8:00 am – 9:15 am

Breakfast & General Session

Developing a Strategic Mindset—Your Most Powerful Credential
James Lukaszewski, ABC, Fellow IABC, APR, Fellow PRSA; Fellow PRSA; BEPS Emeritus; President, America’s Crisis Guru® – The Lukaszewski Group

Achieving a more successful, happier, satisfying, influential career can be summed up in seven words: be heard, have influence, access and impact. This presentation is designed to help change your perspective, personal beliefs, and become more strategic, through a more management-oriented approach, adding substantial value to your organization, clients and profession. It will help you examine yourself, how you think, learn, give advice, build your credibility, management trust, and acceptance.

The session has 5 powerful personal goals:
1. Building your influence,
2. Acceptance of your counsel, the art of giving advice
3. Being sought after, called earlier
4. Having more personal impact
5. Knowing when you have become a trusted strategic advisor

9:30 am – 10:45 am

M1:  Create & Innovate

Design Thinking: A Creative Discussion on the Importance of Design in Communications
Gary Spondike, Director, New Business
Pitch Black

Camille Downing, President
Downing Communications

Like any communication, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Design provides the competitive advantage, customer trust, loyalty, and market share that an organization needs in today’s global marketplace. Design is a method of problem-solving. Whether it is a website, a brochure, the signage system at an airport – design helps solve a problem. Attendees will explore through an interactive experience the philosophy behind Design Thinking and how to incorporate the theory into their communications.

M2: Public Relations

Inside the Next Generation Newsroom
Peter Evans, Co-Founder & CEO
ExpertFile Inc.

Fernando Ferre, Vice President
The Associated Press

With the pace of today’s news cycle, media organizations are adopting innovative approaches to help their journalists get faster access to the information they need. In this session we’ll learn how the Associated Press and its partners are enabling thousands of newsrooms to do everything from proactively identifying upcoming news events to getting the best expert sources. The Next Generation Newsroom is focused on tackling the increased demand for credibility in a world of “fake news,” more innovative storytelling and helping with the demand on journalists and editorial standards.

M3:  Special Session for ABCs, CMPs, and SCMPs

Conversation with James Lukaszewski
James Lukaszewski, ABC, Fellow IABC, APR, Fellow PRSA; BEPS Emeritus
President, America’s Crisis Guru®
The Lukaszewski Group

9:30 am – 12:15 pm

M4: Extended Session

How to Boost the Role and Image of Communication Professionals
Jim Shaffer, ABC, Fellow IABC; Leader
Jim Shaffer Group

This highly interactive discussion provides attendees with information needed to manage communication as a system, measure what matters most and shift from a cost center mentality to a value creation mindset.

The session helps attendees:

  • Get out of the formal channel rut and manage communication as an integrated system that drives measurable results.
  • Shift from measuring things that don’t matter to customers and shareholders to specific measures that directly affect improved business results.
  • Join your professional colleagues who’ve built change management, leadership development and strategic adviser competencies needed to coach and council their leaders.

11:00 am – 12:15 pm

M5: Branding & Marketing

Brand Journalism: Passing Fad or What You Do?
Paul Furiga, ABC; President and CEO
WordWrite Communications

As the traditional news media continues to implode, marketers and PR professionals are more frequently exploring the creation of their own journalistic platforms. Paul is publisher of The Pittsburgh 100, one of 20 such publications across the country to create vibrant, geographic journalistic platforms for clients. He will share what works and what doesn’t in brand journalism and provide tips for success.

M6: Global Communications

Lead with STYLE to Influence and Engage Across Cultures
Theomary Karamanis, Ph.D., SCMP;  Senior Lecturer of Management Communications
Cornell University

David Collins, President and CEO

As business communicators, we know ways to “connect” with others, but do we communicate as effectively across different cultures? Anyone who has ever worked in a culture outside their own knows there are unique challenges involved. This workshop will help you perfect your communication effectiveness in different cultural settings through the use of “SOCIAL STYLE”. This is a global concept that has been used in over 100 countries, translated into 20 different languages and normed for dozens of countries. At the end of the workshop you will be better prepared to work in multi-cultural environments.

M7: Career Management

5 Ways to Show ROI on Your Communication Efforts
Sara Jackson, Vice President of Engagement Solutions

Carla Landon, Marketing Consultant

Your communication efforts are imperative to the success of your organization’s bottom line but, sometimes it’s just not that easy to convey. Learn how you can strategically reveal industry metrics and compare them to your own data dashboards to empower you to evolve from tactical taskmaster to the can’t-live-without-strategist. You will leave this session sitting taller in your boardroom with the tools and vocabulary needed to demonstrate the value of your work to your organization’s bottom line. Reposition yourself to concentrate on the big picture and drive even more value instead of beating your head against the wall with trying to show the value of 52 more likes.

