Tag Archives: Melissa Dark ABC

January Leadership Forum: Certification + Ethics

The fifth IABC Leadership Forum was pulled together from across three continents: Carlos was in Philadelphia, Dianne in Charlotte and Barbara Puffer was at large in Florida. I was in London – and Melissa helped with the Q&A from San Francisco.

Here’s the replay:

Quick recap of key topics covered

Special guest(s)

Certification

Dianne Chase also shared the latest from the Global Communication Certification Council on behalf of Sue Heuman:

  • New Communication Certification Professional (CMP) profiles coming soon
  • Next certification level will cater for the Strategic Advisor level of the global career paths (scroll down to see them)

Find upcoming CMP exam dates and much more here.

Ethics
Barbara Puffer
Barbara Puffer

IABC Fellow, and Chair of the IABC Ethics Committee, Barbara Puffer joined to talk about the work to update the Code of Ethics. Join the discussion on the Chapter Leader forum on LinkedIn – or pitch in during the upcoming Leadership Institute in Los Angeles. The plan is to complete the revision in time for the 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM).

 

By the way, if you have ideas for how we can make the AGM more engaging, reach out…

Q&A Highlights

Thanks to all who attended. See you on the February Leader Forum.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

December Leadership Forum: Finance & Brand

The fourth IABC Leadership Forum was pulled together from across three continents: Carlos was in Montréal, Dianne in Clinton, Ginger in Tulsa and Priya in Toronto. I was in London – and Melissa helped with the Q&A from Melbourne.

Here’s the replay:

Special Q&A guests

Finance

Ginger Homan
Ginger Homan
Carlos Fulcher
Carlos Fulcher

On this edition we were joined by IABC Treasurer, Ginger Homan, ABC.

Ginger has been working closely with Carlos Fulcher to create a balanced 2016 budget for IABC – including essential strategic technology investments including:

  • An updated Association Management System – to better serve staff and leaders – in line with our theory of change
  • A Learning Management System for the IABC Academy – to better serve those seeking professional development through IABC – in line with our mission

Additional strategic investment is going into better serving our Corporate Members – and short-term improvements are also being made to the current member management system (MMA).

Our association is still working through the aftermath of ten years of underinvestment in this area. Progress is being made.

One further major financial item to note is the $300K+ cost reduction we will be realising through moving our offices. Carlos briefly spoke to this at the end of the call.

Brand

Priya Bates
Priya Bates

Past Chair of the IABC Brand Task Force, Priya Bates, ABC, MC, joined for a Q&A on the brand roll-out.

Priya’s key messages:

  • It is great to see so many chapter adopting the brand so fast – some are still to pick it up though. Help is available… just ask.
  • Whatever you do visually: keep it simple.
  • And remember, the brand is more than the logo – use all of it – see the Brand Toolkit.

A practical, actionable element of the latter which you can RT:

Quick overview of the further topics covered

Dianne Chase
Dianne Chase

Dianne Chase shared a look ahead to #IABCLI – aka –  the 2016 Leadership Institute. We look forward to seeing you there. Dianne also shared the latest top  growth chapters – impressive and encouraging: 

Large Chapters

Edmonton 26%

Medium Chapters

Canberra 15%

Small Chapters

Switzerland 40%  

Well done. 

Also big thanks to all who participated in the IABC Leadership Survey that just closed. We’ll look closer at the insights early next year. Meanwhile,  Gold Quill is well underway. Here’s your toolkit.    

…and, also topical – a reminder from the Past Chair:   

 


Q&A Highlights

Question from Sheila Carruthers from Calgary: In addition to IABC working on corporate discount offerings, will there be consideration to offer discounts at LI and conferences for independent consultant members and individuals who pay their own membership fees?

Answer: Check out the scholarships for LI in the first instance – Ginger also offered to connect offline to talk more.

Question from Maliha Aqeel from Toronto: Are there any plans for HQ to conduct a brand compliance audit?

Answer: The recent Leader Survey had a set of questions around brand adoption – we will share more on that early next year.

Question from Gay Flashman from London:  Is there any way in which we can share our original blog & social content between chapters for use on local IABC channels?

Answer: The Editorial Committee has been charged with creating a global conversation calendar that can help facilitate this. Watch this space.

Last but not least, I shared a brief update on my recent #IABCAPAC trip. Here’s a decent summary of how I felt after – fuller notes will be filed in the usual place.

