One of my favorite things about working on a university campus is this time of year – back to school time represents a fresh start. Each year is a new beginning and a chance to learn new things – or maybe make good after a prior year that didn’t go so well (or where too much fun was had!)
They don’t always believe me, but I tell students that, particularly in our business, you never really stop learning. You could argue that the field of marketing broadly, and especially marketing communications, has changed more with the digital revolution of the past 10-12 years than in several decades previously. The explosion in new technologies coupled with the rise of the empowered stakeholder make it more important than ever that those of us who work in audience communications think about our skills development.
Given this need, the value proposition for IABC should resonate more strongly than ever. Gone are the days when interacting with our broader professional community colleagues is a “nice to do” or a box to check off to make us feel like we’ve networked. The cold reality is that, if you aren’t constantly thinking about what Covey called “sharpening the saw”, you risk being left behind. The lost opportunity cost of missing a promotion or even losing a job opportunity to someone else who presents themselves as more knowledgeable is too great to ignore.
The good news is that organizations like IABC make the process of life-long learning manageable and cost effective. As an IABC member, for example, whether you pick up a concept or a tool that can help you on The Lab, attend a professional development session with a local chapter, or take an entire educational course through the IABC Academy, the opportunities are plentiful.
As I participate as a new member on the IABC international executive board, I am thrilled to see the very intentional and deliberate emphasis on professional development offerings. We realize that the high-caliber communications professional who joins IABC understands the need to improve themselves, and that they have careers that require multiple (and convenient) learning formats. I think it may be the most meaningful way we can contribute to the industry.
Enjoy this season and its reminder of our need to keep our saws sharp.
Certification is a key strategic priority for IABC. Can you help spread the word?
Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity? Give back to the #comms field and host a certification exam in your area. Get the details in this blog post: https://t.co/C5HCiFfKK7 pic.twitter.com/ZqHWJNbWlM
— IABC (@IABC) July 19, 2018
After a blockbuster IABC World Conference in Montréal, our regional conference season is getting closer. I’m excited to be travelling to Melbourne, Australia to attend Fusion 2018 and Richmond, Va. for the Hertitage Conference.
I do hope to see you there — but please help spread the word:
#FUSIONConf Programme & schedule now online! See the speakers and the topics at : https://t.co/xwNqBK8SBG . Book your seat now and join #PR #Comms #InternalComms professionals from all over #APAC. Happening at #Melbourne #IABC #Conference #Event #Fusion pic.twitter.com/06Y84yQFOJ
— IABC Asia-Pacific (@IABCAPAC) 16 July 2018
Please help spread the word…
— IABC/Tulsa (@IABCTulsa) August 2, 2018
— IABC Heritage Region (@IABCHRConf) July 26, 2018
Great opportunity .. https://t.co/dfcQVSZuBX
— Ginger Homan, ABC, SCMP (@GingerHoman) July 28, 2018
Leadership Institute 2019…
Wow! That’s weird to write — ‘Leadership Institute 2019.’ I can’t even believe how fast 2018 is flying by, so it seems impossible that we’re kicking off planning for next year’s LI. And yet, here we are!
I’ve always been a big fan of LI. It’s the time when we, as IABC chapter and region leaders get together to dig into topics with friends and colleagues who are as committed to the association as we are. It’s our chance to learn, help and meet — when we get to re-charge ourselves with new ideas to help us better manage our chapters and regions back home.
LI is the one time of the year when, as IABC volunteer leaders, we’re all together, in person, (and some of us travel great distances to be there!) so we want to get as much out of the experience as possible. Also, I don’t think it hurts that we’ll be doing that in sunny Southern California this year. Just sayin’…
Right now, you have two opportunities to make LI 2019 amazing!
First, be sure to complete the survey (by August 22nd) on what kinds of topics and breakout sessions you’d like to see included. Second, if you have an idea for a session yourself, the call for speakers is open now, and until September 17th.
We’re looking for speakers from small, medium and large chapters and regions to share their knowledge and best practices on topics that can inspire other leaders.
Here are some examples of topics we are particularly interested in:
But don’t stop there! Get creative. We want LI 2019 to be fun and inspiring!
Thank you for everything your do for IABC — See you in Long Beach! 🌞
Earlier this week IABC joined eight other communication and public relations associations in issuing a statement in support of a free press globally.
It started with an email from the National Chair of PRSA, Anthony D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA, asking IABC to join in support of a #freepress. I’m so glad he initiated this effort — and proud of so many who immediately stepped up.
As a board, we felt it was important to do. Our Code of Ethics states, “I support the ideals of free speech, freedom of assembly, and access to an open marketplace of ideas.”
Every year when we renew our IABC membership, we reaffirm our belief in this code — but everyday when we practice our profession, we live it. While protection of the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution is specific to the U.S., support for the critical role of a free press is universal.
These are the organizations that joined IABC in making this statement:
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:
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.
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
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
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
Board Committees: work as an extension of the International Executive Board.
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.