RAGAN'S VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

Public Affairs & Speechwriting

New Strategies to Inform, Inspire and Influence

Tuesday, April 4, 2023
11a.m.-4 p.m. ET

  • Protect and promote reputation
  • Influence policy and opinions
  • Engage and inform stakeholders
  • Control crises with confidence
  • Ensure diversity and inclusivity
  • Connect, convince and compel with stories

Public affairs and speechwriting pros face an array of grand, new challenges after the past few years of disruption. Trust in our institutions has tanked. Stakeholder engagement has crashed. Economic concerns, worldwide developments and election cycles have all fueled uncertainty.

The good news: You can adjust to these evolving post-pandemic realities— and overcome uncertainties – by taking your skills, strategies and speeches to the next level. If you want to inform, inspire and even influence your various audiences while communicating your ideas and initiatives, Ragan’s Public Affairs & Speechwriting Conference will provide the path forward.

Join us for this fast-paced virtual conference to learn the latest public affairs strategies, speechwriting secrets and proven tactics you need to move missions, messages and masses.

Top things you’ll learn at this conference:

  • Persuasive storytelling in speeches: The new brain science behind storytelling — and how to craft story-driven speeches that move audiences to act.
  • Small speechwriting hacks for the big stage: Command words and phrases — plus easy speechwriting techniques for crafting clear, compelling and convincing messages.
  • Bridging the “Trust Divide”: Why your peers say rebuilding trust is their #1 challenge — and how to build it across the paid, earned, shared and owned (PESO) spectrum.
  • Winning the “Purpose Revolution”: How to cultivate a human-centered framework when communicating social responsibility and speaking to timely, polarizing issues.
  • Culturally competent crisis plans: Managing risk and uncertainty with successful crisis plans while fostering a crisis-proof culture of resilience.
  • Agile public affairs strategies: How to inform and influence no matter what new challenge or opportunity arises — and adapt plans and processes on the fly.
  • Inclusivity matters: Ensure diversity effectively reaches all segments in your communities or stakeholder groups with culturally appropriate messaging.
  • New challenges, new tools: How to protect cybersecurity, navigate the latest Twitter upheaval or worse — and support your leadership on social media.

All attendees receive:

  • RAGAN EXCLUSIVE: State of Government Comms and Public Affairs Study
  • Speechwriters Inclusive Language Toolkit
  • Communicating Effectively with Elected Officials Checklist
  • Remote Lawmaking for Public Affairs GUIDE
  • Creating Successful Public Affairs Campaigns: The 5-Step Approach

AGENDA

11-11:05 A.M.
Opening Remarks
11:05-11:30 A.M.
Fireside/Panel
New Survey on Government & Public Affairs: Examining the Trust Gap and Solutions

We’ll kick things off with highlights from new research conducted by The George Washington University, Ragan, the National Association of Government Communicators and Axios. A panel of academics and practitioners will discuss:

  • Trust: The impact of a polarized political environment on credibility.
  • Audience Segmentation: One-size-fits-all versus customization — challenges and solutions.
  • Social Media: Platforms we're using in the sector — and which ones we should be using.
  • Skill and Training Gaps: Critical areas for improvement to increase our effectiveness.
Past President
National Association of Government Communicators
Read bio
Tanya Bradsher
Chief of Staff
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Read bio
Managing Director
ROKK Solutions
Read bio
Lawrence J. Parnell
Associate Professor and Program Director, Masters in Strategic Public Relations
George Washington University
Read bio
11:35–11:55 A.M.
Fireside/Panel
Embracing Inclusive Language: Forge Connections, Common Ground and Consensus

As an Asian-American, California Treasurer Fiona Ma has overcome glass and bamboo ceilings — while practicing inclusive language to ensure she’s reaching all of her constituents. Join this fireside with Ma and other guests to discover how you can embrace inclusive language to more effectively forge connections, common ground — and consensus. Everything you learn here also applies to C-suite speeches.

