RAGAN’S

Strategic Communications Conference

INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS  •  PUBLIC RELATIONS  •  SOCIAL MEDIA

October 19-20, 2022
Microsoft Headquarters, Redmond, WA
Register by Sept. 16 to Save $100
CAN'T MISS STRATEGIC COMMS EVENT!

New methods to transition from tactician to strategist

Interactive: AMA panels • Experiential learning • Live networking
Instruction: Skill sessions • Strategic lessons • Tactical guides
Inspiration: Success stories • In the Spotlight talks • Speed dating sessions

Reunite with your peers and join Ragan for an exclusive, interactive experience held at the Microsoft Learning Center on the tech giant’s HQ campus — where you’ll enjoy inspirational keynotes, info-packed skill sessions and dynamic demos across two tracks designed to meet your needs, whether you’re in internal or executive comms PR, social media or marketing.

In the wake of unprecedented upheaval, today’s leaders are looking for partners who are strategic advisors — not order takers. This event is a golden opportunity for communicators to step off the tactical hamster wheel — and step up into the corner suite by providing transformative strategies that help guide organizations forward with confidence and clarity.

Leave the days of uncertainty and checking boxes behind — and enjoy a refreshing opportunity to share ideas with your peers and unlock greater results, recognition and ROI for your efforts.

REGISTER NOW

YOU’LL ALSO RECEIVE THESE EXCLUSIVE BONUS MATERIALS:

  • The Clear and Concise Writing Guide
  • Tip Sheet for Manager Communications
  • LinkedIn Executive Thought Leadership Guide
  • Best Practices for Inclusive Social Media
  • ESG Comms: Evolve from Financial Reporting to ESG Storytelling
  • Media Placement Secrets: How to Craft a Winning Pitch
  • Ragan’s Crisis Communications Tips for Internal Communicators
  • Ragan’s DEI Communications Plan Worksheet

TECH • TALENT • MEDIA • REPUTATION • CRISIS • DEI • CULTURE

THE COMPANY YOU WILL KEEP

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FEATURED SPEAKERS

KEYNOTER
Chief Growth Officer
Triller
Read bio
Global Head of Content & Digital
Nestlé
Read bio
Senior Director, Public Relations
Amtrak
Read bio
Director, Corporate Communications
Entergy
Read bio
Communications Director
C-SPAN
Read bio

AGENDA

Join for an inspiring, instructive in-person conference that will give you the latest skills and insights you need to step up and stay on top of your game.

Internal Communications
Day One, Oct. 19
8-9 a.m.
Networking Breakfast/Special Discussion on Balancing Tech and Touch
9-9:15 a.m.
Welcome Remarks
9:15-9:40 a.m.
Spotlight Talk
Creating a culture that thrives in change: How we inspire and innovate (so you can too)

The world has changed and with it, so has communications. Out of necessity, we’ve become more adaptable, empathetic and crisis ready. Join to hear an amazing, firsthand story that will inspire you to transform this survival instinct into strategy by creating and communicating a nimble organizational culture that doesn’t just survive challenges — but thrives in change. You’ll hear:

  • Firm foundations: Boosting change engagement by tying to organizational purpose
  • How to assess and activate your best partners — including employees — to help
    support change
  • How to identity the best digital channels and influencers for your message, including
    smart ways to communicate organizational change with the press and public
  • Ideas for measuring your change communications successes
Corporate Vice President, Talent, Learning & Insights
Microsoft
Read bio
9:45-10 a.m.
Fresh Data
SWOT analysis of communications’ changing role

Clear, consistent and purpose-driven communications helped ground our workforce and calm our publics over the past few years. Ragan’s most recent “Communications Benchmark Report” and HarrisX/Ragan CEO-Communicators Competencies Survey” both show we’ve built stronger relationships with HR and allied departments through it all, while also forging greater access to the C-suite — but there’s still work to be done. This recap will break it all down using a SWOT analysis, created at Stanford to help execs evaluate and improve their organizations:

  • Strengths: Where the sector is strong, strategic and trusted among execs
  • Weakness: Areas for improvement, including hybrid workplace technology
  • Opportunity: Possibilities for greater impact, including ESG, DEI and digital
  • Threats: Emerging challenges, including AI worries and handling misinformation
10-10:15 a.m.
Lightning Talk
From Ford to Old Navy: How brands are using real-time monitoring

A cold weather front, public health misinformation, and “Tiger King” could not be more different types of emergencies and cultural phenomenons, but these fast-changing events demonstrate how brand campaigns evaluated through real-time media monitoring produce a wealth of measurable data that can change outcomes even within the course of a single day. NewsWhip’s President Brett Lofgren will describe three case studies on the advantages of using real-time media monitoring. We’ll demonstrate how to:

  • Quickly perceive situations that threaten company reputation
  • Use real-time data to understand critical moments, in context of all the news
  • Compare similar incidents to establish benchmarks of public vs. media interest
  • Predict the impact of an event while it’s unfolding
  • Persuade stakeholders to take action when it’s warranted
President
NewsWhip
Read bio
10:15-10:45 a.m.
Skills & Strategy
Top tech stack tools to engage and align your internal teams in the years ahead

Yesterday’s tools can’t keep pace with today’s remote, dispersed and deskless workforce. Join this session to re-evaluate the tech you’re using to ensure your communications are seen, heard and acted upon — no matter where or how your employees prefer to be communicated with. You’ll discover the best new channels to add to your mix — and which you should move on from in the year ahead. You’ll learn: 

  • Considerations to future-proof your internal comms for a more effective workplace
  • How to audit and tailor your tech stack so it’s the best fit for your hybrid employees
  • Plug-ins and apps to help elevate everything from townhalls to team meetings
  • How to minimize digital disruption (and costs) when implementing new technologies
  • What's new and next for Microsoft 365, Microsoft Viva, Yammer and more . . .
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Employee Engagement, Microsoft 365
Microsoft
Read bio
10:45-11:15 a.m.
Skills & Strategy
Align and assure: Avoid information chaos with “cascading” manager communications

