Wednesday, Sep. 27

9–11:30 a.m.

How organizations can produce award-winning content—and how you can too: Tips, tactics and how-to road maps for creating a content machine

Brand journalism combines your organization’s experts and experiences (that’s the branding) with real reporting and lively storytelling (that’s the journalism). Find a new way to tell stories using the tried-and-true methods of journalism to engage your audiences and boost your organization’s competitive advantage.

You’ll leave this workshop knowing how to:

  • Build an audience of engaged customers and prospects through your storytelling
  • Establish ROI goals—and persuade the CEO to increase your content budget
  • Win huge media hits without press releases and traditional pitching
  • Recruit free content producers from your employees and customers
  • Build a prospect database that will lead to business
  • Establish an editorial calendar for your stories, videos, events and social media
  • Boost thought leadership and enhance your reputation among your stakeholders
  • Create a productive and happy news desk made up of professional communicators and volunteers
  • Measure the effectiveness of your content and win a bigger budget
  • Plan and create content that goes viral
Ragan Communications, Inc.
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Vice president public affairs
Alberta Energy Regulators
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11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.


12:30–2:30 p.m.

Visual storytelling lifespan: A story is born, produced, promoted, measured and reinvented

This hands-on pre-conference session is a deep dive into how to create an editorial vision, story or brand—beginning with how to think about visual storytelling, how to bring a story to life, how to promote and distribute it, and what to measure to determine whether it was a success or not. We will use one real-life example to showcase how to think about the conception, birth, life, potential death, minor reinvention, probable death and major reinvention of a real story or content brand, along with the actual hurdles you’ll face throughout the process. Harsh doses of reality, free of charge. Attendees are encouraged to bring ideas for stories or series they’re currently working on to develop during the hands-on portions of each section.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • The realities of the social media content landscape, right down to the mortality rates of new brands and video series. Spoiler alert: It ain’t pretty.
  • How to find your“why” for your brand/series/video. Why does this story deserve to be told? Why does your audience care? Why should you use precious internal resources to bring it to life? In short: Why do this?
  • How a good production plan and editorial calendar is everything
  • Which metrics should matter most to you early in the life of a video series
  • When (and how) to bring the life of your brand/series/video to a merciful end because it’s not working … and where to go from there
Content strategist, writer, filmmaker and producer
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2:45–4:45 p.m.

The art of inspiration: 7 secrets of highly effective storytellers

Evocative storytelling can give you the power to win hearts and minds in meetings, presentations and even press releases. Learn how to harness the narrative tools that novelists use to create compelling stories, transcendent moments and page-turning tales. You will come away with tangible tools to craft gripping and memorable stories.

You will learn how to:

  • Reimagine your mission as a quest with heroes, trials, triumph and moments of truth
  • Identify and use a magical object for storytelling impact
  • Channel the insights of neuroscience and the power of metaphor
  • Create the all-important “catch of breath” in your organization’s story
Story strategist and award-winning novelist
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