In a speech entitled The Battleground is Trust delivered at the National Press Club in Washington, global PR leader Richard Edelman notes that the codes of ethics and conduct of professional membership organizations like IABC and others are worthwhile. However, in the wake of the recent Bell Pottinger scandal, Edelman believes current standards do not go far enough to enforce ethical behavior and we must do better as an industry to regulate our practice.
Edelman states, “We need a set of principles that are universal, consistent, and well understood across the industry. The time has come to adhere to a single set of strong standards, and to hold all of our people accountable to them.” Edelman called for a PR Compact encompassing four principles of a global standard to regulate and enforce ethical practices that may serve to rebuild public trust in our institutions. He then called on like-minded groups globally to partner for ensuring the standard is followed around the world.
As the only global association for professional communicators, IABC applauds this initiative. We firmly stand by our Code of Ethics to guide the personal conduct of our member practitioners and we look forward to participating in this critical conversation about industry regulation on a global scale.
We have always believed professional communicators are at the heart of building trust, advising and holding executives accountable to authentic leadership, and driving business results through ethical practice within their organizations. In fact, the thrust of our #IABC1720 strategy to advance the profession is underpinned by our IABC Global Standard encompassing six core principles of professional practice where ethics stands at the top.
The Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC), an IABC initiative, tests communicators against that Global Standard. Ethics knowledge is a key competency within the Communication Management Professional (CMP) and Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) certifications. The IABC Academy online courses also cover ethics themes.
IABC is dedicated to making standards of excellence accessible to communicators around the world.
We welcome the continued conversation.
Sharon Hunter, Chair
At today’s International Executive Board, at the 2017 World Conference in Washington DC, we closed out the 2014-17 Strategy.
At the 2017 Annual General Meeting a talented group of leaders are set to step up and take for the next strategy: #IABC1720
As with any 46-year-old organisation, much work remains, yet our leaders around the world report that they have seen a step-change. And, as with any 46-year-old organisation, much that came before has been built on. We’re grateful to all who put their should to the wheel over the years.
Building on the best from our founding, we moved from an organisation that had friction and confusion into one ready to re-energize. Today at the AGM we’ll set out a rechartered mission to that effect.
Ready for #IABC1720
Lessons learnt? Almost uncountable. Painstakingly documented on this blog – some 100+ posts. Go ahead and explore. For example, there’s a whole section dedicated to insights articulated through Venns – and we even have paper airplanes with leadership advice from your peers. Because strategy work can otherwise be a bit dry.
The board spent time reviewing what was good, and difficult – during the implementation of the 2014-17 strategy. It was an opportunity close loops, and discuss what needs to be done differently in the coming years.
— Michael Ambjorn (@michaelambjorn) 10 June 2017
Thanks to the 2014-15, 2015-6 and 2016-17 boards who oversaw the development and implementation of the strategy. And our hard working leaders in the field. The people who power chapters and regions around the world.
And our staff. Thank you all. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Here’s to the next chapter!
Recap on the road to a new 3-year strategy
#longread – it has been a journey!
We launched a global listening tour in September using Appreciative Inquiry – to engage our community in creating a shared understanding of what we value most to bring forward into 2020 and beyond.
We shared some great stories, experiences and achievements to bring out the best in us.
“You come for the professional development, you stay for the people”, “IABC peers are like family” and “IABC has honed my leadership skills more than any paid gig” are but three examples of what we value as a united peer community. See #IABC1720 for highlights of this journey.
The strength of passion and purpose to advance the profession within our global network cannot be overstated – and it will take a commitment to collaborative leadership to bring this new strategy cycle to life. Fortunately, IABC leaders have this in spades!
Throughout the strategy development work, the International Executive Board, regional and chapter leaders participated where we:
We are a diverse global community – it is our greatest strength but also our greatest challenge. How can we deliver relevant value across a broad spectrum of needs?
For associations, this doesn’t change at the core: It’s to continue to help members be successful in what matters most to them – supporting through education and insights, credentialing, community exchange and advocacy for the profession. What changes over time is the format and content of programming – and how we create opportunities for people to access it and engage each other to learn and grow.
For communicators in a rapidly changing business landscape, it means a commitment to adapt and develop new multi-disciplinary skills and demonstrate impact on key business outcomes.
