Last Friday afternoon, I published a post here titled “‘Alternative Facts’ and IABC’s Six Core Principles,” detailing our association’s position on something that has been a point of conversation and reflection in our IABC community in recent weeks. We also posted a petition on Change.org, asking professionals to stand with us in support of the ethical practice of professional communication.
Given the discussion I’ve seen around terms like “alternative facts” and “fake news” within our community, I expected I might get some reaction to my post. But to say I’ve been overwhelmed by the engagement and response would be an understatement.
As I write this, more than 600 people have signed the re-commitment to ethics on Change.org and I’ve heard incredible feedback from countless IABC members and other communication professionals. My fellow IABC executive board members have received emails and phone calls as well, and social media has been filled with insightful discussions as IABC members signed and shared the petition.
The response has been almost entirely positive, with many members saying how glad they are to see IABC taking a stand on this issue, and how proud they are to be a part of it and stand together.
Here’s a small sampling of what we’ve heard on Twitter:
Those are just a few examples of the types of feedback we’ve received. For even more, I encourage you to browse the IABC Twitter timeline, where we’ve shared many of the supportive tweets so many people have sent our way.
Thank you for your support and dedication to ethical practice in communication. It’s inspiring to see your level of commitment and engagement around this critical issue for our profession. I look forward to continuing the dialogue and building on this momentum with all of you!
All the best,
P.S. As always, if you are not an IABC member, I invite you to join our thriving IABC community to be a part of the learning, development, connection, and discussions we all hold dear as members.
One of the many wonderful things about IABC having 10,000 members spread out around the globe is that our organization has its finger on the pulse of so much happening around the world and what it means to all of us working in business communication. This has been especially clear as the start of 2017 has brought with it big changes, new terms and challenges related to the work we all do.
A phrase we’ve heard frequently in recent weeks is “alternative facts,” as a term for inaccurate information, and many people have reached out asking where IABC’s stands on this issue. Our answer as an organization is clear.
The IABC Global Standard of the Communication Profession outlines six core principles that serve communication professionals around the world as building blocks of their work. Applying that standard enables us to communicate across borders, align with diverse cultures and effectively serve organizations of myriad types and sizes. The first principle of the IABC Global Standard is Ethics. Among other tenets, this principle sets forth that to act ethically, professional communicators must act without deception; represent their organizations truthfully, fairly and accurately; and adhere to the IABC Code of Ethics.
The International Association of Business Communicators and our members stand strongly behind our Code of Ethics, which states:
“As a professional communicator, you have the potential to influence economies and affect lives. This power carries with it significant responsibilities.
The International Association of Business Communicators requires its members to agree to the IABC Code of Ethics. This code serves as a guide to making consistent, responsible, ethical and legal choices in all of our communications.”
The first two commitments in the IABC Code of Ethics state, “I am honest—my actions bring respect for and trust in the communication profession” and “I communicate accurate information and promptly correct any error.”
IABC is unwavering in our commitment to and advocacy for our Global Standard and Code of Ethics. “Alternative facts” have no place in professional communication. I’m certain this was never in doubt for all of you as members. But should someone ask you for IABC’s stance on this issue, I invite you to point them to this blog post and our Global Standard.
I look forward to further discussion about this topic when I see many of you later this month at our annual Leadership Institute in Dallas, Texas.
This June, I’ll gather with even more of you at the 2017 IABC World Conference in Washington, D.C., where the latest issues and ideas affecting our profession and our work will be in the spotlight. I have no doubt that IABC and our committed members from around the world will shine, just as you do every day.
We’ve posted a petition on Change.org to publicly stand in support of the IABC Code of Ethics and what it means to live it every day. Please join us in signing it to show your commitment to ethical communication at all levels—you don’t need to be a member of IABC to stand with us. Please share the link with colleagues around the world to show our solidarity on this key principle.
On behalf of the entire executive board and leadership of IABC, thank you for your continued passion and ongoing commitment to ethical practice. It is tremendously appreciated and critical to the work we all do as professional business communicators.
