Aug. 4–5, 2020 • WEBCAST

REGISTER NOW

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

#RaganContent

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
Pre-conference Workshops
8–8:30 a.m.
Registration and Networking Breakfast
8:45–10:45 a.m.
How to Produce Content that Doesn’t Bore Your Audience (or You)

What’s the worst that can be said about your storytelling? That it’s not strategic? Not relevant to the audience? That’s bad enough, but there’s something far worse. Boring. As in, mind-crushingly, coma-inducing, dry-as-dust boring. We’ve all been there. Boring begins with a topic you find uninspiring or a story you’ve done a dozen times before and can’t face doing again. From there it seeps into your reporting (or lack of it) and worms its way into the dullness of your words before hitting your audience like a ton of bricks. It’s time to fight boring. In this three-hour interactive workshop, Jim Ylisela, longtime writer, editor and teacher, will show you how he helps communicators and their teams turn boring into engaging, crappy into creative.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Put a new twist on a boring topic
  • Find the hidden gems of a story within your organization
  • Inject color and personality into your storytelling
  • Humanize your storytelling
  • Get your audience’s attention with headlines, teasers and images

You’ll be writing in this workshop, so bring your laptops. Here’s a sneak peek into the workshop activities:

  1. The Boring Hall of Fame. In a story brainstorming session, we’ll play all the hits—the most boring stories of all time—and give them new life
  2. You are there. Take us somewhere in your organization, with color and description
  3. Point of view. Write one good first sentence that delivers a strong opinion, perspective or stance on a topic in your industry
  4. The human element. Write a paragraph that captures the “essence” of a profile subject

Jim Ylisela is co-founder, with Mark Ragan, of Ragan Consulting Group. Expert statisticians have determined that no one currently alive has edited more boring content than Jim.

Co-founder and senior partner
Ragan Consulting Group
Read bio
11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
SEO Workshop: Make Your Content Shine

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. And with mega-publishers and advertisers dominating page one of Google, it can seem impossible. However, by understanding and employing modern SEO tactics, you can dramatically increase your search performance with minimal effort.

By the end of the workshop, 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
  • The four dangerous SEO myths you have to avoid

You’ll also work with peers to assess your current content and make improvements to your strategy so your brand is optimized for search.

Lifestyle Content Lead
Slickdeals
Read bio
Main Conference
Tuesday, Aug. 4
12:30–1:30 p.m
Registration, Networking and Refreshments
1:30–2:30 p.m.
Use Storytelling to Share Your Brand’s Purpose in a Fractured Media Climate

Today’s brands need to offer more than just a product or service. Employees, customers and shareholders expect them to give back to society as a whole and take a thoughtful stance on the contentious social and political issues of the moment. Communicators at Target know that storytelling is the most powerful tool they have to illustrate the difference their organization is making in the world. During this keynote address, you’ll learn their secrets to building a reputation as a purpose-driven organization at a divisive moment in history.

Special guest speaker from Target to be announced soon.

2:30–3:15 p.m.
Build a Killer Content Strategy for Social Media

With so many platforms to consider and so much content competing for your audience’s attention, it's easy to place quantity over quality when it comes to your social media storytelling. Discover how these organizations streamlined their efforts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat to create compelling campaigns that support their business goals.

Learn how to:

  • Establish clear social media goals and objectives
  • Maintain a consistent brand voice across all platforms while tailoring content for individual audiences
  • Plan and organize a content calendar
  • Find the right mix of organic and paid content for your budget and goals
  • Craft cost-effective social media videos that stand out in cluttered content feeds
  • Partner with influencers to extend the reach of your stories and gain credibility among new audiences
  • Take advantage of viral social media trends to engage with audiences in real time
  • Measure the business impact of your social media efforts and present compelling results to senior executives
No Headshot
Online Marketing Specialist
University of Virginia Health System
Read bio
Digital Marketing Director
Sperry
Read bio
3:15–4:30 p.m.
Networking Break and Target Venue Tour

Enjoy some light refreshments and join your peers for a tour of Target’s state-of-the-art headquarters. Get an inside look at the creative processes they use to develop some of their most famous brands and hear some fun stories about the history of the iconic retailer. You’ll also get a chance to do some shopping!

5–6:30 p.m
Networking Cocktail Reception

Get to know your fellow conference attendees over drinks, appetizers and some fun icebreakers at Target headquarters.

