Yearly Archive 2018

ByMichael Ambjorn

Mentoring – Why this, why now? And how you can contribute

As part of IABC’s work to develop strategic communicators, we’re looking at the role that mentoring can play.

Mentoring (and reverse mentoring) can make a difference at all career stages. And it can make a difference at all ages.

Despite that, you might have seen this in CW earlier in the year:

‘Mentoring offers a boost, study says, but few take advantage’

“Organizations with formal programs claim plenty of benefits for the mentors, mentees and the organization as a whole. The mentee benefits most often cited in the study are professional development (36 percent) and a better understanding of organizational culture (30 percent). Top benefits for mentors are “developing new perspectives” (59 percent) and developing leadership skills (49 percent). And organizationally, respondents said the top benefits were higher employee engagement and retention (50 percent) and supporting the growth of high-potential employees (46 percent).” – read more in the Feb 2018 CW

IABC Calgary, Dallas, Edmonton, Toronto and IABC UK all run mentoring programs (to name a few). This is great work and it deserves to be supported more.

Why? Because many of these chapters are keen to share – and getting more mentoring is a way of IABC having tangible, measurable, long-range impact on life and careers – across the globe. And what’s not to like about that?

To that end there’s a new International Task Force working away. Here’s the team, in reverse alphabetical order:

…and yours truly.

The first order of the day is to map and share existing good practice from chapters and regions. If you’re not already in touch with this team, and you have something to share, be sure to reach out. We’d love to hear from you on the IABC Hub about your experiences being mentored, or mentoring others, through IABC.

Michael Ambjorn, SCMP

 

ByVictoria Dew, SCMP

The 2018-19 Council Region year kicks off — our very own IABC Superheroes!

Last week I got to hang out with a bunch of IABC superheroes — the Council of Regions.

As IEB Vice Chair, I serve as Chair of the ‘Council of Regions’ — every time I say the name, I can’t help but picture the superheroes in the DC Comics ‘Justice League’. So, it’s a good thing for everybody that the Council of Regions is mostly just known as CoR.

The members of CoR really are superheroes though — these are the eight region chairs from around globe, and their role is to oversee the chapters and members-at-large in each region, providing a critical link between the international association and local leaders.

This year, CoR will be focusing on several key objectives:

  • Helping chapters fill their leadership pipeline.
  • Developing a ‘SWAT’ group to help troubled chapters.
  • Improving the open call process so that chapters can have a standardized approach to succession planning.
  • Supporting chapters in adopting the new corporate membership program.
  • Overseeing CMA Task Force and LI Programming Advisory Committee.

Last year, each region also developed a strategic growth plan, and this year’s CoR will be focused on executing initiatives that will strengthen chapters, increase engagement of members-at-large and grow the region overall.

See what I mean?  Total superheroes.

One of the coolest parts about CoR is that every region has different strengths and challenges, so the group can serve as a great knowledge-sharing resource, and its members can inspire each other to tackle old problems in new ways. For example, a region that has been very successful at recruiting amazing chapter leaders, may have strategies and processes that can help a region that has struggled in this area.

Last year’s LI keynote speaker, Cynthia D’Amour made a big impression on CoR. Her call to eliminate the style of ‘martyr leadership’ prevalent in so many volunteer-led associations, including ours, will be a vital tool in helping CoR achieve its goals.

Personally, I am really excited to see how CoR can contribute to the success of the new corporate membership program. Having a group that can help connect the dots, broker relationships and identify opportunities to bring in corporate memberships with communicators in multiple regions is a powerful role to be able to play in IABC’s growth.

I always feel like the Council of Regions is one of the best kept secrets in IABC. We focus on chapter leadership, and region leadership and the IEB, but people forget about the magic of CoR — this group that links all of those elements together. It’s also one of the times when the ‘I’ in IABC is most evident — it is the only leadership committee in the association that, by definition, has 100 percent global representation.

When I became APAC Chair in 2015, I remember sort of stumbling into my first CoR meeting, not really sure what it was, truth be told. I was instantly blown away by the opportunity to work with all these other amazing leaders from around the world, and to get this glimpse into their regions. This experience vaulted me into a whole new level of understanding of the association, and played a big role in helping me take on my current role as IEB Vice Chair.

