Internal Communications Conference | Oct. 16-18, 2024 | Seattle, WA

Creating Tomorrow’s Workplace Culture Today
DON'T MISS THE EXCITEMENT
  • Elevate your strategic leadership
  • Create a resilient culture
  • Integrate AI
  • Improve employee experience (EX)
  • Attract and retain talent
  • Ignite a dispersed workforce
  • Optimize intranets and tech stacks

Learn how to inform, inspire and engage across two tracks: New Strategies & Essential Skills.

Internal comms and your role in it are undergoing a radical transformation. That’s why this three-day learning experience is designed to equip you with strategies and skills needed to adapt and achieve at a time when AI, channel fatigue and lack of leadership buy-in are at the forefront of our imaginations—and worries.

Join hundreds of your peers at the prestigious Microsoft HQ and bid farewell to those concerns. Instead, embrace solutions guaranteed to help you craft engaging messaging for employees craving authenticity in an era of disinformation, deep fakes and cut-and-paste communications.

Register now to secure your spot not only at this event but also your “seat at the C-suite table.” Our inspiring keynoters and expert presenters will give you the keys you need to unlock the secrets of a thriving culture in today’s accelerated, hybrid workplace while asserting your vision, voice and value to leadership.

REGISTER NOW

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FEATURED SPEAKERS

KEYNOTER
Chief Communications Officer
Microsoft
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KEYNOTER
Author, Keynoter, Resilience Expert
"From Stressed To Resilience"
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KEYNOTER
Vice President, Global Communications
Merck
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squares graphic decoration icc2024
AGENDA

This conference is your roadmap for navigating internal comms changes and challenges ahead—while keeping your workforce engaged, productive and aligned with your vision.

Pre-Conference Workshops
Wednesday, Oct. 16
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
WORKSHOP
Brand Storytelling: Harnessing Authentic Narratives in the Age of AI

Employees are demanding more authenticity and a “human touch” from your communications in today’s fast-paced, automated environment. Enter brand storytelling. It alone has the power to break through the digital noise with empathy and emotion—fostering deeper engagement and a stronger corporate culture. This workshop equips you with the strategies you need to create and curate more authentic narratives that resonate with your #1 asset while creating a true sense of purpose and belonging. You’ll learn:

  • The Power of Storytelling: The impact of storytelling on employee engagement, retention and productivity in the age of AI and shrinking attention spans.
  • Story Structure Essentials: The building blocks of compelling narratives and how to adapt them for AI-driven brand stories.
  • Crafting Authentic Narratives: Techniques for gathering authentic stories from within your organization, including employee experiences, customer success stories and company milestones.
  • Innovative Storytelling Formats: How to incorporate formats like video, podcasts and live events to engage internal audiences.
  • Social Media Campaigns: Examples of stellar brand storytelling campaigns on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and more—plus how these external comms efforts helped drive internal results, including EVP and employer branding efforts.
  • Emerging Trends and AI Integration: Innovative approaches, such as employee-generated content, immersive experiences and AI-enhanced storytelling.
  • Measuring Effectiveness: How to measure the impact of your brand storytelling efforts and adjust your approach as needed.
Senior Storyteller, Author "Brand Storytelling"
Microsoft
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1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
WORKSHOP
Business Fluency: Speak the Language of Leadership

There’s a growing demand for communicators who can go beyond traditional roles and see matters from the perspective of the C-suite. But less than a third of communicators report measuring business or behavioral outcomes, according to The Ragan Communications 2024 Leadership Council Benchmark Report—spotlighting a key area of need for building influence and developing business acumen. This session will help you enhance yours—and increase your value to the organization. You’ll learn how to speak the language of the C-suite and establish yourself as a trusted business partner. We’ll cover:

  • Financial Fundamentals: Concepts and tools you need to understand, analyze and act on financial statements, plus how to develop and manage your own budget.
  • Strategic Planning: How to create strategic plans that drive profitability and demonstrate your value to leadership—including examples and templates.
  • Driving Results: How to quantify and showcase the impact of internal comms programs or organizational and business goals.
  • Problem Solving: How to anticipate risks, challenges and opportunities—including change management techniques to help you make more informed recommendations to execs.
  • Influencing Stakeholders: How to garner buy-in for your department, program, campaigns and initiatives by using your newly acquired business fluency skills—including training managers to effectively reinforce key messages.
Ted Birkhahn
Managing Director
Vested
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3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
WORKSHOP
Data-Driven Measurement: Quantify and Improve Internal Comms Impact

To thrive in the age of data-driven decision making, internal communicators must develop a deep understanding of metrics and analytics to successfully monitor and improve their programs. This workshop will help you unlock your inner data-scientist and quantify the impact of your internal comms initiatives on key business outcomes. You’ll not only learn to report on and improve your results—but also position yourself as a strategic partner in driving organizational success while staying ahead of the analytics curve. We’ll cover:

  • Identifying Best Tools: Recommended measurement tools internal communicators can’t do without and which they can ditch.
  • Measurement Framework: How to create a comprehensive measurement framework that integrates qualitative and quantitative data to measure and improve engagement, retention, reputation and other internal comms priorities.
  • Powering Up with AI: How to integrate cutting-edge tools like AI for rapid data analysis and uncovering actionable insights.
  • Analyzing KPIs: The metrics most essential to internal comms, including social media analytics, how to define bespoke KPIs for your team’s needs and how to build measurement dashboards that reflect your unique organizational goals.
  • Crafting Data Narratives: How to employ data storytelling to share your wins and progress with execs—plus how to equip managers with the skills they need to convey these insights to their teams effectively.
  • Trending Forward: Emerging trends in internal comms measurement and the potential of AI to revolutionize the field.
President and CEO
Institute for Public Relations
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General Sessions/Skills Track
Day 1: Thursday, Oct. 17
8:00 a.m.
Registration
8:15 — 8:45 a.m.
Breakfast Session
8:45 – 8:55 a.m.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:55 – 9:25 a.m.
Opening Keynote
Driving Next-Level Impact with New and Innovative Communications Tools

Microsoft's Chief Communications Officer Frank X. Shaw kicks off the day exploring the transformative impact of new AI-powered tools on the communications industry and how it is poised to revolutionize the way we connect, create, and collaborate. Drawing from his extensive experience and insights into the evolving landscape of technology and communication, Frank will discuss:

  • Innovative Communications Tools: The various ways new AI-powered tools can reduce administrative burden and make lives easier for communicators such as providing Viva Engage insights, measuring employee sentiment and streamlining content creation—enabling more strategic and creative outcomes for organizations and stakeholders.
  • Power of Practice to Develop New Skills: The need to demystify what the AI platform shift means for communicators and illustrate the power of practice to accelerate learning and growth in how we apply these new tools.
  • Responsibility and Authenticity: The importance of responsible AI development, and the need to use these tools, aligned with the values of the companies we represent with authenticity.
  • What's in It for YouAttendees can expect to leave with a deeper understanding of new tools and how they can help them make next-level impact on their organizations.
KEYNOTER
Chief Communications Officer
Microsoft
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9:35 – 10:00 a.m.
The Cure for a Disengaged Workforce: A Persona-Based Approach to Employee Journeys

A “one size fits all” approach to internal comms no longer works, thanks in part to information overload. Instead, we must segment and target our content—using personas to communicate messages designed with a specific someone in mind, rather than a generic “everyone.” This session will reveal how a multinational company with 90,000+ employees developed and implemented persona-based employee communications—so you, too, can create a more personalized, impactful experience that boosts engagement, productivity and loyalty. You’ll learn:

  • Why Personas: The benefits and challenges of setting up persona-based employee comms—and how this approach can re-invigorate employee journeys.
  • Frameworks: Key concepts and frameworks for persona-based employee comms and how to apply it in your organization.
  • First Steps: How to use persona-based communication within your organization--including actionable steps to initiate persona development starting today.
  • Getting Buy-In: Discover how to advocate for persona-based communication with senior leaders and business partners with concrete examples.
  • Proof Points: A snapshot of results—and how to track your own persona-based program, including the KPIs execs want to see.
Senior Communications Manager
Siemens Energy
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10:10 – 10:55 a.m.
PANEL
The Everywhere Workplace: Engaging Global, Remote and Deskless Teams

It can be challenging to engage employees across geographical, operational and technological boundaries in today’s dispersed workplace. Traditional strategies often fall short—leaving many remote, global and frontline workers feeling disengaged and disconnected. This panel showcasing real-world case studies explores innovative approaches to bridge the gap and foster unity and purpose among diverse teams. We’ll cover:

  • New RTO Strategies: What’s working in navigating Return to Office transitions while maintaining engagement with remote and deskless workers.
  • Cutting-Edge Tools: How to get more out of Viva Engage, Workvivo, LumApps and G-Suite—plus how to transition from Meta’s Workplace before it shutters.
  • Global Comms: How to drive collaboration across time zones using intranets, mobile apps and even gamification to host fun virtual activities—plus how manager comms can help cascade information.
  • Wellbeing Matters: How others are integrating Thrive and similar tools to help address employee wellbeing and work-life balance issues.
  • Measuring Success: Methods to track ROI and impact of digital tools and employee engagement initiatives, ensuring continuous improvement and adaptation.
  • Real World Case Studies: How a global pharmaceutical giant, an international nonprofit and others are engaging their remote, global and deskless teams.
U.S. Communications Director
Takeda
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Senior Internal Communications Manager
Heifer International
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11:05 – 11:25 a.m.
Lightning Talk
11:25 – 11:45 a.m.
Networking Break
11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
INTERACTIVE SESSION
Digital Transformation: Rethinking EX with AI—Moving from Eyeballs to Engagement

The Age of AI empowers communicators to become change agents that drive transformative business and cultural objectives by informing, aligning, engaging and activating employees. Learn directly from T-Mobile about how they’re transforming their comms strategies with digital employee experience (DEX) and the results they’re seeing. You’ll then join Viva Engage product leadership for an insightful discussion of guidance and best practices gleaned from hundreds of customer conversations. Together, we’ll cover:

DEX Case Study

  • Digital Transformation: How T-Mobile is redesigning its DEX by rolling five platforms into one—from impetus and goals to the unveiling this month.
  • Harnessing AI: How the T-Mobile team used AI tools to accelerate the transition.
  • People Centered Platform: How T-Mobile is personalizing the employee journey by creating custom pages for employees in its new DEX platform.

