Employee Communications 2021 Summit

Employee Communications 2021 Conference

Communicating with Intention
August 25 - 27, 2021

Our Connect 21 conference theme, “Communicating with Intention,” will highlight the strategic role of internal communicators and the importance of communicating for impact. EC and IC pros do not simply deliver messages, they shape the employee experience through the creation of communication strategies and tactics that directly impact what employees Do, Say, Think, and Feel.

Coming off of one of the more challenging years for most comms pros, we aim to provide new insights, highlight success stories, and bring confidence to attendees who are looking to make an impact in their role and within their organization.

A message from conference speaker Jeff Corbin
A message from conference speaker Cheryl Ross

Day One

Wednesday, Aug. 25

10-10:15 a.m. EDT

Keynote Address: From Panic to Purpose in a Post-Pandemic World 
10:15-11:15 a.m. EDT


Clarity, focus, vulnerability and courage are all words that link to intentional and influential internal communication. We will discuss being human, the future of work, the role of the internal communicator and how things will change in a post pandemic world.

Learn about: 

- The future of work and the importance of communication
- The need to be intentional – exploring what this means for us as communicators but also what this means for the work that we do
- The importance of middle managers drawing on the latest Line of Sight research
- How to be a strategic partner to the leadership team
- Stories from Jenni’s work that explore the role of the communication function and the importance of ownership of channels
- The correlation between intention and trust and how this links to engagement across an organisation
- The role of influential internal communication

Jenni Field
, Founder, Redefining Communications


Session One
11:15 a.m.-12 p.m. EDT

Tap Into Your Internal Communication Skills to Build Community and Bring Hybrid Teams Closer Together
Building community post-Covid is harder than ever now that most teams are highly distributed. Learn how to help employees build stronger connections using measurement, strategic planning, technology and more. 
Cheryl Ross


12-1 p.m. EDT


Fireside Chat with Michelle Olson, APR and Anthony Bolton
1:00-1:45 p.m. EDT

Want to learn more about the growing importance of internal communications?  Don't miss PRSA Chair Michelle Olson, APR and Employee Communications Section Chair Anthony Bolton discuss the state of internal and employee communications.

Sponsor Session
2-2:15 p.m. EDT


Session Two
2:15-3 p.m. EDT

We've Performed an Internal Communications Audit. Um...Now What?

Session participants will explore how a small organization identified the need for internal communication changes, appealed to leadership to receive buy-in, coached fellow employees to participate in the audit and embrace the results, and implemented large changes effectively for the good of the organization.
Elizabeth Chentland, Aaron Copley-Spivy

Panel Discussion
3-3:45 p.m. EDT

Merck for Mothers
Merck for Mothers is a major global initiative from Merck to help ensure no woman dies in childbirth. Jacque Caglia, is the director of global communications for the program, and has built an incredible employee ambassador program with 800+ ambassadors in 46 countries.

Learn more about the mission-driven communications and how the internal engagement led to their global ambassador program.

Beyond the mission, they also have a transformation story – as they navigated leadership transitions and the spin-off of a large business unit – in addition to the obvious pandemic challenges.
Jacque Caglia, Director of Global Communications, Merck for Mothers
Mike Schaffer, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Digital Innovation, Marina Maher Communications

Day One Wrap-Up
3:45-4 p.m. EDT


Day Two

Thursday, Aug. 26

Keynote One
10-11 a.m. EDT

Session 1
11-11:45 a.m. EDT

It's Time to Bake!: Embedding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into Internal Communications

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Internal Communications are often seen as separate arms within an organization or company; however, they are very interconnected. When creating internal communications strategies and goals, you must bake in DEI to enrich your culture, drive advocacy, increase workforce diversity, and promote a culture of inclusion and belonging. This will directly drive employee engagement and foster a better workplace for you and your peers. I will share tools, tips, strategies, and initiatives using DEI to help elevate your internal communications plans, and by extension, the company’s operating model. 

Jenna Pantin, Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Internal Communications, New York Road Runners (NYRR) 

Sponsor Session
11:45 a.m.-12 p.m. EDT

12-1 p.m. EDT

Keynote Two
1pm-1:45 p.m. EDT


Who Moved All the Furniture Around? 
Tips for working with a person with a disability in your office. An interactive talk about how to effectively and properly communicate with people with disabilities in the workplace.
Dave Bahr

Session Two
2-2:45 p.m. EDT

Returning to Work? Mind the Communications Gap 
There are now dozens of employee communications solutions on the market with some claiming to solve the many challenges that internal communications professionals face in their day-to-day work.  But do they really?
Jeff Corbin

Sponsor Session
2:45-3 p.m. EDT

3-3:15 p.m. EDT

Session Three
3:15-4 p.m. EDT

Building a Purpose-Driven Culture 
Join us for an impactful discussion about the link between purpose and culture. Walk away with new tools to help you attract and retain your best talent and build a healthy, purpose-driven culture.
Karen Bailey

Day Two Wrap-Up
4-4:15 p.m. EDT

Networking & Happy Hour
4:15-5 p.m. EDT

Join us as we grab a beverage of choice and talk face-to-face

Day Three

Friday, Aug. 27

Day Three Kickoff
10-10:15 p.m. EDT


Coffee and Comms Networking Tables
10:15-11 a.m. EDT

Grab your coffee and start the day with some networking. Meet in small groups and automatically shift to a new table every 9 minutes!


Closing Keynote - 

From Awareness to Advocacy: the Role of Internal Comms in Supporting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (Panel Discussion)  11 a.m.-12 p.m. EDT

Since the summer of 2020, communicators have become increasingly aware of the crucial role they play in advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging inside their organizations. In this panel discussion, employee engagement expert and CEO of Brilliant Ink, Ann Melinger, will talk with three Diversity, Equity and Inclusion specialists about how internal communicators can take their awareness to the next level, becoming active advocates and allies. There will be plenty of time for attendees to tap into the panel’s expertise, so come with your questions, and walk away with the knowledge and tools to drive lasting change.

Ann Melinger, CEO, Brilliant Ink
Andrea Wicks Bowels, Independent Consultant
Farida Habeeb, PhD, Senior Strategist, Brilliant Ink
Trevor Jenkins, Founder, Jenkins Coopers


12-12:15 p.m. EDT



Registration Type


PRSA Employee Communications Section Member
(Full Conference)


PRSA Member*
(Full Conference)


(Full Conference)





Register Online Now!    Download Registration Form


*Global Alliance members qualify for the PRSA member rate.

Gold Sponsor

Dynamic Signal (004)


tEa logo regular (4) (002)


Silver Sponsor