Webcast Agenda

We will be webcasting Track 1 of this conference live. The webcast and 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. 4

9–10 a.m. Pacific time
Opening Keynote

Build communications that inspire action, build trust and bolster relationships

Outstanding leaders and communicators know how to connect with people through emotional storytelling and powerful messages. However, even the best executives and PR pros can break a sweat at the thought of addressing huge crowds to share their organizations’ visions, their own thought leadership, or the crisis response to rebuild a battered reputation. Words can be both leaders’ and communicators’ most powerful assets when shared thoughtfully and strategically. Using proven communications techniques, you can establish your expertise, quickly connect with those you address, and get your point across—whether on a page or on the stage.

Phil Spencer, executive vice president of Gaming at Microsoft, will join story strategist to the C-suite and novelist Justina Chen to discuss how they tackled the challenges of crafting effective communications and show you a look inside their collaboration and creative processes. In this fireside keynote moderated by Xbox chief-of-staff Catherine Gluckstein, you’ll learn how to get flex your storytelling muscles, get your brainstorming and creative juices flowing, and push through plateaus and public speaking discomfort to achieve your breakthrough moment—no matter the stage.

Executive vice president of gaming
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Co-founder, novelist and story strategist
Chen & Cragen
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Chief of staff
Xbox at Microsoft
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10:15–11 a.m. Pacific time

Influencers are the new social currency: Practical strategies for working with tech tastemakers

As PR and marketing efforts become increasingly more digital, and as the digital landscape becomes ever more cluttered, communicators must find new ways to build trust with consumers. Enter influencers. These highly engaged social media users can elevate your brand’s image and help you build content that feels real. How can you couple your social media and content efforts with these digital rock stars—and stay true to your brand voice? Jessica Jensen, global director of marketing at Qualcomm, launched the organization’s first social influencer marketing program, and will show you how you can do the same.

You’ll learn:

  • Core qualities of influencers and necessary steps to building influencer campaigns
  • How you can gain executive buy-in and get your organization’s leaders—and internal influencers—involved
  • Best practices in influencer marketing—and mistakes to avoid
  • Tips for working with third-party content creators while still maintaining your own brand integrity
  • Ways to measure your program effectiveness and the marriage of qualitative and quantitative results
Global director of marketing
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11:15 a.m.–Noon Pacific time

Secrets to make your videos so good, they don’t have to go viral

Original video content is transforming the consumer marketplace. Channels such as Facebook Watch, YouTube and the new IGTV from Instagram are capturing attention, driving clicks and ultimately—for savvy marketers—driving sales. What’s the “secret sauce” to putting together video campaigns that achieve these goals and more? The makers of Squatty Potty, Chatbooks, Poo-Pourri and Purple are prepared to tell you what they’ve learned. Benton Crane, CEO of Harmon Brothers, leads the team that has racked up more than 1 billion views and driven over $300 million in sales. He’ll show you the elements of successful videos and how to make a splash with your next effort.

You’ll learn:

  • How to make creative content that sticks
  • How rhythm keeps viewers engaged
  • Crucial elements your social content strategy should include
  • Which platforms make the most sense for your goals
  • Why branding and conversion don’t have to be mutually exclusive
Chief executive officer
Harmon Brothers
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1–1:45 p.m. Pacific time

Driving internal communications, inclusion and careers in tech organizations

Internal and employee communicators are typically familiar with the basics of crafting communications plans, creating content, measuring results and developing crucial relationships. Do the same approaches apply when it comes to technology organizations, especially with today’s focus on transparency and culture? Sara Brown, head of internal communications for Facebook’s Augmented and Virtual Reality teams, will walk you through the typical tech communications lifecycle and share tech-centric best practices for growing your skills and career along the way.

You’ll learn:

  • Best practices for communicating across global technology organizations
  • How to promote diversity and inclusion with every communications plan
  • Key metrics for gauging impact
  • Tips for sharpening your skills and improving relationships
Head of internal communications
Facebook's Oculus VR
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2–2:45 p.m. Pacific time

How to be more inclusive in your social marketing content

Diversity and inclusion are top of mind for organizations of all sizes and industries. Leading brand managers are not only fostering an inclusive environment where people of all backgrounds and experiences are working together, learning and growing, but they’re also showcasing their efforts in the digital space. Miri Rodriguez, storyteller as well as diversity and inclusion lead for Microsoft Core Services Engineering, will share the importance of inclusive social communications and share valuable storytelling techniques to help you leverage the latest digital communication trends to drive a more positive and welcoming culture in your organization.

You’ll learn:

  • Why your organization’s culture is paramount to branding and communications success—and how to make yours more positive and transparent
  • How to highlight your organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts in your social storytelling
  • Tips to increasing your employees’ understanding of and expertise with messaging among diverse audience groups
  • How to leverage social media channel trends and features to get a diversity and inclusion feedback loop from your stakeholders
  • Advocacy program best practices to drive an inclusion angle in your communications
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3:15–4 p.m. Pacific time

How social listening can be your social media silver bullet

“If you build it, they will come” does not ring true for social media efforts. With a sea of digital content options, audiences have more options than ever before—which means the work of capturing and keeping their attention is on your shoulders. You can truly put yourself in the mind of your viewers, giving them the content and interactions they crave, by employing social listening best practices. Kevin Goddard, head of social media for Amazon Web Services, will show you the many efforts that social listening can accomplish or boost, across strategies and tactics—and how you can decipher what social media users are saying to better hone your communications prowess.

