Wednesday, Mar. 7

7:15–8:15 a.m.
Bonus Breakfast Session

Drive company culture and communication success by earning a seat at the table

Culture isn’t just about happy hours and holiday parties. Mental health issues increase absenteeism and diminish productivity, talent acquisition and retention are more competitive than ever, and breaking through the noise for internal alignment feels nearly impossible. For today’s companies, creating a thriving culture of productive, mission-oriented, happy employees is essential.

Employee expectations have evolved, and technology has changed the way we reach and engage them. The tactics we once used are no longer effective, and there’s an urgent need for communication professionals to confidently usher in a new, analytics-driven approach.

Dynamic Signal’s CMO and organizational communication expert, Joelle Kaufman, will join her head of global communications, Robyn Hannah, for a conversation detailing how they work together for communication impact, what executives need to hear from their communication teams today, and how communication professionals can elevate their position in the company to effect change and secure resources.

Communication is a serious business function with a responsibility to drive a culture rooted in business impact, and executive alignment is key.

Over a great breakfast and interactive conversation, you’ll learn:

  • How to work with executives who will champion your work and voice your impact
  • How to build a business case for an investment in communication
  • Why measurement matters, and why it might look different from your preconceptions
  • How giving up control leads to a more aligned, empowered workforce
  • How internal and external communication teams can join forces to support the entire organization’s goals
Senior director of global communications
Dynamic Signal
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8:30–9:20 a.m.

Strategies to strengthen culture at every stage of the employee journey

Salesforce is the fastest-growing enterprise software organization in the world and is adding thousands of employees every year. How does an organization that prides itself on its “Best Place to Work” reputation keep a strong culture while growing rapidly? In this session, Theresa Ludvigson, global head of new hire experience and part of the employee marketing and engagement team at Salesforce, will give practical strategies for making sure your organization is delivering a world-class, five-star experience for new hires and keeping the culture strong throughout the full employee journey, including:

  • A full-year new hire success journey
  • A real-time, multidirectional process for goal setting and feedback
  • On-demand, interactive learning accessible to everyone
  • Amping up equality, giving back, well-being and fun
  • Metrics to measure and adapt your employee experience
Senior director, global onboarding
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9:30–10:20 a.m.

Energizing intranet engagement with grassroots and ‘grass-tops’ advocacy

Just as winning over both influencers and constituents is crucial to a political campaign, grassroots advocacy presents a good model for strengthening engagement with your intranet. We want our employees to participate, use resources, contribute and advocate for our sites. We often direct our outreach and promotion of site features and content only to this grassroots audience. An investment in “grass-tops” advocacy (specifically influential community managers) can help energize teams across the organization and build better engagement. Learn about lobbying your community managers to become your best intranet ambassadors.

You’ll also learn how to:

  • Develop a communications plan for grassroots and “grass-tops”
  • Train site managers using experts, quick reference guides and checklists
  • Identify early adopters and use them to advocate and train others
Senior director, member communications
Goodwill Industries
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10:30–11:20 a.m.

The power of shared experience: Connecting leaders with employees on a human level

At REI, people know the magic in hitting a trail, climbing a rock or skiing a run together. It’s a lesson REI’s communicators apply to helping senior leaders connect with employees across the organization. Broadcast communications are important—but so is what happens between those moments. Learn how breaking down hierarchy and embracing the unique aspects of your culture can build trust and confidence.

During the discussion you’ll:

  • Get tips on how to help executives connect with employees on a human level—even when delivering tough messages
  • Learn how to think “outside the memo”—ways to connect employees with leaders that leave a lasting impact
  • Understand the power of employee feedback as a tool to help guide senior leaders
  • Hear about the pitfalls to avoid and learn from REI’s mistakes.
Director, communications and public affairs
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11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

Developing a communications process to engage and align a distributed workforce

The 1,300 employees in Marathon Petroleum Company LP’s (MPC) storage and transportation organization are spread across 80 facilities in 14 states. Alignment and engagement are challenging for a distributed workforce, but by rethinking communications as a process, MPC overcame these long-distance obstacles. The organization uses an effective communications strategy based on a continuous improvement process, not just a series of tactics.

