. The result? More internal comms leaders are adopting marketing strategies to better connect with their audience. Join this practical session for a peek into a marketer’s mind and methods to help you create more personalized, targeted internal communications (and better results). You’ll learn:

  • Employee Personas FAQ: How to create employee personas that enable you to understand your audience’s needs, wants and motivations.
  • Employee Journey Anatomy: How to map your employee journey to identify key touchpoints and optimize your communication strategy at each stage.
  • High Tech, High Touch; The latest personalized tech solutions that can help you deliver more targeted messages that resonate more with employees.
  • Finding True North: How to align your employee comms with your organization’s brand and values to create a consistent and compelling employee experience.
  • Next Steps: Actionable strategies and tactics you can take with you to boost employee engagement, retention and advocacy through marketing-inspired comms.
Executive Director of Communications
Xperi
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Lisa Fratzke
Partner and Executive Strategist
Fratzke Consulting
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10:55-11:15 a.m.
Networking Break
11:15-11:40 a.m.
Interactive
Elevating the Employee Experience: How CBRE Creates “Moments that Matter”

Looking to rethink or revitalize your employee experience — while sidestepping the pitfalls, roadblocks and headaches? Then join this session where you’ll see exactly how CBRE researched, defined and then transformed its digital workplace based on detailed employee personas and employee journeys — all anchored in a mission to create “moments that matter” for over 115,000 employees. This is where you get to put real-world best practices behind the concepts you learned in the “Employee Journey Board Game” yesterday. You’ll discover:

  • New research: The current and desired future state of the CBRE employee experience, including employee personas, employee journeys and “moments that matter.”
  • Digital communities: How CBRE integrated the latest commtech tools to bring its vision to life — and connected a distributed workforce of 115,000.
  • Content and channels: How to weave compelling content into your channels so it stands out — by using platform-enabled audience targeting and employee storytelling.
  • Dashboards: How CBRE is tracking the results of its digital transformation and adjusting.
  • Next steps: How your digital workplace can help you create and communicate a more compelling employer brand in this job market.
Wendy Sherwood
Vice President, Global Corporate Communications
CBRE
Read bio
11:50 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Fireside
Elevating Engagement from App to Studio: The Journey to Transform EX at Amazon

Leslie Letts is passionate about delivering a stellar employee experience (EX) and serving as a bridge between corporate and Amazon’s frontline employees. That’s why she was recognized as a “Bridge Builder” by Ragan’s Top Women in Communications Awards program. Hear how she and her team helped stand up communications in Amazon’s A to Z app for front-line employees during the pandemic — and have since transformed it into a complete “one-stop shop” for all associate communications. It’s an amazing journey that now even includes a world-class broadcast studio and other technology on the horizon designed deliver a 360-degree “surround sound” experience. You’ll be inspired to hear:

  • Mixternal Insights: How Letts’ PR background informs her employee comms strategy.
  • Silver Linings: How Letts and the Amazon internal comms team earned investment and support by stepping up and engaging employees in real-time during the pandemic .
  • The EX Journey: From high-touch to high-tech — how comms graduated from only word-of-mouth manager comms to the launch of a new “A to Z” app.
  • Studio Magic: How a broadcast studio was created from nothing — and now delivers everything from SMTs and fireside chats to live broadcast moments and more to engage and inform employees and customers.
  • Bonus: how to create “Kitchen Table Conversations” that empower employees as brand ambassadors.
Vice President, Internal Communications
Amazon
Read bio
12:20-12:30 p.m.
Baker’s Dozen Takeaways + Giveaways
Executive Communications
Wednesday, Oct. 11
9:55-10:20 a.m.
12 Reasons Execs Should Be on Social Media — and How to Help Them If They Already Are

Social media is no longer a “nice to have” for C-suite leaders. It’s an essential tool that gives them a direct line to customers, prospects, employees, partners, media, policymakers and more. And when it’s more than just the CEO taking an active role on social, other execs can tell a varied and specific story to a curated audience. Join this session to see how execs can put a human face on your brand and tell its story through a personal lens. You’ll learn:

  • How to get started by focusing on your execs’ business needs.
  • The strengths of each social platform for exec social.
  • Strategic audience building strategies to reach the people who matter.
  • A content strategy that brings variety in substance and style.
  • Examples of leaders doing it well today.
Senior Director of External Executive Brand, Social and Thought Leadership
T-Mobile
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10:30-10:50 a.m.
How an Intranet Took a Media Giant from Silos to Unified Comms and Culture

