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.
One of the many wonderful things about IABC having 10,000 members spread out around the globe is that our organization has its finger on the pulse of so much happening around the world and what it means to all of us working in business communication. This has been especially clear as the start of 2017 has brought with it big changes, new terms and challenges related to the work we all do.
A phrase we’ve heard frequently in recent weeks is “alternative facts,” as a term for inaccurate information, and many people have reached out asking where IABC’s stands on this issue. Our answer as an organization is clear.
The IABC Global Standard of the Communication Profession outlines six core principles that serve communication professionals around the world as building blocks of their work. Applying that standard enables us to communicate across borders, align with diverse cultures and effectively serve organizations of myriad types and sizes. The first principle of the IABC Global Standard is Ethics. Among other tenets, this principle sets forth that to act ethically, professional communicators must act without deception; represent their organizations truthfully, fairly and accurately; and adhere to the IABC Code of Ethics.
The International Association of Business Communicators and our members stand strongly behind our Code of Ethics, which states:
“As a professional communicator, you have the potential to influence economies and affect lives. This power carries with it significant responsibilities.
The International Association of Business Communicators requires its members to agree to the IABC Code of Ethics. This code serves as a guide to making consistent, responsible, ethical and legal choices in all of our communications.”
The first two commitments in the IABC Code of Ethics state, “I am honest—my actions bring respect for and trust in the communication profession” and “I communicate accurate information and promptly correct any error.”
IABC is unwavering in our commitment to and advocacy for our Global Standard and Code of Ethics. “Alternative facts” have no place in professional communication. I’m certain this was never in doubt for all of you as members. But should someone ask you for IABC’s stance on this issue, I invite you to point them to this blog post and our Global Standard.
I look forward to further discussion about this topic when I see many of you later this month at our annual Leadership Institute in Dallas, Texas.
This June, I’ll gather with even more of you at the 2017 IABC World Conference in Washington, D.C., where the latest issues and ideas affecting our profession and our work will be in the spotlight. I have no doubt that IABC and our committed members from around the world will shine, just as you do every day.
We’ve posted a petition on Change.org to publicly stand in support of the IABC Code of Ethics and what it means to live it every day. Please join us in signing it to show your commitment to ethical communication at all levels—you don’t need to be a member of IABC to stand with us. Please share the link with colleagues around the world to show our solidarity on this key principle.
On behalf of the entire executive board and leadership of IABC, thank you for your continued passion and ongoing commitment to ethical practice. It is tremendously appreciated and critical to the work we all do as professional business communicators.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
All the best,
That was the theme of the Heritage Region Conference 2016, held in Columbus, Ohio Oct. 9-11 — says so much about our IABC. The conference was the living, breathing epitome of what is at the core of our professional communication community. It is our never ending commitment to elevating our professional and personal growth and discovering the possibilities for driving communication as a force for good in business and society.
The #IABCHRCONF world class level of speakers, presentations, programming, networking, professional development and, of course, Dine Around, is a testimony to the dedication and commitment of the Heritage Region leaders and evidence of the impact IABC is and will continue to make for our profession and members.
I was amazed at the level of positive energy and enthusiasm of the region and chapter leaders in Columbus, Ohio USA!
I must give specific shout outs to conference co-chairs Forrest Hughes and Pat Frey — both long time IABC leaders on many levels.
Thanks and congratulations to everyone who made this conference one to be emulated; including Region Chair Amy Miller and Silver Quill Chair Alexandra Hichel and the indescribably inspirational ball of enthusiasm, Columbus chapter president, Lachandra Baker.
I want to share a bit of the spirit with you and so I grabbed a few minutes with a past Heritage Region chair, Gary Spondike from Detroit, veteran IABC leader and presenter, Cyrus Mavalwala from Toronto and two conference attendees.
I hope you enjoy the snippets, absorb the IABC ‘secret sauce’ and pass it along.
Tuesday afternoon, IABC Vice Chair Sharon Hunter and I wrapped up with our #IABC1720 World Cafe, part of our global conversation tour to build the next 3-year strategy for the association. Read more on this appreciative inquiry process here on the blog.
Thank you more than I can express for your dedication, leadership and support for our IABC.
I’d love to hear from you!
All the best,
Here we are on the cusp of October! Wow- time flies when you’re having fun and everyone is in high gear for our IABC. We’re entering a busy time of the IABC year with three region conferences and regional leadership institutes coming up in the next four weeks, along with the all-important October Membership Month which is going to be stellar this year!
For all the scoop check out our September Leadership Forum featuring our Awards Committee Chair, Lynn Barter, ABC.
Some important links and hashtags for you:
Also, please mark your calendars for the upcoming Leadership Forums. We’re staggering the times for these monthly conversations with leaders so as to engage as many time zones as possible with as little “pain” as possible. We definitely want you to get your sleep!
Here are the dates and times coming up:
26 October at 2 p.m. Pacific Time
16 November at 10 a.m. Pacific Time
14 December at 2 p.m. Pacific Time
25 January at 10 a.m. Pacific Time
In the meantime, please do reach out with any questions, input, suggestions, recommendations and insights. Your contributions are encouraged and most welcomed. Let’s #createconnection and #engage2excel like never before!
