Webcast Agenda

We will be webcasting Track 3 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 1: Content Strategies Across Social Media Platforms

Thursday, Mar. 15

8:45–9 a.m. Eastern Time

Welcome remarks with Mark Ragan, CEO, Ragan Communications

Ragan Communications
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9–10 a.m. Eastern Time
Opening keynote

Why data is a social media pro’s secret advantage—and how to use it

With today’s cacophony of PR and marketing messages online—and endless voices competing for consumers’ attention—communicators are turning to more creative ways to stand out from the crowd.

Brandi Boatner, IBM’s social and influencer communications lead for Global Markets, will help you pivot from requests to “go viral” to crafting content and using social media strategies that will boost your ROI using readily available analytics and metrics. Learn how to read and understand what the numbers are saying so you can create social media posts your audience wants to read. See how researching trends and social listening can boost online engagement and help you better target consumers. Learn successful and sustainable alternatives to calls for more brand attention online.

Arm yourself with powerful online measurement tools that can increase your organization’s buzz—and your value.


Social and influencer communications lead for Global Markets
IBM Corporate Communications
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10:15–11 a.m. Eastern Time

Looking past Facebook’s news feed: How ‘Groups’ can facilitate brand loyalty and engagement

Facebook is an integral part of most communicators’ social media strategies and campaigns, but have you invested in the power of the platform’s “Groups” feature? Julie Bogen, social media manager at Vox.com and moderator of “The Weeds” Facebook group, will show how Vox combines its podcasts and interactive Facebook groups to build listener loyalty—and engagement. Through reviewing threads and posts, you’ll learn how you can create online interaction success on Facebook.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Monitor conversations to create content that resonates with your audience
  • Set effective strategies—and adjust them after engagement failures
  • Brainstorm content ideas based on audience activity
  • Solve problems within your community and foster an environment of growth and interaction
Social media manager
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11:15 a.m.–Noon Eastern Time

More than a retweet: Find data that proves earned media success

Throw away the “fake news” and focus on metrics that drive success. Each minute, 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. In the same minute, 3.3 million Facebook posts are published, nearly 67,000 photos and videos are shared on Instagram and more than 448,000 tweets are sent on Twitter. However, over 100 million of the accounts generating those posts are fake. In a world where each minute online means more content and messages blasted at your potential audiences, how can you use data to stand out from the noise—without resorting to dubious means? Russ Somers, vice president of marketing at TrendKite, will show you how data is the answer—and how you can harness the power of measurement and analytics to make and distribute more effective content, no matter what social media platform you use.

You’ll learn:

  • Social media analytics to effectively measure your efforts—and which to ignore
  • How social amplification can boost your campaign efforts in remarkable ways
  • Tips for using data to create more effective social media posts and digital content
  • How to uncover current trends as well as your organization’s sentiment online
Vice president of marketing
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1–1:45 p.m. Eastern Time

Empower customers to tell your best stories with video

What would your customers say about your organization if you drove to their homes? You might be surprised. Find out how a communicator from the nation’s largest chemical producer went on a 2,000-mile #DirtRoadTour with a farm blogger and video camera that resulted in the most successful campaign in global BASF history. The effort garnered 9.2 million organic impressions and more than 152K customer conversations. Whether you have a shoestring budget or a pot of gold, you can create an authentic conversation with your customers through video. Donnarie Hales from BASF will uncover storytelling insights and show you how to find the path to consumers’ hearts.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Let your customers be the star of the show—and become authentic brand advocates in the process
  • Engage with audiences through video, live streaming and social platforms
  • Adjust your social media strategy to gain a competitive advantage
  • Spread corporate messages while being relatable
  • Be opportunistic in your social media strategy planning
Communications manager/Product manager for diversified crops
BASF Ag Products
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2–2:45 p.m. Eastern Time

One tweet at a time: How your team can tell powerful, authentic stories

Your employees are the best sources of stories in your organization, so why not encourage them to share their experiences on Twitter? Hilton’s “Hilton Suggests” program seeks to help travelers worldwide make exploration easier and planned trips more memorable—all through recommendations based on the Team Members’ personal experiences and local finds. This effort is a way to connect with and offer value to travelers looking for authentic interactions and assistance without a sales pitch, which drives new connections with Hilton’s brands. In this session, Hilton’s social media product manager, Lee Diaz, will show off the work the organization has done to encourage Team Members to engage within the program, making it the success it is today. He will share insights for you to take back to your teams in order to tweet outstanding employee-crafted content, too.