You’ll hear:

  • How to evaluate and improve the accessibility of your communications —
    and how to eliminate unconscious bias from speeches.
  • DE&I guidelines for speeches: How to use inclusive, people-first language so audiences find themselves reflected fairly and meaningfully.
  • Insights and resources to help you create an inclusive language style guide.
  • Poetry and public affairs: How to express thoughts and emotions in ways that are personal and universal — so you can help promote understanding and empathy.
  • Bonus: How to use authentic storytelling to build bridges and tear down barriers.
Lee Herrick
Professor and 2023 Poet Laureate of California
Fresno City College
Read bio
Jennifer Ball
Language Researcher, Inclusive Language Specialist and Board Member
Time to Advocate/Time to Run
Read bio
Treasurer
The State of California
Read bio
12-12:25 P.M.
The Podium and Beyond: 5 Cs of Speaking with One Authentic Voice Across All Venues

It’s no longer enough to write a masterful speech. In today’s multichannel environment, you must communicate key messages and initiatives with an authentic voice across all venues — from presentations and CEO town halls for employees to social videos and press statements. Join to learn how to:

  • Capture: Find and define your executive and organizational voice without the jargon.
  • Cultivate: Foster a human-centered framework to infuse leadership messages with empathy to connect more deeply with community members, legislators and more.
  • Craft: Cultivate consistent multichannel messages in the same voice.
  • Channels: New tools, platforms and channels that make executive comms easier, especially when CEOs and execs are sharing critical information with employees.
  • Cascade: Amplify your voice and message in mainstream and social media.

Bonus: How AI like ChatGPT can help generate speech outlines and provide content solutions

Lisa Fratzke
Partner and Executive Strategist
Fratzke Consulting
Read bio
Lecturer, Journalism & Public Relations Department
California State University, Long Beach
Read bio
Co-Founder and Senior Partner
RCG
Read bio
12:30-12:55 P.M.
Solving for AI, TikTok and Twitter: Social Media in Government and Regulated Industries

You’re not alone if you’re struggling to keep up with the nuances, best practices and ethics of leveraging TikTok, Twitter (ahem) and AI tools like ChatGPT in your outreach. This session with innovative communicators successfully using these digital technologies breaks it all down so you can achieve breakthrough results without breaking regulations—or the bank. You’ll learn:

  • How TikTok, BeReal and AI tools can help you engage with wider audiences, improve targeting and monitor issues in real-time.
  • Using third party advocacy to reach forbidden waters: How to tackle “TikTokification” when TikTok’s a no-go.
  • What brands, agencies and PIOs are doing to navigate Twitter's turmoil — and how to strategize migrating to alternate platforms.
  • Tools and rules: The legal, ethical, security and regulatory challenges presented by these tools — including how to stay compliant.
  • Showcase: How to navigate roadblocks, restrictions and regulations — inspiring examples bridging the gap between rules and rewards.
Alan Black
Director of Corporate Communications
U.S. Navy, at Dahlgren, Virginia
Read bio
1-1:15 P.M.
Break
1:15-1:40 P.M.
The Science of Ruling the Stage: Unleash Neuroscience for Stellar Public Speaking

You’re improving your memory through cognitive training every time you rehearse a speech, even if you’re feeling nervous. That’s just the beginning of the neuroscience secrets you’ll learn in this first-of-its-kind session. By understanding why the brain triggers certain behaviors and how to optimize its functions, you can achieve the elusive holy grail of public speaking — delivering your message with greater control, credibility and confidence. Join to learn:

  • Self-assessment: How to be in control of your internal system under pressure and deliver your best performance.
  • How to activate your “sense of aliveness” and propel your impact and presence at the podium.
  • Ideas to manage stage nerves and anxiety.
  • How to increase your emotional vocabulary to create greater audience empathy, rapport and unforgettable moments.
Bruna De Palo
Neuroscience-Based Executive Coach
Think and Act Differently
Read bio
1:45-2:10 P.M.
Purpose-Driven Public Affairs: How to Build an Authentic Brand in the Public and Press

