March 25–26, 2020

Shape Strategy. Craft Messaging. Preserve Reputation.

#RaganSpeech

In today’s turbulent social and political climate, no organization or leader can avoid scrutiny from the media and other stakeholders. To maintain trust and protect reputations, forward-thinking communicators need to shape strong strategies and craft eloquent messaging about key issues. Join Ragan on March 25-26 for the much-anticipated annual Speechwriting & Public Affairs Virtual Conference.

Whether your audience is employees, the media, government, activists or consumers, this conference will give you the innovative and cutting-edge ideas, strategies, tactics and examples you need to gain influence with executives, address today’s hot-button issues and preserve your organization’s reputation.

You’ll hear from a distinguished roster of speakers in an information-packed two days filled with learning. The event will now include content to reflect our public health crisis and how public affairs professionals are responding.

Confirm your registration for this critical online conference.

Learn how to:

  • Craft thoughtful, genuine messaging around divisive social and political issues
  • Build a social media presence that supports your brand advocacy and thought leadership goals
  • Write more concise and compelling content for public affairs campaigns
  • Infuse humor and humanity into your speeches and storytelling
  • Write speeches that capture the personality of even the most inaccessible executives
  • Execute dynamic, engaging formats for speeches and executive videos
  • Prepare for and respond to crises, legislative losses or social media uproars
  • Maintain the trust of internal and external stakeholders during times of organizational change
  • Train your executives and spokespeople to advocate effectively for your organization
  • Build successful third-party alliances that extend the reach of your public affairs programs and garner community support
  • Craft a strategy to showcase experts in your organization as industry thought leaders

Secure your spot today! Advance your career as a speechwriter or public affairs professional by serving as the strategic guide your leaders need.

Secure your ticket today!

Attend two days of online workshops, inspiring keynotes and information-packed sessions.

  • March 25:
  • 11 a.m-4:10 p.m. Eastern Time
  • March 26:
  • 10:30 a.m-3:35 p.m. Eastern Time

Top benefits of attending the Virtual Conference

  • More than 12 hours of training at one low price without the cost of travel
  • Access to the on-demand conference for 12 months to share with your team
  • Access to presentations and other resources from speakers, including worksheets and reports
  • Opportunity to ask speakers questions in real time
  • Networking with fellow attendees via private LinkedIn group
  • Ongoing discussion moderated by Ragan with attendees on private LinkedIn group
  • “Burn After Reading” document with conference takeaways and notes from selected sessions
  • Some proceeds from every registration go toward the CPD COVID-19 Response Fund
  • Personalized Certificate of Completion

AGENDA
March 25: Eastern time
11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Build a Social Media Brand That Earns Engagement and Trust

Social media is essential when it comes to advancing your advocacy goals and positioning executives as industry experts. With the 2020 election shaping up to be one of the most watched, written about, unpredictable and highly contested events in recent history, the stakes are staggeringly high for communicators. How does your organization break through and successfully engage audiences on today’s biggest platforms while minimizing risk? Discover the strategies AARP uses to champion its brand online and gain support around key issues at stake in the election. You’ll take part in exercises to help you improve your social media brand and become a trusted source to your online audiences.

In this session, you’ll learn how to:

  • Define your key audiences and messaging strategies for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more
  • Build a rapid response/crisis response infrastructure for social media uproars
  • Develop a compelling voice and content stream that breaks through the social media noise
  • Build an authentic LinkedIn presence for executives to earn the trust of audiences
  • Adapt to Twitter’s ban on political ads—and learn how to engage influencers organically
  • Measure success and get leadership buy-in for your efforts
Director of Grassroots Advocacy
AARP
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12:40–2:10 p.m.
Media Training Your Top Executives

Leaders of companies and organizations are busy. We know that—but we also know that cultivating media skills is a smart use of their valuable time. Excellent interviews don’t just happen; they take work. Gain insight into how to create and run an engaging media training program—and show leaders the importance of taking part in such training. You’ll participate in mock interviews that will help you prepare spokespeople for even the toughest questions.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Sell the need for regular media training for spokespeople of all backgrounds
  • Build trust so you can give direct feedback to leaders, including those with positional power
  • Make your training interactive and learner-friendly
  • Prepare spokespeople for various types of engagements—including internal events, and broadcast, digital and print interviews
  • Show the value of your training to those who think they have nothing to learn
  • Help your spokesperson gain confidence or give him/her a reality check
Director of media and advocacy training
American Farm Bureau Federation
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2:20 p.m.-3:50 p.m.
Expand your organization’s thought leadership with a proactive speaker’s bureau

