Captivate Your Audience. Boost Your Bottom Line.

Turn your brand narratives into a business asset by combining timeless storytelling secrets with tomorrow’s biggest content marketing tends.

Your brand has great stories to tell—and finding them is just the first step to communication success. If you’re not crafting narratives in a way that appeals to distracted audiences, or using forward-thinking marketing techniques to reach them where they are, even the best stories can fall flat.

Discover how today’s top brands use storytelling to stand out in a crowded media landscape, reinforce their brand’s mission and ultimately bolster the bottom line. Join us in Minneapolis on Aug. 4–5 for two days of expert-led sessions and peer-to-peer brainstorming that will help you hone your brand narrative and reignite your creative spark.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to join like-minded professionals at the headquarters of one of the country’s most iconic brands—register today.

Learn how to:

  • Illustrate your brand’s purpose in a frenetic media climate
  • Think like a reporter to find exciting and unusual stories within your organization
  • Create an engaging social media content strategy for today’s top platforms
  • Use science-backed principles to infuse emotion and authenticity into stories
  • Craft videos that grab the attention of audiences without breaking the bank
  • Use consumer insights and data analysis to personalize content for unique audiences
  • Empower internal and external stakeholders to be part of your content creation team
  • Craft stories that resonate with diverse and multicultural audiences
  • Adopt a solid narrative framework for creating podcasts
  • Drive traffic to your website using smart SEO tactics
  • Create outstanding visual stories—no graphics design degree required

#RaganStorytelling

Hosted by: Target Logo

Networking opportunities include:

  • Joining your peers for an inside look at Target’s state-of-the-art headquarters
  • Taking part in a Story Brainstorm Challenge, where you'll put your creativity to the test
  • Networking with industry peers through table topic discussions at breakfast
  • Connecting and engaging online through a private LinkedIn group and the event app
  • Networking break and cocktail party to brainstorm and discuss what you've learned

Can't attend in person? Sign up for our live webcast!

Top 4 benefits of attending the webcast:

  • Attend this immensely popular conference from the convenience of your desk: No travel concerns, hotels or extra costs associated with attending the event live.
  • Watch with your entire team.
  • Order the webcast, and get six months of on-demand access to this inspirational conference that will transform your organization.
  • The ability to ask questions: This isn’t a passive experience. You and your team have the opportunity to ask questions, which can be relayed to speakers presenting at the event.

REGISTER FOR WEBCAST

LIVE WEBCAST

We will be webcasting this conference live.

Order the webcast and get on-demand access to this inspirational conference that will transform your organization.

Webcast will be available on-demand within 7 business days after the event.

  • Aug. 4 — 5
AGENDA
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Eastern time
11–11:05 a.m.
Opening Remarks from the Ragan Team
11:05–11:25 a.m.
Successfully Reimagining Your Brand Narrative in the Wake of COVID-19

The far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 crisis have resulted in unprecedented disruption of many major industries, leaving many organizations faced with re-imagining themselves, starting with their brand narrative. They’re taking new approaches to engage with their existing audiences and finding new audiences for their services—and have already found success doing so.

As an organization that specializes in telling its audience where to go and what do in their city, DoStuff Media faced a major challenge when the live event, bar and restaurant industries came to a halt. Discover how they quickly pivoted and rebranded themselves as “Do Stuff [at Home]”, helping their audience stay connected to their local communities during the pandemic.  You’ll hear how they increased online engagement, created moments of community that protected sentiment toward their brand, and earned praise for their efforts.

Director of Content and Audience
DoStuff Media
Read bio
11:30 a.m.–Noon
What Neuroscience Tells Us About Fear-Based Behavior During a Crisis—and How Storytelling Can Keep Your Audience’s Trust

With fears heightened in the aftermath of COVID-19, it’s even more challenging—and critical--for communicators to earn the trust of audiences, from your employees to your top customers.

By tapping into neuroscience findings, you can understand what influences stakeholders and establish your brand as a credible voice in a time when rumors and emotions are at an all-time high. Elizabeth Edwards, founder of Volume PR, will provide storytelling strategies and tactics based on behavioral science laws that you can implement immediately to connect powerfully with audiences.