With deep appreciation for all you do for our IABC,
Happy Greetings from your new 2016-17 IABC Board and your very humble and grateful new chair!
What an incredible tribe we have ~
Our IABC – an Inspiring, Amazing, Brilliant, Community…. Because you are Inspiring, Amazing Brilliant Communicators.
We all have come to this community on our unique paths. I always love to hear your stories, and during this coming year I really hope I’ll hear more. While we’ve all come into our tribe by different paths, we’ve stayed because we found something really special.
We have a secret sauce in IABC.
For me, my first taste came after rather hesitantly agreeing to attend a chapter meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina in place of a senior colleague. That was it – the feeling of “professional family” on first meeting was all it took; what a rare and wonderful thing. It’s not something you can find online, at a meet-up group or, I don’t believe, quite the same in any other professional association.
So, the next thing I knew I was on the chapter board and over the years served as chapter president three different times. Then my path led to the Southern Region board where my passion for the “I” in IABC really escalated. Being the Southern Region chair offered incredible opportunities to lead, share, learn and give back to a truly diverse and amazing professional community. I’m sure you know that “IABC” feeling, as well.
Many of you have worked with incredible fortitude and dedication to lead IABC in good times and through tough patches and for that words can’t express how much you are appreciated. You’re the heart and soul of IABC.
Over the past year a lot of hard work has gone into shoring up our IABC infrastructure, thanks to the leadership of immediate past chair, Michael Ambjorn. Now, with our new strengthened governance and policies we’re set for delivering five star service.
Here’s how five star service is officially defined:
One star – for making you feel special – personal attention
One star – for resolving issues ASAP
One star – for genuine friendliness, smiles and personality
One star – for getting your money’s worth
One star – for rewarding your customer loyalty
These, in a nutshell, are what IABC is committed to and keeps at the forefront of everything we do.
The year ahead is brimming with opportunities for our communication community.
We will continue to grow our professional development offerings through the IABC Academy with new self-paced courses, in addition to the online workshops and webinars. Our Academy is a go-to resource not only for professional development aligned with the Global Standard, but also for helping prepare for the new Certification program. It’s very exciting to see the ever growing interest and engagement with the initial Communication Management Professional (CMP) level and we are moving forward to offer the next level of certification aimed at the strategic advisor level in 2017. I encourage you to seek out one of our new CMPs and ask them about the program.
Another important advancement on the way– the reinvigorated, reimagined and revamped Leader Centre. The Leader Centre task force is wrapping up their work and the Council of Regions will begin instituting the vision and resources which will provide increased value, relevance and support for our leaders. The overarching goal is to make the Leader Centre a resource by leaders – for leaders.
In the coming year we will continue to look at new ways to increase the value of membership, beginning with the new “Members Only” offerings. As members, you will have exclusive access to resources that you want and need with the institution of the new members-only content on www.iabc.com.
I’m super excited with the re-launch of our IABC Foundation. You play a critical role in helping IABC live out our mission and mantra that we believe communication is a force for good in business and society. We’ll need your support in terms of leadership, engagement and donations – seed money for success. Stay tuned for the open call for nominations to the new Foundation Committee and please join in moving this important initiative forward. By this time next year, I’m confident we will be able to show real impact. We can and will do this through the power of our shared passion for the ideals of our profession.
Another important advancement is the establishment of a new Fellows Committee. As you know, these IABC icons have achieved the highest level of honor bestowed by our association and serve to inspire us all.
I believe we have incredible opportunities in the coming year to make IABC the global resource for professional communication. We have set the Global Standard and we can lead by example. We will gain greater visibility in the marketplace with increased communication and data-driven, highly targeted marketing.
But we “each one need to reach one.”
Who can you bring to our tribe? A new member? A new volunteer? A new leader? A new CMP? A sponsor? A Foundation donor?
I’m incredibly honored with this opportunity to work with and for you.
I hope you’ll join me in working to make our IABC all it can be.
More than ever let’s #createconnection with and for communicators and our communities around the world.
Together we can do great things!
All my best,
These two exceptional leaders have each made contributions to IABC that have had a global impact advancing the association and the profession. Both are role models for IABCers around the world.
Ginger Homan, ABC, has made a strategic contribution to the association above and beyond the call of duty. Operating at the highest level, her contribution has been centerpiece to the execution of the 2014-17 strategy for IABC, effecting a turnaround. Ginger is the embodiment of a world class board member: open, accountable and effective – with a relentless focus on enabling organizational delivery. She is also a joy to work with.
Jennifer Andrewes brings to life the best of IABC in the field. As an organization we believe that in today’s world, communication can be a force for good in business and society. To make that happen we need to reach into boardrooms around the world. Jennifer and her chapter team out of Wellington, New Zealand, raised the bar in terms of height and breadth reached. Opening doors for IABC with leading government departments, blue chip corporates and agenda-setting non-profits – and those who influence them as strategic advisors. This is true leadership both advancing and enhancing the profession.
Learn more about the Chairman’s Award – and please join me in congratulating these two exceptional leaders.
2015-16 IABC Chair