See descriptions of each session below.

2012 Communicators Conference


Jim Olson
The NEW-Newsroom – Sharing the Starbucks Story

In 2013, Starbucks launched a new digital news platform to connect more directly with its global audience of employees (partners), customers, journalists, community members and other important stakeholders. Through a mobile-friendly responsive-design website and Twitter channel (@starbucksnews), the Starbucks Newsroom ( publishes engaging stories about the company’s people, innovations, and ambitions – through journalistically inspired narratives and rich multimedia assets.

Jim Signorelli
Beyond Storytelling

Storytelling is all the rage.  It is the new hammer in the marketing communications toolbox.

But there are other tools that are often overlooked and just as important in order to fully harness the persuasive power of story.  During this presentation you will learn about the full set of story-related tools and how together they can create long-lasting bonds with consumers.

Nancy Duarte
Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences

Great ideas can change the world. But, they can only do so when effectively communicated. A powerful story is one of the best ways we can share our world-changing ideas. They draw us in, move us and inspire us to act. Whether you’re on the frontline engaging customers or a manager inspiring your team at a kickoff meeting, becoming a better storyteller will help you become a more effective business professional.  In this talk you will learn how to: Build a structure to your story, understand what will resonate with your audience, and imagine and poetically describe an amazing future.



Ekaterina Walter
Make Your Marketing Memorable with Visual Storytelling

Attention is the new commodity. Visual Storytelling is the new currency.

Did you know that the human brain processes visuals 60,000X faster than text? Or that web posts with visuals drive up to 180% more engagement than those without? Or that viewers spend 100% more time on web pages with videos?

People relate to visuals! In this session, Ekaterina Walter, internationally acclaimed marketer, speaker, and bestselling author of “Think Like Zuck,” and her latest book,”The Power of Visual Storytelling,” shows you how to use visuals and videos to spark engagement and inspire brand advocacy. You’ll discover practical tips and thought-provoking examples from a variety of companies and industries. The result: you’ll be empowered to grow your business and strengthen your brand by leveraging photos, videos, infographics, presentations and more!

Tawny Schileski
Stories from the Digital Rim: How Technology is Shifting the Borders of Entertainment

Technology and entertainment have always been entwined; from the Greek amphitheater to the printing press, to the motion picture camera, the revolutionary technologies of the age have inspired storytellers, and changed the way that we, the audience, experience stories. And it is still happening. Today’s explorers are expanding the boundaries of story with digitally built worlds and immersive experiences. Tawny Schlieski will explore this new territory, where complexly imagined creations from the Avengers to Halo are hinting at the possibility of a new world of story.

Oscar Suris
How We Shifted from PR to P+R at Wells Fargo

Executive Vice President Oscar Suris heads the Corporate Communications department at Wells Fargo. He will speak about leading a movement among his team to use social media and other communications outlets to help tell their company’s stories to a variety of internal and external audiences. Oscar will present a local case study to illustrate the strategy.


Melissa Havel
Becoming a Master Storyteller

Stories are part of the fabric of our life; they are passed down from generation to generation and can leave lasting impressions on people – good and bad.   Learn the tips and tricks for creating an engaging and effective narrative, and how the tenants of good literature (good vs. bad, tension, dreadful alternative and moral) equally apply to telling stories that drive impact and action for businesses and organizations.

Dave Thompson
Interviewing 202: Beyond the Basics

Tell your story with passion and inspiration. Learn advanced message formulation using metaphor and advanced media interviewing techniques. Being able to clearly, succinctly and passionately tell your story in an interview setting adds to your and your company’s credibility and allows you to raise awareness, build trust, change attitudes and behaviors, manage your agency’s reputation and manage crises.

Wayne and Holly Paige
Creating Moments of Understanding Through Video

Video storytelling is all about capturing moments that lead to greater understanding of an issue or point of view. In “Creating Moments of Understanding Through Video,” veteran storytellers Wayne and Holly Paige will discuss how to create authentic visual stories that build trust and emotional connections between your clients and their customers.


Lou Hoffman
Helping Companies Tell Stories

Storytelling has become the new “black” in communications. Everyone talks about it. Everyone does it. Or do they? This session will look at the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to content generated by the communications function. It will also discuss the traditional story arc, sharing storytelling techniques that don’t require a protagonist. Lou will weave mini case studies throughout the presentation, ensuring you take away the tools to bring a greater storytelling dimension in your day-to-day role. Whether you sit in PR, content marketing, publishing, digital or corporate communications, the session offers a pragmatic approach to dialing up your narratives.

Sarah Skerik
The Keys to Social Storytelling for PR

We know that engaging social audiences can significantly drive message awareness and campaign success. But how can PR pros make their messages stand out? In this session, we’ll dissect traditional messaging and find new ways to surface brand stories effectively for digital audiences.

John Hartman
The NxT Media: The Math for Modern Storytelling

Once story was only spoken then it colored the walls of the caves. As story grew it was then bound to a page and then given voice through radio and TV. As it matures even still, along with its media savvy consumer, it now springs forth story worlds across media platforms. Media is ever changing and that evolution only seems to be accelerating. Traditional media, new media, social media – these paradigms are now an amalgam of multi-platform media consumption referred to as Transmedia. Simply put transmedia is multi-platform story telling where each channel tells a different aspect of the story and is optimized for the platform.

Our media diet will not be one to sacrifice the one for the other but an extension and maturation of our media pallets – a combination of New Media and Traditional Media = NxT Media. Come join John Hartman to explore this concept and apply it to your work.

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