The first Leadership Forum of 2017 spotlights the exciting new offerings of our IABC Academy, with updates from Academy Committee Chair Allison MacKenzie, ABC, MC. The Academy now has made professional development more user-friendly and cost-effective and I encourage you to check out all the details.
There’s a bevy of activity and energizing updates in the January Forum. Some highlights include:
Plans are in high gear! With a theme of “Global Business: Lead Communication—Make Real Impact,” this year’s conference is going to offer a number of exciting new opportunities for important conversations and making connections with our first-ever World Café at World Conference and a special Speed Networking event. The Program Advisory Committee is pulling out all the stops to secure a not-to-be-missed World Conference in Washington, D.C.
The website is up and registration is open, so I hope you’ll be among the first to secure your spot for the global professional communication event.
Our speakers will:
Focus on leading communication that makes a real impact in our organizations.
Build on the best of what we’ve learned about outstanding communication.
Aim high to capture the newest knowledge and ideas in the profession.
Lead innovations on how to reinvent our communication practice
Offer new tools and techniques that foster innovation.
Gold Quill Awards
One of the highlights of World Conference is recognizing and honoring outstanding work in our profession with the awarding of Gold Quills. We know that receiving your Gold Quill on stage is important, and the Excellence Gala this year has been planned to make sure award winners are celebrated on stage.
As we launch into the first quarter of 2017, let’s not forget the importance of IABC membership! Over the past several months, we have added many new member benefits, including member-only content, monthly free-to-member webinars, two new e-books free to IABC members, and made available to members only, a library of Gold Quill Award-winning case studies so members can learn from award-winning work.
As always, membership is top of mind, so please make sure to reach out to your new members and welcome them and find out how they would like to become involved with your chapter or region. Please remember to connect with your lapsing members to encourage them to renew and let them know about all of the new benefits of membership and opportunities to take their professional development to the next level.
In response to requests from chapter leaders, IABC HQ has launched affordable general liability insurance for U.S. chapters. Effective earlier this month, all U.S.- based chapters are covered with US$1 million liability insurance.
You should have received a notice about it via email. This is a cost-effective solution that cuts premium prices for large chapters who have purchased the insurance on their own in the past, and makes it accessible to small chapters who would be otherwise be excluded due to cost.
Premiums for chapters are based on the chapter size and will be held from rebates over a three month period. If you have questions about the program, please contact your Region leader or email@example.com.
We now move on to working on insurance solutions for our global chapters. We are working to determine how best to structure a program for Canadian chapters as our next step, and will then move through our other regions to determine the varying needs and solutions that may be available.
Keep in mind, this is not D&O insurance and chapters should still purchase this on their own.
There’s much more in store in the video and I look forward to hearing your feedback, input, questions and insights.
Let’s continue to #createconnection more than ever and engage to excel, Together we can do great things!
With heartfelt thanks for all you do for our IABC,
For the past three months Vice Chair Sharon Hunter and I have been on a listening tour. Members from every region shared what IABC, at its best, means to them. These insights, along with the member survey from last summer, will direct the creation of the 2017/2020 strategy.
A significant piece of that process is to reconfirm that IABC’s vision, mission, philosophy and purpose, outlined in our bylaws, still reflects who we are as an organization. After all, these statements serve as guardrails for our path forward. Not only will they guide the strategy, they guide how we conduct business and set the framework for how we will grow. Specifically, we are reviewing:
Vision: what success ultimately looks like for IABC
Mission: gives IABC focus by describing what business we are in
Philosophy: sets out the intentions of how IABC will operate – the core values that we hold dear
Purpose: expresses the impact we want to have on the people we serve
The philosophy was actually updated a couple of years ago when we adopted a new set of brand guidelines, which listed our shared values. These principles define the culture and behavior of our organization and members – so basically our philosophy of doing business. They are:
We represent the global profession.
We create connection.
We are a diverse community.
We focus on insights and results.
A big note of gratitude to Priya Bates and her Taskforce team for creating such a comprehensive guide.
Over the next few months we will be grappling with the vision, mission and purpose statements. Are they motivational, are they concise, do they represent what members say they want from IABC?