Thanks to all who connected – and you don’t have to wait until next month to get a question answered. Just head over to the IABC Chapter Leaders Group on LinkedIn and pitch in.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

 

November ’15 Board Meeting

The IABC International Executive Board – aka #IABCieb – recently held its sixth board meeting of this term and here’s a quick recap of what was on the table in addition to the usual reports from the Chair; Vice Chair Dianne Chase (with a specific focus on the work of the Council of Regions (#IABCcor)); Financials from Treasurer Ginger Homan ABC and last definitively but not least, the report from our Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE:

Portfolio Review & Organisational Alignment

Cindy Schmieg
Cindy Schmieg

Our on-going work to ensure a strong and sustainable future for the association – one where the sum is greater than its parts – continues.

At this board meeting Cindy Schmieg ABC reported on the work of the Awards Alignment Task Force which has been looking at how the recognition programmes at the different levels of IABC can better work in synch.

Meanwhile, do help promote this year’s Gold Quill

Katie Macaulay
Katie Macaulay
Melissa Dark
Melissa Dark

One of the cornerstones of the current three-year strategy is increased reputation in the profession and better brand positioning – and one of the routes to achieving this is by stepping up our own practice of communication. Katie Macaulay and our Director of Global Communications, Melissa Dark ABC, joined the board meeting for a generative discussion to further advance this work. They will bring back a practical strategy for review in December.

Last but not least on this front, the board reviewed the results from the annual board evaluation.

Member Month Results & Technology Update

Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE
Carlos Fulcher

The board discussed the latest membership figures and Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE reported on the latest work on the iabc.com website.

Moving IABC’s technology infrastructure into the 21st century after ten years of underinvestment continues to be hard work, but progress is being made. I continue to be in awe of the effort being put in by our hard-working HQ staff – and our leaders in the field – to serve members around the world. Thankyou!

Also: the member marketing toolkit page has now been updated with new social media posts and images.

Claudia Vaccarone
Claudia Vaccarone

Linked to this Claudia Vaccarone shared an update from the Membership Task Force. One of the early recommendations to come out of that group is a call for additional investment in updating IABC’s technology infrastructure.

This groups is also doing an analysis of the wider competitive/collaborative arena that IABC is playing in. If you have a contribution to make here, do get in touch with Claudia.

A look ahead to the 2016 Leadership Institute

Leaders go to Leadership Institutes to build their leadership skills.

They happen around the world: Minneapolis, Johannesburg, Basel, Denver, Calgary and Baltimore earlier in the year – and I am excited about attending the APAC LI in Sydney in November.

Dianne Chase
Dianne Chase

Leaders also go to Leadership Institutes. To build their leadership skills.

Once a year we bring IABC’s top international leaders together. IABC Vice Chair Dianne Chase shared an update on the preparations for this with help from the Council of Regions and Micayla Felicion on staff.

Registration for the 2016 Leadership Institute is now open. We are looking forward to an energetic event at the Hotel Maya in Long Beach, CA from 4-6 February 2016. The program for the Leadership Institute will offer leadership training, professional development, and networking for IABC chapter leaders coming from around the world. Additional information about LI can be found here. We look forward to seeing you in Long Beach!

Don’t forget to submit your Chapter Management Award entries by 1 December 2015. The CMA winners will be presented at LI.

Progress towards the 2016 World Conference

Stacy Wilson
Stacy Wilson

Stacy Wilson ABC shared an update on the progress her Program Advisory Committee is making in preparation for the 2016 World Conference which will be help 5–8 June in
New Orleans.

The team is working on reviewing the many submissions for sessions – as well as selecting keynote speakers.

Registration is open – please help spread the word using #IABC16.

Forward Look

At the December meeting, in addition to the Comms Committee returning, we will review progress from Audit & Risk, Policy Review, Academy and the Global Communication Certification Council. That’s in addition to reviewing the 2016 budget for IABC which will go to the Finance Committee first.

Meanwhile, please do join the next IABC Leadership Forum online: details here.

Meanwhile, thanks for all you do.