An organization’s authentic purpose is what connects with the press and public today. Join to hear how five key principles guide Royal Canin North America's mission — and how 23andMe created a mission-driven brand committed to the democratization of DNA and stayed true to that purpose in the face of FDA regs and other challenges. You’ll learn:

  • Principles of purpose-driven public affairs: Lessons from 23andMe’s founding to present — and Royal Canin's commitment to pet health and nutrition.
  • Managing a consumer facing company in a heavily regulated space — how to operate ethically when dealing with human DNA, research and pet health.
  • Finding true north: Ideas and partnerships to help identify your purpose, mission and values.
  • Working with the press: Data, trends, angles and pitches that newsrooms love.
  • Measuring purpose: Insights to help you track and report corporate reputation.
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Royal Canin North America (Mars, Inc.)
Read bio
Director of Communications
23andMe
Read bio
2:15-2:40 P.M.
Panel
Speechwriter's Braintrust: Creating Relatable Speeches and an Authentic Brand Voice

Trust — or lack of it — dominates public dialogue these days as skepticism in institutions and leaders continues to rise. This panel with White House alumni, current government speechwriters and top corporate executive comms directors reveals how to rebuild that lost trust with relatable speeches that cut through the clutter and connect with a powerful, authentic brand voice. You’ll discover:

  • Insider secrets from WH alumni: Behind the scenes of presidential speechwriting.
  • Mastering the message: How execs can “speak from the heart” to communicate greater authenticity.
  • What "brand voice" is, what it isn't — and how to find yours to help build loyalty and trust.
  • How others are bringing brand voice to life and cascading it across all comms and content.
  • Stories from the stage: Examples, techniques and tips for building narrative arcs, relatable anecdotes and emotional resonance into speeches.
  • Neat, cheat or take a seat? What speechwriters, wordsmiths and editorial execs REALLY think about AI tools like ChatGPT (hint: AI can help refine language or check grammar if you’re in a rush)
Editorial Director
Google
Read bio
Senior Speechwriter
Former President Barack Obama
Read bio
Lead Speechwriter
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Read bio
2:45-3:15 P.M.
Panel
Communicating Trust Through Chaos: Moving from Panic to Power in Any Crisis

There’s no better way to learn how to stay cool in the hot seat than by hearing practical lessons from others who’ve sweated through crisis situations — and are here to talk about it. Join to hear firsthand exactly what it takes to communicate trust and transparency through chaos, mobilize responders and protect both the reputation you’re tasked with building and the stakeholders you serve. You’ll learn:

  • New Edelman data: Gen Z’s impact on how brands respond to crises — and how to meet rising expectations to show societal leadership in crisis plans.
  • Situation > Issues > Crisis: What a crisis plan looks like in the age of polarization, mis/disinformation and declining trust
  • Strategic priorities vs prescriptive holding statements: How trust and transparency can help prevent issues from escalating
  • Mobilization principles: Who needs to be notified, what messages to share and how to activate empathetic, effective crisis plans.
  • Lessons learned: Insights from responses to The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, facial rec controversy and "advocacy by Tweet" pressure.
Director of Issues and Policy Communications
IBM
Read bio
Partner
Bully Pulpit Interactive
Read bio
Head of Global Digital Crisis
Edelman
Read bio
3:20-3:50 P.M.
Slides
Educating and Uplifting with a Public Affairs Strategy Around Delicate Subjects

If you’re looking to stand up or sharpen a public affairs program around a politicized or otherwise delicate subject matter, marijuana legalization and AIDS research provide strong models. Public affairs pros in these spaces serve as educators, communicators and advocates daily. Learn how to strike a similar balance with insights from two PIOs who recently took the reins. You’ll learn:

