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Rhonda J. Rathje, APR  “Suit up and show up.” Once called a “rock,” Rhonda Rathje is known for moving forward and making things happen. If you want something done, ask her.  When it comes to dotting I’s and crossing T’s, Ms. Rathje is the master of details. Her legacy is to leave things better than when she found them.   Ms. Rathje is a seasoned veteran of public relations at Verizon, American Airlines and Walmart including employee communications, executive communications, media relations, storytelling and community relations. Her understanding of how communications positively impacts a business, her top-notch writing skills, and her enthusiasm for effective communications are strong assets of Ms. Rathje. She brings a holistic approach to every communications issue, along with strong project management skills.   With her go-get- ‘em attitude, she is an accomplished project manager and planner – always intent on delivering results. As a seasoned pro, Ms. Rathje has developed numerous employee communications programs; she has directed employee engagement initiatives; and she has built and led teams to solve business problems.   Welcome to “Succeeding in Internal Communications – Behind the Scenes with Effective Project Management.”  As an Internal Communicator for your company, you not only need to know the ABCs of communications, but you must deliver and demonstrate results. Yet, many well-intended initiatives fail to deliver, despite the time and resources invested in them. As the world becomes more complex, your business becomes more challenging. That means people need special tools, techniques and knowledge to handle their project management assignments, such as justifying your project, developing objectives and schedules, obtaining commitment from your team (stakeholders) for a project, delegating, holding people accountable and assessing the overall situation. In fact, project management is noted as a top five competency considered most important for a successful Internal Communication (IC) practitioner. To further this point, project management skills are increasingly in demand. Achieving excellence in project management will also help you: Improve your overall management skills, which will enhance your overall marketability Demonstrate that you mean business and you can get things done Deliver – results and outcomes – for your business Focus on the real work that needs to be done, thus helping you be more effective and value-added That’s why you can also consider project management as an investment in yourself. For some who have experience in project management, this course may serve as a refresher and provide you with new approaches to project managing. For those new to project management – as well as leading a project – you’ll learn valuable tips and tools to apply to your everyday work project.  For others, it will provide you with the essentials of basic project management skills so you can demonstrate your value to your organization. As you progress through the course, you will be asked to apply what you have learned to a case study, develop a project plan and test your recall of the material presented. Read More

  Facilitated by Rhonda Rathje, APR and Cara Jurkowski Research & analysis for internal communications transforms theory to practice to results for participants in this hands-on workshop.  Participants will learn DIY (Do-It-Yourself) research methodologies, focusing on models tailored to demographics, resources and desired outcomes. They will learn to differentiate quantitative and qualitative measurement techniques and the advantages and pitfalls of each. Participants will learn the best ways to use research as a tool for change, presenting results to leadership in the most effective way possible. The workshop will also showcase case studies of how some internal communications groups use research to measure their communications.   Finally, participants will be asked to share an on-the-job example for study and practice. These examples will be shared and discussed throughout the course, with the goal of each participant leaving with a fully-developed and ready-for-deployment research and analysis plan.  Bottom line, participants will learn how research & analysis can help drive their communications strategy.  Rhonda Rathje is a seasoned communications professional with 35+ years of proven, practical experience. Rathje’s professional history includes her work at Verizon, American Airlines and Walmart where she led numerous high-profile communication initiatives form corporate reorganizations to community events. Her capabilities include strategic communications planning, employee engagement, community relations and strategic counsel. Rathje has designed and implemented award-winning employee communications programs that generated bottom line results. She has led teams to solve business problems – helping organizations connect and engage employees to the business with communications. Both a strategist and tactician, Rathje earned a B.A. in Journalism from Iowa State University and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. Cara Jurkowski is a failed stand-up comedian and successful communications professional. As the owner of Stand Up Communications, she uses lessons from the world of stand-up comedy to help communicators of every ilk become funny-bone tickling, emotion-arousing, storytelling superstars of the business world. When she’s not busy using her powers to help communicators rule the world, you’ll find Cara changing the system from the inside. For nearly two decades, she’s worked with Fortune 500 companies using the power of communication to create cultures where employees laugh, learn, debate, inspire, improve, innovate and ignite; contributing their talent with passion and reckless abandon. Read More

   Facilitated by Dane Wiseman Analytics and measurement plans are not a one size fits all. This fully customizable program takes the analytics and measurement knowledge that you currently have and applies it to new measurement, attribution and modeling frameworks. In four sessions, this program will enable you to evaluate your current communications plan and advance your understanding and implementation of analytics solutions for the improvement of both online and offline channels. This course provides an end-to-end approach to measurement and analytics methodologies that shape communications efforts. Participants will receive training in various on-site and offsite analytics tools and how to select a technology stack that fits their needs. Course participants will gain an understanding of how to establish reporting structures and how to set strategy and KPIs for future communications efforts. The course will explore the evolving features communications channels create and how brands should anticipate and build content targeting strategies based on actions and analytics. Participants will also learn how to incorporate the latest tools and visualization best practices for reporting to the C-Suite.  Dane Wiseman, Director of Marketing for AirPR, focuses on customer acquisition and connecting communications professionals to industry-leading measurement and analytics solutions. With an interest in emerging best practices in analytics, Dane has managed advertising budgets and incorporated new advertising technologies for Fortune 500 companies through partnerships and certifications with Google and Microsoft. He has also been recognized for his innovative brand marketing strategies. Prior to joining the AirPR team, he led marketing efforts for media monitoring solution Critical Mention and evolved brand strategies at the integrated digital advertising agency ethology. Fun Fact: Dane teaches the next generation of marketing and analytics professionals in graduate and advanced diploma programs at New York University. Read More

Presented by Jennie Donohue, M.B.A. Creating communication tactics that drive business results requires more than just the successful execution of creative concepts. Professionals need to understand how to align their activities with organizational goals and monitor and measure their work for maximum effectiveness. This hands-on course will help participants break down key components of the communication planning process, offering a thoughtful approach and practical tips related to the strategic development of communication tactics. Jennie Donohue, M.B.A., is an award-winning communication professional and educator, bringing more than 20 years of industry-leading in-house and agency experience into the classroom. She is passionate about experiential learning and bridging the gap between theory and practice in her work as a senior professional lecturer in the communication department at Marist College in New York. Jennie’s professional background spans multiple industries from food to financial services as well as a variety of communication disciplines. She earned her M.B.A. at Suffolk University in Boston as well as holds a B.A. in public relations and international relations from Syracuse University. Read More

Learn critical social media skills from communications expert and published author Nicole Matejic. In “Using Analytics to Drive Social Media Success” Nicole will dive into Twitter, Facebook and Google Analytics to show you how to read and apply smart data for strategic communications effect, as well as how to craft meaningful reports on your results for your organization or clients. In "Using Social Media as a Crisis Brand Newsroom,” she’ll give you the practical tools and knowledge you need to establish and deploy a social media crisis brand newsroom that gives your organization the ability to drive your crisis narrative. Read More

Times have changed and your writing needs to keep up. In this two-course Learning Path, “Business Writing for the 21st Century” will show you the value of keeping your writing brisk, brief, jargon-free, mobile-friendly and more. In “Content Marketing for Your Business” you’ll learn how to increase inbound traffic to your site, build better brand awareness, generate stronger engagement with your target audience as well as leads and sales. Read More

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