A recent Axios study shows that 74 percent of us think our internal communications are clear and effective — yet only 40 percent of employees agree. Managers can help you bridge the gap, as they’ve  become an increasingly influential channel in today’s hybrid workplace. Here’s how to sharpen your manager comms strategy so you deliver consistent and aligned information that cascades through the organization in a clear, effective way. You’ll learn: 

  • Audience first: How to craft key messages that matter to employees and that connect them to the organization’s mission and strategy
  • Cadence and care: How to deliver the right message, the right way at the right time without burning out managers or employees
  • Resource kits to help managers “cascade” messaging in their own voices for greater engagement and buy-in
  • Bonus AMA: Ask anything you need to know about avoiding chaotic manager communications — even Alisha's hardest-won lessons
Executive Director, Leadership & Internal Communications
UCLA Health
Read bio
11:15-11:35 a.m.
Networking Break
11:35 a.m.-12 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
The rise of employee influencers: Transform your #1 asset into brand cheerleaders

Communicators don’t have to craft, share and live your brand story alone — not anymore. Your organization is already teeming with internal influencers who are passionate about their work and who they work for. Your task is finding them, recognizing them and empowering them to become cheerleaders for your brand(s) — both in person and online. Join this session to learn:

  • Strategies to encourage your employees to advocate for your organization,
    boosting wider engagement, morale and retention
  • The best channels for employees to share their stories — internally and externally
  • Smart ways to tie your influencer program to your business and culture goals
  • Social media rules: Guidelines for employees speaking out on social media
Director of Employee Communications, Advocacy and Growth PR
Microsoft
Read bio
12-12:30 p.m
Skills & Strategy
Leveling up your DEI program to unite and empower a dispersed workforce

A dispersed workforce doesn’t have to be a disconnected workforce. By elevating DEI beyond performative measures, you can empower employees to feel supported, connected and seen. Join to see what’s working now to foster a deeper sense of belonging and greater employee engagement with DEI strategies that go beyond checking the box. You’ll learn:

  • How to empower employee resource groups (ERGs) to boost awareness and allyship
  • How to help employees break out of their remote silos, and own their role in DEI by embracing their power, cultural humility and voice
  • How to measure DEI progress at your organization — and present it to the C-suite
  • Storytelling strategies for communicating DEI progress toward goals
Executive Vice President, Health Sector DEI
Edelman
Read bio
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Networking Lunch
1:30-2 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
Key internal KPIs: Smarter ways to track reach, engagement, behavior and impact

Measuring the effectiveness of internal communications is key to building a successful organization. Internal comms has a substantial impact on employee productivity, motivation and engagement, as well as cross-departmental teamwork and organizational alignment on larger business goals and purpose. With metrics, you can assess which type of content works best on your channels and optimize your delivery accordingly. In this session, you’ll learn: 

  • Insights to help you set up or improve your internal messaging KPIs so you
    more accurately measure reach, engagement, behavior and impact
  • New tools organizations can use to distribute and track key messaging
  • How to use employee pulse surveys to collect feedback on key initiatives
  • How to extract actionable insights from your data and present findings to execs
2-2:30 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
Words that ignite: Transform emails and intranets into user-friendly engagement magnets

Today’s digital workspace can be overwhelming for employees juggling an influx of emails, intranet updates and messaging service notifications. Developing a user-first approach for engagement can beat employee click fatigue, all while populating your traditional channels with punchy, tailored and must-read content. In this session, you’ll learn:

  • Best practices for user friendly and accessible content
  • Writing tips to craft more engaging messages — plus a variety of more engaging ways to distribute your content
  • How to remodel your intranet into a hub employees love — and return to again and again without push notifications
  • Quick tips for integrating shorter, fun and more mobile-responsive communications that provide rich experiences for dispersed workforces
Owner + CCO
Sunnyside Communications
Read bio
2:30-3 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
Rapid response: Crisis strategies for communicating change in uncertain times

As if you don’t have enough on your plate, today’s internal communicators must also double as crisis managers amid relentless disruptions, restructurings, security alerts and more. The good news is you don't have to go it alone. In this session, we’ll hear from a comms leader who successfully bridges internal and external comms to quickly deliver consistent, clear and confident messaging in times of crisis . We’ll discuss:

  • Rapid response principles in the age of social impact and cultural issues: How—and when—to react in support of issues like BLM, the Roe v. Wade ruling and coming electoral divisiveness
  • What a flexible communications crisis plan looks like in today's always-evolving hybrid workplace
  • Best tools and tactics to communicate tough, sensitive updates to a hybrid workforce—including townhalls, Slack, intranets and more
  • How to translate internal comms messaging around issues or crises into talent recruitment and retention opportunities
  • How to apply crisis lessons to your long-term communications strategy
Head of Global Communications and Content
CoverWallet, an Aon Company
Read bio
3-3:15 p.m.
Networking Break
3:15-4 p.m.
Interactive
Speed dating session: Pick a topic and join the table discussion—come ready to share!