Following a company merger – and faced with challenges around communication, culture, and a failing intranet – Audacy, a multi-platform entertainment company, embarked on a simultaneous transformation of its name, brand, values, and internal comms function. At the heart of these changes was a new company intranet, AudacyAtWork; an essential workplace platform that elevates communications, celebrates employees, and gives everyone access to the information they need to do their work. In this session, you’ll learn about:

  • Building comms, content, and culture for a growing company
  • Creating and launching a new digital home for Audacy
  • How strategy and technology work in tandem to elevate employee experience
  • Driving culture and values through a recognition program
  • Ensuring effective communication is critical, not just a “nice to have”
Enterprise Customer Success Manager
Interact Software
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Vice President of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility
Audacy
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10:50-11:10 a.m.
Networking Break
11:10-11:35 a.m.
Crisis Management: How to Lead Employees from Chaos to Calm with Culture

Look no further than the challenges of the last few years and it’s clear that any sort of crisis can have a significant impact on employee wellbeing and performance—whether it’s an internal or external issue. As the landscape of employee comms continues to evolve, leaders must utilize internal messaging tools and intranets to address any crisis-induced challenges, support their employees and foster resilience no matter what issues or transformations arise. Join this session to learn:

  • The adversity and hurdles employees may encounter during crises or potentially disruptive change — from economic uncertainty and supply chain issues to organizational transformations.
  • Internal crowdsourcing tools and tactics to foster open communication, provide resources and build a culture of support and resilience in the face of potentially disruptive change.
  • New methods for conducting employee surveys and establishing meaningful outreach initiatives to support employees during times of crisis or change.
  • Translating employee feedback and concerns into actionable insights so leaders can take proactive steps to mitigate the impact of crises or "moments that matter" and promote resilience.
Vice President of Communications, U.S. and Canada
Nissan Motor Corp.
Read bio
2-2:30 p.m.
Panel
Leadership Influence: How Execs Can Help Elevate Employer Branding

Effective employer branding can build your reputation internally with employees — and externally with prospects. After all, it doesn’t just attract talent — it also helps boost employee satisfaction and morale, especially if it’s grounded in organizational values. But to get the most out of your strategy, executive comms needs to be actively involved in your internal comms ecosystem — and not just as a C-Suite megaphone. In this session, you’ll hear:

  • Strategies to align executive comms with brand values and internal culture.
  • How execs (including CEOs) can play a more active role in boosting your employer brand.
  • The role thought leadership plays in building a strong employer brand.
  • Examples of executive content that boosts employer brand — plus the best channels for sharing it, from intranet testimonials and to behind-the-scenes social media videos.
  • Case studies in synergy: How other organizations are integrating executive and employer branding to supercharge results.
Justin Joffe
Editorial Director and Editor-in-Chief
Ragan Communications
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Internal Communications Manager
Staffbase
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Executive Director, Leadership & Internal Communications
UCLA Health
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Senior Manager of Communications
McKinsey & Co.
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2:40-3:05 p.m.
Panel
Listening Strategies for Leadership: The Art and Science of Feedback Loops

Feedback is in, top-down communications is out. The benefits for execs and employees include higher productivity, increased initiative and a workforce that feels essential, valued and heard. When done right, it fosters a more collaborative culture. But it doesn’t happen on its own — it requires an organizational listening strategy from the C-suite to the cubicle. Join to hear:

  • Foundations: The latest active listening principles, how to train execs to have meaningful one-on-one conversations.
  • Buy-in: How to ensure buy-in at the highest levels of management and HR.
  • Commtech: Innovative technology solutions, apps and channels to create measurable, more effective feedback loops for exec and employee comms.
  • Surveys 3.0: Why your employee surveys don’t work and how to fix them.
  • Crucial conversations: How to have tough talks with execs, direct reports and employees when layoffs, uncertainty and other threats loom.
  • Sharing in success: Ways to promote milestones that result from leadership engagement with front-line teams.
Sr. Global Internal Communications Manager
Simpplr
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Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer
Spring Green Communications
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Program Director, Strategic Communications – Internal
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
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3:15-3:25 p.m.
Lightning Talk
The Internal Comms Metrics that Matter

When measuring your internal comms efforts, external marketing metrics like opens and click-through rates aren’t the only set of data you want to look at. After all, you aren’t dealing with hundreds of thousands of leads or contacts; this audience is particularly unique. This audience is made up of the people you work with on a daily basis, your coworkers, and your team!

Join us as we dive into the internal comms metrics that matter. We’ll cover everything from direct measures of success (like email analytics, campaign effectiveness, and employee advocacy) to indirect measures of success (like employee engagement data, progress toward company goals, and more).