In this session, learn how to:

  • Build a communication strategy focused on continuous improvement, feedback loops and metrics that zero in on business goals
  • Use workshops to improve communication skills throughout the organization
  • Develop a proactive plan to increase employee engagement based on stakeholder feedback
  • Use a hierarchy of information and targeted messages to finally abolish the dreaded “mass email”
Internal communications specialist
Marathon Petroleum Company
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12:30–1:20 p.m.
Bonus Lunch Session

Get over your measurement hurdles: Make use of internal communications data to reach organizational objectives

Results-oriented measurement is important, but what do you do once you have the numbers? Poppulo’s research from more than 700 internal communications professionals shows that communicators want to use metrics to help their organization achieve its goals. Unfortunately, many struggle to prove the worth of their work. Join Poppulo’s U.S. president Eric Shealy for this bonus lunch session as he discusses how to link your team’s findings to the success of your organization. Show your executives how your team makes an impact and contributes to organization-wide goals.

You’ll learn to:

  • Link the outcomes of your campaigns and programs to your organization’s strategic goals
  • Show how your measurements can influence corporate strategy and help the bottom line
  • Become a trusted strategic advisor in your organization through data-driven insights
U.S. president
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1:30–2:20 p.m.

Hello, future: Transforming culture through video

Learn how Northwestern Mutual used enterprise video technology and live events to successfully engage and unify its employees during a period of corporate transition. Olivia Hare, assistant director, strategic communications at Northwestern Mutual, and John Frederick, sales director at MediaPlatform, provide tips and advice on maintaining proactive corporate communication that connects employees to the executive level and each other.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Take strides toward corporate transparency to transform organizational culture
  • Encourage regular and transparent corporate communication
  • Think innovatively to create compelling new experiences on tight budgets
  • Use new and exciting communication tools and approaches
  • Understand available technology to successfully encourage corporate knowledge sharing, camaraderie and collaboration
Senior communications consultant
Northwestern Mutual
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Sales director
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2:20–2:30 p.m.
Lightning Talk

Get more out of internal email: Analytics lessons from 200 million emails

Advanced email measurement can provide insights far beyond open rates. For proof, look no further than PoliteMail’s recent analysis of anonymous data from millions of Outlook users. From this data, PoliteMail will provide insights on which email strategies work—and which don’t. In this 10-minute lightning talk, Mike McNeilly will show you how email measurement can transform your internal email strategy and improve your internal communications overall.

You’ll learn:

  • What really makes an email more likely to be opened
  • How much content people actually read—and how to optimize yours
  • How to modify distribution size and timing to boost email engagement
  • Easy techniques to skyrocket your email click-thru rates
  • More effective ways to measure email results at your own organization
  • How to apply these findings to improve your overall internal communication strategy
Senior account executive
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2:30–3 p.m.

Networking break

3–3:50 p.m.

Engaging Your Execs to Drive Culture Change

An essential element of transforming a company’s culture is engaging executive leaders—but dizzying challenges abound in trying to capture the attention of your organization’s busiest people. Join us for a conversation about the tools and tactics we’re using to engage Aon’s senior leaders, and what we’re learning along the way. Be prepared to share your own ideas and experiences.

Vice president, global colleague and leader communication
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4–5 p.m.
Closing Keynote

Go where your employees are: Internal communications that connect in an ‘anytime, anywhere’ era

Today’s workforce demands real-time, authentic, bite-sized communications. If your internal communications aren’t increasing engagement or moving employees to action, then they’re missing the mark. From reviving the email newsletter to going mobile to winning with social media and video, the internal communications revolution is here.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • Proven tactics to build a winning internal communications platform
  • How internal communications helps to drive culture change inside organizations large and small
  • The power of “Are you talking to me?”—creative tactics to get employees and the leadership team on board during times of significant change
  • How to rethink traditional communications to meet employees where they are
Vice president, employee engagement
Brighton Health Plan Solutions
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5–7 p.m.

Networking cocktail reception

Join your colleagues and new friends at this networking event at JLL’s Club. You’ll enjoy great conversation, food and drinks while getting a magnificent view of Chicago’s Millennium Park and Lake Michigan.

