Tuesday, April 3

9–11 a.m.

How to write enticing copy that journalists—and readers—crave

Want to secure more headlines? Ditch tired, promotional prose and jargon and instead craft stories that intrigue readers, spark reporters’ interest and take a new angle on a popular topic or trend. In this interactive workshop, Amir Bibawy, business editor of breaking news and digital strategy at The Associated Press, will show you how to craft pitches that resonate with your target audience: journalists. Using real pitches as examples and discussing the push and pull between reporters’ needs and PR pros’ desires, he’ll cover what makes one story outstanding and why others fall flat—and what you can do to trim the fat and deliver only the best pitches.

You’ll learn:

  • How to avoid bad writing and make your pitch emails sing
  • How to hook journalists in the first few sentences—before they click “delete”
  • Tips for uncovering stories and perfecting storytelling techniques
  • How to jump on a current trend or breaking news story by offering a relevant, unique angle
  • The types of content that can accentuate your stories (quotes, visuals, etc.)
Editor of breaking news and digital strategy
The Associated Press
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11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.


(On your own)

12:15–2:15 p.m.

Prepare for the media relations battleground with the “Pitch Tank Boot Camp”

Sharpen your pitching skills with this expanded session of our “Pitch Tank” panel, where you’ll pitch news to a panel of journalists and influencers and receive real-time feedback. You’ll learn what kind of pitches excite—and bore—journalists and social media heavyweights, along with tips for uncovering stories that pique interest and how you can tailor your copy to those you contact. Through examples and exercises, moderator Jake Jacobson of Children’s Mercy will lead you in a discussion with both journalists and influencers to help you glean insights to craft pitches worthy to swim with the news and social media sharks.

You’ll learn:

  • How to write tight copy and get to the point in a few sentences
  • Story elements and news hooks that capture attention
  • How to make your pitches excel—and how they could be even better
  • What types of stories reporters and social media influencers crave
Editor of breaking news and digital strategy
The Associated Press
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Vlogger and podcaster
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Chief operating officer
Muck Rack, The Shorty Awards
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Modern Healthcare
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Director of public relations
Children's Mercy Kansas City
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2:30–4:30 p.m.

How brand journalism can transform your PR and content strategy

Are you ready for the power of brand journalism? The approach combines your organization’s experts and experiences (that’s the branding) with real reporting and lively storytelling (that’s the journalism). A few organizations have figured out how to tell their stories using the tried-and-true methods of journalism to engage their audiences, boost their competitive advantage and become the No. 1 destinations for consumers—even with a tiny budget. If you’re hoping to craft content that readers find so compelling they have to share it, you’ve come to the right place. Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications, will teach you how to build a subscription list of customers, journalists and social media influencers and keep them coming back for more.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Write and manage content that appeals to today’s busy readers and boosts your website traffic
  • Organize your communication strategy around a standard newsroom model
  • Craft original and curated content to be the leading publisher in your niche
  • Use 10 email techniques that increase readership and brand loyalty
  • Measure the success of your content strategy
Ragan Communications
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For event information, contact Customer Service 800.878.5331, or