Break out of boring corporate comms: Ragan conference recap

RaganDisney - Red e AppThe 4th Annual Ragan Social Media Conference was a whirlwind of great ideas, talented communicators, and magical Disney moments. Red e App was a proud sponsor of the event. We also managed to attend several sessions throughout the conference to better understand trends across the communications field.

As I looked back over my notes, I noticed three themes that I feel are critical for internal and external communicators alike:

Corporate communications shouldn’t be boring

The year is 2016. Our everyday communications no longer include hand-written notes and formal memos.

Text messaging, Facebook, and BuzzFeed are now dominating our daily communications. This means emojis, informal posts, and tongue-in-cheek news have become our new normal. Corporate communications must follow suit.

Whether you are focused on communicating with employees, consumers, or B2B prospects, the fact remains that you must be engaging to stand out. Fun, personal, human communications are driving the world’s greatest brands into a new spotlight, as this novel paradigm is effective for comms with both employees and customers.


“Snackable” content is shareable content

Snackable content matches consumer behavior. With attention spans shrinking and the ever-increasing shift towards content consumption on mobile, size really does matter. Steve Crescenzo shared examples of “micro-videos” which provide engaging, easy-to-consume content:

This content is currently dominating your Facebook newsfeed, and your corporate communication efforts should be shifting to match these trends. While there is a time and a place for longer videos, 6 minutes is an eternity to maintain attention spans.

Steve shared his 4 C’s of corporate communications during his opening keynote, and these point heavily to “snackable” content:

  1. Concise (Clear) – Realize that people won’t spend a lot of time on your stuff.
  2. Conversational (Understand) – Be sensitive to the fact that people learn more effectively when you talk to them, not at them.
  3. Compelling (Keep) – Give people a reason to spend time with your content. You’re competing with more “noise” than ever before.
  4. Creative (Hook) – Get people to pay attention in the first place.

Corporate communications have historically been plagued by long-winded, text-heavy, jargon-laden crap. Steve’s session and several others were great reminders that all companies need to think more creatively about corporate communications.

Make it human

Every press release has a real “story” behind it. Whether you’re announcing a new product line, promoting a marketing slogan, or breaking the news about a pending acquisition, every piece of corporate communications presents the opportunity to tell a compelling story.

Your company is made of people, so the stories you tell should be human stories. What does this look like?

  • If you’re announcing a new product line, tell the story of an engineer who helped develop the product.
  • If you’re providing an new service, tell the story of how this service will transform lives.

Whether you are speaking to employees or potential customers, your audience is always human. Appealing to emotions and sharing more than just facts is becoming more critical than ever as you strive to break through the noise and make a deeper connection with your audience.


If you attended the conference, I would love to hear your most impactful takeaway from #RaganDisney 2016. Find me on Twitter @_hannahbeasley, or comment below!

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