Jess Spangler
Head of Sales
Workshop
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3:25-3:45 p.m.
Networking Break
3:45-4:10 p.m.
Interactive
Let’s Talk Manager Comms: Come Share and Solve Your Top Challenges

Shockingly, 91% of employees believe their managers are poor communicators (Inc.) and 74% feel left out of crucial information (Gallup). In this session, you’ll be invited to share your most pressing manager comms challenges—and discover practical solutions so you can better serve leaders, managers and employees. Together we’ll cover:

  • The top manager comms challenges you're facing today.
  • Reframing manager comms as a critical channel and valuable partner to your team.
  • Realigning roles and responsibilities: How to educate managers on what the comms department can and should do for them— and vice versa. 
  • How to gain managers’ confidence through powerful questioning and active listening.
  • What it takes to challenge manager work requests that don’t impact the business or bottom line (like requests to make their PPTs pop).

 

Internal Communications Manager
Farm Credit Services of America / Frontier Farm Credit
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Affiliate Consultant
RCG
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4:20-4:45 p.m.
Panel
Storytelling to Amplify DEI: Empowering Voices and ERGs to Drive Change

Fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion is essential in today’s frenzied, fractured workplace. Going beyond performative measures, this session explores how DEI storytelling initiatives can empower employees, foster connection and ensure everyone feels supported and seen. You’ll explore storytelling strategies and how to harness the power of stories to enhance employee engagement, break down remote silos and drive meaningful DEI progress. You’ll hear how to:

  • Embrace DEI as a company community — where DEI is experienced and celebrated through the art of storytelling.
  • Ignite empathy and engagement: Integrate personal storytelling into ERGs to cultivate allyship and cultivate a deeper sense of inclusion.
  • Amplify voices: Break down remote and other organizational silos by helping employees find, strengthen and share their voices across internal channels to drive real change.
  • Address reporting challenges: Insights into measuring DEI and ideas for bridging the gap.
  • Master “progress storytelling”: Share your organization’s DEI journey with narratives that bridge the gap between milestones and goals to inspire employees and stakeholders.
Reporter/Conference Producer
Ragan Communications
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Manager of Employer Branding, Engagement and DE&I in the Americas
Veeam Software
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Internal Communications Manager
Cityblock Health
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Account Manager, Employee Experience
Porter Novelli
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Thursday, Oct. 12
9:55-10:20 a.m.
The Quadruple Bottom Line: Putting Values-Led Comms to Work from C-Suite to Front Lines

There’s been a lot of thought leadership about values-led brands. But there hasn’t been much conversation about what values-led communication looks like — from the C-suite, to managers to your front-line employees. Until now. Join to learn how REI responds to major cultural moments to create a culture of belonging and sense of purpose across the organization. You’ll learn:

  • How REI has built a great company culture grounded in purpose and values.
  • How internal comms at REI helps to foster the "quadruple bottom line" of people, profit planet and progress.
  • Real-world examples: How REI responds to major cultural moments to create a culture of belonging and sense of purpose.
  • Integration: How to bring together executive and employee comms functions — and other business units — to ensure more successful, values-led communications.
  • Bonus: How values-led comms attracts and retains younger employees with similar values systems.
Director of Communications
REI
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10:30-10:55 a.m.
Innovative Intranets: How to Break Down Silos and Boost Engagement

Traditional intranets are often digital wastelands — often because they’re siloed as internal comms vehicles and a repository for humdrum announcements. The good news is that you can re-envision your intranet as a lively, can’t-miss hub infused with more than HR priorities and internal comms initiatives — including the POVs and personas of leadership. Join to learn how to integrate your executive and employee comms in one platform that gives voice to your two most important assets. You’ll learn:

  • Relaunch lessons: Easy fixes to the design of your intranet to maximize user experience.
  • Cascading thought leadership: Recentering your digital workplace around voice, vision and value — plus how to drive internal thought leadership on SharePoint and Yammer.
  • People over process: Elevating intranet content beyond the transactional using short video messages, authentic stories and AMAs to peek into exec personalities and POVs.
  • Two-way dialog: Crafting surveys and collecting feedback on your internal networks.
  • AI risks and rewards: Data privacy and other issues around AI-enabled intranets — plus how AI can improve intranet workflows, cognitive search and intranet personalization.
Director, Global Internal Communications
Alcon
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10:55-11:15 a.m.
Networking Break
11:15-11:40 a.m.
Interactive
The Podium and Beyond: Deliver TED-Like Talks that Turn Ideas into Action

