Webcast Agenda

We will be webcasting Track 1 live. All tracks will be available as an on-demand recording within seven business days after the event has concluded. You can purchase the webcast here: Purchase Webcast.

TRACK 3: Social Media Best Practices

Thursday, Oct. 5

7:30–8:30 a.m.
Bonus Breakfast Session

How Microsoft improves employee engagement using the latest Office 365 tools

Join Eric Jaffe, senior marcom manager for employee communications at Microsoft, and Michael DesRochers, founder and managing director of PoliteMail Software, for breakfast and learn how Microsoft uses modern office tools and business intelligence to better engage employees worldwide. In this Microsoft case study analysis, you’ll learn how the tech giant has gained email efficiencies and improved employee engagement using measurement, A/B Testing, PowerBI analytics, executive videos and mobile-first design. If you want your employee communications on target and engagement levels high, attend this session.

During the breakfast session you’ll learn how to:

  • Measure results and perform A/B testing to improve email reach, readership and click-thrus
  • Achieve brand consistency across hundreds of communications teams
  • Develop mobile-first responsive design pages within Outlook
  • Deliver fast, effective executive communications using email and video
  • Develop key insights and communications intelligence using PowerBI analytics
Founder & managing director
PoliteMail Software
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Senior manager, employee communications
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9–10 a.m.
Opening keynote

Lessons learned from first lady Michelle Obama on how to write powerful, memorable and authentic stories

Sarah Hurwitz, former head speechwriter for first lady Michelle Obama, will share lessons learned from her years as a White House speechwriter about how to craft moving, memorable and inspiring speeches. Citing real-life examples from her time in the White House, Hurwitz will offer advice on how to tell vivid stories, make compelling arguments and express deep truths that can move audiences to action.

During this keynote you will learn how to:

  • Employ powerful, authentic language instead of tired slogans and clichéd soundbites
  • Tell vivid, memorable stories that will move your audience
  • Make a persuasive argument that motivates audiences to take action
  • Edit yourself effectively
  • Use your speakers’ words to convey deep emotions
Former head speechwriter
First lady Michelle Obama
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10:10–11 a.m.

How to tie social media strategy to your business goals

Drive awareness. Create demand. Generate engagement. These are among the many goals of a strong social media strategy, but how do you select the right ones to align with your organization’s business objectives? The ability to tie social strategy to business goals is more important than ever, given the power and impact of social media. This session will provide guidance on how to tie your social media strategy directly to each of your organization’s business goals, no matter your organization’s size or budget.

You will learn:

  • The connection between social media strategy and business goals—and how to articulate this to your executives
  • How to ask your business leaders the right questions to set the best social strategy
  • The best way to select the appropriate metrics for social media goals based on your business objectives
  • How to use real industry data to reinforce your social strategy
Digital marketing manager
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Digital marketing manager
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11:10 a.m.–Noon

How to tailor digital measurement reports to match your leaders’ top priorities

Marketing and PR managers struggle to show the value of digital marketing. Numbers alone don’t supply the context to evolve strategies, and not all senior decision makers find value in the same metrics. So how do you choose metrics and craft insights that your leaders will find valuable? In this session, you’ll learn to use thoughtful analysis to tell the story your leadership will respond to.

You’ll learn:

  • How to determine which KPIs matter to your executive and execution teams
  • Ways to encourage data-driven decision making in your organization
  • Measurement strategies and reporting tactics that communicate tangible results
  • Techniques for blending qualitative and quantitative analysis to tell a cohesive story
Enterprise data strategy director
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Noon–1 p.m.

Lunch (provided on site)

1–1:50 p.m.

Tools in the modern communicator’s toolbox

In the olden days, communications professionals would pitch stories, land coverage, rinse and repeat. Today, earned media is just one piece of an interconnected set of tools in the communicator’s toolbox. Social media, brand journalism, paid amplification and influencer communications now work in harmony with earned coverage to help organizations tell stories with maximum impact.

In this session you’ll learn how to:

  • Tell a story on owned channels that attracts earned coverage
  • Harness the credibility of positive press to create compelling social content
  • Tap the power of influencers to tell your story in a deep and engaging way
  • Use your brand’s social media channels as “digital embassies” that bring new customers home to your owned properties
  • Use paid media to reach not only more people, but the right people
Director of communications
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1:50–2:30 p.m.