12:15 pm – 2 pm

Lunch General Session

Protecting Your Brand: How to Manage Fake News in the Real World

John Deveney, ABC, Fellow IABC, APR, Fellow PRSA; Founder – DEVENEY

No matter your industry, the fake news hysteria should not be taken lightly. As consumers become more empowered by social media, brand reputations lie in the hands of anyone with an internet connection and malicious intent. Companies that are proactive in crisis management are more likely to minimize damage and maintain good standing.
Understanding the philosophy of how and why to communicate with the public during a crisis will help you to develop your messaging strategy and minimize the potential damage to the organization’s reputation. By following certain pre-crisis, mid-crisis and post-crisis recommendations, organizations can take back control of the conversation surrounding their brands and navigate the situation more effectively.
Join John Deveney, ABC, IABC Fellow, as he uncovers the approach brands must take to keep viral storms from escalating in the face of fake news, featuring concrete examples from national and local brands.

2:15 pm – 3:30 pm

M8: Skills Development

Business Become a Project Management Ninja with Your Communications Activities

Tracy Imm, ABC, APR; Director, Public Affairs
Maryland Insurance Administration

Learn how to apply the 13 knowledge areas of project management (as defined by the Project Management Institute) to your marketing and communications activities in order to ensure successful outcomes for the organization. We’ll cover the five major processes of a solid project and share the pitfalls that most project managers need to avoid when orchestrating large scale efforts. Real world case studies will be used to demonstrate how effective these techniques can be used for your company.

M9: Systems Management

Revolutionize Digital Workplace Decision Making: Get a Better Tool
Stacy L. Wilson, ABC, Fellow IABC; President
Eloquor Consulting, Inc.

That point where your business strategy intersects with your digital workplace strategy can serve as a crucial decision tool, enlightening large and small decisions. Bring your business strategy material (e.g., mission, vision, goals, objectives) to get the most from this interactive experience. See examples of what other organizations have created and get a copy of the tool. Return to the office with a tool already drafted. Learn how to:

• Connect your organization’s business strategy and digital workplace strategy
• Draft a decision tool for your digital workplace
• Use results to prioritize digital workplace improvements and create a strong measurement plan

M10: Change Management

The Power of Change Communications: The Dow DuPont Merger
Mark Dollins, Consultant
North Star Communications Consulting

The DuPont and Dow companies completed the largest industrial merger in history in August of 2017, and communication took center stage in driving leader and employee engagement in a highly complex environment. During a 20-month period – filled with twists and turns – communication drove understanding of the change journey, confidence in the future state, and record business performance while keeping attrition below historical norms. This case study will illustrate how the communication team designed a strategy that clearly connected communication results to business outcomes.

2:15 pm – 5:00 pm

M11: Extended Session

Creating a Communication Vortex: Engaging Conversational Energy to Deliver Possibilities and Innovation from All Employees
Lisa Gick, ACC, Ph.D. Candidate; CEO + Founder
[curious] leadership + change agency

Angela Crawford, Ph.D; Dean, College of Business
Thomas More College

In the complexity of today’s workplace, new opportunities and expectations drive the employee experience. Shifting routines and practices to more contemporary ways of bringing people together are needed for more inclusive and provocative collaboration.

With an intentional internal strategy, we can achieve deeper sharing from more voices, letting fresh and relevant ideas emerge, while offering a more compelling employee experience. In this session, we’ll explore and try-on three to four simple practices that will shake us from old routines and engage more employees in contributing meaningfully to individual, team and organizational success.

3:45 pm – 5:00 pm

M12: Crisis Communication

Claim It, Name It & Frame It: Making Crisis Communication Work For You
Paul Omodt, ABC, APR, MBC, SCMP; Owner & Principal
Omodt & Associates Critical Communications

When you’re faced with providing crisis communication and communication strategy in a hurry, ‘Claim It, Name It & Frame It: Making Crisis Communication Strategy Work For You’ showcases a three-step process to turn a crisis situation into an opportunity to strategically move you forward. By using easy-to-use concepts and phrases (that conveniently rhyme), crisis communication management has never before been practically designed and delivered. You will learn how the best crisis communication work is sometimes never seen and those who experience a crisis can come out better than before.

M13: Business Issues

The Future of Work: How Communicators Remain Relevant in the Workplace of Tomorrow
Justin Brunner, Associate Director, Communications
Willis Towers Watson

Digitalization is transforming the nature of work and presenting opportunities for organizational change. Jobs as we once knew them are evolving at a rapid pace; new skill requirements and occupations are emerging on one hand and displacing some workers on the other. How can we keep up? This presentation, targeting mid-level to senior practitioners, will provide statistics and insight on the future of work, and how communicators can plan for that future, in order to remain both innovative and relevant.

M14: Communication

Seeking Grammartopia: Elevating the Precision of Our Words in Email Communications and Beyond
Kris Spisak, Author / Editor, Co-Founder / Web Content Specialist
K. S. Writing / Midlothian Web Solutions

Clarity, precision, and an effective use of words are often the difference between success and failure. When we think about grammar, often we think of the dry instruction we received in school or the intimidating jargon we never quite learned, but a strong command of our language is essential for powerful communication. “Seeking Grammartopia” is an interactive panel, with a focus on email communication strategies, word evolvement, and language questions for the audience, enabling the communicators in the room to learn, develop a greater appreciation for language as we use it, and, if they choose, to battle for grammar prowess.