  • Trust: How to communicate with clarity, transparency and consistency in markets where mis/disinformation/misinformation must be countered.
  • Strategy: How to create a “flex comms” plan for any issue without a roadmap.
  • Channels: Content distribution across web sites and social media (including surprising examples from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even TikTok).
  • Messaging: How NJ-CRC and amfAR navigate nuances around cannabis and AIDS research — and ensure messaging consistency.
  • Measurement: How to track sentiment and support — and respond in real time.
Toni-Anne Blake
Director of Communications
New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC)
Read bio
Vice President and Director of Public Information
amfAR (Foundation for AIDS Research)
Read bio
3:55-4 P.M.
Baker’s Dozen of Takeaways

We’ll share the top tactics and strategies from the virtual conference so you can  implement them for your organization.

The Top 5 things you’ll learn from this conference:

  • How to craft content beyond announcements and company news.
  • Cross-departmental ideas to build culture and pride in your company.
  • Tips for cascading communications effectively from leadership to managers and, finally, to employees.
  • Approaches for building or refining your Intranet to become an engaging employee experience.
  • Ways to measure everything you do and refine accordingly.

REGISTER NOW

Register today. Once registered, you’ll be able to join the private LinkedIn group right away.

Public Affairs & Speechwriting Certificate

GET RECOGNIZED!

Each registration comes with a personalized "Public Affairs & Speechwriting" Certificate of Completion for attending.

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SPEAKERS
Alan Black
Director of Corporate Communications
U.S. Navy, at Dahlgren, Virginia
Read bio
Treasurer
The State of California
Read bio
Toni-Anne Blake
Director of Communications
New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC)
Read bio
Vice President and Director of Public Information
amfAR (Foundation for AIDS Research)
Read bio

Partner
Bully Pulpit Interactive
Read bio
Jennifer Ball
Language Researcher, Inclusive Language Specialist and Board Member
Time to Advocate/Time to Run
Read bio
Tanya Bradsher
Chief of Staff
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Read bio
Head of Global Digital Crisis
Edelman
Read bio

Lisa Fratzke
Partner and Executive Strategist
Fratzke Consulting
Read bio
Lee Herrick
Professor and 2023 Poet Laureate of California
Fresno City College
Read bio
Director of Communications
23andMe
Read bio
Senior Speechwriter
Former President Barack Obama
Read bio

Lawrence J. Parnell
Associate Professor and Program Director, Masters in Strategic Public Relations
George Washington University
Read bio
Bruna De Palo
Neuroscience-Based Executive Coach
Think and Act Differently
Read bio
Director of Issues and Policy Communications
IBM
Read bio
Lead Speechwriter
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Read bio

Managing Director
ROKK Solutions
Read bio
Lecturer, Journalism & Public Relations Department
California State University, Long Beach
Read bio
Editorial Director
Google
Read bio
Past President
National Association of Government Communicators
Read bio

Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Royal Canin North America (Mars, Inc.)
Read bio
Co-Founder and Senior Partner
RCG
Read bio

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

You should register 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

REGISTER NOW

PRICING
Register now for Ragan's Public Affairs & Speechwriting Virtual Conference:
Early Bird Rates Regular Rates
Registration $849 $949
Ragan Insider Registration $749 $849
Nonprofit Registration $699 $799

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 receive $250 off current rates. Not a Ragan Insider? You can become one during registration for this event!

Phone registrations and group pricing: For group orders, please contact our customer service team at 800-878-5331 or cservice@ragan.com

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PRESENTED BY

CONTACT

REGISTRATION

For questions related to event registrations, please contact:
Shallon Blackburn
Customer Service & Sales Manager

 

SPONSORSHIP

If you’re interested in sponsoring this event, please contact:
Hannah Lavelle

 

PROGRAM

For information on programming and speakers, please contact:
Joyceann Garippa
Director of Content & Programming