As we consider how to refine these statements so they truly become our rally cry, we will post updates here. Then chapter leaders will vote on any updates at the AGM meeting at World Conference in Washington D.C.
In the meantime, if you have an idea or suggestion, please send it to us, firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can align the vision, mission and purpose statements so they guide our actions for the future, help us see the opportunities and ultimately, deliver enduring value to our community.
Photo Caption: Pacific Plains Region participating in a Listening Session
As we wind up what has been a year of change and many important advancements for our IABC, the December Leadership Forum offers a reflection on progress we’ve made along with priorities to be addressed in the new year. This month we focused the spotlight on the exciting and valuable work of our newly re-imagined IABC Foundation, and what’s in store for Leadership Institute, World Conference, certification, and more!
To begin, and as we wind up 2016, we take a moment to focus on our overarching 2016-2017 strategic priority:
This board year will be satisfaction-led and focused on achieving financial sustainability and increasing our membership retention.
Retention is one of the key areas of focus this board term and on that note I’d like to share some important updates, a progress review and a look at efforts underway to ensure we provide the IABC value that will keep our members engaged and improves member loyalty:
Retention continues to be one of the association’s greatest growth opportunities
Retention has increased by 13% over the course of 2016, and is up 21.5% over the end of 2015.
This is good news and means we are moving in the right direction, but does not at all mean that we do not still have a lot of room to continue improving.
In 2016, several initiatives were rolled out to improve member value and increase retention. Those include:
Implementation of members-only content on the IABC website, which includes the creation and release of new content such as Gold Quill case studies
Publication of two e-books free to IABC members
Implementation of monthly free to member webinars
Implementation of a series of onboarding emails to first time members
Implementation, beginning this month, of a monthly email highlighting member only resources at your fingertips
As we look forward, we continue to examine ways to provide tangible value to members and drive an increase in retention. Some items on the horizon include an improved online experience with the new Association Management System (AMS) being implemented in 2017, improved resources for chapter leaders via the AMS and Leader Centre, and exploration of a private social network for IABC members only – on the longer horizon.
Our very special guest for December is IABC Foundation Committee Vice Chair Sherry Boyd. Sherry is helping to lead us into an impactful new era with our re-envisioned Foundation. Sherry provided important updates about the work of the new committee and the exciting initiative of ‘Gift of Communication in a Box’ which will be presented at Leadership Institute! We are thrilled with this offering which will support our leaders by providing tools to help fulfill our IABC mission of driving communication as a force for good in business and society. This is an amazing endeavor and opportunity for all of us to work together to make a positive impact in our communities by offering our time, talent and treasure and seeing our Foundation thrive for the greater good.
Check out other important updates in the December Forum on the Leadership Institute, including a special Foundation session with our host chapter Dallas’s Heroes presentation, a mega #IABC1720 Strategy Planning session, Gold Quill and awards technology updates, reminders of some new members- only features including monthly free to members webinars and member only content including e-books, GQ case studies, videos, podcasts, and more.
Speaking of important updates, the excitement continues to build as we look forward to an outstanding IABC World Conference to be held at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. 11–14 June, 2017. http://wc.iabc.com/
There are a number of positive changes in the conference agenda and session formats that have been designed to better align with the IABC Brand, including a daily theme that relates directly to activities and content. Some highlights:
Welcome Reception The Welcome Reception will be at the magnificent International Trade Center in Washington D.C. – the perfect place to kick off the event with our global community.
Keynote speakers We have a phenomenal slate of keynote speakers – three of whom have already been announced:
Sunday Opening Keynote: Gabrielle Dolan – an Australia native and global thought leader on authentic leadership and business storytelling. She has run workshops all over Australia, in New Zealand, in Malaysia…and in many other places.
Monday Morning Keynote: Jon Iwata, who is SVP of Marketing & Communications for IBM and the architect of IBM’s strategic brand platforms. His global team is responsible for the marketing of IBM’s product and services portfolio in more than 170 countries.
Tuesday Morning Keynote: Denise Jacobs, who is an author, speaker and creativity evangelist. She focuses on busting through creative blocks, cultivating collaboration and up-leveling creative productivity.
