- Build bridges
- Restore trust
- Protect reputation
- Influence policy and opinions
- Engage stakeholders
- Control crises
- Counter misinformation
- Increase impact
Public affairs pros and speechwriters face a cascade of crises as our audiences struggle with uncertainty, bipartisanship, AI deepfakes, cybersecurity threats, weaponized disinformation and the unraveling of trust in our institutions.
The good news: You can help turn the tide, bridge divides and more confidently inform, inspire and influence your stakeholders with the strategies you learn at this Ragan virtual conference — just in time for what’s becoming an increasingly divisive election year.
Join to hear the latest insights and secrets of success firsthand from your peers as well as luminaries responsible for building consensus, connection and community around public policy issues.
This virtual conference is your guide to what's new and what's working in public affairs and executive comms. Our 4.5 hour program will give you the strategies you need to influence policy, inform the public and build stronger stakeholder relationships.
Here’s your SWOT analysis deep-dive into the biggest opportunities and threats facing the sector — from the surge of AI to the capsizing trust in our institutions, organizations and execs. Featuring fresh, exclusive insights from our annual survey examining the state of government communications and public affairs conducted in partnership with GWU, Ragan and the National Association of Government Communicators, this kickoff session will uncover:
- Strengths: What’s working and what’s next for successful grassroots advocacy programs, how others are modernizing their tech to lighten the load and more.
- Weaknesses: Bureaucracy, workload, shrinking budgets, siloed efforts, mis/disinformation, measuring ROI and more — plus how to address these issues.
- Opportunities: The return of in-person advocacy, using video and texting to drive mobilization, expanding staff training, using AI to help with messaging and more.
- Threats: Why Americans are worried about the 2024 elections, what the data says about the public’s lack of trust in government, business and the press and more.
- Social Media: Top platforms gov comms and public affairs pros are using for EOP (external official presence) — and how others are handling TikTok bans and more.
The standoff to name a House Speaker made it clear: “crossing the aisle” and “bipartisanship” have become four letter words in politics. Yet those in the trenches know that compromise is the best way to get to yes. Join to master the fine (yet disappearing) art of finding the middle so you can move your initiatives forward. You’ll hear how local, state and federal orgs alike are bridging divides on critical issues in a divisive election year. We’ll cover:
- A “Purple State of Mind”: How to communicate effectively with a divided public by focusing on building relationships instead of barriers.
- Inspiring examples: From overcoming the Glass and Bamboo Ceilings in politics to healing after BLM protests — how others are building unifying platforms.
- Inclusivity matters: How to improve the accessibility of your comms — and eliminate unconscious bias and divisive rhetoric from speeches and other channels.
- De-escalation strategies: Conflict resolution techniques communicators can use when audiences include hecklers, naysayers and provocateurs — online and IRL.
- Storytelling bonus: How to use authentic, personal storytelling to tear down barriers (stories you hear in this portion will be deeply personal, sometimes painful).
Today’s audiences want more than wonky speeches full of scintillating soundbites, zingers and wow moments. What they want in these chaotic and uncertain times are simplicity and security. This session with leading speechwriters from the private and public sectors reveals how to deliver hope over hype with an authentic voice across all venues — from presentations and executive town halls for employees to social videos and press statements. We’ll cover:
- Authenticity: How to define your voice without spin, jargon or hype — including how to lean on numbers, anecdotes or other elements depending on your exec’s preferences.
- Passion: How to find your principal’s passion points and build trust by building stories and talking points around them — including how to craft and deliver a great anecdote.
- Storytelling: How to leverage research, AI and in-person interviews to understand your audience’s POV and pain points — and then speak to them with storylines that matter.
- Solutions: How to apply a “Solutions Framework” to your executive comms to deliver the simple answers that your stakeholders want most.
- Security: Words, phrases, stats and stories that help convey a sense of security and optimism for the future — and how to add them to your executive comms toolkit.
- Sharing: How to amplify your voice and message in mainstream and social media.
In a news cycle dominated by AI hype, hope and hazards, we face promising opportunities and unprecedented threats in our mission to effectively — and authentically — engage our publics. Join to discover how AI can streamline messaging, improve targeting and even help generate powerful speeches faster, while also learning how to navigate the challenges posed by AI-enabled threats like news-making deepfakes. From potential to pitfalls, our experts will guide you through:
- Enhanced messaging: How AI can optimize your messaging strategies, streamline content creation and improve engagement for your lobbying and initiatives.
- Targeted engagement: How to leverage AI for audience targeting, allowing you to reach key stakeholders with more personalized and relevant content (including speeches).
