2017 Agenda

  1. Convergence Summit 2017: Connecting Theory and Reality in Business Communication

8-8:45 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast

8:45 a.m.     Welcome

9:00-10:00 a.m. Keynote: The Emergence of Fake News and the Impact on Media Relations, Business, Consumers and Journalism

John Rash, Star Tribune columnist and former professor of journalism at the University of Minnesota

Tracy Carlson, Padilla CRT

Rick Kupchella, former TV journalist and founder of three new media companies.

Moderated by Christopher Terry, assistant professor of media law and ethics in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota

Has fake news changed real news forever? This session will include the impact that “fake” news has had on the political environment as well as in business. We will discuss what businesses can do to maintain credibility in media relations and the changing roles of communicators in news gathering and reporting. Woven throughout this presentation will be practical to-dos to keep from falling to the fate of fake news and to uphold our right to free speech.

10:00-10:20 a.m. Break

10:20-11:30 a.m. Breakout sessions

Session 1.  New Frontiers in Newsgathering: Social Media, Chat Apps and Crisis Reporting

Valerie Belair-Gagnon, PhD, Assistant Professor of Journalism Studies, University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication

In this session, Dr. Valerie Belair-Gagnon explores ways in which reporters have used social media and chat apps in newsgathering. It will discuss how these emerging technologies have challenged newsgathering and led to organizational and practical changes in news production in the US and abroad.

You will learn:

  • How journalists have used social media in crisis reporting (in the US and abroad)
  • How journalists have used chat apps in crisis reporting (foreign correspondents in Asia)
  • Key changes in newsrooms (e.g. organizational changes)

Session 2. The Reality of Today’s Communication Jobs

John Arnold, Director of Operations, Partner, Celarity

Martha Nevanen, Sr. Vice President, Marketing Communication, NorthMarq Companies

In the diverse and constantly changing field of communication, regular monitoring of the types of jobs and the necessary skills is needed by both the job seeker and hiring manager. In this session you’ll hear the inside and outside view of today’s communication jobs. Whether you are looking for a job or hiring communicators, this overview of the state of communication jobs is for you.

 You will learn:

  • Trends in communication hiring
  • Changing job climate, job tracks, and job skills
  • The importance of understanding internal and external communication to advance your career
  • Organizing the communication department
  • Re-aligning job descriptions to business needs

11:30-1:00 p.m.
Lunch Keynote: Differentiate Your Organization Through Purpose

A limited number of lunch-only seats are available. Select lunch only on the registration form.

Ed O’Boyle, Global Practice Leader, Gallup

It starts with true employee engagement—not to be confused with the convoluted term that has become synonymous with “satisfaction” or “happiness”. A fully engaged employee base not only contributes to a 21% increase in organizational productivity, but also acts as the crucible for creating customer engagement. Talented, fully engaged employees establish an emotional connection between the organization and the customer, resulting in customers who are “true believers” and maintain loyalty over time. These customers may have the most direct impact on profit, as they represent a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth. Furthermore, organizations who align both their employee and customer engagement efforts with their unique purpose in every level of the company see a dramatic increase in productivity and a creative competitor differentiator that simply can’t be matched.

Gallup’s Global Practice Leader, Ed O’Boyle will present Gallup’s latest research on employee engagement, customer engagement, and organizational purpose, discuss methods for measuring and implementing changes and demonstrate how these three pieces work together to create a differentiated, productive, and profitable organization.

You will learn:

  • The latest research on employee engagement and customer engagement and their impacts on an organization’s productivity, profitability, and culture
  • The most effective way to measure employee engagement and customer engagement
  • What is an organization’s purpose and how it forms a competitive differentiation

This session will discuss the convergence between engaging customers and engaging employees. When they are in sync, magic happens. The findings are based on years of client research and built with insights from the State of the American Workforce Report released in February 2017. Attendees will receive a copy of the report.

1:00-2 p.m. Breakout sessions

Session 3. Increasing Employee Engagement: It Can Be Done!

Mark Kretschmar, ABC, Communication Strategist, They understand LLC

Jennifer Beach – Associate Director Communication, United Healthcare 

Stephanie Graves – Associate Director Internal Communication, United Healthcare 

Employee engagement has become the ultimate goal of organizations staying current with best practices. This session will examine the latest research, explain best practice techniques, and review successful case studies that improve employee engagement and take more control of organizational culture.

You will learn:

  • Results of latest engagement research
  • Primary engagement drivers
  • Proven techniques to increase engagement and affect culture

Session 4. Crafting Effective Communication Strategy: A Guide to Planning 

Cindy Schmieg, ABC, Vice Chair, IABC 2017 Gold Quill Awards

In this session, you’ll hear how to provide value to your career and organization through strategic communication planning. This session, based on IABC’s Gold Quill Award program criteria, will help you plan and deliver meaningful communication that contributes to business success.

You will learn:
·       Aligning communication strategy to organizational goals
·       Stakeholder analysis for setting strategies
·       Setting targets for success using outcome-based objectives
·       Measuring results demonstrating communication as a vital business process

2-2:15 p.m. Break

2:15-3:15 p.m. Breakout sessions

Session 5. The Convergence of Social Media and Real Life

Mall of America

Laney Austin, Super Bowl LII Host Committee

Erin Vande Steeg, Senior Social Media Strategist, Mall of America

Learn about the convergence of social media and customer engagement from the Mall of America’s Erin Vande Steeg and Laney Austin, Super Bowl LII Host Committee. Erin manages the MOA’s social media program, which has taken social media from the ranks of media relations and marketing into the hands of customer engagement and interaction. In addition to learning how the MOA uses the  “war” room for interactions with customers before, during and after a customer’s visit to the MOA, Erin will also share how the Super Bowl LII committee is leveraging the mall’s learnings to support Super Bowl communications next year.  Laney will share how the Super Bowl’s plan intends to connect with visitors before, during and after the Super Bowl at US Bank Stadium on Feb. 5, 2018.

Session 6. Diversity & Inclusion – A Thrivent Case Study and A Workshop on Building Our Skills in Communicating Across Differences

Susan Plaster, M.Ed., Sue Plaster Consulting, LLC

Cathy Quillan, Diversity & Inclusion, Thrivent

Our challenge as communicators is to foster productive bonds with others, as well as communicating information. This session will begin with an overview of the Diversity and Inclusion program that has been implemented at Thrivent – and the highlights and challenges of communicating it to the workforce. The session will then transition to a participatory workshop that begins with self-awareness. Then we will then explore everyday cultural competence — increasing our effectiveness as we encounter each other and work together on behalf of our organizations.

Objectives: We’ll focus on practical skills and approaches to effective cross cultural understanding and communication. We’ll explore ways to amplify our bridge-building techniques. And we’ll set realistic action goals to keep building our skills and knowledge.

3:15-4:30 p.m. Closing Panel: Using Strategy to Prepare for Effective Crisis Management

This panel of crisis experts will discuss strategies and share experiences – both highs and lows – that challenged organizations in times of crisis. The panel will also explore how new technologies and research are changing the world of crisis response and communication.

MODERATOR: Paul Omodt, ABC, Omodt & Associates

Betsy Anderson, Ph.D, APR, Assistant Professor of strategic communication at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication

Randy Fordice, Xcel Energy

Rick Kaufman, Bloomington Public Schools