Recall the Top Three Professional Challenges cited in our Global Membership Survey:
This, from over 18,000 respondents where 72% have more than 10 years experience in the field.
Business leader interviews we conducted confirmed this familiar story: Communicators need to demonstrate business acumen and prove their ability to drive key business results. This is where we take our cue for advancing the profession over the next three years.
It’s time to prove the impact of strategic communications using #insightsandresults and to develop strategic communicators – through the Global Standard and certification – to become trusted business advisors.
What comes next? We vote at the AGM tomorrow to affirm our strategic intent
Input on these new Vision/Purpose/Philosophy statements was enthusiastic and incorporated into revisions approved by the International Executive Board to go forward to AGM vote. A special thank you to Ginger D. Homan, IABC secretary/treasurer and #IABC1720 co-author for leading this essential exercise to conclusion.
The three elements of the Purpose statement – Advance the Profession, Create Connection and Develop Strategic Communicators – form the pillars of the proposed framework for the 2017-2020 strategic plan.
As we look to the future, IABC’s next three years will aim to advance the profession through a proactive approach to thought leadership and by helping communicators realize their strategic potential as business advisers to prove their impact on the organizations they serve.
With this framework approved, work to tie strategy to action for the 2017-18 term begins immediately at the International Executive Board meeting on Sunday. Stay tuned here for more as we put our best foot forward – together!
In my role as Vice Chair this year, it has been a privilege to lead this planning process. A note of sincere thanks to the 2016-17 board, regional, chapter and committee leaders for your time and ongoing engagement in this important work – and to our hardworking staff.
And finally, thank you to members and Gold Quill winners whose commitment to professional practice advances our standards of excellence each and every day.
Hope to see you here in Washington! #IABC17 awaits!
Sharon Hunter, Vice Chair
IABC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C. If you are a delegate, below is a punch list of the items we will be voting on. Please leave a comment below, or reach out to our Chair if you have questions.
Vision, Purpose, Philosophy: Reaffirming our Strategic Intent
After our global listening tour to inform the new #IABC1720 strategy, we have a proposed update to our vision, purpose and philosophy statements. Everyone who participated in the process gave us a lot to think about and definitely improved the final recommendation.
Our journey to this place:
Tweaks to Bylaws
This year, the Policy Review Committee, chaired by Victor Zalakos from the Canberra [Australia] chapter, did a detailed cross-check of the bylaws for alignment with the Policy Manual update approved at the 2016 AGM last June. The following changes will be voted on:
Requirements to Serve as Secretary/ Treasurer
In previous years, the application to serve as Secretary/Treasurer required serving one year on the Finance Committee. The application was revised and this requirement fell away. This change brings back the requirement and adds it to the Bylaws. It gives IABC the benefit of working with an experienced Secretary/Treasurer. The adjusted language will read: ‘The Secretary/Treasurer shall serve at least one year on the Finance Committee before taking office and will serve a one-year term. They may be elected for a second consecutive term.’
IABC Foundation Bylaws
There is a small tweak to the Foundation Bylaws. This change is an edit for clarity. The existing purpose (Article 1 Name and Location, Section 2, Purpose) for the Foundation reads:
The proposed change is to adjust the language to ‘The mission of IABC Foundation is to generate resources to fund and support strategic initiatives in line with IABC’s mission and to demonstrate the power of professional communication as a force for good in business and society.’
The change has two purposes. First, to clarify that the Foundation does not raise money for IABC programs, but rather to support IABC Foundation grants and scholarships that are aligned with IABC’s mission. Secondly, to align the mission with the new revitalized Foundation vision to focus on these pillars:
Thank you to all our members and leaders for your ongoing participation and support in making IABC an unmatched peer community dedicated to excellence in practice. See you at the AGM!
The penultimate Leadership Forum of the 2016–2017 board year was jam-packed with information about certification from our special guest, Deb Hileman, CMP, who is the incoming chair of the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC). The GCCC is an extremely important IABC initiative on a number of levels, including the advancement of our professional colleagues, our profession across disciplines and our professional standing in the global marketplace. Among the key advancements this year are the successful launch of the online exam, the upcoming ISO certification process, the new GCCC website, and the launch of the Senior Communication Management Professional certification. The SCMP level certification is aligned with the Strategic Adviser level in IABC’s Career Road Map and the first exam will be held on 11 June at the IABC World Conference in Washington, D.C. This is a significant accomplishment by the GCCC which will keenly serve senior practitioners. I hope you’ll be among the first to receive this unique communication credential.