In today’s fast-paced world of internal communications, leaders are constantly juggling presentations, AMAs and town halls to disseminate key messages and drive initiatives. The challenge lies in delivering these talks with an authentic voice that resonates across all channels. Join us for an exciting session where we delve into the secrets of crafting compelling TED-style Talks that truly captivate your audience and propel ideas into action. You’ll learn:

  • The art and science behind TED Talks and how to apply their formula to your presentations.
  • Storytelling frameworks and tools that leaders, managers and frontline staff can use to supercharge everything from informal talks and AMAs to town halls and beyond.
  • How to uncover strategic approaches to amplify transformative ideas and turn them into tangible actions within your organization.
  • How effective comms plays a key role in leading change and creating a culture of innovation.
  • Inspiring examples of how TED-style talks initiated crucial conversations on diversity at Merck, resulting in an award-winning DEI program.
Craig Thomasen
Director of Global Employee and Executive Communications
Merck
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11:50 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Fireside
Elevating Engagement from App to Studio: The Journey to Transform EX at Amazon

Leslie Letts is passionate about delivering a stellar employee experience (EX) and serving as a bridge between corporate and Amazon’s frontline employees. That’s why she was recognized as a “Bridge Builder” by Ragan’s Top Women in Communications Awards program. Hear how she and her team helped stand up communications in Amazon’s A to Z app for front-line employees during the pandemic — and have since transformed it into a complete “one-stop shop” for all associate communications. It’s an amazing journey that now even includes a world-class broadcast studio and other technology on the horizon designed deliver a 360-degree “surround sound” experience. You’ll be inspired to hear:

  • Mixternal Insights: How Letts’ PR background informs her employee comms strategy.
  • Silver Linings: How Letts and the Amazon internal comms team earned investment and support by stepping up and engaging employees in real-time during the pandemic .
  • The EX Journey: From high-touch to high-tech — how comms graduated from only word-of-mouth manager comms to the launch of a new “A to Z” app.
  • Studio Magic: How a broadcast studio was created from nothing — and now delivers everything from SMTs and fireside chats to live broadcast moments and more to engage and inform employees and customers.
  • Bonus: how to create “Kitchen Table Conversations” that empower employees as brand ambassadors.
Vice President, Internal Communications
Amazon
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SPEAKERS

KEYNOTER
Senior Director of Collective Impact
WorkForce Central
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Senior Content Solutions Consultant
LinkedIn
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Vice President of Communications, U.S. and Canada
Nissan Motor Corp.
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Vice President of People, Culture and DEI
Seattle Mariners
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Workplace CommsTech Senior Consultant
Integral
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Affiliate Consultant
RCG
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Senior Director Employee Experience
Microsoft
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Executive Director of Communications
Xperi
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Executive Director, Leadership & Internal Communications
UCLA Health
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Vice President, Digital and Marketing
Integral
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KEYNOTER
Vice President, Communications Strategy
Microsoft
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Director of Marketing and Communications for HR Programs
Microsoft
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Account Manager, Employee Experience
Porter Novelli
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Director of Global Internal Communications
First Onsite
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Founder and managing director
PoliteMail Software
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Manager of Employer Branding, Engagement and DE&I in the Americas
Veeam Software
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Lisa Fratzke
Partner and Executive Strategist
Fratzke Consulting
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EMCEE
Founder and Chief Word Nerd
Unlock the Brain
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Internal Communications Manager
Staffbase
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Director of Strategic Communications
Yale
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Internal Communications Manager
Cityblock Health
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Account Director
Haiilo
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Vice President of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility
Audacy
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Director, Global Internal Communications
Alcon
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Justin Joffe
Editorial Director and Editor-in-Chief
Ragan Communications
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Human Resource Manager and Mindfulness Coach
The Memphis Grizzlies
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Director of Communications
REI
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Vice President, Internal Communications
Amazon
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Enterprise Customer Success Manager
Interact Software
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Program Director, Strategic Communications – Internal
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
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Vice President of Communication,Culture & Strategic Initiatives
Sonic Automotive
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Internal Communications Manager
Farm Credit Services of America / Frontier Farm Credit
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Sr. Global Internal Communications Manager
Simpplr
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Senior Manager of Employee & Executive Communications and Employer Brand
Microsoft
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Janine Narvali
Vice President, Business Development & Americas SMB Sales
Appspace
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Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer
Spring Green Communications
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Mikaely Quaranta
Senior Manager, Social Community and Management and Employment Enablement
Salesforce
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Senior Storyteller, Author "Brand Storytelling"
Microsoft
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Director, Customer Success and Growth (North America)
Swoop Analytics
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KEYNOTER
Author, Executive Producer
It's VUCA: The Secret to Living in the 21st Century
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Wendy Sherwood
Vice President, Global Corporate Communications
CBRE
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Reporter/Conference Producer
Ragan Communications
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Jess Spangler
Head of Sales
Workshop
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Craig Thomasen
Director of Global Employee and Executive Communications
Merck
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EMCEE
Communications Manager
Microsoft
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Senior Sales Engineer
LumApps
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Internal Communications Manager
First Mode
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Senior Manager of Communications
McKinsey & Co.
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Senior Director of External Executive Brand, Social and Thought Leadership
T-Mobile
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Director of Internal Communications
Seattle Children's Hospital
Read bio

