In the middle of the United States we are officially in the dog days of summer — long days of sweltering heat and no breeze. We dream of nippy nights and an occasional storm to cool things off.
In the midst of the heat, the board’s Executive Committee met with senior IABC staff in July to hammer out our work plan for this year. This past week it was approved by the board – so it’s full steam ahead.
Since this is the second year of our three-year strategy, so we are definitely focused on advancing the profession, creating connection and developing strategic communicators around the globe. Here are some highlights from each area:
Advancing the profession:
Certification: We will continue to build recognition of the Global Standard that was established in 2013 and encourage communication professionals around the world to test themselves against it with one of the two certification exams. This summer we started the process to get the CMP level exam ISO certified and the SCMP exam won’t be far behind.It is exciting to watch certification change the perception of our profession. In general, over 50 percent of certified professionals are promoted within the first six months of getting certified – and they are twice as likely to receive a pay raise. To be a part of this movement, see if there is an exam coming up in your area – or apply to host one at your chapter.
Corporate memberships: Our new corporate membership package is being snatched up to bring entire communication departments to a common level of expertise. The all access pass to the IABC Academy to train staff – and then test their skills in the certification process is a game changer. In fact, since launching this, we’ve made an all access pass available to individual members as well.
Business acumen: We are continuing to explore partnerships that will benefit IABC members and close the gap for the skills we need to be successful in our careers – this includes business acumen. Stay tuned for updates.
Ethics in a Box. There is a task force working on a new workshop that we’ve dubbed “ethics in a box.” It will debut at the APAC Fusion conference. The plan is to test this interactive session at regional conferences, refine it and then make it available for chapters to use.
Our Mentorship Task Force is exploring mutual mentoring and how we can take advantage of this benefit that some chapters offer. Stay tuned for more as the group makes strides to keep IABC relevant.
If you haven’t played in The Hub yet, join the party. This is a great way for members to engage with the IABC community and we will continue to grow our online resources.
Develop Strategic Communicators:
We continue to develop new courses for the Academy that are focused on preparing you for one of two levels of certification. Expect to see more one-hour, interactive courses coming your way. We are also exploring partnerships to get IABC members the business acumen we need. Stay tuned for updates.
Work has already started for our World Conference in Vancouver. If you know you are coming, go ahead and take advantage of the early, early bird pricing – available to the first 150 people or before the end of August, whichever comes first. You won’t want to miss the brain candy that will be waiting for you.
One of our single biggest development strategies is leadership. IABC is the perfect place to learn leadership skills that transfer back to your career. Join us in Long Beach, Cali. this February for Leadership Institute as IABC makes its single largest investment in developing leaders.
At our board meeting the IEB approved IABC’s first D&I statement that will serve as a guide to building diversity and inclusion as a core strength. It will be released later this summer with the approved short and long-term strategy to help us achieve more diversity at the international level – including a commitment to the #PanelPledge, a new Chapter Management Award for chapters that excel in D&I and creating safe spaces at all of our events.
I’m proud of how welcoming we are as a group, but there is always room for improvement. In the coming months you will hear more about changes we will be making to ensure we are living this core value. We know that improved business outcomes are directly tied to diverse workforces and communities. IABC is no different. This is critical to our success as an organization and we can’t just talk about, we have to be intentional to succeed.
Where ever you are, I hope you are enjoying your family, friends and work. We have a few regional conferences coming up APAC, Southern, Africa and Heritage. I encourage you to attend if possible. It is always great to connect and grow with other communicators.
Ginger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP, is Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators. She is also the founder of Zia Communications, a firm specializing in changing behaviors, building communities and transforming thinking. Her award-winning communication model has been used by foundations and corporations to grow brands and align cultures. You can follow her @gingerhoman.