The Communication Management Professional (CMP) certification continues to grow and the CMP exam will also be offered at World Conference. Check out the new GCCC website for all the details.
As our IABC leaders, you are encouraged to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at this year’s World Conference in Washington, D.C.
The AGM will be held at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, 10 June, at the conference hotel, the Washington Hilton, the day before the World Conference opens.
We’ll share a number of highlights and association updates from the past year, and hold several important votes. We will also release the IABC annual report and a Q&A period.
The meeting will include ratification of important—and I believe very exciting—bylaws changes, which include nothing short of updates to our vision, purpose and philosophy, which IABC leaders have been part of creating through our listening sessions across the regions and at Leadership Institute.
Here are the statements that will be added to the IABC bylaws preamble and voted on at the Annual General Meeting:
Vision: Professional communicators at the heart of every organization.
Purpose: To advance the profession, create connection and develop strategic communicators.
Philosophy: IABC pledges to:
We will achieve this by being open, contemporary and professional.
While not a bylaw change, this will also be added to the IABC Brand Guidelines:
Value proposition: IABC is the only global association connecting me with the people and insights I need to drive business results.
At the AGM, there will also be a vote on the 2017–2018 international executive board slate of officers, a discussion of IABC’s financials and information about the new three year 2017–2020 strategic plan.
Huge appreciation to all the leaders who have helped advance these initiatives and the staff who have supported over the past year.
The AGM is open to all IABC members and does not require conference registration.
Please confirm your attendance as a delegate (or assign a proxy). As required by bylaws, proxy forms need to be received by headquarters 10 days in advance to the AGM, on 25 May.
Speaking of World Conference (#IABC17), this year’s theme is “Global Business—Lead Communication, Make Real Impact.”
This year’s conference is going to be stellar; especially exciting are three new sessions:
The World Café, with the theme of ethics in professional communication. It’s going to be an amazing global conversation about a topic that is more important than ever to all of us.
All the details are on the World Conference website. Be on the lookout for some special promotions, too!
I do hope you, as IABC leaders, will be attending and I also encourage you to help spread the word about our #IABC17 World Conference. Your support is needed and appreciated in making this vital IABC event a success. It’s easy to help spread the word—just go to the News tab and Media Room page on the World Conference website. You’ll find a gold mine of easy-to-share tweets and much more content to share in your professional social media circles.
Another exciting announcement: The newest member of our senior management team is Anniekay Erby, our new director of membership and certification. Anniekay brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help lead IABC to greater success in these two critical areas of our association.
There’s much, much more in the video of this month’s Leadership Forum. Enjoy!
As always, your feedback, input, comments, questions are very much welcomed.
Our final Leadership Forum for this term is set for the final Wednesday in May, 31 May, at 10 a.m. Pacific time. I look forward to having you with us!
Thank you for your leadership, dedication and support. Let’s keeping creating connection and engaging to excel. Together we can do great things for our IABC!
All the best,
Helpful hashtags and links:
#IABCieb (IABC international executive board)
For the last three years, IABC has been under a transformation – revitalizing programs to improve membership retention and achieve financial sustainability. As we transition from the 2014/2017 strategy to the 2017/2020 strategy, we reviewed IABC’s vision, mission, purpose and philosophy statements to give clarity to who IABC is, what IABC does and the value we bring to communication professionals.
We started the review last fall with a global listening tour, holding appreciative inquiry sessions in every region, and then opened the conversation on this blog for input back in January. Armed with your input, vice chair Sharon Hunter and I presented draft statements at Leadership Institute in Dallas.
Knowing that these statements need to work at the chapter, regional and international levels, the input we got in Dallas from IABC leaders crystalized our path forward. We knew which statements were right, and which ones needed work. We also had a better understanding of what each statement should accomplish and who the intended audience was for each one.