Let’s #createconnection like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

October IABC Leadership Forum: Basel, Baltimore, Calgary, Denver, LA, Rotterdam, NOLA…

Carlos Fulcher
Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE
Dianne Chase
Dianne Chase
Melissa Dark ABC
Melissa Dark ABC

We did the second IABC Leadership Forum on the road: Carlos and I broadcast from the stage at the Heritage Region Conference in Baltimore and Dianne checked in from Charlotte, fresh back from the Canada West conference in Calgary – and Melissa helped with the Q&A from San Francisco.

You can watch the replay here:

It was a great session, but don’t just take my word for it:

Mary Foshage
Mary Foshage

‘Love this! Am going to encourage our whole board to join.’ – Mary Foshage, VP Marketing IABC St. Louis

Quick overview of the topics covered

All of the following was interspersed with Q&A – see a run-down of the questions at the end – and the Leadership Forum is all about creating connection between leaders, hence all the people are hyperlinked in case you want to follow up.

Welcome, brief introductions

Camille Downing
Camille Downing

The core team (above) + special guest Camille Downing who joined to share an update from the Heritage Region conference which gathered a strong contingent of communicators from across the East Coast of the US – and even a couple of Canadians.

 

Conferences around the world

High Octane

Dianne Chase, IABC Vice Chair, reported from the Canada West Conference in Calgary – chaired by Master Communicator Karen Lee ABC. Continue reading October IABC Leadership Forum: Basel, Baltimore, Calgary, Denver, LA, Rotterdam, NOLA…

October ’15 Board Meeting

The IABC International Executive Board – aka #IABCieb – recently held its fifth board meeting of this term and here’s a quick recap of what was on the table in addition to the usual reports from the Chair; Vice Chair Dianne Chase (with a specific focus on the work of the Council of Regions (#IABCcor); Financials from Treasurer Ginger Homan ABC and last definitively but not least, the report from our Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE:

Portfolio Review & Organisational Alignment

Following on from the discussion at the September board meeting, the board reflected further on the decision to focus more tightly on our core audience at the international level.

Claudia Vaccarone
Claudia Vaccarone
Stephanie Doute CAE
Stephanie Doute

Another recommendation that came out of the portfolio review is to bring clearer definition to the value of membership. Now this is of course work that is already well underway in the form of the Membership Task Force, led by Claudia Vaccarone with support from our Director of Membership, Stephanie Doute CAE – and with a strong team of leaders providing input. In parallel, and in order to accelerate this broader work, the board has directed the senior management team to explore how IABC’s website might enable better differentiation of access to content based on whether one is a casual visitor or a full member. The work on further refining and focusing in IABC’s portfolio and the association alignment work will continue meanwhile.

Member Month & Technology

Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE
Carlos Fulcher

Linked to the above, the board discussed the latest membership figures and Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE reported on the latest work on the iabc.com website which has made joining (and renewing) a smoother experience. Moving IABC’s technology infrastructure into the 21st century after ten years of underinvestment continues to be hard work, but progress is being made. I continue to be in awe of the effort being put in by our hard-working HQ staff – and our leaders in the field – to serve members around the world. Thankyou!

Melissa Dark
Melissa Dark

October is an incredible important time for IABC as it is the time of year when many are coming up for renewal. With support from our hard working Director of Global Communication, Melissa Dark ABC, a set of fabulous campaign materials are out there, ready and available for leader use.

I count on you to help create connection and grow the value of our shared network. You can read my full call-to-action here – and I hope you will do your bit to be recognised as a Very Important Communicator (to find out what that entails, you’ll have to read this).

Click to get the full kit
Click to get the full kit

IABC Academy

Theomary Karamanis
Theomary Karamanis
Ron Hansen
Ron Hansen
Sharon Hunter
Sharon Hunter

The board approved the work plan for 2016 Theomary Karamanis PhD brought to the board, with support from our Education Director, Ron Hansen EdD and his staff. The next step being budget discussions.

Since the June 2015 report the Academy has progressed significantly.

The Academy identified two subcommittees to provide a focus on
key objectives, as described in the approved Terms of Reference:
a) The curriculum subcommittee, focusing on pedagogy, curriculum and related tasks
b) The strategic plan subcommittee, focusing on strategic planning, branding and policies and procedures for the Academy

Meet the international team behind this here – and also big thanks to Sharon Hunter for her ongoing strategic liaison work with this team.