Four facilitators from our speaker roster will sit at four respective tables organized by the topics below. After introductions, each will share their best practices on the topic and then open the table to attendees sharing their own advice and experiences on the topic for 10 minutes before attendees switch to the next table. Come ready with questions and your own challenges on:

  • “How I Did It” —advice on climbing the internal comms ladder
  • Townhalls, talks and speeches — what we’re doing to inspire teams
  • Return to Office strategies — what’s working for us, and challenges we’re facing now
  • Engagement parties — Workplace activities that boost employee morale and retention
4:10-4:30 p.m.
Spotlight Talk
Want to win the war for attention? Harness data-driven storytelling across the PESO spectrum

Competition for attention is at an all-time high. If you want to create scroll-stopping content that gets read across all user journeys — then you need a content plan that ties internal and external comms together. Here’s how one major brand re-envisioned and unified its content using the PESO framework — which integrates paid, earned, shared and owned media. Join us for inspiring real-world examples of content, messages and channels that helped drive organizational objectives. You’ll discover:

  • New content consumption trends driving changes in PESO
  • Case study: A real-world snapshot of the PESO framework at work, including:
    • Paid: Generating demand with paid amplification, sponsorship and advertising
    • Earned: Pitching and placing media for credibility and links back to your site
    • Shared: Engaging audiences and building communities on top of social media
    • Owned: Creating videos and posts that boost awareness, loyalty and conversions
  • How to create a plan, calendar, messages and assignments feed the content beast
  • Essential KPIs to track and report across the entire PESO model
Director of Digital Communications
Lockheed Martin
Read bio
5-7 p.m.
Reception
Opening Day Reception: Mingle and Mangé at MSFT

Wrap up your first day of inspiration and ideas by attending this relaxing reception. You’ll mingle with your peers and mangé at a delightful location right on the exquisite Microsoft campus.

Day 2, Oct. 20
8-9 a.m.
Breakfast/Sponsored Session
9:10-9:30 a.m.
Spotlight Talk
Should my brand take a stand? Building a magnetic culture in the "Age of Purpose"

Let’s debate some hot issues over your hot coffee. This time, you’re in the spotlight because communicators play a significant role in providing feedback about the issues that are important to all stakeholder groups — including employees. This interactive talk will show you how to channel this feedback into a strategic guide to help your organization determine when — and how — to speak up to help build a more purpose-driven company that employees AND external stakeholders align with and support. You’ll learn:

  • Come ready to debate the issues your company should or shouldn’t engage in — then hear feedback strategies to make smarter choices
  • The top 10 engagement drivers and related best practices (yes, they include issues management)
  • The importance of DE&I and how to create an environment of shared ownership and engagement
  • How to give life to your purpose-driven commitments beyond messaging
  • Authenticity and attracting talent: How to empower execs to speak about your organizational purpose
  • Smart ways to share your purpose-driven story internally and externally
Employee Engagement Expert, Author
"Building a Magnetic Culture"
Read bio
9:35-10 a.m.
Skills & Strategy
Breaking down silos: Strategies to improve how internal and external comms work together

Internal and external comms have traditionally been separate disciplines, with their own sets of strategies, audiences and channels. And the lines between HR and communications have been notoriously hard to blur. Learn from a finalist for the 2022 Ragan's Platinum HR Awards and others how they're breaking down silos and optimizing workflows with a “mixternal mindset” and cross-departmental tools today’s hybrid workplace. You’ll hear: 

  • The power of joining forces: Firsthand lessons from a PR former PR director turned internal comms strategist
  • New strategies for breaking down working silos between HR, PR, internal and executive communications to ensure consistent messaging, deeper buy-in and greater efficiencies (hint: it starts with goal setting and metrics)
  • Deep dive into how others are transforming and integrating their intranets, employee forums, broadcasts and messaging to connect employees—and departments
  • Ideas for partnering with non-comms departments like marketing, sales, finance and IT
  • Bonus AMA: Ask anything you need to know about “mixternal comms” — and whether it’s realistic or just wishful thinking
Director of Communications, Interim Assistant Vice President
University of Miami
Read bio
10-10:30 a.m.
Skills & Strategy
Memo to management: Tap into the power of LinkedIn for executive communications

Breaking through the noise with executive comms requires an integrated approach across multiple channels — townhalls, external speeches, thought leadership events, op-eds and more. Here’s how to tie it all together on LinkedIn to help your execs become more visible,  connected, influential and trusted. In this session, you’ll learn:

  • How to coach your leadership to deliver memorable messages on LinkedIn
  • Finding, honing and honoring your exec’s voice so LinkedIn posts, LinkedIn pages
    and LinkedIn Live videos get shared internally (and externally)
  • How to plan, create and post compelling executive content on intranets, apps, newsletters — and then give it new life and greater reach on LinkedIn
  • New strategies to promote your leadership’s LinkedIn content and profiles
10:30-11 a.m.
Skills & Strategy
DE&I meets workplace wellness: Strategic initiatives to make impact and influence culture change

What if we told you that one DEI focused talent program can reshape organizational culture and change how you think about the employee experience? Well, it's possible! This talk will focus on Audible’s Next Chapter Returnship Program, a program rooted in DE&I that changed not just the hiring culture of an organization, but set a new standard for the industry at large. The program has helped communities in need, created new pathways for employee engagement at work, and took workplace wellness to a whole new level. You'll hear:

  • Lessons from HR on how to get buy-in for a unique program from diverse stakeholders and leadership
  • How to structure a program in a manner that influences organizational change and enables multiple stakeholders to grow, develop, engage and feel empowered
  • Techniques to influence organizational policies and practices through measuring change and building concrete success metrics
  • How to impact external communities through organizational work
  • How to build a long term sustainable programmatic approach continue the legacy beyond a one-off initiative to introducing other parallel programs rooted in DEI and workplace wellness
Director HR Program Management
Audible
Read bio
11-11:15 a.m.
Networking Break
11:15-11:40 a.m.
AMA Panel Discussion
Help, my pulse survey is flatlining! Getting “real” results with employee listening

Engaging employees with pulse surveys and scheduled check-ins are just the beginning of employee listening. From there, employee listening requires an always-on communications framework built to bring together employee insights and the leaders with the power to act on those ideas. We’ll discuss:

  • Why pulse surveys commonly fail — and how to launch a more consistent “continuous listening” program that connects leaders more directly with employees
  • How to frame your commitments to employees that let them know they’ve been heard
  • How to identify common obstacles to employee listening and develop ways to overcome them
  • Bonus AMA lightning round: Ask our panelists anything you need to know about improving employee engagement — no holds barred
11:40 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
Avoid churn-and-burn: Create a content calendar that doesn’t stray from strategy