Interactive Viva Engage Deep Dive

  • Engaging Audiences: How to apply external comms lessons to captivate internal audiences with  personalized storytelling and media-rich content.
  • Redefining Channels: How to reach people across all the apps where they work while recalibrating how and when comms land to minimize distractions.
  • Interactive Feedback: How to leverage Q&A experiences to listen and respond to employees—and to harness and accelerate knowledge sharing.
  • Activating Employees: How to inspire employees to work toward shared objectives using events and social campaigns across your DEX.
  • Expanding on AI: How to use listening, analytics and AI to measure and scale effectiveness—while increasing engagement.
Senior Director of Internal Communications & Platforms
T-Mobile
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Senior Program Manager, Viva Engage
Microsoft
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12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Networking Lunch
2:00 – 2:45 p.m.
PANEL
The C.A.L.M Framework: A Leader’s Guide to Thriving amid Crisis

Communicators face more crises and change initiatives than ever before. A study by PwC found that 70% of leaders have experienced at least one crisis in the past five years—with the average number of crises doubling over that time. To navigate these challenges, communicators must adopt a leadership mindset and employ smarter strategies. Join this panel to learn how to apply a C.A.L.M framework to thrive under pressure when all eyes are on you. We’ll discuss:

  • Communicate Clearly: Proven techniques for swift, transparent and empathetic crisis comms, including social listening and monitoring tools to add to your tech stack.
  • Assess the Situation: Essentials like scenario mapping, crisis drills and change management strategies to help you develop a crisis plan.
  • Lead with Empathy: How to craft clear narratives in a crisis—while demonstrating emotional intelligence through active listening, vulnerability and authentic leadership and training managers to support their teams
  • Manage and Monitor: How to develop the confidence and authority to lead during crises—and how metrics can help assess, adjust and fuel your leadership presence.
  • Election Year Bonus: How to adapt crisis comms for potential employee unrest or external events tied to politics.
Head of Internal Communications and Content, Global Banking
BNP Paribas
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2:55 – 3:20 p.m.
Skyrocket Open Rates: Writing Engaging Emails and Newsletters

Crafting emails and newsletters that capture attention and drive action is more challenging than ever, thanks to information overload. With an average open rate for internal emails at 30% and 88% of employees deleting emails that lack clear value or relevance (Gartner), the need for more engaging well-written content is evident. This session arms you with proven strategies to captivate your workforce from subject line to CTA. You’ll learn:

  • Attention Grabbers: How to write subject lines and hooks that increase open rates using tools like headline analyzers and even AI to optimize impact.
  • Clear Messaging: How to write and structure email content for clarity and persuasion.
  • Storytelling Matters: How to capture and structure compelling, employee-focused narratives that keep readers hooked in longer form emails and newsletters.
  • Visual Appeal: Best practices for creating visually engaging newsletters with software ranging from Canva for design to Mailchimp for layout and distribution.
  • Inclusivity Matters: Getting ahead of accessibility with features like alt text for images, proper heading structure, color contrast, descriptive link text and more.
  • Performance Metrics: How others are measuring their newsletter and email campaigns, using analytics tools in platforms like Outlook, Gmail, Staffbase or Poppulo.
3:30 – 3:40 p.m.
Lightning Talk
3:40 – 4:00 p.m.
Networking Break
4:00 – 4:25 p.m.
CASE STUDY
Chaos to Clarity amid Conflict: An Internal Comms Case Study

Sheba Medical Center in Israel, ranked among the world’s best hospitals by Newsweek, has faced numerous crises head-on—including the ongoing current conflict. This case study reveals how internal comms helped the facility became a “lighthouse” of leadership for its 10,000 employees and community with empathy, clarity and unwavering commitment. What you’ll learn:

  • Building Fortitude: Strategies to support employees and maintain operational excellence during crises, using change management principles and tools like pulse surveys and employee feedback.
  • Global and Cross-Cultural Comms: Insights into driving effective comms and collaboration with diverse teams and global partners during times of crisis.
  • Impactful Content: How Sheba’s team creates unique crisis-related content, such as the world's largest COVID-19 vaccine database—while embracing storytelling.
  • Ensuring Wellbeing: Examples and ideas for fostering employee safety and mental health support through regular updates via intranet, email, and mobile apps.
  • Clear Communications: Hard-won lessons for aligning comms across all channels by establishing a centralized hub with video, audio, written updates and more.
  • Leadership Lessons: Why active listening, empathy and self-care for communicators matters more than ever—especially during times of crisis or conflict.
head of Internal Communications
Sheba Medical Center
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4:35 – 4:55 p.m.
KEYNOTE
Reframe Stress as Strength: Building Resilience in an AI-Driven World