Last week was the first official meeting of the 2018-19 Council of Regions, and it was so exciting for me to be their Chair as that same powerful realization started to sink in for them. As you can see from the photos, they are a pretty cool group, and I can’t wait to see what they achieve together!

This year’s Council of Regions is:

  • APAC: Lisa McNally
  • Africa: Andre Oberholzer
  • Canada East: Kelly Rusk
  • Canada West: Jonathan Tremblay
  • EMENA: Mike Klein
  • Heritage: Rebecca Callahan
  • Pacific Plains: Brandon Babcock
  • Southern: Patrick Cobb

 

ByGinger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP

2018 World Conference and the AGM

Our Montreal World Conference was a whirl wind – but now we are running at pace to prepare for 2019 in Vancouver.

For those of you that missed our Annual General Meeting (AGM), here is a rundown of the business conducted:

  • Slate ratified for our 2018-2019 board — Vice-chair, with automatic succession to the chair, Victoria Dew, SCMP. Directors-at-large for three-year terms, Bonnie Caver; Deb Hileman, SCMP and Matthew Tidwell, Ph.D., APR. Secretary /Treasurer for a one-year term, Kathleen Bell, ABC, SCMP. These new members will join myself as chair; Sharon Hunter, SCMP, as past chair; and directors-at-large Zora Artis, GAICD, FAMI; Michael Nord, SCMP; Jill Vitiello; Sheila Carruthers, MBA-PR, CMC and Leanne Nyirfa, ABC.
  • Edits to the IABC Bylaws:
    • Ethics Committee: To include GCCC certification in the committee’s composition – An Ethics Committee of at least three accredited (ABC) or certified (SCMP/CMP) members shall be appointed by the International Executive Board Chair.
    • Notice of Meetings: It is now mandatory to include the audit report in the materials sent out in advance of the AGM.
  • 2017 Audit  approved – a clean audit, so congratulations to staff.

In addition, our out-going chair Sharon Hunter gave a report about progress made in the 2017-2018 board year (including the launch of The Hub) and secretary/treasurer Alain Legault gave a financial report. Sharon’s annual report will be released this week.

As the new chair, my remarks focused on creating an organization that our next generation will value, with a focus on executing year two of our three-year strategy. I highlighted three items for our 2018-2019 plan and beyond:

  • Develop diversity and inclusion as a core strength. We know that diverse organizations are more profitable and deliver stronger business results for their shareholders and stakeholders. How can we ensure every IABC board and committee is a reflection of our total membership? We will work on our processes – and our recruitment to ensure more diversity on all of our boards and committees – as well as speakers at our events.
  • Explore how to get members the business acumen they need. To get a seat at the table, we must understand business and the language of business – from the supply chain to the financials. What role can IABC play to help narrow our choices on where to get the learning and development communicators need?
  • Mentoring Task Force that will explore mutual mentoring. This group will compile what is working well around the world, but also explore how international can play a role and offer this same benefit to our members-at-large. The right mentoring program will help all of us understand:
    • What world-class skills can I offer?
    • How can I enable the people I lead to do the best work of their lives?
    • How can I turn fear into curiosity?

Stay tuned as we explore mentoring and how it can make us all better. In addition, we are launching a Panel of Producers. Check out this link to apply to create videos, audio, photography and animation to tell our story. The deadline is June 21, so don’t delay.

While it didn’t happen at the AGM, we  announced a partnership with ICKollectif — an independent nonprofit based in Montreal; dedicated to sharing knowledge, insights and on the practice of internal communications. So far, they have included practitioners from more than 157 countries. This is a major step forward in delivering top quality content to members and supporting work being done in our profession.

These are exciting times – so stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

ByDianne Chase

Global Alliance Releases New Framework

Communication professionals around the world are making important strides in elevating their impact in the global marketplace with established benchmarks and frameworks for achievement. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) applauds the Global Alliance in launching the new Global Capabilities Framework (GCF) for Public Relations and Communication Management. We are enthusiastic about this in-depth work across continents and constituencies which has produced this valuable framework for the roles public relations and communication professionals fulfill within their organizations.

“This research is an important and vital companion piece to the Global Standard, released by IABC in 2013,” said Dianne Chase, IABC Immediate Past Chair. “The Global Standard is focused on the competencies communication professionals need to develop and which serve to deliver the capabilities outlined in the framework.”