A few times I heard members say, “I need to explain to my CEO the business value of IABC.” Your feedback, gave us our new value proposition: IABC is the only global association connecting me to the people and insights I need to drive business results.
Here are all the statements that will be added to the IABC bylaws and voted on at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 10, 2017 in Washington D.C.
In addition, this statement will be updated in our Brand Guidebook. It is our elevator speech and will be used in marketing and communications materials.
All of these statements use the work of the Brand Task Force, led by Priya Bates, ABC, MC, CMP, IABC Fellow, as a foundation. That, coupled with your guidance, gives us four strong statements that can serve to unite us and guide our work. They reaffirm our strategic intent as an association to stay relevant into the future, underpinning the 2017-2020 new strategy framework that is currently in development. Stay tuned for more updates as we countdown to kick-off at World Conference in Washington, DC this June.
Thank you to IABC members around the globe who participated in this process and helped get us to a better, stronger place.
A brief sampling of feedback from Twitter:
— Dominique Jolicoeur (@dominiquejoli) April 1, 2017
IABC is clarifying the vision and purpose to create a stronger community — and a stronger brand. Be a part of the c…https://t.co/G60o9DflD8
— Ginger Homan, ABC (@GingerHoman) March 9, 2017
— Angela Anderson (@angeandersonyyc) February 24, 2017
— Jennifer Wah (@Jenniferwah) February 24, 2017
— Chris Gessele (@ChrisGessele) February 24, 2017
— Diana Quinton (@QuintonDiana) February 24, 2017
Imagine the possibilities! When I began my time as IABC chair last year, I spoke at our Annual General Meeting about the power we each have to make our IABC the best it can be. A theme of my talk was “each one to reach one.” The idea being that the success of our organization hinges a great deal on whether each of us does our part—to bring in one new member, be or help create one new leader, become or bring in one new CMP, or generate one new sponsor. The possibilities are endless when we each do one small thing to help IABC continue to grow and thrive.
I’m reminded of this as we reach the final few days of March and Member Month. IABC has 10,000 members. Have you ever stopped to think about what 10,000 people can do together? You’ve made hashtags trend, brought key issues into the spotlight and shown thousands and thousands of people the important work communicators do. You’ve helped each other find jobs, shared best practices and advanced our profession. You are the definition of community- You support one another. But what if we got even stronger?
Think about what could happen if just 20 percent of us brought a new member on board during Member Month. Suddenly, we are 12,000 strong. What if some of us brought two, five or even 10 new members into our incredible group? One person recently reached out to us because they are bringing in 18 new members! Could you do something like that too?
Your reach and impact is already amazing, and I’d like to challenge all of you, myself included, to make a final push this week to drive up our membership—and our influence and ability to achieve great things together.
We’ve set up a Facebook event page to mark this Friday, the final day of Member Month. I encourage you to visit that page and mark yourself down as Going, as a sign that you’re on board as we focus these last few days on “each one to reach one.”
Can you bring in one new member between now and Friday, 31 March? Your friend or colleague will get a great discount, you’ll get recognized as an IABC Champion and we’ll all gain another peer to help us move our important initiatives forward even further. One person who refers a friend or colleague will also win a US$500 Visa gift card!
I have tremendous appreciation and gratitude for the work you do. I hope you’ll join me as we work together to close out Member Month on a high note. Let’s each reach one and make our IABC the very best it can be!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
All the best,
The March Leadership Forum focused on IABC’s commitment to and advocacy for ethics in professional communication, with our special guest Connie Mayse, the chair of the IABC ethics committee.
As noted in the introduction to the IABC petition we launched on Change.org:
In these days of social and political change, now more than ever is the time to take a stand for transparent and ethical professional communication.
The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) has created this petition to publicly stand in support of the IABC Code of Ethics and what it means to live them 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.
We are continuing our commitment to upholding ethical standards in professional communication. Among the important initiatives on this front is the theme for the first-ever World Café session at the IABC World Conference (#IABC17). The World Café’s overarching theme will be ethics in communication. This event will be an engaging and impactful session unlike any other.
The March Leadership Forum also covered important updates on IABC Academy offerings, upcoming Communication Management Professional (CMP) certification exams being held in April and May in in Edmonton, Calgary, London (Canada), and Vancouver, and a look at the first Senior Communication Management Professional (SCMP) exam, which will be held at World Conference in Washington, D.C.
