Category Archive Field Notes

ByMatt Tidwell, Ph.D., APR

Is Your Saw Sharp?

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.

 

 

ByGinger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP

Regional Conference season is coming

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:

More Regional Conferences coming up

Please help spread the word…

17–19 October 2018 – Connect18 – Nashville, Tennessee

24–25 October 2018 – Africa Region Conference – Johannesburg

25th Annual IABC Africa Conference - learn more: http://www.iabc.co.za/

11–13 November 2018 – Heritage Region Conference – Richmond, Virginia

A call for speakers for 2019

ByVictoria Dew, SCMP

Answering the Call of Leadership Institute 2019

Hotel Maya Awaits!

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:

  • Volunteer recruitment and engagement strategies that work—how your chapter has implemented the Learn, Help, Meet strategies introduced at the 2018 LI
  • Building community within your chapter
  • Successful programming/event strategies
  • Effective board collaboration strategies
  • Engaging millennials and new professionals
  • Turnaround chapter case studies
  • How your IABC leadership experience has benefited your career
  • Growing the IABC brand in your community
  • The value of certification

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! 🌞

ByGinger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP

Standing up for a #FreePress

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:

The American Advertising Federation
The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication
The Arthur W. Page Society
The Commission on Public Relations Education
The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management
The Institute for Public Relations
The Public Relations Council
The Public Relations Society of America
Thank you to everyone who has voiced support and carried the message forward.
ByGinger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP

Dog Days of Summer

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.
  • Create Connection:
    • 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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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.