Networking break

3:30–4:30 p.m.
Special keynote

More than a catchphrase: Putting communications to work to roll out meaningful

Culture is top of mind for many organizations these days. Research has shown that as workforce demographics change, employees want to work for organizations that support their values, empower work/life balance, and encourage personal growth. But changing a culture doesn’t happen overnight, especially in established organizations. In addition to leadership backing and a thoughtful approach to defining and refining culture goals, a successful culture change requires a well-planned and ongoing HR and communications strategy.

Learn how Microsoft has approached culture change, including:

  • Aligning culture change to the organization’s mission and brand
  • Learning from employees to honor the past and define the future
  • Making change real through all people processes
  • Amplifying internal storytelling using tools like Sway and portals, and infusing a culture message in all senior leadership communications
  • Measuring the impact of culture change through employee feedback, customer and partner feedback and external perceptions
Human resources general manager for marketing and consumer business
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5–7 p.m.

Networking cocktail party hosted by Microsoft

Join your colleagues and new friends at this networking event at Microsoft’s Visitors Center. You’ll enjoy great conversation, food and drinks while getting a peek at some of Microsoft’s latest technologies.

Friday, Oct. 6

7:30–8:30 a.m.
Bonus Breakfast Session

The top 20 tips and strategies global organizations use to drive employee engagement

Employee engagement is essential to every organization’s success. According to a recent study by Ragan and RMG, 87 percent of employees worldwide are not engaged, costing organizations trillions of dollars each year. The solution requires going beyond traditional communications. Join Bob Michelson, CEO of RMG Networks, as he shares the most compelling engagement techniques his clients have deployed, gained from the experiences, solutions and results of many RMG clients (which include more than 50 of the 100 largest organizations in the United States). Michelson will share specific and actionable internal communications techniques and technologies that have had a meaningful impact on employee engagement, satisfaction, retention and productivity. Featured will be best practices on types of content that perform the best, the design/look of content that employees respond most favorably to, the ideal frequency of content updates and new sources of content authoring that drive content growth.

Enjoy a delicious complimentary breakfast with this special presentation. You’ll learn:

  • Why and how to deliver personalized communications to every member of your organization
  • Why and how to deliver a compelling mobile internal communications solution to all your employees, with special emphasis on reaching your nondesk workers
  • The characteristics of internal communication messages that perform the best
  • Strategies for boosting employee engagement, satisfaction, retention and productivity
President & CEO
RMG Networks
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9–9:50 a.m.

Powering play: Everything you should know to build an engaging digital workplace

Everyone’s a communicator these days. Our phones, tablets and laptops have enabled that. But access to the tools is only the first step. You need an employee engagement strategy, project goals, milestones and a content plan. Take a peek behind the curtain at the creation of Hulu’s social intranet platform, Huluverse, and the strategies implemented to keep “Hulugans” coming back for more.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Engage and retain employees with an intranet they actually want to use
  • Design an ecosystem that encourages dialogue at all levels and fuels high-performing teams
  • Identify opportunities to integrate your organization’s culture in all you do
  • Change your communications team role from “order taker” to “expert”
  • Navigate change management, especially in growing businesses
Manager of employment branding and communications
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10–10:50 a.m.
Microsoft skills session

The power of employee activation

Organizations with high levels of socially active employees are able to more easily build their brands, sell their products and hire the talent they need—and we have the data to prove it. Take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to drive engagement and preference toward your brand, organization and products by empowering your employees to become social professionals.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Why organizations are launching employee activation programs
  • How they get them started and justify these programs internally
  • How they are scaling up their programs to include all employees
Artist in residence
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Senior marketing specialist
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11 a.m.–Noon
Closing keynote

Turning your people story inside-out

A certain 2012 presidential candidate once famously said, “corporations are people, my friend.” Politics aside, he wasn’t far off. People shake the hands of customers. People keep the corporate culture. People form the connective tissue of massive organizations moving in concert toward a common goal. And yet, their individual stories remain some of the hardest for companies to uncover and share – especially at scale. With more than 1.2 million associates in the U.S. alone, Walmart knows better than most the difference one person can make. The nation’s largest retailer has been working to create and operationalize an “always-on” communications program designed to find and tell People stories, big and small, from the airwaves and print of mainstream media to its corporate webzine to the company’s 4,000+ local Facebook pages, and beyond…

In this session, you will learn:

  • How Walmart aligns resources to mine human interest stories across its vast organization
  • Why human interest stories demand a channel-agnostic approach to storytelling
  • Strategies for getting buy-in across the HR, legal and communications functions
  • The impact of hyper-local storytelling on brand affinity and reputation
  • The value of making the individual, not your company, the hero of the story – no matter where you’re telling it
Director of corporate communications
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For event information, contact Customer Service 800.878.5331, or cservice@ragan.com