The Global Standard is based on two years of extensive research by an international task force led by former IABC chair, Adrian Cropley, OAM, FRSA, ABC, and outlines the six core principles that are building blocks to a communication professional’s work. The overarching goal is to ensure consistency and credibility across communication disciplines and effectively serve organizations of all types and sizes around the world.

The Six Principles of the Communication Profession
Principles Definition Context
Ethics Communication professionals adopt the highest standards of professional behaviour. They always:

  • Communicate with sensitivity to cultural values and beliefs;
  • Act without deception and in accordance with the law;
  • Represent the organization truthfully, fairly and accurately.
  • Enable mutual understanding  and respect; and
  • Adhere to the “IABC Code of Ethics for Professional Communicators.”
  •  Adhere to Code of Ethics for communication professionals
  • Communicate cultural values
  • Communicate in accordance with law
  • Represent organization truthfully, fairly and accurately
  • Enable mutual understanding and respect
Consistency Acting as the organization’s voice, a communication professional expresses a single, consistent story for internal and external audiences. This narrative is clear and compelling, it reflects the input and perspectives of diverse stakeholders, and it furthers the organization’s mission. A communication professional integrates information and inspiration for this narrative from people with diverse perspectives and ensures that communications are culturally appropriate to each audience.
  • Using single, consistent voice for internal and external stakeholders
  • Establishing clear and compelling  narrative
  • Recognizing diverse stakeholders
  • Integrating information from diverse perspectives
  • Ensuring culturally appropriate information for each audience
Context The communication professional is sophisticated about the organization’s internal culture and external environment. Deep familiarity with the organization’s vision and goals and how its elements function together – from accounting to production to human resources – is crucial to interacting successfully with other leaders of the organization and communicating effectively about the organization. Advocating successfully for the organization also depends on a thorough understanding of its political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal context — and of how to interact with representatives of other organizations.
  • Understanding internal cultures
  • Understanding  external environments
  • Understanding  organization’s vision and goals and how operations function together
  • Advocating  for the organization
  • Understanding  political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal context
  • Interacting with representatives of other organisations
Analysis Communication professionals research and evaluate how to serve and promote the organization most effectively and then offer recommendations supported by direct and secondary evidence. They develop and implement communication plans and gauge their results using clear qualitative and quantitative measures that can be duplicated.
  • Understanding  research
  • Understanding  evaluation
  • Developing communication  plans
  • Implementing communication plans
  • Using qualitative  measures
  • Using quantitative measures
Strategy With rigor and discipline, a communication professional identifies opportunities and challenges both inside and outside of the organization. Addressing communication challenges and opportunities with a thoughtful strategy allows the organization to achieve its mission and goals. The communication professional systematically manages communication activities, making decisions based on research, analysis, planning and evaluation. The professional also has the flexibility and creativity to adjust to change inside and outside of the organization.
  • Understanding communication  challenges
  • Managing communication  activities
  • Making decisions based on research
  • Making decisions based on analysis
  • Planning communication  strategies
  • Conducting evaluation
Engagement A communication professional identifies and communicates with employees, customers, shareholders, regulators, government agencies and other groups with an interest in the organization’s activities. All these groups have the potential to change the organization’s results. So the communication professional fosters and nourishes relationships with them that will support the organization’s mission and goals. The communication professional uses dialogue to tell the organization’s story and garner support.
  • Identifying  with various stakeholders
  • Fostering and nourishing relationships to support organization’s mission and goals
  • Using dialogue to tell the organization’s story and garner support

The Global Standard also outlines the career paths of a communication professional. IABC’s professional development programs and initiatives are aligned to the Global Standard, including the certifications offered by the Global Communication Certification Council which test against The Standard.

“Working hand in hand with the Global Alliance, as well as other communication and PR organizations around the world, we are excited about the growing opportunities to advance the profession and  elevate the levels of expertise in the field,” said Chase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ByGinger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP

Be the Solution

Photo: Connie Eckard, ABC, Ph.D., IABC Fellow and Executive Director Stephanie Doute at 2018 Leadership Institute.

If you came to the 2018 Leadership Institute you had a chance to meet Connie Eckard, ABC, Ph.D., IABC Fellow, and be inspired. The standing ovation he received brought tears to my eyes as we celebrated a man who has given so much to the profession and to our association. Even in his retirement, he continues to serve on the Pacific Plains Region Board.