You’ll learn:

  • Social media goals and efforts that data and analytics can help you achieve
  • How you can craft and share social media content consumers want to read
  • The questions you should ask before you start typing your next social media post
  • What to measure, what to ignore, and how to understand what the numbers are telling you


Head of social media
Amazon Web Services
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4:15–5:15 p.m. Pacific time
Special Keynote

Transform your workplace communications to foster engagement, connections and more

As the modern communications continue to undergo transformations with digital trends and best practices, it’s increasingly clear that people are organizations’ most important assets. No matter your industry or organization, your employees can greatly affect your communications and branding efforts, and be a powerful driver of your culture, mission and values. Though today’s workforce thrives in an environment of collaboration and engagement, current research shows that an astonishingly high percentage of full-time employees are disengaged at work.

In this special keynote session, you’ll learn how to improve employee engagement and empower people in your workplaces with technology, including artificial intelligence to make your communications more human. Using Microsoft’s internal transformation as an example, communications leaders will explain why employee engagement is crucial to your organization’s success—and why now is the time for a new culture of empowerment, where conversations and connections are nurtured and sustained—and your talent experience is purpose-built to enable employees to deliver on your brand’s promise.

General manager of HR and corporate functions
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Friday, Oct. 5

9–9:45 a.m. Pacific time

Using digital tools, channels and strategies to boost employee communications

Your employees are a crucial element of your organization, its culture and communications efforts, so sharing news, announcements and other messages with them should be more than dumping your messages onto an intranet channel or in an email. Liz Freeman, head of employee communications for Expedia Group, has worked to establish the company’s rebrand, aligning and exciting thousands of global employees around a new vision and purpose. In this session, she’ll share how doing so is possible by focusing on workers and looking through a consumer lens to deliver messages that resonate and build loyalty.

You’ll learn:

  • How to best reach employees across your organization, including non-desk and remote workers
  • Best practices that can help you effectively communicate organizational changes along with your mission and vision
  • Ways to use livestreaming to boost executive communications
  • How to apply the “cat video” test to internal content and intranet efforts
  • Takeaways for effectively instilling your brand identify and voice into employee communications—while still touting transparency and culture
Head of employee communications
Expedia Group
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10–10:45 a.m. Pacific time

Take a risk: How Wendy’s ditched traditional tweets to embrace snark—and win

Wendy’s has gained a reputation—along with a large following of brand advocates—for dishing out sass as fast as it serves its customers burgers and fries. The fast-food chain’s not only holds the most-retweeted tweet in history (#NuggsForCarter), its famous Twitter quips have attracted the attention of consumers, reporters and other brand managers, often resulting in headlines and funny Twitter conversations, as well as increased engagement. However, Wendy’s wasn’t always as quick on their feet. Its traditional approach to social media was shed in favor of taking risks—and you can do the same with your online strategy. Christina Miller, connections director of social strategy, and Chris Corley, executive creative director, for the Wendy’s account at VML, will share the organization’s secrets to Twitter success—along with how you can spice up your Twitter presence (even if you take a decidedly less-snarky approach).

You’ll learn:

  • How to take more risks with Twitter content—and how they can help you win brand loyalists
  • Tips for developing an online strategy based on consumer responses
  • Ways to creatively approach social media engagement—but stay true to your brand voice
  • How to entertain followers, but balance the sass with outstanding customer service
  • Secrets for social media success—no matter if you’re slinging burgers, insurance or executive communications
Connections director of social strategy
Wendy's account at VML
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Executive creative director
Wendy's account at VML
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11 a.m.–Noon Pacific time
Closing Keynote

Media relations in the face of tragedy: How Orlando Health responded to the Pulse nightclub mass shooting

At 2 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, 2016, Orlando, Florida became the site of one of the worst mass shootings by a single gunman in United States history. Forty-four victims were brought to Orlando Health’s Orlando Regional Medical Center, home of the area’s only Level One Trauma Center. The crush of press soon followed.

PR pros must be ready to respond to crises like this at any time, especially in today’s 24/7 news cycle where traditional news coverage meets staggering internet engagement statistics. Kena Lewis, director of public affairs and media relations for Orlando Health, will walk you through the timeline of events on that fateful day and discuss how the hospital’s media relations team responded to the massive news media presence. She’ll share elements of the hospital’s comprehensive crisis communications plan along with how you can train both your employees and work with stakeholders to quickly communicate your organization’s messages, stories and values—while following proper protocol and privacy procedures.

Director of public affairs and media relations
Orlando Health
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For event information, contact customer service at 800.878.5331 or cservice@ragan.com.