- Real-time issue management: How AI tools enable real-time monitoring of public opinion and emerging issues, helping you stay ahead in comms and crisis management.
- Deepfake dilemmas: Strategies for countering AI-generated deepfakes (like the Biden, Clinton and Trump clips) — including potential faux political ads featuring your exec.
- Legal and ethical challenges: A snapshot of the legal, ethical and regulatory AI landscape to help you ensure compliance with data privacy rules like GDPR and CCPA.
It’s no longer enough to hold a press conference or issue a press release. Today’s crises can go viral in moments — whether it’s a brand crisis, natural disaster, cybersecurity attack or worse. And nobody faces more crises than civic and government public affairs pros. This session takes a page (pages, actually) from today’s public affairs emergency protocols to help you communicate through chaos, mobilize responders and protect your brand or the stakeholders you serve. You’ll learn:
- Crisis flywheel: How to adopt or adapt FEMA’s “8-Step Crisis Model” to your org.
- Risk assessment: Common crises facing organizations like yours — and new tools, technologies and techniques to help you polish your cloudy crystal ball.
- Messaging: How to develop holding statements for scenarios in advance.
- Activation: Steps to lead your team and execute crisis plans under pressure.
- Channels: Working with the media and your own platforms to inform the public.
- Cybersecurity CYA: The latest cybersecurity threats facing organizations during this presidential election year — and four things you can do to stay cyber-safe now.
During the 36 years of this Ragan conference, attendees have heard from former White House and administration speechwriters dating back to President Ronald Ragan. In honor of that tradition, we’ve gathered an all-star panel of speechwriters to share their stories and insights — focusing on how to speak out on topics like the Ukraine and Israel-Hamas conflicts and even hot-button social issues like racial inequality, immigration, trans issues, abortion rights, climate change and more. We’ll cover:
- WH alumni secrets and stories: Exclusive behind-the-scenes tales and techniques of presidential speechwriting.
- Winners and losers: How brands like Harvard, Uber, Cartier, Johnson & Johnson and others have responded to recent conflict — plus lessons for your exec or organization.
- Emotions and empathy: How to “speak from the heart” to connect emotionally while prioritizing empathy and honesty around polarizing issues.
- Moving rhetoric: How metaphor, parallelism, anaphora, chiasmus (a JFK favorite) and other rhetorical devices can elevate and personalize speeches on sensitive topics.
- Trust or bust: How to communicate with clarity, transparency and consistency on topics where disinformation/misinformation must be countered at every turn.
- AI bonus: What top-tier speechwriters really think about AI tools like ChatGPT.
Social media shakeups are to be expected — but Twitter/X turmoil, Meta’s lawsuits, the latest TikTok bans and AI deepfakes are more like a social media #hurriquake. That’s why public affairs pros aren’t just worried about growing their social media audience these days — they’re worried about retaining it. Join for the playbook you can use to successfully stay above the fray and navigate the latest wave of social media challenges, threats and opportunities:
- Meta lawsuits: How Threads, Instagram and Facebook are adjusting algorithms based on recent lawsuits — and how to integrate accounts and audiences without losing reach.
- Twitter/X turmoil: What others are doing with their Twitter/X accounts as the platform continues its wild rollercoaster ride (plus how to port followers to another platform).
- TikTok workarounds: How public affairs and government communicators are navigating (or circumnavigating) TikTok bans by working with influencers.
- The others: How to hedge your bets and build a loyal, engaged following on alternative channels like LinkedIn, Threads, WhatsApp, Reddit, BlueSky, Slack and more — or go all in your own social space (on Discourse, Discord, etc.).
- Measurement matters: How to monitor your social media impact — from the best monitoring tools for public affairs purposes to the best KPIs to track
- Misinformation, fake news and you: Trust-building steps you can take to help counter lies, deep fakes, fake news and mis/disinformation on your social channels.
Fear may be a powerful motivator in elections — but it’s a terrible way to build trust with your stakeholders already struggling in the face of relentless change. Discover how you can rethink, reframe and revitalize your public affairs strategy by communicating change so its opportunity-based instead of fear-based. You’ll learn how to eschew short-term scare tactics and instead adopt a solutions-driven strategy for long-term success. We’ll cover:
- Frameworks: The latest change management models from ADKAR and McKinsey 7-S to the Kubler-Ross Model — and how to know which is right for you.
- Assess: How to audit of your public affairs strategy so you know what is and isn’t working.
- Adjust: Ways to reframe your public affairs strategy around the 4 stages of change comms — from Awareness to Understanding to Acceptance and Commitment.