You’ll learn:

  • Specific rules and tools from new behavioral science research that can help you create more emotionally compelling content
  • How to reach stakeholders how they want to be communicated with, based on how their brains are hardwired to experience and respond to fear
  • What makes a source trustworthy to the human brain—and how to add credibility to your content
  • The difference between the thinking and the breathing brain—and how to take advantage of that difference
Founder and president
Volume PR
Read bio
12:15–12:45 p.m.
Panel
Put Leaders at the Center of Your Storytelling Efforts During COVID-19 and Beyond

Your leaders are more than just the face of your organization—they’re a central character in its narrative. As a communicator, you’re tasked with telling the story of how they’re responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Discover how these organization leaders and their communicators used passionate storytelling to inspire audiences in a time of crisis and rally support from employees, customers and other stakeholders.

Learn how to:

  • Capture the authentic voice and personality of your leaders in stories
  • Help resistant executives feel comfortable sharing their experiences and being at the center of your brand stories
  • Create a compelling social media presence for leaders
  • Use creative story structures to illustrate the important work your executives are doing at this time
  • Use story arcs to create an emotional and personal connection between leaders and audiences during a time of crisis
Manager, Executive Communications
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
Read bio
Vice President of Communications and Engagement
Minnesota Timberwolves
Read bio
Such Sahni
Senior Director, External Communications
Capital One
Read bio
12:55–1:30 p.m.
Build a Social Media Strategy That Stands Out in Today’s Online Landscape

Social media is a critical tool for keeping stakeholders informed and engaged in the wake of COVID-19, but it’s also a heavily crowded space with no shortage of potential pitfalls. How can you stand out amid countless news articles, blog posts and videos about the effects of the crisis taking up your audience’s new feed? And how do you maintain the right tone and cadence in a time marked by tragedy and constantly breaking news?

Discover how these organizations have pivoted their strategies in response to a new social media world, and are seeing outstanding engagement with the compelling stories they’re telling on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat and more.

Learn how to:

  • Follow a clear template to establish crisis response protocols and respond quickly to rumors or backlash
  • Reinforce important information through different channels and mediums to avoid message fatigue
  • Promote products and services in a respectful manner
  • Find fun ways to unite your social media audiences and provide uplifting content
  • Craft cost-effective social media videos that stand out in cluttered content feeds
Online Marketing Specialist
University of Virginia Health System
Read bio
Digital Marketing Director
Sperry
Read bio
1:35–1:55 p.m.
Find New Sources of Content Inside and Outside Your Organization

The sheer volume of content you’re expected to create for internal and external audiences was overwhelming even before the COVID-19 crisis. Now, the demands are only greater. But you don’t need to start from scratch every time. Discover how these communicators are leveraging stakeholders and other sources to find timely and relevant content for their intranet, social media feeds and more.

You'll learn how to:

  • Find subject matter experts within your organization and leverage their knowledge
  • Incentivize employees to contribute stories and content on both internal and external channels
  • Use social listening to find and harness customer stories that illustrate your organization mission
  • Measure audience response to the content you’re pushing and optimize your strategies accordingly
Global Communications Manager
Agilent Technologies
Read bio
2–2:25 p.m.
Use SEO to Extend the Reach of Your Content and Your Budget

Millions of blog posts, social media updates, videos and websites are published every single day—with so much content out there, sharing your message can seem daunting. Furthermore, with marketing budgets cut in the wake of COVID-19, organic search strategies have taken on a new importance. Getting timely and relevant information in front of your audience is crucial—and by understanding and employing modern SEO tactics, you can dramatically increase your search performance with minimal effort.

By the end of the session, you’ll know:

  • How to craft impactful stories from SEO research by recognizing true high-potential keywords
  • When, exactly, you need to publish any article by studying search trends
  • The extraordinary power of regular updates and how to manage them
  • How competitor SEO research can help you fill gaps in the market by building out your shadow audience
Lifestyle Content Lead
Slickdeals
Read bio
2:30-3 p.m.
Did the Pandemic Make You Relevant?

Communicators have stepped up big time during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they continue to engage audiences with content that is timely, clarifying and compassionate.  Are you one of them? Has your communications taken the lead in helping your organization recover from the crisis and adjust to the new reality of work, even as you continue to cover the unrelenting impact of the coronavirus?

Communicators, this is your time. In our closing session on Day 1, longtime writer and teacher Jim Ylisela will show you how to inform, explain and inspire during this unprecedented period in our nation’s history. You’ll learn how to:

  • Break your own news with stories and social, not press releases
  • Provide timely and essential analysis of data and trends
  • Help executives reach new heights with their thought leadership
  • Inject empathy into your storytelling
  • Take your audiences inside the crisis – and the recovery
Co-founder and senior partner
Ragan Consulting Group
Read bio
3–3:30 p.m.
Virtual Cocktail Reception

Join peers from similar industries for a virtual happy hour—drinks optional. You’ll have a chance to get to know fellow attendees, recap what you learned and play some fun virtual icebreaker games.