If content is king, consistency and frequency are keys to the kingdom. Yet many internal comms teams struggle to create content at the scale of their external counterparts — and others struggle to improve content performance. The solution can be as simple as creating a strategic content calendar that has visibility across departments. In this inspiring case study, you’ll hear: 

  • Finding focus: How to re-evaluate what content is and isn’t working for you
  • Planning ahead: Ideas for designing and maintaining a shared content calendar
  • Staying on schedule: How to emphasize collaboration and build in accountability
    to transform teams into empowered content factories
  • Tracking engagement: How to track your content’s success and make immediate adjustments
12:05-12:30 p.m.
Interactive
Are you prepared? Stress test your crisis comms playbook to ensure all teams can act

No organization wants to deal with a crisis, but the reality is they are unavoidable — so how can communicators step into the breach and help reduce the risks? The answer: Provide a well-crafted crisis plan that calls out everyone’s role during the crisis and accounts for different scenarios. This interactive session will uncover: 

  • Key elements of a comprehensive crisis communications playbook
  • How to set up table-top crisis drills to train your team to respond to today’s threats
  • Messaging guidelines to keep front-liners, execs and SMEs focused
  • BONUS: An interactive scenario planning exercise you can take back to your team
Reputation Management and Employee Communications Lead
Microsoft
Read bio
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Lunch
1:30-2 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
ESG + Communications: Transforming a time of reckoning into a golden opportunity

Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) isn’t just a buzz phrase anymore. It plays an increasingly important role in organizational reputation, valuation and success. And with the SEC’s proposed changes on reporting climate-related risks and greenhouse gas emissions, you can’t just rely on legal counsel anymore — comms needs to step up as a strategic partner to help eliminate empty ESG gestures and ignite action. Here's what you’ll learn in this session:

  • Our moment of reckoning: Your role in supporting positive corporate change, communicating progressive governance and fostering conversation
  • How to help craft and share your ESG story to employees, customers and the media
  • Ideas to turn employees and subject matter experts into ESG ambassadors — and ideas to transform your owned channels like websites and social media into ESG hubs
  • How to work more closely with IR and other department to address the proposed SEC disclosures for investors
Director of Corporate Communications
Evergy
Read bio
2-2:20 p.m.
Spotlight Talk
Laughter and leaders: What can we learn from surprising leadership quotes?

Let’s have some fun with a little quiz! Who said the following? “First rule of leadership: everything is your fault.” “Why join the navy when you can be a pirate?” “I’m a leader not a follower. Unless it’s a dark place, then you’re going first.” Find out at this refreshing closing talk, where we’ll also explore traits communicators can hone to become more valued strategic partners to the C-suite. Together we’ll hear:

  • Your top leadership quotes: Come ready to share your faves and why you love them
  • Listening: Why communications is a two-way street that starts with asking the right questions and listening with an open mind
  • Empathy: How to better understand employee struggles and act on what you learn
  • Composure: How to keep calm during crises — steps to assess before you stress
  • Laughter: How to hone your sense of humor to humanize, disarm and inspire
General Manager of Employee, Social and Reputations Communications
Microsoft
Read bio
2:20-2:30 p.m.
Baker’s Dozen Take-Aways
External and Social Media
Day One, Oct. 19
8-9 a.m.
Networking Breakfast/Special Discussion on Balancing Tech and Touch
9-9:15 a.m.
Welcome Remarks
9:15-9:40 a.m.
Spotlight Talk
Creating a culture that thrives in change: How we inspire and innovate (so you can too)

The world has changed and with it, so has communications. Out of necessity, we’ve become more adaptable, empathetic and crisis ready. Join to hear an amazing, firsthand story that will inspire you to transform this survival instinct into strategy by creating and communicating a nimble organizational culture that doesn’t just survive challenges — but thrives in change. You’ll hear:

  • Firm foundations: Boosting change engagement by tying to organizational purpose
  • How to assess and activate your best partners — including employees — to help
    support change
  • How to identity the best digital channels and influencers for your message, including
    smart ways to communicate organizational change with the press and public
  • Ideas for measuring your change communications successes
Corporate Vice President, Talent, Learning & Insights
Microsoft
Read bio
9:45-10 a.m.
Fresh Data
SWOT analysis of communications’ changing role

Clear, consistent and purpose-driven communications helped ground our workforce and calm our publics over the past few years. Ragan’s most recent “Communications Benchmark Report” and HarrisX/Ragan CEO-Communicators Competencies Survey” both show we’ve built stronger relationships with HR and allied departments through it all, while also forging greater access to the C-suite — but there’s still work to be done. This recap will break it all down using a SWOT analysis, created at Stanford to help execs evaluate and improve their organizations:

  • Strengths: Where the sector is strong, strategic and trusted among execs
  • Weakness: Areas for improvement, including hybrid workplace technology
  • Opportunity: Possibilities for greater impact, including ESG, DEI and digital
  • Threats: Emerging challenges, including AI worries and handling misinformation
Justin Joffe
Editor-in-chief
Ragan Communications
Read bio
CEO
Ragan Communications
Read bio
10-10:15 a.m.
Lightning Talk
Handling misinformation: Tools and “prebunking” tactics to boost credibility

Our employees and external stakeholder groups have become increasingly concerned about — and overwhelmed by — misinformation. Since preserving and protecting brand reputation begins with trust, corporate communicators must play a more active role in ensuring the veracity of not just the information we’re sharing, but also the outside information our audiences are consuming. Join for a look at how misinformation influences your publics and how to use monitoring tools and a “prebunking” methodology to set the record straight.