Right now we have a lot of ways to get involved at the international level. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of time to give, or only a little, we have a role that fits your skills and availability.

To accomplish our vision and get professional communicators at the heart of every organization, we need you. You are our missing piece!

Right now, we’re searching for the people who are willing to help lead the charge. Our strategy is three-fold:

  1. advance the profession.
  2. create connection.
  3. develop strategic communicators.

You’ll have an opportunity to learn something new, advance the profession and meet colleagues from around the globe.

These are the committees and a little something about what they do:

Programmatic Committees: operate as an extension of staff, working in alignment with the board approved strategy and budget.

  • Academy: Primary responsibility for oversight of the, definition and quality of IABC Academy programs, ensuring diversity of faculty, and for the development and maintenance of the curriculum, in line with the core principles of the Global Standard and across all career levels.
  • Awards: provide leadership and vision for IABC Gold Quill Awards.
  • Editorial: Develop and deliver on a rolling three-year plan that provides lifelong learning opportunities — giving members the tools and information they need and share the best global communication practices, ideas, and experiences that will enable the development of highly ethical and effective performance standards for our profession .
  • NEW Foundation Fundraising Committee: Serve as a personal ambassador to support all fundraising initiatives, working collaboratively with staff to develop and execute fundraising campaign in line with approved Foundation strategic priorities.
  • NEW Foundation Grant Selection Task Force: a time-limited action team who conducts the evaluation, selection and recommendation of all IABC Foundation grants or scholarships.
  • NEW Foundation Research Grant Evaluation Task Force: a time-limited action team tasked to develop objective rubric and criteria to support grants for targeted research that results in case studies, white papers or other publications supporting member needs and IABC thought leadership.
  • World Conference Program Advisory Committee: works collaboratively with staff to ensure the IABC World Conference is a high-value professional development experience aligned to the needs of the global profession.
  • Global Communication Certification Council: an autonomous body created by the IABC,  that governs and develops the Communication Management Professional and the Strategic Communication Management Professional certification programs. IABC membership is not a requirement to hold any of the credentials launched within the new certification program or to serve on the Council.

Board Committees: work as an extension of the International Executive Board.

  • Ethics: Consider and adjudicate ethical issues and concerns brought before the committee.
  • Fellows: Responsible for evaluating annual nominations and making recommendations to the IABC Executive Board (IEB) for new IABC Fellows each year. This committee is also responsible for input to the IEB on policy, standards and strategic development of the IABC Fellows program. This committee includes both Fellows and non-Fellows.
  • Investment:  The Investment Committee recommends a financial advisor for the Association’s funds (for approval by the IEB); works with the financial advisor to develop and recommend investment options for approval by the IEB; recommends investment policy; supervises investment of IABC funds up to limits established by the IEB, in vehicles with guaranteed returns offered by such banks, trust companies, or other corporate bodies or organizations as may from time to time be designated by, or under authority of, the IEB; and reports to the IEB.

Download all the details on applying in our Candidate Briefing packet. You’ll find roles and responsibilities related to each of the committees. Deadline is March 20, 2018.

Please consider what role you can play. It takes all kinds of skills and specialities to achieve our vision. We need your voice at the table.

 

 

ByGinger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP

IABC Foundation Making Progress

This update is based on remarks given by Leanne Nyirfa, ABC, IEB director and foundation trustee, at the 2018 Leadership Institute in San Diego, Calif., and from Claudia Anderson, IABC Governance & Foundation specialist.

About IABC Foundation:
As communicators, we all know understand the importance of maintaining our own professional development and life-long learning. We also know the impact professional communication can provide to an organization.

The IABC Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that raises funds to support the mission of IABC through four pillars:

  • The Gift of Communications provides tools and funding for Chapters to give back to their local communities.
  • The Gift of Experience invests in activities to support the next generation of communicators through scholarships and mentoring.
  • The Gift of Excellence provides funding for certification.
  • The Gift of Insights provides grants for targeted research that result in case studies, white papers or other publications supporting member needs.

IABC Foundation update:
An IABC fundraising strategy was developed and approved by the trustees. In order to implement the strategy, the Foundation Trustees have created two new task forces. The IABC Foundation Research Grant Development Task Force will develop criteria to support grants for individuals to conduct targeted research that result in case studies and white papers to support member needs. At the end of 2017, the Foundation began this effort by partnering with Gatehouse Research on their 10th annual “State of the Sector” report,  which was published earlier this year.