Wednesday, Aug. 5: Eastern time
11–11:30 a.m.
Reaffirm Your Brand Purpose Through Compelling Narratives During the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic and Times of Social Unrest

In the wake of a global crisis, stakeholders expect brands to offer more than just a product or service—they need to have a purpose centered around serving their community in these difficult times.

Storytelling is a powerful tool to take audiences on a journey complete with heroes and great challenges. It’s a vehicle to define and share your purpose and illustrate how your organization is making a difference at this pivotal moment in history. Discover how these top organization are turning to their core purpose to guide their storytelling efforts and maintain the trust and respect of employees, customers and the media during the ongoing public health crisis, and support the fight for diversity and racial justice.

 

Senior Trend Strategist & Brand Futurist
Mintel
Read bio
Industry Insights Communication and PR Lead
Google
Read bio
11:35–11:50 a.m.
Use Storytelling to Craft More Engaging Email Content in a Crisis

With employees working remotely and most consumers confined to their homes during this period of social distancing, email has become a top channel for brands looking to engage internal and external stakeholders. With inboxes being filled with COVID-19 related content, you need to get creative to capture attention and drive traffic to your site.

Discover how to:

  • Adopt a narrative framework to keep readers engaged until the last word of your newsletter
  • Craft subject lines and introductions that create excitement and boost open rates
  • Understand when email is the right channel for a story
  • Continuously test, measure and optimize your email content

 

Co-founder and senior partner
Ragan Consulting Group
Read bio
11:55–12:25 p.m.
Audio and Visual Storytelling Tips to Wow Your Audience Even During a Pandemic

Podcasts, videos and infographics are hotter than ever, and that means it’s never been more difficult to get yours to stand out. To break through the noise, you need to tell a captivating narrative through audio and visuals. Discover how two major organizations found the right stories, used cost-effective tools to translate them into authentic, engaging content, and carefully tracked the outcomes of their efforts.

You’ll learn:

  • When a story is a good fit for a podcast—and when it’s better suited for another medium
  • How to draw out a good story when interviewing subjects
  • Easy editing techniques that add emotion and authenticity to your videos
  • How to get your videos, podcasts and infographics in front of wider audiences online
  • Data visualization tools and techniques that make it easy to create attention-grabbing infographics
  • Easy tools you can use to shoot and edit content without breaking the bank
  • Ways to repackage and repurpose audio and video content to get the most reach
Founder and CEO
News Direct
Read bio
Director of social media
Experian
Read bio
Director, Americas executive communications
Marriott International
Read bio
Spokesman
Con Edison
Read bio
Director of Storytelling & Social Strategies
Edison Electric Institute
Read bio
12:35–12:55 p.m
Make it Count: Five Pro Tips to Create Equitable Content that Reaches Diverse Audiences

Pro tip #1: there’s so much more to creating equitable content journeys and customer experiences for diverse audiences than translating content from one language to another. You have to translate sentiment, consider cultural pain points and dialects, look at where your demographic is in its journey with your brand, and remain exceptionally agile through it all. This session will help you look at multi-language content differently, and give you tips to be more successful in reaching diverse audiences. And while we’ll focus on Latinx/Spanish-first audiences specifically, learnings can be applied across the board.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Go beyond translating words to translating stories.
  • Ask the right questions to uncover what problems/pain points your brand can solve for a culturally specific audience.
  • Think beyond translating a flyer or an email (that is not equity!) and look at complete customer journeys instead.
  • Understand why if you can’t deliver an equitable language-specific experience, you shouldn’t be translating a marketing campaign.
  • Maximize learnings to boost the quality of your multi-language communications.
Director of Brand Content
Girl Scouts of the USA
Read bio
1–1:20 p.m.
Speed Story Brainstorm

Get your creative juices flowing in this fast-paced, interactive session! You’ll be matched with other attendees, “speed-dating” style, and take part in a challenging brainstorm session that will make you think outside the box. Plus, you’ll forge new friendships with industry colleagues.