As AI and technology are rapidly reshaping industries and job roles, employees and execs alike are grappling with unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. However, this uncertainty also presents an opportunity to cultivate resilience—a critical skill for thriving in the face of constant change. Join us as resilience expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa shares a powerful "framework" to help you transform stress into a catalyst for growth. She’ll cover:

  • Fostering a culture of resilience: Proven strategies to cultivate resilience across your organization, from onboarding to promotion—and how to implement them.
  • Reframing adversity: How to shift your perspective and leverage challenges as catalysts for growth and innovation—for yourself and a multigenerational workforce.
  • Adapting leadership principles: How to lead with greater empathy and clarity to deliver what your teams need from you during times of chaos and uncertainty.
  • Measuring impact: How to connect the dots between resilience, retention, and bottom-line results to demonstrate value to your C-suite.
  • Embracing the “Resilience Skill Set:” Three critical skills you and your teams need to become an adaptable, solution-oriented leader—and how to sharpen them today.
KEYNOTER
Author, Keynoter, Resilience Expert
"From Stressed To Resilience"
Read bio
4:55 – 5:00 p.m.
Quick Gleanings from the Day
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Networking Reception
Day 2: Friday, Oct. 18
8:00 – 8:45 a.m.
Breakfast Session
8:45 – 8:55 a.m.
Welcoming Remarks
8:55 – 9:25 a.m.
KEYNOTE FIRESIDE
The Corporate Conscience: Navigating Values-Driven Comms in an Election Year

Over 80% of employees expect their company to take a stand on societal issues (Gartner). But doing so can be a tricky proposition—especially in an election year like this one. As the "conscience of the company," communicators play a crucial role in upholding corporate values while steering through the complex landscape of employee expectations, political polarization and social responsibility. This no-holds-barred fireside keynote with a Merck VP details how to navigate these issues using a custom "decision matrix" she created with her on-stage colleague—and will reveal here for the first time. You'll learn:

  • Values Alignment: How to ensure your org's communications and actions align with its core values and principles amid polarization and political divides.
  • Comms as "Conscience": Purpose-driven strategies for taking the lead internally around hot button social issues—and how to convene teams, SMEs, and ERGs to assist.
  • The Issues "Decision Matrix": A flowchart to determine when, how, and who should speak out—your "red pill" guide helping you confront election year realities rather than taking the "blue pill" of ignorance.
  • Empathetic Engagement: How to foster open conversations around activism and politics in a hybrid setting.
  • Authentic Leadership: How to help cultivate leaders who can authentically and effectively communicate your organization's stance on social issues while embodying your corporate values.
KEYNOTER
Vice President, Global Communications
Merck
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Executive Director, Global Communications
Merck
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9:35 – 10:00 a.m.
How to Rethink and Revitalize Your Intranet

A staggering 60% of employees feel disconnected due to ineffective internal communications (Gallup). Outdated and underutilized intranets contribute to this disconnect—further hurting collaboration and productivity. By revamping your intranet into an engaging digital workplace, you can foster a connected, informed and high-performing workforce. This session unveils strategies to breathe new life into your intranet and transform it into a vibrant hub. You’ll learn:

  • Intuitive Intranet Design: How to create an exceptional user experience by incorporating personalized dashboards and other innovative UX features.
  • Fresh Content: Strategies for creating and curating more personalized, relevant content—ranging from regular updates and news feeds to employee blogs and forums and even fun event announcements like office parties.
  • Social Intranet Integrations: How to use tools like Yammer, Teams and social features to cultivate communities, crowdsource ideas and boost collaboration
  • Impact Metrics: How to use tools like SharePoint Analytics or Piwik PRO to track user engagement, active user rate, content interaction and other KPIs.
  • Success Stories: Real-world case studies or organizations that revitalized their intranets.
  • Election Year Bonus: How to leverage your intranet channels for politically neutral employee discussions and resources related to elections.
Managing Director of Employee Communications
The Fitch Group
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10:10 – 10:30 a.m.
Lightning Talk
10:30 – 10:50 a.m.
Networking Break
10:50 – 11:35 a.m.
PANEL
Uniting the Workforce: DEIB Strategies to Bridge Divides amid Political Discord

The election cycle is further polarizing and politicizing DEIB—with backlash at peak levels. More organizations are pausing or cutting DEIB efforts as a result. But employees overwhelmingly prioritize working for organizations committed to diversity and inclusion. This no-holds-barred panel gives you a playbook for navigating the minefield—safeguarding hard-won DEIB progress while fostering an engaged, inclusive workforce in what could be a “do or die” year for the future of diversity programs. We’ll discuss:

  • The Election Pulse: Using surveys and real-time social listening on platforms like X, LinkedIn, etc. to gauge employee sentiment and anticipate flashpoints.
  • The Steady Hand: How to communicate DEIB value to leaders, secure their ongoing support and help them model courageous conversations grounded in DEIB values.
  • United Front: How to align and coordinate DEIB messaging across functions to provide clarity and consistency when resistance, backlash and misinformation spreads.
  • A Safe Space: Policies and programming to insulate employee resource groups (ERGs) and maintain safe spaces for underrepresented voices.
  • Measuring Impact: How to track and present the impact of DEIB initiatives on your workforce—even in the face of political headwinds.
  • From the Frontlines: How DEIB champions at other organizations are addressing polarization while cultivating belonging.
District Attorney Information Specialist, Communications Division
Riverside County District Attorney’s Office
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11:45 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
Ginny Inman Beyond the Screen: Revitalize Town Halls and Video Conferences

Over 90% of employees admit to multitasking during online meetings and 37% struggle with “meeting fatigue.” By embracing innovative formats and experimental technologies, you can breathe new life into your meetings and town halls, creating more engaging experiences that encourage connection and collaboration. This session will explore how to leverage cutting-edge tools—from interactive polling to VR environments—to keep your workforce connected and motivated. You’ll learn:

  • Engaging Formats: How to design town halls that capture attention and drive participation—including how to use tools like Slido to increase engagement.
  • Collaborative Tech: How to use video conferencing tools like Zoom’s breakout rooms and collaborative whiteboards (e.g., Miro) to encourage real-time collaboration.
  • Multimedia Magic: How to incorporate short, engaging video clips and real-time feedback tools like Mentimeter to create more dynamic presentations.
  • Measuring Success: How to assess the effectiveness of your virtual meetings using analytics from platforms like Teams and tracking tools like Pigeonhole Live.
  • Inspiring Case Studies: Successful implementations from leading organizations and how to apply their strategies to your own meetings.
Senior Communications Specialist
SAS
Read bio
12:20 – 12:40 p.m.
FIRESIDE
CCOs Tell All: Secrets of Unlocking Influence in Communications

Communicators have complained for decades that we don’t have a seat at the table. Yet more CEOs are seeing comms execs as key players in shaping company strategy. As you’ll discover in this insightful discussion, “reputation management” is your key to unlocking that greater influence. After all, comms leaders are often the voice at the table who must deliver hard truths about how actions will be perceived—whether responding to a crisis or navigating the changing landscapes of ESG and DEI. If you want to become a more pivotal voice guiding corporate actions and narratives, this is one inspiring session you can’t afford to miss. We’ll cover:

  • Reputation’s Expanding Remit: Why internal communicators must consider “reputation management” part of their expanding scope—and how to step into the role.
  • The Confident Confidant: A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to deliver world class counsel—including firsthand secrets of success and third rails to avoid.
  • Truth Telling vs Storytelling: Techniques for voicing hard truths about perception and guiding decisions that balance organizational and stakeholder interests.
  • Reputation, ROI and You: Methods for quantifying the value of your internal comms efforts and their contribution to reputation—plus how to tie reputation to ROI.
  • Secrets of Success: Go behind the scenes with our guests as they reveal their hard-won secrets of gaining and growing influence at their companies—and in comms.
Chief Communications Officer
Clorox Company
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Vice President, Communications
National Football League (NFL)
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Partner
Bully Pulpit International
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12:40 – 12:45 p.m.
Baker’s Dozen and Giveaways
Day 1: Thursday, Oct. 17
9:35 – 10 a.m.
The AI Leadership Toolkit: How to Assess, Implement and Integrate AI

Your teams are already using AI—whether they’re going rogue or experimenting with management’s blessing. But it’s time to evolve your AI usage from “uncharted frontier” to “strategic framework.” This session outlines how to take control of AI implementation and operationalize it across your comms and organization. If you want to boost your leadership value and results, this roadmap will help you successfully integrate AI without hitting legal, ethical or other potholes along the way. We’ll cover:

  • AI Assessment: How to conduct an audit of your organization’s AI usage—and how to identify areas for improvement.
  • Tool Selection: Criteria for selecting the most suitable AI tools for your team.
  • Maximizing Copilot: How to evaluate and implement Microsoft’s Copilot for internal comms—including how to integrate, customize and monitor its performance.
  • Training: The anatomy of an effective AI training program to upskill your team on safe and ethical AI usage—and how to implement it.
  • Governance: Steps to establish an AI council or committee to develop policies, address legal and ethical considerations—and how to lead the charge.
  • Ideas to Borrow: Examples and use cases to build out in your own organization.
10:10 – 10:55 a.m.
PANEL
Fusion Teams: How Comms Can Lead Cross-Functional Partnerships

Building strong cross-functional business partnerships is more critical than ever for internal comms leaders. After all, nearly half of executives cite “limited cross-functional collaboration” as a top barrier to success in the era of remote work, according to recent research. This panel digs into an innovative way to collaborate across departments by merging data and domain expertise—and shows you how to take the reins to unify those efforts. We’ll discuss:

  • Fusion Teams FAQ: Blurring lines between IT, comms and the rest of the org chart—and why data-driven “fusion teams” are the new collaboration model for the digital era.
  • Comms as Leaders: How to lead collaboration—steps to take, KPIs to pull and change management practices to unify efforts
  • Cultivating Trust: How to initiate cross-functional meetings, joint project teams and collaborative goal-setting sessions to foster trust and understanding across teams—including your people managers
  • Unified Messaging: How to align HR, legal, IT, external and internal comms for more consistent and coherent messaging, especially in a politically charged election year.
  • Solving for Key Collaborative Use Cases:
    • RTO Matters: How to leverage data on employee sentiment and productivity to inform RTO policies and comms, ensuring compliance and employee safety.
    • AI Governance: How to gather data on AI usage patterns, risks and opportunities to collaborate with IT and legal teams on AI governance policies.
Corporate Affairs Manager
First Mode
Read bio
11:05 – 11:25 a.m.
Lightning Talk
11:25 – 11:45 a.m.
Networking Break
2 – 2:45 p.m.
PANEL
Omni Channel Thought Leadership: Turning Execs into Insightful Influencers

Thought leadership is a critical tool for engaging employees, shaping perceptions and driving results in today’s climate of eroding trust. It can boost retention by 34%, productivity by 52% and innovation by 56% (Forbes). This panel reveals how to unlock those amazing benefits—and explores how to integrate thought leadership and brand journalism to create a powerful employee experience that resonates throughout the organization and beyond. We’ll discuss:

  • Channel Blueprints: How to build an omni-channel thought leadership program using videos, podcasts, LinkedIn Live, Instagram, YouTube, live speaking engagements, AMAs and even town halls.
  • The Newsroom Model: How to develop an editorial calendar and identify topics (i.e., executive passion points) to ensure a steady flow of captivating leader insights.
  • Harnessing AI: How AI tools can help you create more engaging, targeted and impactful thought leadership content while saving time and resources.
  • Measurement Matters: How to gauge the impact of thought leadership via metrics like traffic, social engagement, talent acquisition and employee engagement.
  • Secrets of Success: How GE’s CEO leverages his 100k+ LinkedIn followers to share insights on innovation—and how Northrop Grumman dominates cybersecurity and defense.
Senior Director, Enterprise Thought Leadership and Content Strategy
Bristol Myers Squibb
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2:55 – 3:20 p.m.
Thrive vs. Survive: Navigating Leadership Transitions

Economic volatility and evolving business landscapes are fueling unprecedented C-suite and communications turnover. With 40% of comms execs leaving due to organizational changes (Korn Ferry), internal communicators must be prepared to navigate leadership transitions and new “change agents” with poise. This session shows you how to not just survive but thrive during churn at the top so you can protect your culture, team and career. You’ll learn:

  • Transition Toolkit: How to develop a change management playbook to onboard new leaders, align strategies and foster a positive shift.
  • Strategic Partnerships: How to rapidly build trust and credibility with incoming execs—while positioning your team as strategic partners from day one.
  • Manager Comms: How to develop and share resources to align and upskill people managers during leadership transitions.
  • Change Narratives: How to craft narratives that resonate with employees and their managers, including using social media to mitigate uncertainty and rally teams behind new leadership.
  • Preserving Culture: How to safeguard organizational values, traditions and employee engagement during times of upheaval.
  • Future-Proofing Careers: Steps to embrace constant change, continuously upskill and demonstrate your value to new leaders.
Executive Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications
The Aerospace Corporation
Read bio
3:30 – 3:40 p.m.
Lightning Talk
3:40 – 4:00 p.m.
Networking Break
4:00 – 4:25 p.m.
The Elephant in the Room: Navigating Employee Activism and Political Polarization

Today’s workplace presents internal comms with the challenge of addressing employee activism, labor issues and politically charged social movements while maintaining engagement and trust—especially in these weeks leading up to the presidential election. With the rise of strikes, protests and expectations to take a stand, leaders must navigate this perfect storm with authenticity, empathy and strategic acumen. This session explores best practices for addressing socio-political issues, fostering dialogue and aligning your values with employee concerns amidst deep polarization. You’ll learn:

  • Two-Way Dialog: The importance of creating conversation between employees and leaders to cultivate a culture of trust, transparency and learning
  • Activism Assessments: How to gauge the impact of employee activism at your organization.
  • Politics and Elections: How to address charged issues with sensitivity and impartiality—especially surrounding the election
  • Employee Digital Safety on Workplace Platforms: How to provide employees an opportunity to connect and foster community while upholding the respect, integrity and open communication in digital workplace forums.
Senior Manager, Communications & Reputation Management 
Microsoft
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Senior Manager of Employee & Executive Communications and Employer Brand
Microsoft
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Day 2: Friday, Oct. 18
9:35 – 10:00 a.m.
The Art of People: Mastering Empathetic Leadership in a Digital Workplace

