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Speakers & Topics

Bridging the Collaboration Gap
Dan Pierce, Senior Manager, General Motors Communications

Dan Pierce has focused his public relations career on the three things he loves most: sports, beer, and cars. For the past fifteen years, his passions have led him to work on projects from both the agency and client side, namely at FleishmanHillard, Anheuser-Busch, Ford Motor Company and now General Motors. Dan will highlight practical ways to leverage your resources and relationships to tell a story for the benefit of your customers.   

Getting to the Heart of Employee Engagement
Les L. Landes, APR, President, Landes & Associates 

The economic downturn took a heavy toll on the workforce. Many employees were told the only way to survive and keep their jobs was by going “the extra mile” and doing “more with less.” In this presentation, Les Landes will reveal critical keys to keeping employees tuned in, turned on and eager to go the extra mile. He will offer ideas on how to systematically increase trust and employee engagement.

Activating the Power of Storytelling 
Steve Panowyk, Consultant, Gagen MacDonald

Long gone are the days when storytelling was considered a craft associated exclusively with literary professionals and the entertainment industry. As opposed to dry facts, stories stimulate certain parts in our brain that control behavior and engage us with content more deeply and on multiple levels. In this session, leadership coach, consultant and advisor Steve Panowyk will explore the behavioral implications that good stories have on audiences and ways of using storytelling techniques to rally employees around a shared purpose and organizational goals. 

St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Communication Transformation 
John Twombly, Internal Communication Manager, St. Louis Children's Hospital

John Twombly will share how St. Louis Children's Hospital transformed its internal communication to improve results and advance overall organizational goals. The Hospital adopted Newsweaver nine months ago to create and send better employee emails that are visually impactful, with content that is more interactive and accessible on any device. In this session, you’ll learn how St. Louis Children's Hospital cuts through the inbox clutter and grabs employees’ attention with high-impact emails. John also discuss the challenges he faced along the way, and how he overcame them.

Thinking Outside the Inbox: Reaching Employees with Creative Communication
Randy D. Berger, Communications Coordinator, CoxHealth

Reaching more than 10,000 employees across a five-hospital health care system is no small task, especially when 70 percent of team members spend their days at the bedside rather than at a computer. CoxHealth deploys a dynamic mix of successful tools -- from email to newsletters to focus groups -- to tell its organizational story. Randy Berger will share the creative communications strategies CoxHealth uses to drive continuous improvement for its staff and the patients it serves. 

Transforming Print Content: Giving a Feature Magazine a New Digital Life
Vincent Rhodes, Chief Communications & Marketing Officer, Eastern Virginia Medical Schoool

Print publications aren’t dead, but people are increasingly finding their news online. PDFs and “flip books” merely imitate print conventions online, but the web can offer so much more. That’s why EVMS reimagined its print magazine in an innovative digital, interactive format. Explore how content evolved for online delivery, find out how the digital magazine became an integral part of our content marketing strategy, and learn practical tips for both interface functionality and creative design.

Content, Content, Content -- What Does It Really Mean?
Jeremy Corray, VP Digital Entertainment, Coolfire Studios

In today’s marketing world if you’re not creating content you’re missing the boat. Especially as digital channels continue to grow in popularity for distribution and digestion of content. But what exactly is content and how is it different from what you’ve always done? Learn the latest practices on what makes good content and see how others are maximizing its creation through as many channels as possible.

Working with Physician Partners in Social Media
Allan Cacanindin, Senior Executive Vice President, Executive Leadership Strategies and Engagement, Cejka Search

They say the best extension of an organization’s brand is viral social media (or word-of-mouth) marketing. But, where do you get started? Who should be involved? How will you know what hashtag to use? What clever message will you state? And when will you accomplish a campaign that was needed months ago?

Learn valuable and easy techniques for crafting social media content, minimizing execution times, and repurposing efforts for additional media. You’ll discover opportunities to deliver and achieve similar outcomes in your day-to-day marketing and walk away feeling #inspired.

Don’t Fan the Flames: Communicating Effectively During a Crisis
Gregg Favre, Command Staff Officer, St. Louis Fire Department
Professional communicators frequently put out fires – figuratively speaking, anyway. Learn strategies and tactics for crisis communications from a public and media relations professional who works around literal fires. He’ll present case studies illustrating how members of PR and media relations teams can work together effectively to educate the public without starting institutional fires of their own.
Being Part of a Larger Community, and Telling its Story
Tony Messenger, Columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A community is more than individuals living and working in proximity to one another. It’s a web of relationships that can aid or constrain a region’s growth. Messenger, a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist (along with colleague Kevin Horrigan) for editorials on the unrest in Ferguson, will discuss the importance of tackling universal issues with an eye on community-centric solutions.
Backpack Journalism: Using Tricks of the Trade to Tell Your Story
Ben Gruber, Reporter, Reuters
Backpack journalism combines the curiosity of a reporter, the storytelling skills of a writer, the eyes of a videographer and the technical know-how of a video editor. Learn how to combine these elements to create compelling content – on the go and on the cheap – for your audience.
Making the News, St. Louis Style
Jasmine Huda, Co-Anchor, KTVI
What is news in the St. Louis region, and how does it differ from elsewhere? Huda, an area native who returned to her hometown after working in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, will discuss the types of stories that draw the attention of area viewers, as well as components all strong stories include.

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