10:15-10:45 a.m.
Skills & Strategy
Marrying earned and social media: How to combine teams and efforts for breakthrough results

Mainstream media is more fractured than ever, but remains a critical component of any PESO communications program. After all, established publishers have built-in reach, influence and engaged audiences that your own content can’t compete with on the same scale. That's why it makes sense to integrate your mainstream media and social media efforts in a more holistic, channel-agnostic approach. Hear how this veteran communicator has done precisely that with her team, resulting in breakthrough creativity and results. You'll hear:

  • How to rethink structure, responsibilities and collaboration across PR and social media teams
  • How seeding positive stories in social media can carve out space in a news hole dominated by bad news
  • How to tap social media to friend, follow and pitch hard-to-reach A-list editors and reporters
  • How to amplify mainstream coverage across your top social media platforms
  • How to transform your online newsroom into a media hub that feeds your "Big 5" social channels (and vice-versa)
  • Proof of concept: Killer KPIs, inspiring examples and lesson-implicit case studies
Senior Director of External Communications
Zebra Technologies
Read bio
10:45-11:15 a.m
Skills & Strategy
Measurement keys to the C-suite: Track outcomes and present results your execs will love

Execs are demanding greater accountability from communications — and expect to see clear, compelling metrics that showcase improving results, reputation and ROI for your efforts. The pressure is real — but the good news is you’re not alone. Join this panel for a breakdown of the top measurement challenges facing your peers and how they’re solving for them. You’ll learn:

  • How to use the Barcelona Principles 3.0 to guide your measurement
  • How to give execs what they want: Realistic reputation, trust and ROI metrics
  • Digging into the data: How to extract actionable insights from the KPIs you pull
  • Tech must-haves: What others are using to set goals, track results and gather their data, including AMEC’s online Integrated Evaluation Framework
President and CEO
Institute for Public Relations
Read bio
11:15-11:35 a.m.
Networking Break
11:35 a.m.-12 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
Digitizing DEI: Strategies to make your social media more inclusive (and to back it up IRL)

Inclusive social media content doesn’t just provide an outlet to share your DEI work, it also reminds followers, the public and the press what your company believes and how it’s living more inclusive values. In this session,  Ragan and PR Daily's "2022 DE&I Professional of the Year" will share how he and his team has organization has planned, produced and posted social media stories that illuminated its commitment to belonging. You’ll learn:

  • Leading by example: Inspiring examples of DE&I at work—and how to emulate them
  • Prioritizing representation: Choosing your images with greater intention and
    crediting BIPOC and other marginalized content creators for their work
  • Non-performative scheduling: Sharing inclusive posts, videos and stories beyond
    Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Pride Month and more
  • Practicing allyship: How to be there for those in your social media community
    looking for support from the organization — including ways to ensure accessibility
  • Bonus AMA lightning round: Ask our expert anything you need to know about improving your DEI efforts so they’re not performative
Manager, Public Communications & Media Relations
Orange County Transportation Authority
Read bio
12-12:30 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
Cultivate and communicate purpose: Building an authentic brand in the public and press

A big agency spend isn’t what creates a recognizable, beloved brand — not anymore. Instead, crafting, cultivating and communicating a brand’s authentic purpose is what connects with audiences today. After all, the public and the press expect more from organizations now. Join to hear how to improve brand reputation and build trust with purpose-driven PR. You’ll learn:

  • How to help identify your organization’s purpose, mission and values
  • Proof of purpose: Storytelling strategies and examples that bring purpose to life
  • Working with the press: Stories, angles, data, trends and media hooks that will help position your purpose driven programs to receptive outlets on the beat
  • Measuring purpose: How to track and report corporate reputation to your execs
Senior Client Partner & North America Lead, Culture & Change
Korn Ferry
Read bio
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Networking Lunch
1:30-2 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
Build a better brand newsroom: Steps to create powerful “storytelling at scale”

Content teams need a plan and a place to showcase the stories they produce — and that’s where a brand newsroom platform presence comes in. In this session, we’ll break down a practical process for launching a brand newsroom from scratch — or transforming the one you already have into an easily searchable hub for the brand stories, press announcements and media coverage you’re most proud of. You’ll learn:

  • How to start small with consistent content output and build toward a newsroom
  • Strategies for reimagining your communications department as a news team
  • Tips for designing and maintaining a practical editorial calendar
  • PR strategies for turning your brand newsroom into a media magnet
Co-Founder and Senior Partner
Ragan Consulting Group
Read bio
2-2:30 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
Make culture contagious: Creating brand ambassadors with people-first social media

Next to friends and family, our coworkers are our most trusted sources of recommendation (source: Kantar). That’s great news for communicators tasked with building trust and culture. Sit in on this session to discover how one organization revamped its entire social/creative strategy to be people-first by focusing on employee stories that are shared internally and externally. You'll discover how you, too, can humanize your brand and boost culture, DEI, employee ambassadorship and social media engagement. Join to hear:

  • How to codify, communicate and live a more sharable brand culture
  • Anatomy of a successful people-first social media storytelling program
  • Storytelling examples that capture and convey culture on top social media
  • How to activate internal and external ambassadors around social media campaigns—including using dedicated hashtags, repurposed content and more
  • Success metrics: Ideas for tracking culture, DEI, social media engagement and more
Creative Director
Stax Payments
Read bio
2:30-3 p.m.
AMA Panel Discussion
How we’re winning the talent crunch: New digital employer branding and #belonging strategies

The past few years have been disruptive. Return-to-work plans were thrown into chaos and more employees left for opportunities more aligned with their values, sense of purpose—and pursuit of belonging. With the relationship between prospects and employers changed, now’s the perfect time for external comms to step in with new digital strategies to help their organizations find and hire the best and brightest. In this interactive panel, you’ll see what others are doing to right the ship. You’ll learn:

  • Looking ahead: Anatomy of strong digital employer branding programs that embrace diversity, belonging and purpose
  • Storytelling as a superpower: How others are working closely with HR, recruiting and marketing to share people-first employer brand stories
  • Examples of how others are driving activation of Employee Value Propositions across geographies and channels
  • Social media focus: Examples of successful employer branding content to post Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and beyond
  • Bonus AMA lightning round: Ask our panelists anything you need to know about becoming a better place to work — including how they’re measuring success
Former Senior Manager of Employer Branding
Change.org
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Manager of Employer Branding, Engagement and DE&I in the Americas
Veeam Software
Read bio
3-3:15 p.m.
Networking Break
3:15-4 p.m.
Interactive
Speed dating session: Pick a topic and join the table discussion—come ready to share!