We’re also fulfilling the commitment made at Leadership Institute to reduce the number of emails going out to leaders and members, and ensure each email from IABC headquarters is concise, on target, and valuable.
The all-important March Member Month is offering a number of exciting incentives, and it’s “all hands on deck” to make this a super successful #IABCMemberMonth! As Executive Director Stephanie Doute, says: Please reach out and engage your community—particularly renewing members.
I hope you find this month’s Forum valuable. Let me know your thoughts!
Thank you for all you do, your leadership, dedication and support!
All the very best,
Links to posts about ethical communication and the IABC Code of Ethics:
#IABCieb (IABC international executive board)
#IABC17 (2017 World Conference)
#IABC1720 (2017-2020 strategic plan)
What an incredible conversation we had at Leadership Institute about updating the IABC vision, purpose, philosophy and value proposition. Any time you look at change, you always expect push back – not spontaneous applause! I think we are all ready to have a statement that is our rally cry and that will keep us on track – at our chapters, regions and at international.
When we got home from Dallas, Sharon Hunter and I recreated the white board on my office wall. We took the time to go through each note and reflect on how it might change the message. It made us aware of a few things that we needed to keep in mind:
For example, the vision statement is for us. That statement needs to set out our ultimate goal as an association so that professional communicators know, in a moment, what IABC is trying to accomplish. That is why the statement, “a professional communicator at the heart of every business,” resonated with so many members. It is what IABC is trying to accomplish
However, the value proposition is for our external audience – perhaps a fellow communicator about why they should join, or a business leader on why they should support our involvement. It definitely needs to include the business value and expected outcome. Great input.
We want a vision, purpose, philosophy and value proposition that resonates with our members and becomes our rally cry. The world café showed us that the three areas of our proposed purpose statement – advance the profession, create connections and develop professionals – work for chapters, regions and international. Now we need to work on the words around them.
We got clear feedback that “a force for good” does not resonant with our international audience. We took that to heart and the phrase is now on the cutting room floor (basically, my office floor).
This has been an incredible experience – from getting your input in every region on the Listening Tour, to our hands-on work at Leadership Institute. Your voices are in our heads. We will continue to brainstorm, edit and tweak away. Good governance dictates that an association review these statements every three to five years, in conjunction with a new strategy cycle. So check back for updates posted here. Chapter delegates will vote on any changes at the Annual General 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. We are updating these statements as part of our work to develop the next three-year strategy. Below is a chart that shows how all the pieces interconnect.
Together we can align the vision, purpose and philosophy statements so they guide our actions for the future, help us see the opportunities and ultimately, deliver enduring value to our community.
Together we can align the vision, purpose and philosophy statements so they guide our actions for the future, help us see the opportunities and ultimately, deliver enduring value to our community.
Thanks for all you do.
How Everything Fits
Time flies and we’re already back from Dallas and our Leadership Institute 2017! What an engaging and energizing event it was, as so many of you have said in your feedback.
Huge thanks to everyone who participated in making this year’s annual IABC leaders gathering so rewarding, and a stellar boost of motivation and connection. We hope that you left inspired with plenty of take-aways to put to work back home at your chapter or region.
Sharing insights, knowledge and good practices has always been the very essence of Leadership Institute. We hope you’ll keep the conversations going! Keep connecting with IABC members around the world who can help you achieve your goals. Remember those work plans from the World Café and the take-aways from the outstanding sessions to tee up action for your future-forward plans.
A highlight of Leadership Institute is recognizing outstanding achievement by our chapters and leaders in our celebration of the Chapter Management Awards.
During a special ‘L.I Reflections’ Leadership Forum yesterday our special guests were Claudia Miller, the 2017 Regional Leader of the Year and Will Tigley, president of IABC/Calgary, our 2017 International Chapter of the Year. They shared their success stories, learnings and tips for success. Watch the recording if you missed it.
Please join us in congratulating our 2017 CMA winners. The full list is here.
This week on the blog we’re going to post a series of informative recaps that can serve as a reminder for those who were there and motivate those of you who could not join us this year.
Thank you so much for your leadership, dedication and support and making our IABC better than ever!
All the best,