7 p.m.
Dine-arounds

Toast to being away from the office! Join your peers and make new friends over a casual dinner.

Wednesday, Aug. 5
8–8:30 a.m.
Registration and Networking Breakfast
8:30–8:45 a.m.
Wake-Up Call

We’ll kick off the day with a look at the future of the communications and brand storytelling. Hear the latest research and trends that will help you and your team master the message and create highly engaging content across all platforms.

8:45–9:25 a.m.
How Neuroscience Can Help You Infuse Emotion into Your Stories and Gain Audience Trust

As a communicator, it's challenging enough to get the attention of distracted audiences—and actually gaining their trust can feel almost impossible. By tapping into neuroscience findings, you can infuse compelling emotion into your stories and establish your brand as a credible voice. Elizabeth Edwards, founder of Volume PR, will provide storytelling strategies and tactics based on behavioral science laws that you can implement immediately to capture the hearts of 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 respond
  • 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
9:30–10 a.m.
Panel
Give Leaders and Executives a Starring Role in Your Brand Stories

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 ensuring audiences know that and vividly portraying them in all the stories you tell. Discover how these communicators turn executives into the heroes of their brand narratives to build lasting connections with internal and external stakeholders.

Learn how to:

  • Capture the authentic personality of leaders in your stories
  • Help introverted or resistant executives feel comfortable connecting with stakeholders
  • Draw out unexpected and intriguing anecdotes that humanize leaders
  • Use creative story structures to illustrate the important work your executives are doing
No Headshot
Vice President of Communications and Engagement
Minnesota Timberwolves
Read bio
Such Sahni
Senior Director, External Communications


Capital One
Read bio
10–10:15 a.m.
Networking Break
10:15–10:45 a.m.
Same Data. Different Story.

Making a chart or infographic is so easy! Select a few numbers. Fire up Powerpoint or Excel or Illustrator or Photoshop. Push a button. There, all done. No problem.

But wait! Does the data tell the story you want? Do the colors, format and explanation distract the reader? Or, far worse, do they tell a contradictory story? Simple revisions can turn a boring or confusing infographic into a memorable data visualization that clearly and concisely communicates your story. In this session, Bob Zeni, seasoned visual communicator, recognized infographic expert and Instructor of Design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will teach you time-tested methods for displaying statistics that tell your story more effectively.

You will learn how to:

  • Refine scale for emphasis
  • Decide which format supports your ideas
  • Create a powerful data-laden infographic
  • Use color to signify important elements
  • Engage your stakeholders with visual storytelling
Design and infographics specialist
Ragan Consulting Group
Read bio
10:50–11:30 a.m.
Audio and Visual Storytelling Tips to Wow Your Audience

Podcasts and videos 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, translated them into authentic, engaging podcasts and videos, 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 and podcasts in front of wider audiences online
  • Ways to repackage and repurpose audio and video content to get the most reach
Director, Americas executive communications
Marriott International
Read bio
Spokesman
Con Edison
Read bio
Media relations manager
Con Edison
Read bio
11:35 a.m.–12:10 p.m.
Make it Count: Five Pro Tips for to Create Content that Reaches Diverse, Multigenerational Audiences

There’s so much more to creating content for multi-ethnic, multigenerational audiences than translating content from one language to another or using a different platform. 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 craft the right messages to diverse audiences so they’re engaging and sticking with your brand.

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
  • Look at complete customer journeys to understand how you can better tailor your content to specific ethnic groups or generations
  • Understand why if you can’t deliver an equally valuable brand experience, you shouldn’t be translating a marketing campaign
  • Tell stories that appeal to the priorities and interests of different age groups
Director of Brand Content
Girl Scouts of the USA
Read bio
12:15–1 p.m.
Networking Lunch

Featuring a colorful presentation from Karen Waters, Director of Content at Crayola.

No Headshot
Director of Content
Crayola
Read bio
1–1:35 p.m.
Story Challenge

Unleash your creativity during this peer-to-peer brainstorming session. We’ll break into teams and see who can create the most creative story and content ideas for three sample companies. The grand prize winners will be announced at the end of the day.

1:55–2:25 p.m.
Building a Network of Communications Deputies: Empower Employees to be a Part of Your Content Creation Team

At most organizations, internal communications is a one-way conduit. However, to truly engage your audience, communication has to be a genuine conversation, not a corporate monologue. In this session, we’ll teach how you to develop a network of communications deputies to help knock down those barriers.

