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.
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.
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|
|Ethics||Communication professionals adopt the highest standards of professional behaviour. They always:
|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.||
|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.||
|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.||
|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.||
|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.||
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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)
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,
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,
Last Friday afternoon, I published a post here titled “‘Alternative Facts’ and IABC’s Six Core Principles,” detailing our association’s position on something that has been a point of conversation and reflection in our IABC community in recent weeks. We also posted a petition on Change.org, asking professionals to stand with us in support of the ethical practice of professional communication.
Given the discussion I’ve seen around terms like “alternative facts” and “fake news” within our community, I expected I might get some reaction to my post. But to say I’ve been overwhelmed by the engagement and response would be an understatement.
As I write this, more than 600 people have signed the re-commitment to ethics on Change.org and I’ve heard incredible feedback from countless IABC members and other communication professionals. My fellow IABC executive board members have received emails and phone calls as well, and social media has been filled with insightful discussions as IABC members signed and shared the petition.
The response has been almost entirely positive, with many members saying how glad they are to see IABC taking a stand on this issue, and how proud they are to be a part of it and stand together.
Here’s a small sampling of what we’ve heard on Twitter:
— J. Randall Brown (@BrownJRandall) February 10, 2017
Proud to be part of an organization taking a stand for ethical professional communications. Show your commitment at https://t.co/GqMzSo3glc
— Wendy (@weliaslo) February 10, 2017
— Jeanette LeBlanc (@jileblanc) February 9, 2017
— Jonathan Champ (@meaningbusiness) February 4, 2017
And from the petition:
Those are just a few examples of the types of feedback we’ve received. For even more, I encourage you to browse the IABC Twitter timeline, where we’ve shared many of the supportive tweets so many people have sent our way.
Thank you for your support and dedication to ethical practice in communication. It’s inspiring to see your level of commitment and engagement around this critical issue for our profession. I look forward to continuing the dialogue and building on this momentum with all of you!
All the best,
P.S. As always, if you are not an IABC member, I invite you to join our thriving IABC community to be a part of the learning, development, connection, and discussions we all hold dear as members.