1:25-1:45 p.m.
Case Study
Finding Compelling Stories in a Time of Crisis

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Nissan North America was in the midst of a business transformation. From transitioning employees to a remote workforce to supporting customers and dealers with financial options to revealing new products virtually, Travis Parman, vice president, Communications North America and Internal Communications & Global Engagement, Nissan Motor Co., will share how Nissan pivoted its communication strategy to  meet an unprecedented business situation.

  • COVID-19 has forced leaders to think differently and critically about how they communicate every decision to key stakeholders. Communications’ seat at the table has never been more important in helping the company navigate uncharted waters.
  • The Nissan communications team struck a careful balance of internal and external corporate communications during uncertain times while pushing the team to explore more earned media storytelling opportunities.
  • How reimagining the approach to executive communications has helped increase engagement despite employees being physically apart.
  • How challenging the team to think differently during a critical time has increased message penetration and expanded corporate and product storytelling, including user-generated content.
Vice President of Communications
Nissan North America
Read bio
1:50–2:20 p.m.
Measuring Up: How Can Communicators Measure the Impact of Storytelling?

Crafting great content and getting it in front of the right audiences is only the first step—to see results, you need a solid plan in place to measure and continuously optimize your storytelling efforts. During this session, you’ll learn how to accurately track the success of your stories and demonstrate their impact on business goals, using cost-effective tools and services.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Zero in on the KPIs that accurately track the success of your stories
  • Showcase the ROI of your programs to senior leaders to earn a bigger budget
  • Use analytics to measure the impact of your content and look for areas of optimization
  • Avoid vanity metrics that could waste your time and money
  • Identify the right tools for your goals and budget
  • Accurately measure the impact of your stories on brand sentiment
Director of content marketing
Cleveland Clinic
Read bio
2:25–2:50 p.m.
The Future of Digital Storytelling

The online landscape changes every day and communicators who want to dominate social media feeds, search results and video screens need to stay two steps ahead. Discover how Lockheed Martin recently transformed their digital storytelling efforts and how they’re preparing for changes posed by the aftermath of COVID-19. You’ll learn the strategies you need to adopt today to keep audiences engaged with your brand for years to come.

Director of Digital Communications
Lockheed Martin
Read bio
2:50–3 p.m.
The Top 21 Takeaways from the Conference—A Can’t-Miss Session!
SPEAKERS
Director of Brand Content
Girl Scouts of the USA
Read bio
Director, Americas executive communications
Marriott International
Read bio
Global Communications Manager
Agilent Technologies
Read bio
Founder and president
Volume PR
Read bio

Director of Storytelling & Social Strategies
Edison Electric Institute
Read bio
Vice President of Communications and Engagement
Minnesota Timberwolves
Read bio
Manager, Executive Communications
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
Read bio
Founder and CEO
News Direct
Read bio

Director of social media
Experian
Read bio
Industry Insights Communication and PR Lead
Google
Read bio
Lifestyle Content Lead
Slickdeals
Read bio
Senior Trend Strategist & Brand Futurist
Mintel
Read bio

Vice President of Communications
Nissan North America
Read bio
Spokesman
Con Edison
Read bio
Digital Marketing Director
Sperry
Read bio
Online Marketing Specialist
University of Virginia Health System
Read bio

Such Sahni
Senior Director, External Communications
Capital One
Read bio
Director of content marketing
Cleveland Clinic
Read bio
Director of Digital Communications
Lockheed Martin
Read bio

Co-founder and senior partner
Ragan Consulting Group
Read bio
Director of Content and Audience
DoStuff Media
Read bio

Past Ragan event attendees include:

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Join us if you work in:

  • Public Relations
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Digital Marketing
  • Media Relations
  • Web Content Creation
  • Executive Communications
  • SEO
  • Internal Communications
  • Corporate Communications
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Employer Branding
  • Digital Communications

REGISTER NOW

Thank you to our current sponsors

Join us as an event sponsor and meet your target audience, showcase your products, present thought leadership, generate leads and boost your brand.

Here are a few examples of opportunities we offer:

QUESTIONS

Registration
For questions related to event registrations, please contact:

Shallon Blackburn
Customer Service & Sales Manager
ShallonB@ragan.com

Sponsorship
If you’re interested in sponsoring this event, please contact:

Hannah Lavelle
Sales & Client Relations Manager
HannahL@ragan.com

Program
For information on programming and speakers please contact:

Meghan Madhavan
Manager of Strategic Programming
MeghanM@ragan.com