Every organization has employees who are natural storytellers, even if it’s not their official role. Find them and turn them into allies, and you’ll have an army of impassioned contributors who multiply your effectiveness and extend the reach of your content.

You'll learn how to:

  • Find these "diamonds in the rough" and persuade them to join you, even though it means more work and no extra pay for them
  • Gain corporate buy-in, especially from managers who object to their employees moonlighting on your team when they have other obligations to meet
  • Train deputies to bring their storytelling skills up to a level that adds value to your team
  • Give deputies the confidence and tools to customize your messages and capture accurate feedback from employees
  • Capture meaningful metrics that justify to your executive team the value of this program
Global Communications Manager
Agilent Technologies
Read bio
3–3:15 p.m.
Networking Break
3:15–3:45 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.

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
  • Accurately measure the impact of your stories on brand sentiment
3:45–4:15 p.m.
Closing Keynote

To be announced

4:15–4:45 p.m.
Top Takeaways of the Day and Results of Story Challenge

We’ll sum up what we’ve learned and announce the grand prize winners of our Story Challenge.

 

Webcast
Tuesday, Aug. 4
1:30–2:30 p.m. Central time
Use Storytelling to Share Your Brand’s Purpose in a Fractured Media Climate

Today’s brands need to offer more than just a product or service. Employees, customers and shareholders expect them to give back to society as a whole and take a thoughtful stance on the contentious social and political issues of the moment. Communicators at Target know that storytelling is the most powerful tool they have to illustrate the difference their organization is making in the world. During this keynote address, you’ll learn their secrets to building a reputation as a purpose-driven organization at a divisive moment in history.

Special guest speaker from Target to be announced soon.

2:30–3:15 p.m. Central time
Build a Killer Content Strategy for Social Media

With so many platforms to consider and so much content competing for your audience’s attention, it's easy to place quantity over quality when it comes to your social media storytelling. Discover how these organizations streamlined their efforts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat to create compelling campaigns that support their business goals.

Learn how to:

  • Establish clear social media goals and objectives
  • Maintain a consistent brand voice across all platforms while tailoring content for individual audiences
  • Plan and organize a content calendar
  • Find the right mix of organic and paid content for your budget and goals
  • Craft cost-effective social media videos that stand out in cluttered content feeds
  • Partner with influencers to extend the reach of your stories and gain credibility among new audiences
  • Take advantage of viral social media trends to engage with audiences in real time
  • Measure the business impact of your social media efforts and present compelling results to senior executives
No Headshot
Online Marketing Specialist
University of Virginia Health System
Read bio
Digital Marketing Director
Sperry
Read bio
Wednesday, Aug. 5
8:30–8:45 a.m. Central time
Wake-Up Call

We’ll kick off the day with a look at the future of the communications and brand storytelling. Hear the latest research and trends that will help you and your team master the message and create highly engaging content across all platforms.

8:45–9:25 a.m. Central time
How Neuroscience Can Help You Infuse Emotion into Your Stories and Gain Audience Trust

As a communicator, it's challenging enough to get the attention of distracted audiences—and actually gaining their trust can feel almost impossible. By tapping into neuroscience findings, you can infuse compelling emotion into your stories and establish your brand as a credible voice. Elizabeth Edwards, founder of Volume PR, will provide storytelling strategies and tactics based on behavioral science laws that you can implement immediately to capture the hearts of 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 respond
  • 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
9:30–10 a.m. Central time
Panel
Give Leaders and Executives a Starring Role in Your Brand Stories

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 ensuring audiences know that and vividly portraying them in all the stories you tell. Discover how these communicators turn executives into the heroes of their brand narratives to build lasting connections with internal and external stakeholders.

Learn how to:

  • Capture the authentic personality of leaders in your stories
  • Help introverted or resistant executives feel comfortable connecting with stakeholders
  • Draw out unexpected and intriguing anecdotes that humanize leaders
  • Use creative story structures to illustrate the important work your executives are doing
No Headshot
Vice President of Communications and Engagement
Minnesota Timberwolves
Read bio
Such Sahni
Senior Director, External Communications


Capital One
Read bio
10:15–10:45 a.m. Central time
Same Data. Different Story.