Industry events can be the perfect platform to establish your organization as a trusted resource to target audiences—when they’re handled strategically. Discover how to optimize speaking engagements and integrate them into your broader thought leadership and marketing plans to realize maximum ROI for your executives’ time and investment. You’ll learn how to build a speaker’s bureau from the ground up and keep it humming with thoughtful event selection and relevant content. Join this session to get the tactics, templates and tools you need to ensure a successful and sustainable program.

Learn how to:

  • Clearly define thought leadership platforms and goals
  • Identify and evaluate subject matter experts across your organization
  • Audit existing content and develop more compelling synopses and sessions
  • Select engagements that put you in front of relevant audiences
  • Deliver value each time a representative speaks at an event
  • Ensure your bureau is effectively governed with the ability to grow
C-Suite Engagement and Executive Programs
ServiceNow
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March 26: Eastern time
11–11:35 a.m.
Storytelling 3.0: How to Strengthen the Use of Stories in Your Organization to Make a Lasting Impact

Some of the most memorable speeches of our time unfolded when speakers captivated and connected with their audience through storytelling. Today, more and more organizations are embracing the idea of injecting storytelling into standard communication practices, with soul-stirring stories showing up in everything from speeches to press releases to social media.

In this session, attendees will learn how to:

  • Rally your organization and leaders around the need to embrace a storytelling culture
  • Extract memorable stories out of speakers and stakeholders during interviews
  • Structure and write a powerful story that remains in the minds and hearts of audiences
  • Inspire action by injecting storytelling into speeches, executive communications and other comms channels
Chief storyteller
National Association of Realtors
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11:40 a.m.–12:20 p.m.
FIRESIDE CHAT
Advancing Your Speechwriting and Public Affairs Skills—and Finding Humor in a Challenging Time

In 2011, David Litt became one of the youngest White House speechwriters in history, and he would go on to serve as a senior speechwriter for former President Barack Obama. Described as “an unlikely comic muse for the president,” he took the lead on four of Obama’s White House Correspondents’ Dinners and went on to be a head writer and producer for Funny or Die. Join us for a fireside chat with the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir “Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years.’

He’ll share his insights on how to:

  • Thrive as a communicator new to the field or in a new organization
  • Fast-track your career as a speechwriter or communications advisor
  • Gain the trust of principals and help them step out of their comfort zones
  • Maintain a sense of humor in your writing even in a heated political climate
  • Understand when comedy can help or hurt your messages, especially during times of crisis
Managing Director and Executive Producer
Funny or Die
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Former senior speechwriter to former President Barack Obama
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12:20 p.m.–12:45 p.m.
Lunch Break
12:45–1:25 p.m.
Panel
Earning Trust in a Time of Crisis and Misinformation

Having written for the highest office in the country, these speechwriters have unparalleled expertise tackling crises, overcoming the obstacles posed by the quick spread of misinformation, and keeping trust and morale high during times of change and hardship.

Hear their inspiring stories from the White House and gain valuable insights on how speechwriters and communicators can help leaders navigate the current public health crisis.

Former speechwriter for former First Lady Laura Bush
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Senior speechwriter
Former President Barack Obama
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No Headshot
Speechwriter for former President George W. Bush
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Senior speechwriter for former President Barack Obama
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Speechwriter for former President Bill Clinton
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Speechwriter for former President George W. Bush
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1:30–2:05 p.m.
The Executive Communicator’s Role in Advancing a Culture of Inclusion and Justice

Movements like #metoo, along with discussions about bias and gender pay equity, have sharpened the focus on workplace inequalities and dominated national headlines. Join us  for a thoughtful discussion on the role executive communications plays in managing these hot-button conversations and advancing a culture of inclusion.

Attendees will explore the following:

  • Which national headlines keep top leaders up at night
  • How leaders can deliver thoughtful, powerful addresses that advance a culture of inclusion and diversity
  • How to create human-centered messages that are authentic, empathetic and transparent
  • How different organizations take a thoughtful, authentic stance on contentious social issues
Chief human resources officer, Chief diversity officer
Freddie Mac
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Director, strategic communications
Freddie Mac
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2:10–2:45 p.m.
Corporate Purpose: Finding Your Company’s True North

The world is becoming more complicated and harder to navigate due to uncertainty, increases in political polarization, rising nationalism and growing concerns about the economy and income inequality. Social risk has become a new worry for organizations, but people around the globe increasingly believe organizations can shape a better society. Corporate purpose has the power to engage and inspire employees, generate customer loyalty and help businesses chart a course for sustainable, meaningful growth.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Use “radar and a compass” to predict the unpredictable
  • March towards corporate purpose via corporate philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and sustainability
  • Create purpose and embed it into the core of your business
  • Identify and manage social risk by protecting corporate purpose and culture
Senior Counselor
APCO Worldwide
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Founder and Executive Chairman
APCO Worldwide
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2:50-3:25 p.m.
Advocating for Your Organization in the Face of Financial and Reputational Threats

Even as PBS celebrates its 50th anniversary and holds one of the highest levels of public trust of any media organization, it continually faces the threat of federal budget cuts. In such a high-stakes situation, it’s crucial that the organization maintains the loyalty of its stakeholders and sustains a conversation around the importance of its work.

Learn how to:

  • Balance messaging to groups with different or even opposing priorities
  • Identify the right internal champions for your organization
  • Draw upon your organization’s history to establish credibility and trust
  • Respond tactfully to threats from government agencies or officials
Vice President of Corporate Communications
PBS
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SPEAKERS
Vice President of Corporate Communications
PBS
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Chief human resources officer, Chief diversity officer
Freddie Mac
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Founder and Executive Chairman
APCO Worldwide
Read bio
KEYNOTER
Chief storyteller
National Association of Realtors
Read bio
Senior Counselor
APCO Worldwide
Read bio
Director, strategic communications
Freddie Mac
Read bio
Managing Director and Executive Producer
Funny or Die
Read bio
Senior speechwriter for former President Barack Obama
Read bio
Former senior speechwriter to former President Barack Obama
Read bio
Director of Grassroots Advocacy
AARP
Read bio
No Headshot
Speechwriter for former President George W. Bush
Read bio
Director of media and advocacy training
American Farm Bureau Federation
Read bio
Speechwriter for former President George W. Bush
Read bio
Senior speechwriter
Former President Barack Obama
Read bio
Speechwriter for former President Bill Clinton
Read bio
Former speechwriter for former First Lady Laura Bush
Read bio
C-Suite Engagement and Executive Programs
ServiceNow
Read bio

REGISTER YOUR TEAM NOW

Top executives from these companies are joining us, will you be at the conference too?

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

Join us if you are involved in:

  • Corporate communications
  • Speechwriting
  • Public affairs
  • Internal communications
  • Executive communications
  • Leadership communications
  • Government relations
  • Advocacy
  • Community affairs
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Social responsibility
  • Writing and editing

REGISTER NOW

NEED MORE CONVINCING?

Here are a few excellent takeaways you’ll bring back:

  • How to proactively build a strong reputation that protects against crises and public scrutiny
  • Strategies to use social media and new technology to advance executive communications, public affairs and corporate social responsibility goals
  • How to win the trust of the media, government and the public on the issues most closely affecting your organization
  • Build a media and advocacy training program that better prepares spokespeople to take the spotlight
  • How to address political and social movements thoughtfully through genuine and transparent messaging

Receive a FREE copy of Democracy in One Book or Less with your registration, written by New York Times bestselling author of Thanks, Obama, David Litt, who you will hear from on Thursday, March 26. At 10:40 a.m. Learn More

REGISTER NOW

Thank you to our current sponsors

Join us as an event sponsor and meet your target audience, showcase your products, present thought leadership, generate leads and boost your brand.

Here are a few examples of opportunities we offer:

The Speechwriting & Public Affairs Conference was originally scheduled to be held in Washington, DC. Due to the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus, we have transformed this event into a robust virtual conference that will include all the same sessions, tracks and outstanding roster of speakers. You’ll take away the new strategies and ideas you need to advance your mission.All of us at Ragan hope you and your families remain safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.