 

INTERESTED IN SPEAKING?

Please reach out to Director of Conferences
Alyssa Smith.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

  • Content Strategy: How to elevate and measure employee engagement — including the best channels, cadence, content types and KPIs.
  • Leveraging the latest tech: From generative AI to intranets and digital collaboration tools, discover new tools to accelerate your goals.
  • Finding, Fostering & Fortifying Culture: What’s working to drive dialog and cascade culture — while transforming town halls and meetings from boring to brilliant.
  • Boosting Inclusion & Belonging: Embedding DE&I into company culture across the entire employee journey.
  • Purpose Plus People: How to help execs humanize their communications.
  • Storytelling Skills: How storytelling makes strategy, culture and initiatives ‘stickier’ — and how to incorporate those stories into everything from email newsletters to speeches.
  • Executive Presence: Media and social media engagement training for SMEs, execs and managers — including how, when and why to speak up on hot button issues.
  • Change Management Strategies: How to adapt and thrive amid uncertainty — from CEO transitions and layoffs to reputational crises.
  • + Workshops on “Leveraging LinkedIn,” “Manager Comms” and “AI-Powered Writing” and Networking Opportunities throughout the Conference.

PRICING

Join for new ways to move culture forward.

You’ll learn proven methods to keep today’s hybrid workforce happy, engaged and productive.

ADVANCED EARLY BIRD VIP REGULAR RATE
Conference All-Access Passincludes the Pre-Conference Workshops
Standard $2,299 $2,399 $2,499 $2,599
Nonprofit/Gov $2,199 $2,299 $2,399 $2,499
Ragan Insider $2,149 $2,249 $2,349 $2,449
Conference Registration - Individual
Standard $1,899 $1,999 $2,099 $2,199
Nonprofit/Gov/Edu $1,799 $1,899 $1,999 $2,099
Ragan Insider $1,749 $1,849 $1,949 $2,049
Conference Recording On Demand
$999 $999 $999 $999
On Demand
For those who can’t attend the conference live, an on-demand option is available during the registration process.
Get your tickets early and save. Discounts are also available for the following:

Group Discounts

Would you and your team like to attend? Group pricing is available when registering!

RAGAN COUNCIL MEMBER DISCOUNTS

Membership includes free registration passes. Contact Shallon Blackburn for more information on becoming a member.
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RAGAN INSIDER DISCOUNTS

Insiders save on all Ragan events. Not a Ragan Insider? You can become one during registration for this event!
Seattle, WA
LOCATION
Conference Venue Information:
Building 92/Learning Center
Microsoft

15010 NE 36th Street
Redmond WA 98052
Seattle, WA
BONUS MATERIALS
  • The Clear and Concise Writing Guide
  • Tip Sheet for Manager Communications
  • LinkedIn Executive Thought Leadership Guide
  • Ragan’s Crisis Communications Tips for Internal Communicators
  • Ragan’s DE&I Communications Plan Worksheet
  • Reinventing the Intranet: A Community and Culture Experience

SPONSORS & PARTNERS

Want to become a sponsor? Get in touch with our team to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

Let's Partner!

RAGAN GIVES BACK
A portion of proceeds from this event will be donated to Make-a-Wish Washington Chapter, who partner with thousands of volunteers, donors and medical professionals in their community to grant more than 8,000 wishes to children with critical illnesses
Make A Wish Logo

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

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

  • Brand Journalism
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Communication
  • Culture
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Employee Communications
  • Employee Engagement
  • Employee Experience
  • Executive Communications
  • Human Resources
  • Internal Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Social Media
  • Storytelling
  • Total Rewards
  • Writing and Editing

WONDERING IF YOU SHOULD ATTEND?

Here’s what past attendees are saying about Ragan and PR Daily Events!

Seattle, WA

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