Thursday, Mar. 8

7:15–8:15 a.m.
Bonus Breakfast Session

Go mobile: Learn how to clear the hurdles of a company-wide mobile rollout

Do the challenges of introducing a mobile app make your leadership question the value? You know mobile success is crucial, but how can you prove the value and ensure a successful launch?

Join us for a special hot breakfast on March 8 hosted by Bob Michelson, president and CEO of RMG Networks, as he shares tips to help your current or future mobile rollout strategy.

RMG provides consulting and solutions addressing internal communications needs more than half of the Fortune 100. Michelson will share stories from these organizations on the value and challenges of an internal communications mobile app, and how to have a successful rollout.

You will learn:

  • Seven benefits (qualitative and quantitative) mobile apps give companies and employees
  • How to use your mobile app to increase employee engagement and productivity
  • Best practices to overcome one of the biggest obstacles of mobile app success—gaining widespread adoption amongst employees
  • How to gain executive “buy-in” and create a fail-proof rollout plan

The session will also feature a demonstration of RMG’s mobile app software, KorbytGO.

President & CEO
RMG Networks
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8:30–9:20 a.m.

Culture add is the new culture fit: How to attract and retain diverse talent in today’s workplace

Three years after Pandora started to focus on its diversity and inclusion efforts, it announced public, measurable diversity goals. By the year 2020, the organization aims to grow its underrepresented employees of color from 35 percent to 45 percent, achieve promotion parity and reflect diversity externally in its business. Discover how Pandora amplified its culture through internal communications to increase diversity, and how to build a more inclusive workplace and move your organizational goals forward.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Build a business-to-employee communication strategy that spans multiple channels
  • Foster inclusion by partnering with employee resource groups and creating a drumbeat for their efforts
  • Use cultural storytelling to bridge the gap between employees of different ages, races and backgrounds
Director of diversity and inclusion strategies
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9:30–10:20 a.m.

Building your reputation as an employer of choice

The competition for talent has become more intense than ever. To recruit and retain skilled employees, modern organizations must take a new approach to employer branding. In this session, you’ll learn how to create an employee value proposition that engages your workforce with your organization’s mission while encouraging productivity and business success.

Learn how to:

  • Assess the employee experience at your organization and start conversations about your culture
  • Craft an employee value proposition that makes it clear to job seekers and current employees what your organization has to offer
  • Stand out from competitors by telling your brand’s story across a variety of channels
  • Adopt an employee-centric mindset when crafting content for your campaigns
Senior vice president, employee engagement
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10:30–11:20 a.m.

Use data to determine whether communications are actually working

We communicate tons of information to employees, but do we know whether the message is getting through? Communications programs suffer when budgets get cut because it’s difficult to quantify the impact of effective communications. Communications managers want more data, but common measurement techniques seldom go beyond measuring activity to assessing real effectiveness.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • The difference between activity metrics and results metrics
  • How to show the impact of your programs over time
  • How to take better advantage of data when developing your communications plans
  • How to use modern visualization tools such as Tableau to show communications effectiveness data
  • How to use data to understand what’s working and not working in your communications program
Managing director, people & process consulting practice
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11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Closing keynote

The mobile future of employee communications

Data from a number of studies reveal that Americans increasingly rely on social networks for their news. What they don’t do is visit a website—but in the business world, we continue to publish news and other information to an intranet home page. Deskbound employees generally skip past it to get to work-related material. Deskless employees often don’t even have access. Pretty much everybody has a smartphone, however, and (according to the data) people use these devices to get news and engage with content. Right now, apps for communicating make tremendous sense, but we’re on the verge of some big technology and behavioral changes that will push communication beyond apps. In this eye-opening session, you’ll learn how internal communication will deliver more meaningful results—for employees and for leadership—through the integration of new technologies, including …

  • Messaging apps, which consumers (including your employees) are already using to engage with a variety of businesses and organizations
  • Chatbots, which automate access to a lot of the information employees routinely seek, from HR data to organization news
  • Smart audio, through which employees will be able to talk to their devices rather than tap away at a keyboard
  • Artificial intelligence, which will improve our ability to deliver the right content to the right employee at the right time
  • Augmented and mixed reality, enabling us to create visual experiences that convey information in a more compelling and immersive manner
Director of internal communications
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For event information, contact Customer Service 800.878.5331, or