Four facilitators from our speaker roster will sit at four respective tables organized by the topics below. After introductions, each will share their best practices on the topic and then open the table to attendees sharing their own advice and experiences on the topic for 10 minutes before attendees switch to the next table. Come ready with questions and your own challenges on:

  • “How I Did It” — advice on climbing the comms career ladder
  • Townhalls, talks and speeches — what we’re doing to inspire teams and the public
  • Return to Office strategies — what’s working for us, and challenges we’re facing now
  • Influencer exchange – how others are finding, paying and partnering with influencers
4:10-4:30 p.m.
Spotlight Talk
Want to win the war for attention? Harness data-driven storytelling across the PESO spectrum

Competition for attention is at an all-time high! If you want to create scroll-stopping content that gets read across all user journeys — then you need a content plan that ties internal and external comms together. Here’s how one major brand re-envisioned and unified its content using the PESO framework — which integrates paid, earned, shared and owned media. Join us for inspiring real-world examples of content, messages and channels that helped drive organizational objectives. You’ll discover:

  • New content consumption trends driving changes in PESO
  • Case study: A real-world snapshot of the PESO framework at work, including:
    • Paid: Generating demand with paid amplification, sponsorship and advertising
    • Earned: Pitching and placing media for credibility and links back to your site
    • Shared: Engaging audiences and building communities on top of social media
    • Owned: Creating videos and posts that boost awareness, loyalty and conversions
  • How to create a plan, calendar, messages and assignments feed the content beast
  • Essential KPIs to track and report across the entire PESO model
Director of Digital Communications
Lockheed Martin
Read bio
5-7 p.m.
Reception
Opening Day Reception: Mingle and Mangé at MSFT

Wrap up your first day of inspiration and ideas by attending this relaxing reception. You’ll mingle with your peers and mangé at a delightful location right on the exquisite Microsoft campus.

Day 2, Oct. 20
8-9 a.m.
Breakfast/Sponsored Session
9:10-9:30 a.m.
Interactive
Should my brand take a stand? Building a magnetic culture in the "Age of Purpose"

Let’s debate some hot issues over your hot coffee. This time, you’re in the spotlight because communicators play a significant role in providing feedback about the issues that are important to all stakeholder groups — including employees. This interactive talk will show you how to channel this feedback into a strategic guide to help your organization determine when — and how — to speak up to help build a more purpose-driven company that employees AND external stakeholders align with and support. You’ll learn:

  • Come ready to debate the issues your company should or shouldn’t engage in — then hear feedback strategies to make smarter choices
  • The top 10 engagement drivers and related best practices (yes, they include issues management)
  • The importance of DE&I and how to create an environment of shared ownership and engagement
  • How to give life to your purpose-driven commitments beyond messaging
  • Authenticity and attracting talent: How to empower execs to speak about your organizational purpose
  • Smart ways to share your purpose-driven story internally and externally
Employee Engagement Expert, Author
"Building a Magnetic Culture"
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9:35-10 a.m.
Skills & Strategy
Breaking down silos: Strategies to improve how internal and external comms work together

Internal and external comms have traditionally been separate disciplines, with their own sets of strategies, audiences and channels. And the lines between HR and communications have been notoriously hard to blur. Learn from a finalist for the 2022 Ragan's Platinum HR Awards and others how they're breaking down silos and optimizing workflows with a “mixternal mindset” and cross-departmental tools today’s hybrid workplace. You’ll hear: 

  • The power of joining forces: Firsthand lessons from a PR former PR director turned internal comms strategist
  • New strategies for breaking down working silos between HR, PR, internal and executive communications to ensure consistent messaging, deeper buy-in and greater efficiencies (hint: it starts with goal setting and metrics)
  • Deep dive into how others are transforming and integrating their intranets, employee forums, broadcasts and messaging to connect employees—and departments
  • Ideas for partnering with non-comms departments like marketing, sales, finance and IT
  • Bonus AMA: Ask anything you need to know about “mixternal comms” — and whether it’s realistic or just wishful thinking
Director of Communications, Interim Assistant Vice President
University of Miami
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10-10:30 a.m.
Skills & Strategy
3Ts of thought leadership success: Build loyalty on LinkedIn, Twitter and podcasts

Winning thought leadership starts with setting your execs and SMEs up for success by discovering their strengths—and their stories. When done right, it builds trust and loyalty — because it comes from a place of purpose and passion instead of promotion. Learn how one global organization turns its thought leadership program into storytelling machine using timeless principles and the latest platforms. You’ll learn: 

  • The 3 T’s of thought leadership: How truth-telling, transparency and testing can help guide your efforts
  • Strategies to ID the best execs, managers and SMEs as thought leaders
  • Managing exec’s expectations based on their personalities and passions
  • Audience-centric strategies: How to produce helpful, hot button thought leadership content and stories audiences will love
  • Choosing channels: Tips to publish your content on the right formats and topics on:
    • LinkedIn — because that’s where the recruits are
    • Twitter  — because that’s where the press is
    • Podcasts — because that’s where authority meets the audio boom (tips for producing your own podcasts—and for handling podcast queries for your execs)
Senior Director, Executive, Financial and Brand Communications
GoDaddy
Read bio
10:30-11 a.m.
Skills & Strategy
Essential paid social media and influencer strategies to boost buzz and engagement

Organic reach on social is diminishing. But strategically targeted paid social campaigns and influencer partnerships can more than make up lost ground — and dramatically boost reach and results for your brand messages. Here’s how to supercharge paid efforts in your overall Paid/Earned/Shared/Owned (PESO) communications mix — without breaking the bank or burning out teams. You’ll hear:

  • Paid social: Best practices on Facebook, Instagram Twitter and LinkedIn that drive engagement, boost clicks and convert the curious
  • Partnering: How to identity and work with the right influencers and celebs to create a mutually beneficial partnership that spreads your message on social media
  • Budgeting: A breakdown of what paid social and influencer campaigns cost
  • Measurement: How to improve and scale your paid influencer efforts
Social Media Manager
National Committee for Quality Assurance
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11-11:15 a.m.
Networking Break
11:15-11:40 a.m.
AMA Panel Discussion
"Magic Moments" from IRL to URL: Secrets of success on social media and beyond

Consumers love the way a great story makes them feel, and today's technology enables storytellers to build lasting relationships across different mediums. Join this session to discover how to effectively craft content to create "magical moments" with consumers. You'll hear how to create brilliant creative and content strategies, and gain a deeper understanding of your user/buyer's journeys resulting in amazing experiences that seamlessly integrate real-world and social media activations. You'll also enjoy clips from work with clients like Cruella, Murder on the Orient Express, Minute to Fix It and more. You'll learn:

  • The creative process: Tips for brainstorming big, brilliant ideas
  • Customer's journey deep dive: What communicators often overlook, from click paths to compelling content that hits hot buttons every step of the way
  • Ways to take unexpected social media approaches—from paid to organic content—to garner attention from core and new audiences alike
  • How to create memorable connections through storytelling—from content, to delivery, to engagement—that increase your target audience impact
  • How to evolve your brand voice to better engage with your audience and drive conversions, loyalty and ROI

CEO & Chief Creative Officer
The Craftsman Agency
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11:40 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
Social media crisis management: Strategies for handling the hot seat when crisis strikes

If you’re not using listening tools to monitor your brand on social media, you won’t hear that next crisis coming. That’s as professionally risky as sticking your head in the sand in the middle of an emergency. What’s more, social listening helps you track what competitors are doing, react quickly when posts backfire, and pinpoint ways to boost, improve or save social media campaigns that are on the ropes. Sit in on this session to hear:

  • Advice for designing and deploying a social listening crisis monitoring strategy on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and beyond
  • Best ways to populate your social media channels with time-sensitive messages around cyberattacks, C-suite misdeeds and other potential crises
  • Tactics for integrating social monitoring efforts into a larger crisis plan
  • Horror stories: The do’s and don’ts on social media when a crisis hits
David Johnston
Head of Social Media
United States Department of Defense
Read bio
12:05-12:30 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
Find your leadership voice on social media: Secrets of posts, pages and profiles that POP!

Copy-and-paste is anathema to great social media posts — and content marketing in general. Yet many companies still repurpose, recycle or repost the same copy across their social media feeds — a sure recipe for diminished returns. Join this session to reassess and revamp the way you plan, pen and post your social media. You’ll learn:

  • The “3 Ts" of Timeliness, Transparency, and being True to self  in executive messaging and presentation
  • The role high-vis leaders play in overall social strategy and the value they bring to the social landscape
  • How to support leaders getting started or be more active on social media
  • Writing nuts-and-bolts: How to attract eyeballs, engage followers and drive clicks
  • How to apply these lessons and writing insight to all your communications
Director of Social Media & Communications
National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)
Read bio
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Lunch
1:30-2 p.m.
Skills & Strategy
ESG + Communications: Transforming a time of reckoning into a golden opportunity

Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) isn’t just a buzz phrase anymore. It plays an increasingly important role in organizational reputation, valuation and success. And with the SEC’s proposed changes on reporting climate-related risks and greenhouse gas emissions, you can’t just rely on legal counsel anymore — comms needs to step up as a strategic partner to help eliminate empty ESG gestures and ignite action. Here's what you’ll learn in this session:

  • Our moment of reckoning: Your role in supporting positive corporate change, communicating progressive governance and fostering conversation
  • How to help craft and share your ESG story to employees, customers and the media
  • Ideas to turn employees and subject matter experts into ESG ambassadors — and ideas to transform your owned channels like websites and social media into ESG hubs
  • How to work more closely with IR and other department to address the proposed SEC disclosures for investors
2-2:20 p.m.
Spotlight Talk
Laughter and leaders: What can we learn from surprising leadership quotes?

Let’s have some fun with a little quiz! Who said the following? “First rule of leadership: everything is your fault.” “Why join the navy when you can be a pirate?” “I’m a leader not a follower. Unless it’s a dark place, then you’re going first.” Find out at this refreshing closing talk, where we’ll also explore traits communicators can hone to become more valued strategic partners to the C-suite. Together we’ll hear:

  • Your top leadership quotes: Come ready to share your faves and why you love them
  • Listening: Why communications is a two-way street that starts with asking the right questions and listening with an open mind
  • Empathy: How to better understand employee struggles and act on what you learn
  • Composure: How to keep calm during crises — steps to assess before you stress
  • Laughter: How to hone your sense of humor to humanize, disarm and inspire
General Manager of Employee, Social and Reputations Communications
Microsoft
Read bio
2:20-2:30 p.m.
Parting Thoughts

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SPEAKERS

Head of Global Communications and Content
CoverWallet, an Aon Company
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President and CEO
Institute for Public Relations
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Executive Vice President, Health Sector DEI
Edelman
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Executive Director, Leadership & Internal Communications
UCLA Health
Read bio
General Manager of Employee, Social and Reputations Communications
Microsoft
Read bio
Senior Client Partner & North America Lead, Culture & Change
Korn Ferry
Read bio
Director of Corporate Communications
Evergy
Read bio
Manager of Employer Branding, Engagement and DE&I in the Americas
Veeam Software
Read bio
Director of Social Media & Communications
National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)
Read bio
Social Media Manager
National Committee for Quality Assurance
Read bio
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Employee Engagement, Microsoft 365
Microsoft
Read bio
Director of Employee Communications, Advocacy and Growth PR
Microsoft
Read bio
Justin Joffe
Editor-in-chief
Ragan Communications
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David Johnston
Head of Social Media
United States Department of Defense
Read bio
President
NewsWhip
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Owner + CCO
Sunnyside Communications
Read bio
CEO & Chief Creative Officer
The Craftsman Agency
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Director HR Program Management
Audible
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Manager, Public Communications & Media Relations
Orange County Transportation Authority
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Senior Director, Executive, Financial and Brand Communications
GoDaddy
Read bio
Senior Director of External Communications
Zebra Technologies
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Reputation Management and Employee Communications Lead
Microsoft
Read bio
Director of Communications, Interim Assistant Vice President
University of Miami
Read bio
CEO
Ragan Communications
Read bio
Employee Engagement Expert, Author
"Building a Magnetic Culture"
Read bio
Creative Director
Stax Payments
Read bio
Former Senior Manager of Employer Branding
Change.org
Read bio
Corporate Vice President, Talent, Learning & Insights
Microsoft
Read bio
Director of Digital Communications
Lockheed Martin
Read bio
Co-Founder and Senior Partner
Ragan Consulting Group
Read bio

Interested in becoming a 2022 speaker at this event?
Please reach out to Event Producer Brian Pittman

GET RECOGNIZED!

Certificate

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

Plus, all attendees receive:
All slides and presentations from speakers and connection to our esteemed speakers.


THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:

SPONSORS

If you are interested in sponsoring this industry event and discussing the numerous
opportunities available to showcase your organization and product contact us at
sponsorship@ragan.com or 312-960-4204.

Top 10 things you’ll learn how to do at this conference

  • Develop a strategic communication plan to optimize your entire Paid/Earned/Shared/Owned (PESO) channel mix
  • Create an employee culture that thrives in change
  • Determine when and how to take a stand on hot-button public issues
  • Energize executive comms with dynamic brand storytelling, townhalls and speeches
  • Improve manager and crisis comms efforts so information cascades at critical times
  • Create a brand newsroom that drives “storytelling at scale” and stronger content
  • Engage paid influencers and employee rising stars to share your story
  • Digitize DEI in a way that makes your social media more inclusive
  • Supercharge your social media channels — and test new Web3 and NFT strategies
  • Demonstrate the impact of your work to senior leaders through smart metrics
  • BONUS: Supercharge your teams and results with exclusive insights from Microsoft speakers — showcasing their best practices and AR, AI, LinkedIn and new 365 tools

REGISTER NOW

BACK LIVE AND BETTER THAN EVER!

Beyond the conference, enjoy exciting networking events and experiences around the city.


TOP THINGS TO DO IN SEATTLE

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

  • Space Needle  Visit the observation level on the 605-foot-tall Space Needle and see views to Elliott Bay, the Cascade Mountains, and Mount Rainier.
  • Pike Place Market From the iconic market sign to the gum wall, the original Starbucks cafe, over 225 local artisans, the famous fish-tossing tradition, and street performers, there is plenty to enjoy at Pike Place Market.
  • Washington State Ferries A ride across Puget Sound a quintessential Pacific Northwest experience. Enjoy the breathtaking views from the bow of the boat as you cruise to the nearby communities of Bainbridge Island or Bremerton.
  • Seattle Great Wheel The Seattle Great Wheel is a fixture of the city’s skyline with an entirely new sightseeing perspective, thanks to its location perched on the end of Pier 57.
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PRICING
Meet us in Redmond, WA for the Strategic Communications Conference

Early Bird Rate
Until 9/16
Full Rate
Standard Registration $1599 $1699
Ragan Insider Registration $1349 $1449
Nonprofit/Gov/Edu Registration $1399 $1499
Conference Recording $1299 $1399
Early Bird Rate
Until 9/14
Full Rate
Standard Registration $1599 $1699
Ragan Insider Registration $1349 $1449
Nonprofit/Gov/Edu Registration $1399 $1499
Conference Recording $1299 $1399

Get your tickets early and save. Discounts are also available for the following:


Nonprofit/Gov/Edu Discounts

Save an additional $200 off current rates.

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!

RESERVE YOUR SPOT

For those who can’t attend the conference live, an on-demand option is available during the registration process

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 • Public Relations • Brand Journalism • Social Media • Storytelling • Writing and Editing

REGISTER NOW

LOCATION
Microsoft
CONFERENCE VENUE
Building 92/Learning Center
Microsoft

15010 NE 36th Street
Redmond WA 98052
See below for recommendations on hotels in the area.

The Microsoft corporate campus in Redmond, Washington, is more like a park than a corporate headquarters. It's surrounded by trees, has its own lake and offers an abundance of recreational activities. About 41,500 employees work on the campus. Our event will be held at Microsoft's state-of-the-art conference center.

In the evenings you can head into Seattle, just 13 miles away, to visit Pike Place Market and see the famous fish throwers, take an elevator ride to the 520-foot high observation deck in the Space Needle or grab a coffee at the original Starbucks, opened in 1971.


HOTELS

For your convenience when booking travel, here are some hotels that are near the Microsoft Learning Center in Redmond, WA.

Residence Inn by Marriott Seattle Bellevue

Hilton Garden Inn Redmond Town Center

Seattle Marriott Redmond

Hyatt House Seattle/Redmond

The dress code is business casual.


Participate in the conversation
#RaganMSFT

PRESENTED BY:

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Want to know more? We are here to help!

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

If you are interested in sponsoring this industry event and discussing the numerous opportunities available to showcase your organization and product in front of hundreds of corporate wellness, HR and communications professionals contact Hannah Lavelle at Sponsorship@ragan.com or 312‑960‑4204.

PRESENTED BY

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REGISTRATION

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

 

SPONSORSHIP

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

 

PROGRAM

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