Employee Communications Boot Camp

Employee Communications Boot Camp

July 25: Southfield, Michigan (Detroit area)
Nov. 22: Morrisville, North Carolina (Research Triangle)
Price: $999
Member Price: $849
  • Map the current and future state of your employee communications
  • Identify the obstacles to great employee communications—and remove them
  • Assess what's working—and what's not—by asking the people who know best: employees, managers and leaders
  • Build a strategy that connects employee communications to your organizational goals

Product Code: YZEC
  • Presenter:
    Jim Ylisela Jim Ylisela is co-owner and managing partner of Ragan Consulting Group. He is an award-winning veteran Chicago journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine, The Chicago Reporter and Crain's Chicago Business. Jim has won a dozen awards for investigative reporting and is the author of "Who Killed the Candy Lady?", an investigation into Chicago's greatest unsolved murder, the disappearance of candy heiress Helen Brach. From 1988 to 2001, Ylisela served on the faculty and was co-director of the Medill News Service at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. With RCG, he works with communicators across industries to create brand journalism news sites, organize and train writers and editors and restore reporting (and creative storytelling) to internal and external communications.


9-10:30 a.m.
What's wrong with employee communications—and how to fix it
We'll begin our day with a clear-eyed assessment of where you stand and what you're up against. Where has your employee comms gone wrong? What does your gut tell you about what's working—and what isn't? And where exactly are you trying to go?

In this session, you will:

  • Draw a picture (literally) of the current and future state of your communications
  • Identify the barriers to more effective employee comms—and how to remove them (We'll share our top five)
  • Make the business case for change
  • Ensure your communication connects directly to your organization's strategic goals

10:30-10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
What you learn when you listen: Communication audits
A communication audit tells you where you are so you can figure out where you want to be. You're looking for the gaps—in understanding and awareness, between leaders and employees and among managers. What do your audiences need, and are your channels up to the task?

In this session, you will:

  • Plan your audit: What do you have to know?
  • Get data: Craft a survey that quantifies what needs to change
  • Go deeper: Conduct focus groups to ask "why?" and "what if?"
  • Talk to the boss: Why you need to ask your leaders tough questions
  • Check your work: How to evaluate your channels and content

12:15-1:15 p.m.

1:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
Build your newsroom
You've got your data. You have your strategy. Now it's time to reimagine your employee communications function and integrate it with all the other disciplines, including PR and marketing. Let's get to work.

Here's your to-do list:

  • Reorganize your staff into a newsroom
  • Integrate employee communications with PR, marketing and other communication disciplines
  • Train your staff. Be a better writer by becoming a better reporter
  • Establish your brand voice
  • Transform the Town Hall
  • Managers on tap: Make the cascade flow—in both directions
  • Make your bucket list. What will you do next, starting tomorrow?

2:45-3 p.m.

3-4:30 p.m.
Employee communications transformed
Internal communications doesn't have to be boring—or even just internal. Writing doesn't have to be flat. Videos don't have to be robotic talking heads. Employees really can be ambassadors. Managers can cascade in both directions.

In our closing session, let's see what your new employee comms will look like, including:

  • Brand journalism, inside and out
  • Making the shift to mobile
  • The dominance of visual communication: photos, infographics and video
  • Internal social media as a collaboration tool
  • Leaders unplugged
  • Measuring everything to show how communication supports the organization's mission and values