The future is moving fast—with more employees feeling uncertain, anxious, and disengaged amid constant change. So how can you step up and not just inform your workforce—but also inspire it? The answer lies in mastering the “art of people” by honing your empathetic leadership. If you’re looking for a way to connect with your team and organization in a way that inspires trust and engagement, this session focusing on “whole person" communications is a must. You’ll learn:

  • Why It Matters: The business case for empathetic leadership—from boosting productivity, performance, engagement and satisfaction, to reducing turnover.
  • Where to Start: Applying models like the DiSC framework and languages of appreciation to “know thyself” and your team better from an EQ and empathy standpoint.
  • The Building Blocks: Processes to build trust, create transparency and drive understanding—from “trust talks” and skills matrixes to SLAs, intake forms, SOPs and beyond.
  • Taking It Org-Wide: Examples of "whole person" Recognition & Rewards programs to emulate—including a “Touch Point” program, “Moments that Matter” and more.
Director of Communications & Culture
Power Design
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10:10 – 10:30 a.m.
Lightning Talk
10:30 – 10:50 a.m.
Networking Break
10:50 – 11:35 a.m.
PANEL
Managing Up (and Down): Becoming a Strategic Advisor to the C-Suite

Internal communicators still struggle to be seen as more than messengers. In fact, 62% say they’re excluded from strategic decision-making (IPR). This panel will explore new ways to earn and retain a seat at the proverbial table by helping you harness your "Upstream Superpower." You’ll discover the traits, skills and attitudes needed to transition from tactician to trusted advisor—ensuring your voice is heard and valued. If want to boost your responsibilities, results and respect, this is a must-attend. We’ll cover

  • Strategic Alignment: Where internal comms traditionally sits in the org chart, how to ensure your strategies support leadership—and how to drive exec initiatives with manager comms cascades.
  • Honing Business Acumen: How to understand financial statements and metrics to provide informed advice that ties your initiatives to business outcomes.
  • Identifying Risks and Opportunities: How to forecast threats and trends—including political issues during the election year—to help protect and promote organizational reputation.
  • Fostering Trust: How to establish and maintain trust with the C-suite through transparency, reliability and consistently delivering measurable results.
  • Your "Upstream Superpower": How to assess and sharpen your unique comms talents—from being a "great asker of great questions" and helping execs "see around the corner" to "reading your exec's mind" and more.
  • Election Year Bonus: How to advise leadership on comms around politically charged events and employee activism in the election.
Director of Enterprise Internal Communications
The Home Depot
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11:45 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
INTERACTIVE SESSION
LinkedIn and Beyond: How Top Execs Are Rocking Their Profiles, Presence and Platform

LinkedIn is having a big moment right now—and is becoming a major destination for news and executive thought leadership. This session ensures you don’t miss out—and provides a practical guide to leveraging your LinkedIn and executive social media presence as a bonafide media platform to enhance leadership visibility, articulate brand values and engage with key audiences, including employees. Come ready for an interactive experience. Together, we’ll cover:

We’ll cover:

  • Leadership Profiles: What the best performing execs on LinkedIn are doing right—plus how to unlock settings like the “connect to follow” option and even encourage leaders to post more videos (we’ll get a sneak peek at what’s next for LinkedIn Video).
  • Influential Content: How to identify, craft and share compelling thought leadership content on LinkedIn—and successfully cross promote it beyond the platform.
  • News and Network Engagement: Insights into getting featured via LinkedIn News and editorial opportunities that spark conversations and engagement across the platform.
  • Key Collabs and Crisis Tips: How to inspire employees to engage in leadership-driven conversations on LinkedIn—plus, how to handle trolls and crisis comms on LinkedIn.
  • Success Metrics: How to monitor the impact of your execs’ LinkedIn and social media activities in general.
  • Interactive Bonus: Come ready to punch up your profile on your phone using a few fun features, often-overlooked tricks and back-end hacks.
Manager, Corporate Engagement Team at LinkedIn Editorial
LinkedIn
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SPEAKERS

KEYNOTER
Chief Communications Officer
Microsoft
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KEYNOTER
Author, Keynoter, Resilience Expert
"From Stressed To Resilience"
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KEYNOTER
Vice President, Global Communications
Merck
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President and CEO
Institute for Public Relations
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Senior Director, Enterprise Thought Leadership and Content Strategy
Bristol Myers Squibb
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Partner
Bully Pulpit International
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District Attorney Information Specialist, Communications Division
Riverside County District Attorney’s Office
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Ted Birkhahn
Managing Director
Vested
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U.S. Communications Director
Takeda
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EMCEE
Founder and Chief Word Nerd
Unlock the Brain
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Director of Communications & Culture
Power Design
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Senior Communications Manager
Siemens Energy
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Manager, Corporate Engagement Team at LinkedIn Editorial
LinkedIn
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Senior Communications Specialist
SAS
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Head of Internal Communications and Content, Global Banking
BNP Paribas
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Senior Internal Communications Manager
Heifer International
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Director of Enterprise Internal Communications
The Home Depot
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Senior Program Manager, Viva Engage
Microsoft
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Chief Communications Officer
Clorox Company
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Senior Manager of Employee & Executive Communications and Employer Brand
Microsoft
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Senior Storyteller, Author "Brand Storytelling"
Microsoft
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Vice President, Communications
National Football League (NFL)
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Executive Director, Global Communications
Merck
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Managing Director of Employee Communications
The Fitch Group
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Senior Manager, Communications & Reputation Management 
Microsoft
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head of Internal Communications
Sheba Medical Center
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Executive Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications
The Aerospace Corporation
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EMCEE
Senior Communications Manager, Global Employee and Executive Communications
Microsoft
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Corporate Affairs Manager
First Mode
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Senior Director of Internal Communications & Platforms
T-Mobile
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INTERESTED IN SPEAKING?