Stay tuned, our closing keynote will be announced in January!
The complete slate of the recently finalized slate of breakout sessions and speakers will be posted in January.
World Café & Speed Networking
We have added a World Café session on Monday afternoon which will be an opportunity to talk in small groups about topical issues that we as communication professionals are facing.
Additionally, there will be an optional lunch and speed networking event on Tuesday.
Register by 31 December and save US$400!
If you know anyone considering an IABC membership, they can register and become a member simultaneously for an $800 savings!
International Executive Board/Committees #IABCieb
Nominations to the International Executive Board are open until 11 January. I encourage you to give thoughtful consideration to taking your dedication and leadership in IABC to the global level and apply to serve on the IEB or an international committee. IABC needs a strong team of committed volunteers to take us forward to an even brighter and more successful future. How might you be able to add your expertise to advancing our association and the communication profession?
The open call for 2017-2018 IEB nominations closes on Wednesday, 11 January at 5:00pm EST . The call for international committees will open 23 January.
Affiliation Agreements Due
As you know, IABC has introduced an updated Affiliation Agreement, which chapters should submit to headquarters by 31 December 2016. (If your chapter has already done so, Thank You!)
The Affiliation Agreement serves to provide a common understanding of mutual expectations between IABC Chapters and IABC International. The agreement outlines the services and deliverables that can be expected of International and will serve as a mutually beneficial service level agreement.
There are not any material changes in the ways that Chapters operate under the updated Affiliation Agreement. As always, Chapters must continue to remain in compliance with the IABC Policy Manual, Bylaws, and Code of Ethics.
Certification opportunities and deadlines Kudos to our 24 new certified Communication Management Professionals! We are so proud of all of our CMPs for demonstrating their skills and knowledge in professional communication. The next exam will be held at Leadership Institute, where we are piloting the first online exam. I hope you’ll step up to become recognized for your skills and expertise in our profession with the CMP designation.
Important certification exam dates:
23 January: Deadline to apply for eligibility to sit exam
9 February: Deadline to register to sit exam
23 February: CMP exam
In more important news; the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC) is lowering the cost of the CMP certification program.
The GCCC is adjusting the cost associated with becoming a certified Communication Management Professional (CMP) and making the following rate changes:
I want you to consider stepping up to serve the profession – by taking a leadership role at the highest strategic level.
I’d like you to consider taking a seat at the table. In the IABC boardroom.
At IABC we believe in a global standard for professional communication; one that is open, one that knows no borders. Our work is more important today than ever – and the next board year is a crucial one: it’ll see the kick-off of our next three-year strategy.
But I have to be honest with you: serving at this level is demanding, yet that has never put the best people off. It is an opportunity to join our skilled, diverse and gender-balanced board. Supported by a small cohort of full time staff at the International Headquarters, this group is responsible for the effective management and leadership of your Association on both the strategic and executive level.
IABC is now looking for applicants to serve on the 2017-18 International Executive Board, including for the role of Vice Chair. Applications close on Wednesday, January 11th.
It’s excellent experience that will benefit you in your career. It’ll provide you with invaluable insight into the strategy and operation of a global organisation. You’ll make life-long friends too. I certainly have.
To apply, visit the IABC website now and find out more about the process and requirements. Again, applications must be in by Wednesday, January 11th.
If you have any question about serving on the IEB, please reach out to current Board members, any of whom will be pleased to give you insights into the challenges and rewards of the role.
And please help spread the word about this opportunity. Here’s your hashtag: #IABCieb.
Thanks for all you do to advance professional communication around the world – and thanks for your continued support of IABC.
This is an extremely exciting and busy time of year for IABC, with an abundance of opportunities for shining the light on excellence, stepping up to leadership, and securing your place at upcoming professional development events.
The November Leadership Forum is packed with information about open calls and nominations; it’s that time of year! We also have important updates from our terrific treasurer, Ginger D. Homan, ABC.
First, some kudos.
Congratulations to the October Member Month winners! We had a fantastic Member Month in October, with many new and special perks and prizes. Thank you to everyone who helped make this Member Month a success.