Making a chart or infographic is so easy! Select a few numbers. Fire up Powerpoint or Excel or Illustrator or Photoshop. Push a button. There, all done. No problem.

But wait! Does the data tell the story you want? Do the colors, format and explanation distract the reader? Or, far worse, do they tell a contradictory story? Simple revisions can turn a boring or confusing infographic into a memorable data visualization that clearly and concisely communicates your story. In this session, Bob Zeni, seasoned visual communicator, recognized infographic expert and Instructor of Design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will teach you time-tested methods for displaying statistics that tell your story more effectively.

You will learn how to:

  • Refine scale for emphasis
  • Decide which format supports your ideas
  • Create a powerful data-laden infographic
  • Use color to signify important elements
  • Engage your stakeholders with visual storytelling
Design and infographics specialist
Ragan Consulting Group
Read bio
10:50–11:30 a.m. Central time
Audio and Visual Storytelling Tips to Wow Your Audience

Podcasts and videos 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, translated them into authentic, engaging podcasts and videos, 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 and podcasts in front of wider audiences online
  • Ways to repackage and repurpose audio and video content to get the most reach
Director, Americas executive communications
Marriott International
Read bio
Spokesman
Con Edison
Read bio
Media relations manager
Con Edison
Read bio
11:35 a.m.–12:10 p.m. Central time
Make it Count: Five Pro Tips for to Create Content that Reaches Diverse, Multigenerational Audiences

There’s so much more to creating content for multi-ethnic, multigenerational audiences than translating content from one language to another or using a different platform. 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 craft the right messages to diverse audiences so they’re engaging and sticking with your brand.

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
  • Look at complete customer journeys to understand how you can better tailor your content to specific ethnic groups or generations
  • Understand why if you can’t deliver an equally valuable brand experience, you shouldn’t be translating a marketing campaign
  • Tell stories that appeal to the priorities and interests of different age groups
Director of Brand Content
Girl Scouts of the USA
Read bio
12:15–1 p.m. Central time
Networking Lunch

Featuring a colorful presentation from Karen Waters, Director of Content at Crayola.

No Headshot
Director of Content
Crayola
Read bio
1–1:35 p.m. Central time
Story Challenge

Unleash your creativity during this peer-to-peer brainstorming session. We’ll break into teams and see who can create the most creative story and content ideas for three sample companies. The grand prize winners will be announced at the end of the day.

1:55–2:25 p.m. Central time
Building a Network of Communications Deputies: Empower Employees to be a Part of Your Content Creation Team

At most organizations, internal communications is a one-way conduit. However, to truly engage your audience, communication has to be a genuine conversation, not a corporate monologue. In this session, we’ll teach how you to develop a network of communications deputies to help knock down those barriers.

Every organization has employees who are natural storytellers, even if it’s not their official role. Find them and turn them into allies, and you’ll have an army of impassioned contributors who multiply your effectiveness and extend the reach of your content.

You'll learn how to:

  • Find these "diamonds in the rough" and persuade them to join you, even though it means more work and no extra pay for them
  • Gain corporate buy-in, especially from managers who object to their employees moonlighting on your team when they have other obligations to meet
  • Train deputies to bring their storytelling skills up to a level that adds value to your team
  • Give deputies the confidence and tools to customize your messages and capture accurate feedback from employees
  • Capture meaningful metrics that justify to your executive team the value of this program
Global Communications Manager
Agilent Technologies
Read bio
3:15–3:45 p.m. Central time
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.

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
  • Accurately measure the impact of your stories on brand sentiment
3:45–4:15 p.m. Central time
Closing Keynote

To be announced

4:15–4:45 p.m. Central time
Top Takeaways of the Day and Results of Story Challenge

We’ll sum up what we’ve learned and announce the grand prize winners of our Story Challenge.

 

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
Media relations manager
Con Edison
Read bio
No Headshot
Vice President of Communications and Engagement
Minnesota Timberwolves
Read bio
Lifestyle Content Lead
Slickdeals
Read bio
Spokesman
Con Edison
Read bio
Digital Marketing Director
Sperry
Read bio
No Headshot
Online Marketing Specialist
University of Virginia Health System
Read bio
Such Sahni
Senior Director, External Communications


Capital One
Read bio
No Headshot
Director of Content
Crayola
Read bio
Co-founder and senior partner
Ragan Consulting Group
Read bio
Design and infographics specialist
Ragan Consulting Group
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