The new IABC Foundation Grant Selection Task Force will evaluate applications, score them and send recommendations to the Foundation Trustees for approval. Most notably, the task force will begin the process of reviewing applications for the Gift of Excellence grant which will provide funding to IABC members in developing nations to pursue certification.

Finally, a new IABC Foundation Fundraising Committee will serve as personal ambassadors to support all fundraising initiatives and will work with staff to develop and execute campaigns. The Foundation has launched two successful efforts, which raised a combined total of over $7,000. On Nov. 28, 2017, #GivingTuesday campaign received contributions from IABC members all over the world, including 100 percent support from the members of the IEB.

The Foundation also launched a Chapter Challenge which encouraged individual chapters to make a collective donation to the Foundation. Twenty-two chapters participated in the Chapter Challenge and two chapters raised $1,000 – IABC Tulsa and IABC Canberra! Both those chapters will receive one free registration to attend Leadership Institute in 2019. With the help of the new committee, the Foundation will work to raise even more.

How You Can Get Involved:
Consider making a donation or applying to serve on one of the new Foundation Task Forces or Committee during open call which runs through Tuesday, 13 March 2018. Find more details at www.iabc.com.

ByGinger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP

Are you a Martyr?

Learning to lead so others can shine

Many of us had a wake-up call at Leadership Institute last week in San Diego. Our keynote workshop with Cynthia D’Amour, MBA, hit home as she pegged a style of volunteer leadership that leads to:

  • Long hours.
  • Burn out.
  • Zero ability to recruit and engage with board members and other volunteers.

We all know the type and some of us resemble them — they give 110 percent because they care. They work long, hard hours. So, what’s the problem? It is killing our volunteer pool and in some cases our chapters.

Cynthia encouraged us to:

  • Move beyond saying ‘we’ve always done it that way’ by owning results and allowing others to get involved so they too own the results.
  • Develop people rather than doing all the work ourselves. (Who would want to take our place if we are modeling a job that is all work and zero fun?)
  • Invite people to a fun and meaningful experience – rather than expecting them to do everything our way. (Let go and let others take charge. It might not be how we would do it, but they will be engaged and they will want to do it again.)
  • Celebrate the work of others – rather than moan about all the work we’ve had to do ourselves. (Every time we volunteer to do something ourselves, we just stole an opportunity for someone else to shine.)

So, our work and success will be shared with others. We will become masters at giving others the opportunity to shine. The more others shine, the more fun the group will have and before you know it – your community is growing.

This is leadership, as opposed to managing a chapter, region or even the international board. With this style of leadership, there is more focus on getting others involved to be part of the solution. So basically, if we stop being a martyr, it gives others a chance to be engage. The trick? We have to do it before it’s too late.

Cynthia reminded us that people join a community for one of three reasons:

  1. To learn something new.
  2. To help others – a chance to give back.
  3. To meet new people and grow their network.

Cynthia’s best advice for recruiting volunteers or chapter leaders, is that we must first determine which of the three hot buttons motivates each person.

  • If they are new to the profession or want to keep their skills sharp, share about your chapter’s programs and opportunities to participate in putting those on.
  • If they are searching for a way to give back – maybe they want to present a program.
  • If they simply want to grow their network, introduce them to others in the room and invite them back to your next event.

As Cynthia said – “you can’t go too far on the first date. Wait to ask about board service until you have them hooked. Pull them in, instead of pushing them away.”

Even the invitation to our events should contain the answers to all three hot buttons (learn, help and meet) so we are offering something to everyone.

For those of us in the room at LI, it became clear that if we are a martyr leader, we are keeping others from getting involved and having their opportunity to shine. There is an art to leadership – and that art is about knocking down roadblocks and empowering others to succeed.

Sometimes we just have to get out of our own way!

———-

Cynthia D’Amour, MBA, is author of The Lazy Leader’s Guide to Outrageous Results. For twenty years she has worked with association leaders and staff to help get more members involved using a relationship-based approach.

Thank you to these sponsors for our keynote speaker Cynthia D’Amour. A special shout-out to the women leaders of the IABC Tulsa Chapter that made this possible with donations from their companies.