 You’ll learn how to:

  • Activate employee voices and encourage personalities to shine
  • Drive authentic interactions that align with your brand
  • Develop content and conversations that work on Twitter—along with topics to avoid
  • Empower employees to leverage their individual experiences to power your brand storytelling and content creation
Social media product manager
Hilton Worldwide
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3:15–4 p.m. Eastern Time

Content across platforms: How to create content for multiple departments, channels and goals 

When Mariano Archdeacon, director of digital content for Lowe’s, traveled with his team in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Irma, they had storytelling across the entire organization in mind. The content they gathered was repurposed for social media, the Lowe’s newsroom, intranet, media coverage and a commercial that netted success for the marketing department. The ability to gather, create and repurpose content for departments across the organization gave Archdeacon’s’s content team a seat at the table—and confirmation that uncovering stories with a mind on content creation can help communicators immensely. In this session, Archdeacon will show you how to make your content efforts just as effective.

You’ll learn:

  • How to uncover stories from executives, employees, consumers and more
  • Questions every PR pro should ask when creating and repurposing content
  • How to craft videos, visuals and articles that fulfill multiple goals—and perform on multiple platforms
  • The items communicators must have to plan for content before, during and after events
  • How to identify trends and produce content quickly
Director of digital content
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4:15–5:15 p.m. Eastern Time
Special Keynote

Create social media “magic” through storytelling

In a world where content is king, storytelling also reigns supreme—and communicators who take advantage of the strategy stand to gain online audiences’ attention and hearts. Thomas Smith, editorial content director at Disney Parks and founder of the award-winning Disney Parks Blog, will share a series of real world examples showing how purposeful storytelling generates remarkable results. Smith will lead a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of the successful Disney Parks editorial content program and show how different content experiences are consistently leveraged to entertain, educate and inform audiences across the globe.

You’ll learn:

  • The Disney Parks approach to planning and distributing editorial content
  • How emotional storytelling cuts through clutter to reach audiences
  • The power of consistent, purposeful content experiences
  • Secrets to move a newsroom-based content program into the future
  • Why trying new things can drive your content growth strategy
Editorial content director
Disney Parks
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Friday, Mar. 16

9–9:45 a.m. Eastern Time

Secrets for building a world-class social media team

If you manage a social media team, you face a dizzying array of choices. Which channels should I operate, and at what cadence? Should I “square crop” my videos? What sentiment analysis tool should I choose? How can I demonstrate ROI? And crucially, how can I foster better engagement with my audience? Sid Shuman, PlayStation’s director of social media, will share key insights from his experience building some of the largest, most-engaged audiences in social media. You’ll learn where to focus—and what to ignore—when building a content team, along with many other takeaways to boost your online presence.

You’ll learn:

  • Where the conventional wisdom is wrong—and where it’s right
  • How to manage metrics before they manage you
  • Internal collaboration tips to maximize your team’s effectiveness
  • How to cultivate and refine your brand’s voice
  • The one thing you simply have to get right—at any cost
Director of social media
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10–10:45 a.m. Eastern Time

From followers to customers: Increase brand loyalty with social media content

Over time, it becomes harder for brand managers to capture people’s attention on social media. The question is not only how to reach new customers on social media—it’s also how to engage the best customers with unique, tailored content that will make them love your brand, repeatedly buy your products and proudly share their experiences online. Clementine Berlioz, senior social media manager for HelloFresh, will show you how content can help you turn your followers into loyal advocates who will benefit your organizations for years to come.

You’ll learn: 

  • How to make your social accounts more visible and unique
  • How to tailor your content to the audience you want to reach
  • Tips to encourage people to engage with your content and share their experiences
  • How to reach people where they are at any moment of the day
  • How to make the most out of Instagram and Pinterest
Senior social media manager
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11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Eastern Time
Closing Keynote

Pixie dust and hashtags: Navigate the digital landscape and flex your social media superpowers

For communicators, the question is no longer if you should embrace social media, but how you can embrace it effectively.

How can you take advantage of current and upcoming digital trends—and which ones can help you better connect with your audiences, create meaningful interactions, foster trust and brand loyalty, and boost your bottom line? In this keynote, Kristin Graham taps into her decade in high tech, her corporate career climb and her beginnings as a journalist to show how embracing trends and creating social media strategies can help you grab a seat at the table.

In this growing and ever-changing digital landscape, you have to take stock of the skills, attitudes and insights necessary to quickly adapt to your audience’s needs, create snack-size content that gets attention and move past clever (but fleeting) tweets. Focus on strategies that can help you better understand stakeholders, prepare for crises, break down silos and flex your creative muscles. It’s time to carve out your spot in the social media space. Learn from the pioneers, thinkers and doers.

Head of employee communications
Amazon Web Services
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For event information, contact Customer Service 800.878.5331, or cservice@ragan.com