- Apply: How to successfully implement these insights to create a more adaptable, engaging and effective public affairs strategy.
- Measurement: How to track sentiment and support for your reimagined public affairs strategy — and respond in real time.
- Bonus: A note on persuasion ethics — plus examples of how others are working to convince and convert in a more principled manner.
Politicians might survive by appealing only to the margins, but public affairs pros and most speechwriters realize they must speak to the widest swathe of the audience possible. That requires understanding the issues important to the rich tapestry of your entire base so their experiences, pain points and views are included. Join for the latest strategies for ensuring greater inclusion and engagement with your speeches, programs or policies. You’ll learn:
- Common ground: How inclusive language helps you reach all of your constituents.
- Evaluation: How to gauge and improve the accessibility of your communications — and eliminate unconscious bias from speeches, presentations and more.
- Guidelines: How to use inclusive, people-first language so audiences find themselves reflected fairly—and so they take meaningful action.
- Third rails: How to labels as identities, words and phrases that have inappropriate roots.
- TSAS: How to apply the “Tell-Show-Ask-Share” model to presentations and other in-person advocacy to increase inclusion — and therefore engagement — in your message.
We’ll share the top tactics and strategies from the virtual conference so you can implement them for your organization.
INTERESTED IN SPEAKING?
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Top things you’ll learn at this conference:
- Hot-button backlash: How orgs did (or didn’t) speak out on the Israel/Hamas conflict — plus why/when/how to respond to issues ranging from gun control to abortion rights.
- New survey results: Top challenges and solutions to help overloaded teams build bridges during a divisive election year — as reported by thousands of your peers.
- Impactful rhetoric: How to elevate speeches and in-person advocacy with rhetorical devices like metaphor, parallelism, anaphora, chiasmus (a JFK favorite) and more.
- Ethical persuasion: Psychology techniques to create action-inspiring speeches that prioritize honesty and transparency without exploiting fears or misinformation.
- AI and deepfakes: How to enhance stakeholder engagement and legislative tracking with AI analytics and messaging — plus how to guard against deepfake threats.
- Inclusivity matters: How to effectively reach all segments in your communities or stakeholder groups with culturally appropriate messaging even amid DE&I clawbacks.
- PIO’s crisis playbook: Essential crisis and cybersecurity strategies — including risk assessment protocols, rapid-response incident management flowcharts and more.
- Solving for Twitter/X, Meta and TikTok: How to retain and reach stakeholders amid social media upheavals — from Twitter/X and Meta lawsuits to TikTok bans and more.
- Adaptable public affairs strategy: How to inform and influence new audiences and communicate change so it’s opportunity-based instead of fear-based.
- Misinformation, fake news and you: Bold solutions and myth-busting steps you can take now to restore public trust in your institution, organization or execs.
|Virtual Conference Registration||$999||$1,099|
|Virtual Conference Ragan Insider Member||$949||$1,049|
|Nonprofit/Gov Event Registration||$899||$999|
All attendees will receive the recording of the event.
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Register to secure your spot today! Don’t miss this opportunity to:
- Access exclusive content and resources.
- Connect with your peers.
- Get the ideas & tools to stay ahead in today’s rapidly changing world.
Register today. Once registered, you’ll be able to join the private LinkedIn group right away.
- Second Annual “GPA: Government Communicators Study”
- Annual Quorum State of Public and Government Affairs Report
- The State of Speechwriting Summary
- Speechwriters Inclusive Language Toolkit
- The Tech Stack You Need to Stay On Top of Upcoming Elections
- A Guide to Maneuvering Political Gridlock
Who Should Attend?
You should attend if you spend at least a quarter of your time in any of these areas:
Public affairs • Executive Communications • Speechwriting • Government Relations • Public Information • Reputation management • Crisis communications • PR • Internal Communications • Issues Management • Social media • Storytelling • Writing • Media relations
WONDERING IF YOU SHOULD ATTEND?
Here’s what past attendees are saying about Ragan and PR Daily Events!
I like that Ragan provides speakers from a wide variety of fields, but their messages can be applied to all communicators. No matter what you do, you can ALWAYS walk away from a Ragan conference with solid knowledge and advice.
This conference refreshed me on the basics of being a writer. It is easy to fall into a habit of writing the same way over and over. This conference reminded me to try to mix up my style every once in a while and take new chances.
This is THE place to learn from the best in the industry. The networking amongst the participants is extremely valuable, always sharing best practices.
Inspiring content and a great way to connect with fellow writers in the communications world!
I learned many angles of storytelling - from planning a story, to writing with power, to editing - this conference inspired me to think differently when I approach my next long-form written piece.