Please reach out to Director of Event Programming
Alyssa Smith.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

you will learn graphic-conference photos
  • Strategic Leadership: The “7 Essential Skills” of valued strategic C-suite counselors.
  • Organizational Impact: Navigating org charts and building interdepartmental alliances.
  • AI Integration: Harnessing AI to boost efficiencies and employee experiences.
  • RTO Solutions: A C-Suite tell-all with case studies, KPIs and examples of what works.
  • Brand Storytelling: Incorporating stories into everything from newsletters to speeches.
  • New Content Channels: Best channels, cadence, content types and KPIs for engagement.
  • Internal Comms Toolbox: Updates on email, intranets, newsletters, townhalls, collaboration suites and more.
  • Thought Leadership on Social Media: Driving messages with SMEs and execs.
  • Winning Workplace Cultures: Examples and templates for a purpose-driven workplace.
  • Best Employer Brands: Innovative strategies for attracting and retaining top talent.
  • Measurement Matters: Essential tools, dashboards and KPIs to drive change.
  • Irresistible EX: Six phases of employee experience to maximize engagement and retention.
  • DEIB 3.0: New methods for embedding diversity, engagement, inclusion and belonging.
  • Change + Crisis Comms: Helping your teams thrive amid transitions, layoffs and crises.
  • The Future of Work: Insights on remote work, AV/RV, AI, the “unInternet” and more.
  • + Workshops on brand storytelling, becoming a strategic advisor, measuring manager comms and more—plus exclusive networking experiences throughout the conference.
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PRICING

ADVANCED EARLY BIRD VIP REGULAR RATE
Conference All-Access Pass includes the Pre-Conference Workshops
Standard $2,799 $2,899 $2,999 $3,099
Nonprofit/Gov $2,699 $2,799 $2,899 $2,999
Ragan Insider $2,649 $2,749 $2,849 $2,949
Conference Registration - Individual
Standard $2,399 $2,499 $2,599 $2,699
Nonprofit/Gov/Edu $2,299 $2,399 $2,499 $2,599
Ragan Insider $2,249 $2,349 $2,449 $2,549
Conference Recording On Demand
Includes pre-conference workshops and conference sessions $1499 $1499 $1499 $1499
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! Contact Shallon Blackburn for more information.

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!
Microsoft HQ, Seattle, WA
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LOCATION
Conference Venue Information:
Building 92/Learning Center
Microsoft

15010 NE 36th Street
Redmond WA 98052

Top Things To Do in Seattle:

Take some time to enjoy Seattle while you are in town! Here are our top things to do

  1. Space Needle
  2. Pike Place Market
  3. Washington State Ferries
  4. Seattle Great Wheel
  1. The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour
  2. Woodinville Wine Country
  3. T-Mobile Park and Lumen Field
  4. Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room

Seattle, WA
BONUS MATERIALS
  • The Guide for Ethical AI Usage in Communications
  • Measurement Guide to Proving Internal Comms Value
  • Internal Meetings Handbook and Facilitator Guide
  • LinkedIn Executive Thought Leadership Guide
  • Six Steps for Change Communications in a Volatile World
  • How to Run an Internal Communications Audit

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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

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WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

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

  • Corporate Communication
  • Employee Communications
  • Executive Communications
  • Manager Communications
  • Brand Journalism
  • Content Creation
  • Social Media
  • Storytelling
  • Writing and Editing
  • AI Integration

Top reasons to attend

You’ll your potential at this event with these keys to internal comms success:

L

Leading with Strategic Skills

E

Elevating Organizational Impact

A

Advancing AI Integration

D

Driving RTO Solutions

E

Empowering Brand Storytelling

R

Revolutionizing Content Channels

S

Spearheading Thought Leadership

H

Harnessing Winning Workplace Cultures

I

Implementing Employer Branding

P

Proving ROI with Measurement Strategies

Internal Communications Conference Certificate

GET RECOGNIZED!

Each registration comes with a personalized "Internal Communications Conference" Certificate of Completion for attending.

REGISTER NOW

SHRM Certificate

Lawrence Ragan Communications, Inc is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification activities.

This program is valid for 14 PDCs.

WONDERING IF YOU SHOULD ATTEND?

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

Microsoft HQ, Seattle, WA

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