World Conference: #IABC16

Stacy Wilson
Stacy Wilson

The board received an encouraging progress report from Stacy Wilson ABC for the 2016 World Conference coming up in New Orleans. Hundreds of applications to speak have been received. The next big challenge is for the super-sized Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) to work through all these applications, using the objective review process and then the creation of the final programme. I am pleased to say that a number of exciting keynotes are also being shortlisted.

Sarah McLaughlin
Sarah McLaughlin

The PAC is also working on rethinking the Foundation Luncheon and the Circles of Wisdom.

I am also pleased to report that PAC Vice Chair Sarah McLaughlin is working closely with the leaders of the Gift of Communication as well as liaising closely with the local New Orleans Chapter for support around Dine-Around and more.

Leadership Institutes – Regional and International

People go to World Conference – [and the many Regional Conferences such as those coming up next week: Denver, Baltimore, Calgary, and Rotterdam early next year] – in order to build their communications skills.

Dianne Chase
Dianne Chase

Leaders also go to Leadership Institutes. To build their leadership skills. And again, they happen around the world: Minneapolis and Johannesburg earlier in the year, Basel just last week and Sydney in November – to mention a few of the Regionals.

These tend to be smaller and more tightly focused on the unique challenges within a Region – and the board appreciated Dianne Chase’s update from her attendance at the Europe, Middle East and North Africa Leadership Institute in Basel. The board is grateful to the teams who put events like this together (and thanks to IEB colleague Ron Fuchs for hosting). Not to mention all the leaders who turn out to share their ideas, insight and passion. Whilst the market continues to be challenging, it sounds like there is a clear plan in place to face it head-on.

Micayla Felicion
Micayla Felicion

Global leaders also need a global perspective – as good practice knows no borders. To that end IABC leaders from across the globe convene once a year at what we call fondly call #IABCLI. Dianne Chase presented the preliminary programme from the Council of Regions, who oversee this programme with support from Micayala Felicion MBA.

Whether you’ve been to one or not, I hope to see you this coming February in Los Angeles. Please mark your calendar:

Communications Committee

Katie Macaulay
Katie Macaulay

One of the cornerstones of the current three-year strategy is increased reputation in the profession and better brand positioning – and one of the routes to achieving this is by stepping up our own practice of communication. Here’s a direct quote from Katie Macaulay‘s report from the Communications Committee to the board – a first sharing of ideas to test the ground:

The next few years can be viewed in two ways – as a struggle for survival in a competitive and demanding marketplace, or as an exciting and unique opportunity.

Membership associations around the world are struggling to remain relevant and commercially viable due to the countless ways professionals can now connect with each other, receive support and promote their disciplines.

However, there is good news. The value of communication – in business and society – has never been better understood.

Communicators are playing an increasingly strategic role inside their organizations as the business community recognizes that success hinges on having a clear, credible and differentiating message.

So, despite a tough market, there has never been a better time to promote our profession and connect with communicators.

To help in this task, we have a new vision for non-member communication – to demonstrate the power of our profession.

The board welcomed the initial thoughts shared and asked Katie to come back to the board following further work by her Committee as well as broader stakeholders. Also big thanks to Ron Fuchs and Melissa Dark ABC for their ongoing liaison work.

Forward Look

At the November meeting, in addition to the Comms Committee returning, the Membership Committee reporting initial findings we will also look at board evaluation.

Before that? Well, a fair number of us are hitting the road next week: Dianne is heading to Calgary for the Canada West conference and Carlos, Ginger and I will be at the Southern Region Conference in Denver. Both Carlos and I will then go onto the Heritage Region conference in Baltimore. I hope to see you there – even if you’re not planning on travelling.

How? Join the next IABC Leadership Forum online. Details here.

Meanwhile, thanks for all you do.

Let’s #createconnection like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

September IABC Leadership Forum: Your Questions Answered

2015 09 #IABCieb Leadership Forum - Carlos FulcherSome 100+ IABC leaders from around the world participated in the inaugural IABC Leadership Forum – an initiative I first covered in an earlier post titled silos are so yesterday. They connected to a Google Hangout on Air, checked in via Twitter or checked out the replay (which is already available here) and we’ve had great feedback so far.

Q&A in action

Monthly – and yes! – and you don’t have to wait until next month to get a question answered. Just head over to the IABC Chapter Leaders Group on LinkedIn and pitch in – you can also share your feedback on the call there, write to Leader_Centre@iabc.com – or indeed, drop me a line anytime: @michaelambjorn on Twitter or via the good old electronic mail: chair@iabc.com.