The small, medium, and large chapters that experienced the highest percentage of growth during Member Month will each receive one complimentary registration to the 2017 Leadership Institute that is taking place from 23–25 February in Dallas, Texas.
Congratulations go to these winners:
Australia (VIC): 3.17% growth
Wellington: 17.57% growth
Gulf: 13.33% growth
Congrats and see you in Dallas!
Leadership Institute (#IABCLI)
Speaking of LI: Registration for the 2017 Leadership Institute is now open! As you likely well know, LI is one of the most important and valuable experiences IABC offers to our leaders. We make a significant financial investment in LI every year because we want to ensure we provide professional and leadership development and support to you, our amazing leaders.
Make sure to register soon and mark your calendars for February 23–25 2017 at the Sheraton Dallas. The Council of Regions (COR), working with our excellent chapter relations manager, Micayla Felicion, has crafted a superb agenda and the COR is working on confirming speakers for the sessions. They’re also looking at how a framework for the Gift of Communication can be shared with leaders in a special session involving the newly relaunched IABC Foundation. Stay tuned for more updates.
Some important reminders about the special recognitions which will take place at LI:
The Chapter Management Awards submissions period will close on 5 December.
It’s also time to nominate for Chapter and Region Leaders of the Year awards. The deadline is 12 December.
See everything you need to know about submitting an award-winning entry and leader nominees on the Leader Centre.
Executive board nominations (#IABCieb)
Nominations to the international executive board (IEB) open on 21 November!
As IABC leaders, please reflect on taking your volunteer leadership forward in IABC and consider serving at the international level—on the international executive board or on an international committee.
The open call for 2017–2018 IEB nominations begins Monday, 21 November, and closes on Wednesday, 11 January, at 5 p.m. EST
The open call for international committees will open 23 January.
I encourage you to nominate an IABC icon who has made outstanding contributions to our profession and our association. This is IABC’s most prestigious award, aimed at recognizing individuals who make a positive and lasting impact. There is a new online application form that makes the process more “user friendly.”
Are you ready to inspire and be inspired? Share your best work by entering the 2017 Gold Quill Awards program.
Don’t miss this opportunity to spotlight the excellent work you’ve done and get well deserved recognition at what will be a fabulous Awards Gala at the IABC World Conference.
World Conference (#IABC17)
Speaking of World Conference: The conference Program Advisory Committee is pulling out all the stops to secure a not-to-be-missed World Conference in Washington D.C. The theme of this year’s conference is Global Business: Lead Communication—Make Real Impact.
The website is up and registration is open so I hope you’ll be among the first to secure your spot for the global event for professional communication. Save the dates (11–14 June 2017) and secure your registration and hotel room today!
Among the keynotes will be IBM Senior Vice President Jon Iwata, who will offer expert insight into future global trends.
At #IABC17, our speakers will:
Focus on leading communication that makes a real impact in our organizations.
Build on the best of what we’ve learned about outstanding communication.
Aim high to capture the newest knowledge and ideas in the profession.
Lead innovations on how to reinvent our communication practice.
Offer new tools and techniques that foster innovation.
Strategic planning: #IABC1720 strategy
The latest session in our 2017–2020 strategic planning process was held at the IABC Africa regional conference. This was the largest session yet with more than 75 participants who offered their insights, which will go toward our next three year strategic plan. I want to say a huge and heartfelt “thank you” to Daniel Munslow, past IABC Africa Chair and executive board member, who co-led the session with me. What an incredible group of engaged, enthusiastic and enlightened communicators at the session and the annual conference. Kudos to all!
The next strategy sessions will be coming up in the Gulf chapter, Asia/Pacific and Canada. We’ll have a “mega” session with leaders at LI. This is an important opportunity to have input in planning for a successful future for our IABC. Many thanks to Sharon Hunter, who as vice chair is leading #IABC1720, along with Treasurer Ginger Homan, ABC.
Save the date!
The next LEADERSHIP FORUM will be 14 December at 2 p.m. PST.
In the meantime, do stay in touch and let me know what I may do for you. Let’s keeping creating connection and engaging to excel. Together we can do great things for our IABC!
With much appreciation for your support and all you do for our IABC,
The October Leadership Forum was packed with a plethora of important and exciting information.
Our special guest for this month’s forum was the chair of the 2017 World Conference Program Advisory Committee, Sarah McLaughlin, who shared all of the latest and greatest, along with a special “sneak peek’”- about what will be the global conference for professional communication—#IABC17. Make sure to mark your calendars for 11-14 June and join us in Washington, D.C. to be enlightened with new ideas, expand your connections and benefit your career.
Other important topics included a reminder to help push Member Month (which is closing on 31 October), the open call for the IABC Fellows (which is open until 3 December at 5 p.m. EST), Gold Quill Awards entry time (the early-bird deadline is 16 November), along with recaps about the Heritage Region and Southern Region conferences and regional leadership institutes, and the important 2017-2020 strategic planning sessions held at each.
I’ll also be co-leading a #IABC1720 strategic planning session with executive board member and conference leader Daniel Munslow at the IABC Africa conference during the first week of November. Many thanks to Vice Chair Sharon Hunter and Treasurer Ginger Homan and everyone involved in this critical work to plan for a truly successful future for our IABC.
We have a number of links (below) to all the information about what’s happening at IABC.
Get the latest “scoop” right here:
The next Forum is set for 16 November at 10 a.m. PST.
In the meantime, do stay in touch. Please know how much your leadership, dedication and support are appreciated.
Let’s continue to #createconnection. Together we can do great things for our IABC!
That was the theme of the Heritage Region Conference 2016, held in Columbus, Ohio Oct. 9-11 — says so much about our IABC. The conference was the living, breathing epitome of what is at the core of our professional communication community. It is our never ending commitment to elevating our professional and personal growth and discovering the possibilities for driving communication as a force for good in business and society.
The #IABCHRCONF world class level of speakers, presentations, programming, networking, professional development and, of course, Dine Around, is a testimony to the dedication and commitment of the Heritage Region leaders and evidence of the impact IABC is and will continue to make for our profession and members.
I was amazed at the level of positive energy and enthusiasm of the region and chapter leaders in Columbus, Ohio USA!
I must give specific shout outs to conference co-chairs Forrest Hughes and Pat Frey — both long time IABC leaders on many levels.
Thanks and congratulations to everyone who made this conference one to be emulated; including Region Chair Amy Miller and Silver Quill Chair Alexandra Hichel and the indescribably inspirational ball of enthusiasm, Columbus chapter president, Lachandra Baker.
I want to share a bit of the spirit with you and so I grabbed a few minutes with a past Heritage Region chair, Gary Spondike from Detroit, veteran IABC leader and presenter, Cyrus Mavalwala from Toronto and two conference attendees.
I hope you enjoy the snippets, absorb the IABC ‘secret sauce’ and pass it along.
Tuesday afternoon, IABC Vice Chair Sharon Hunter and I wrapped up with our #IABC1720 World Cafe, part of our global conversation tour to build the next 3-year strategy for the association. Read more on this appreciative inquiry process here on the blog.
Thank you more than I can express for your dedication, leadership and support for our IABC.
Here we are on the cusp of October! Wow- time flies when you’re having fun and everyone is in high gear for our IABC. We’re entering a busy time of the IABC year with three region conferences and regional leadership institutes coming up in the next four weeks, along with the all-important October Membership Month which is going to be stellar this year!
For all the scoop check out our September Leadership Forum featuring our Awards Committee Chair, Lynn Barter, ABC.
Also, please mark your calendars for the upcoming Leadership Forums. We’re staggering the times for these monthly conversations with leaders so as to engage as many time zones as possible with as little “pain” as possible. We definitely want you to get your sleep!
Here are the dates and times coming up:
26 October at 2 p.m. Pacific Time
16 November at 10 a.m. Pacific Time
14 December at 2 p.m. Pacific Time
25 January at 10 a.m. Pacific Time
In the meantime, please do reach out with any questions, input, suggestions, recommendations and insights. Your contributions are encouraged and most welcomed. Let’s #createconnection and #engage2excel like never before!
With deep appreciation for all you do for our IABC,