Some of the questions were around tough issues – we’re still on a journey recovering from ten years of underinvestment in technology. A topic I addressed at some length in my inaugural comments at the 2015 IABC Annual General Meeting in San Francisco. We are making progress though and I am confident that we’ve turned the corner – and there’s lots of exciting things going on.

Here’s a quick recap of what else we covered:

Dianne Chase
Dianne Chase
Carlos Fulcher
Carlos Fulcher
Melissa Dark
Melissa Dark

All of these items were interspersed with Q&A based on questions coming in from Hangout questions, Twitter etc.

  1. Welcome, brief introductions – I was joined by IABC Vice Chair Dianne Chase, our Executive Director Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE and our Global Communications Director Melissa Dark ABC.
  2. Quick revisit of questions from the  AGM (which included quite a bit on tech) – and top questions from the Chapter Leader LinkedIn group + any audience questions.
  3. What’s coming upplaces to #createconnection, October Member Month and Gold Quill  – and the Chapter Management Awards
  4. Top tools: Melissa walked us through the leader comms tools including the Leader Centre, the Leader Letter and a few other things you’re regularly getting in your inbox.
  5. The big international stuff: World Conference, Best in Show (get the leader toolkit) and a look ahead to the Leadership Institute in Los Angeles in February 2016.

Thanks to all who connected – and you don’t have to wait until next month to get a question answered. Just head over to the IABC Chapter Leaders Group on LinkedIn and pitch in.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

 

The Weekly Venn: stories that #createconnection

Natasha Nicholson
Natasha Nicholson
Jessica Burnette-Lemon
Jessica Burnette-Lemon
Caroline Cornell
Caroline Cornell

The August issue of Communication World is out.

And it is all about storytelling.

Communication World: What's your story?

I found the Mark Di Somma article on telling stories that connect useful, and I loved Lynda McDaniel’s dissection of the six elements of a good story. Read more here: cw.iabc.com/ – and big thanks to Natasha Nicholson and her team for pulling off another great issue.

IABC is full of great storytellers

To pick up on the theme I am going to challenge a few folk to tell a story… and to make it more manageable in the winter sun (if you’re in South Africa) or the summer heat (if you’re in, say, London): I am going to suggest you keep it concise.

In fact a mere 62 words – aka – a sestude.

Ezri Carlebach
Ezri Carlebach

I learnt about this from long-time IABCer Ezri Carlebach and he’s already put his bit in against this challenge.

// In 62 words, share your story of how IABC helped you #createconnection

The visual leading this story implies that it sits at the intersect of people, profession and practice – but I expect there’ll be some creative interpretations that push those boundaries. That’s certainly what I found at a recent IABC UK event focused on storytelling. Riveting it was too.

Great stories across the globe

Is your Chapter putting something on connected to any of the upcoming Communication World (CW) themes? I’d be interested to know.

Here’s what is coming up:

  • September — Barriers to authenticity
  • October — Targeted communication
  • November — Make change management a participatory process
  • December — Communication trends for 2016: A look ahead

Also, did you know that you can contribute to CW?

This is a timely opportunity to thank the CW Editorial Advisory Panel for their time and dedication – if you’re up for serving in such a capacity, look out for an Open Call coming soon, as I outlined in my inaugural comments at the recent IABC Annual General Meeting.

Ultimately, is the answer is 42… 42,000?

And whilst I have your attention, it is also a great moment to talk about another element of how IABC is using our 42,000 strong LinkedIn group to create connection.

Melissa Dark ABC
Melissa Dark ABC

Our Communications Director, Melissa Dark ABC, has been working with her team to tighten up the moderation on the group so that it is better meeting the its good-practice sharing aim:

The members of this group share new, relevant and thought-provoking content, as well as create and participate in conversations that share knowledge and further the global communication profession.

And practical example which I love is a new effort to connect the dots between a couple of different streams currently in play: an opportunity to continue the weekly #CommChat beyond the usual one hour slots (and the 140 character limit).

2015 08 LinkedIn #commchat continuation

How topical that the first one was ‘choosing the right comms channel’. I hope you’ll get stuck in!

Let’s #createconnection like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

P.S. You can find the full group rules on the About page within the group.

P.P.S. If you’re up for helping spread the word on storytelling, here’s a ready-made one for you: