Tag Archive #globalprofession

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

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.

 

BySharon Hunter

IABC Applauds Edelman’s Proposed PR Compact for Ethical Standards

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

BySharon Hunter

Countdown to #IABC1720

Recap on the road to a new 3-year strategy

#longread – it has been a journey!

With the annual gathering of the IABC tribe (aka World Conference) kicking off this weekend, excitement is building to launch a new cycle for the future.

We launched a global listening tour in September using Appreciative Inquiry – to engage our community in creating a shared understanding of what we value most to bring forward into 2020 and beyond.

We shared some great stories, experiences and achievements to bring out the best in us.

“You come for the professional development, you stay for the people”, “IABC peers are like family” and “IABC has honed my leadership skills more than any paid gig” are but three examples of what we value as a united peer community. See #IABC1720 for highlights of this journey.

The strength of passion and purpose to advance the profession within our global network cannot be overstated – and it will take a commitment to collaborative leadership to bring this new strategy cycle to life. Fortunately, IABC leaders have this in spades!

Throughout the strategy development work, the International Executive Board, regional and chapter leaders participated where we:

  • Held World Café sessions in all 8 IABC regions.
  • Leveraged Leadership Institute in February for feedback on our statements of strategic intent, field tested the draft #IABC1720 framework and invited leaders to explore “Freedom in a Framework” to align their strategic plans to collaboratively deliver local value.
  • Conducted interviews with global executives to gauge industry pulse.
  • Drew insights from a range of industry trend reports.
  • Liaised across committees to socialize the strategic priorities and gain input.

We are a diverse global community – it is our greatest strength but also our greatest challenge. How can we deliver relevant value across a broad spectrum of needs?

For associations, this doesn’t change at the core: It’s to continue to help members be successful in what matters most to them – supporting through education and insights, credentialing, community exchange and advocacy for the profession. What changes over time is the format and content of programming – and how we create opportunities for people to access it and engage each other to learn and grow.

For communicators in a rapidly changing business landscape, it means a commitment to adapt and develop new multi-disciplinary skills and demonstrate impact on key business outcomes.

Recall the Top Three Professional Challenges cited in our Global Membership Survey:

  • Being included in the strategy and planning efforts within organizations
  • Demonstrating the value of communications to internal/external clients
  • Keeping up with the rapid pace of change in the field

This, from over 18,000 respondents where 72% have more than 10 years experience in the field.

Business leader interviews we conducted confirmed this familiar story: Communicators need to demonstrate business acumen and prove their ability to drive key business results. This is where we take our cue for advancing the profession over the next three years.

It’s time to prove the impact of strategic communications using #insightsandresults and to develop strategic communicators – through the Global Standard and certification – to become trusted business advisors.

What comes next? We vote at the AGM tomorrow to affirm our strategic intent

Input on these new Vision/Purpose/Philosophy statements was enthusiastic and incorporated into revisions approved by the International Executive Board to go forward to AGM vote. A special thank you to Ginger D. Homan, IABC secretary/treasurer and #IABC1720 co-author for leading this essential exercise to conclusion.

The three elements of the Purpose statement – Advance the Profession, Create Connection and Develop Strategic Communicators – form the pillars of the proposed framework for the 2017-2020 strategic plan.

As we look to the future, IABC’s next three years will aim to advance the profession through a proactive approach to thought leadership and by helping communicators realize their strategic potential as business advisers to prove their impact on the organizations they serve.

With this framework approved,  work to tie strategy to action for the 2017-18 term begins immediately at the International Executive Board meeting on Sunday. Stay tuned here for more as we put our best foot forward – together!

In my role as Vice Chair this year, it has been a privilege to lead this planning process. A note of sincere thanks to the 2016-17 board, regional, chapter and committee leaders for your time and ongoing engagement in this important work – and to our hardworking staff.

And finally, thank you to members and Gold Quill winners whose commitment to professional practice advances our standards of excellence each and every day.

Hope to see you here in Washington! #IABC17 awaits!

Sharon Hunter, Vice Chair

 

ByGinger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP

Transforming IABC

For the last three years, IABC has been under a transformation – revitalizing programs to improve membership retention and achieve financial sustainability. As we transition from the 2014/2017 strategy to the 2017/2020 strategy, we reviewed IABC’s vision, mission, purpose and philosophy statements to give clarity to who IABC is, what IABC does and the value we bring to communication professionals.

We started the review last fall with a global listening tour, holding appreciative inquiry sessions in every region, and then opened the conversation on this blog for input back in January. Armed with your input, vice chair Sharon Hunter and I presented draft statements at Leadership Institute in Dallas.

Knowing that these statements need to work at the chapter, regional and international levels, the input we got in Dallas from IABC leaders crystalized our path forward. We knew which statements were right, and which ones needed work. We also had a better understanding of what each statement should accomplish and who the intended audience was for each one.

A few times I heard members say, “I need to explain to my CEO the business value of IABC.” Your feedback, gave us our new value proposition: IABC is the only global association connecting me to the people and insights I need to drive business results.

Here are all the statements that will be added to the IABC bylaws and voted on at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 10, 2017 in Washington D.C.

  • Vision: Professional communicators at the heart of every organization.
  • Purpose: To advance the profession, create connection and develop strategic communicators.
  • Philosophy: IABC pledges to:
    • Represent the global profession.
    • Foster a diverse community.
    • Focus on insights and results.
    • Honor our Code of Ethics.
      We will achieve this by being open, contemporary and professional.

In addition, this statement will be updated in our Brand Guidebook. It is our elevator speech and will be used in marketing and communications materials.

  • Value Proposition: IABC is the only global association connecting me with the people and insights I need to drive business results.

All of these statements use the work of the Brand Task Force, led by Priya Bates, ABC, MC, CMP, IABC Fellow, as a foundation. That, coupled with your guidance, gives us four strong statements that can serve to unite us and guide our work. They reaffirm our strategic intent as an association to stay relevant into the future, underpinning the 2017-2020 new strategy framework that is currently in development. Stay tuned for more updates as we countdown to kick-off at World Conference in Washington, DC this June.

Thank you to IABC members around the globe who participated in this process and helped get us to a better, stronger place.

A brief sampling of feedback from Twitter:

ByGinger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP

Creating the IABC Vision, Purpose and Philosophy

What an incredible conversation we had at Leadership Institute about updating the IABC vision, purpose, philosophy and value proposition. Any time you look at change, you always expect push back – not spontaneous applause! I think we are all ready to have a statement that is our rally cry and that will keep us on track – at our chapters, regions and at international.

When we got home from Dallas, Sharon Hunter and I recreated the white board on my office wall. We took the time to go through each note and reflect on how it might change the message. It made us aware of a few things that we needed to keep in mind:

  • Remember who the audience is for each statement: Different statements have different target audiences. We need to keep that in mind as we incorporate all the comments and create the next draft.

For example, the vision statement is for us. That statement needs to set out our ultimate goal as an association so that professional communicators know, in a moment, what IABC is trying to accomplish. That is why the statement, “a professional communicator at the heart of every business,” resonated with so many members. It is what IABC is trying to accomplish

However, the value proposition is for our external audience – perhaps a fellow communicator about why they should join, or a business leader on why they should support our involvement. It definitely needs to include the business value and expected outcome. Great input.

  • Combine the mission and purpose statements: There was agreement that having both was redundant and since we are trying to simplify, we will combine these into one statement of purpose.
  • Business communicator vs. professional communicator: should we align with the name of the organization or The Global Standard that we support? Since we are trying to establish the business value of what we bring to the marketplace, it’s probably better to support The Global Standard – so “professional communicator” or “communication professional” will be the language used.
  • Review the statements as a whole. Each statement does not need to contain all the facts. However, as a group, they should reflect who we are as an association – and hopefully, start a new conversation.

We want a vision, purpose, philosophy and value proposition that resonates with our members and becomes our rally cry. The world café showed us that the three areas of our proposed purpose statement – advance the profession, create connections and develop professionals – work for chapters, regions and international. Now we need to work on the words around them.

We got clear feedback that “a force for good” does not resonant with our international audience. We took that to heart and the phrase is now on the cutting room floor (basically, my office floor).

Contributing at the World Cafe for IABC’s vision and purpose statements.

This has been an incredible experience – from getting your input in every region on the Listening Tour, to our hands-on work at Leadership Institute. Your voices are in our heads. We will continue to brainstorm, edit and tweak away. Good governance dictates that an association review these statements every three to five years, in conjunction with a new strategy cycle. So check back for updates posted here. Chapter delegates will vote on any changes at the Annual General  Meeting at World Conference in Washington D.C.

In the meantime, if you have an idea or suggestion, please send it to us, ginger@ziacommunications.com. We are updating these statements as part of our work to develop the next three-year strategy. Below is a chart that shows how all the pieces interconnect.

Recording ideas to take home.

Recording ideas to take home.

Together we can align the vision, purpose and philosophy statements so they guide our actions for the future, help us see the opportunities and ultimately, deliver enduring value to our community.

Together we can align the vision, purpose and philosophy statements so they guide our actions for the future, help us see the opportunities and ultimately, deliver enduring value to our community.

Thanks for all you do.

How Everything Fits

ByDianne Chase

September Leadership Forum

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,

Dianne
chair@iabc.com

BySharon Hunter

Bringing out the best in us: #IABC1720 Strategy sessions kickstart in Brussels today

Regional leaders launch our global conversation campaign to shape IABC’s next 3-year strategy at the Europe Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) leadership institute today.

  • What do you value most about IABC?
  • What works?
  • What do you want more of?
  • What brings life to our brand via the engagement and satisfaction you feel from being part of our professional communications community?

These questions frame the appreciative inquiry approach we’re using to create a shared vision of the future into 2020 and beyond.

Michael Nord, IEB member facilitating

Michael Nord, IEB member facilitating

Today we launch the discovery phase of this strategy process. It’s a global listening tour that will travel through a series of world cafes at regional conferences, leadership institutes and select chapter events over the next few months.

These sessions aim to engage our community to explore the best of what we are with an eye toward what more we could be.

Nikki Edwards, EMENA Chair

Nikki Edwards, EMENA Chair


IABC runs on a rolling three-year strategy cycle.  The #IABC1417 strategy closes out this year.  This new plan for 2017-20 will kick-off at World Conference in Washington, DC. Mark your calendars for 11-14 June 2017!
Alex Malouf

Alex Malouf, EMENA Vice Chair


The new plan will look to capitalize on gains, strive for continuity and build for the future based on the foundational assets we’ve secured. This is thanks to the prudent work of our predecessors. We managed a turnaround these last years through a focus on financial recovery and sustainability.  This guiding principle is one that we will commit to maintain moving forward.

Next steps will include a master session at the International Leadership Institute in Dallas, Texas happening February 23-25 2017.  Save the date!  The board will then review three iterations of the new plan before it lands at the AGM next June.

It is the Vice Chair’s role to lead this process. It’s a duty I’m honored to advance in collaboration with co-author Ginger Homan, ABC, IABC Secretary/Treasurer, Chair Dianne Chase and the Executive Committee, the entire board and all who will bring their passion and ideas forward to help us along. I thank you all for the time and energy that you will bring to this community effort.

Follow #IABC1720 for tweets coming out of EMENA today. Fellow IEB member Michael Nord is leading an inspired group including Nikki Edwards, EMENA Chair, Alex Malouf, Vice Chair and dedicated leaders from across the region.

Check back here often for ongoing updates. The conversation will continue through sessions in Heritage, Southern and Pacific Plains regions in October, South Africa in November and other area events to follow.

Have an idea, question or experience to share? Email vicechair@iabc.com – we’re listening!

With appreciation for all that you do,

Sharon Hunter, Vice Chair

 

Byiabc

Leading the profession on the certification journey

Guest post by Neil Griffiths, ABC, Chart.PR

Neil Griffiths, ABC

Neil Griffiths

Some time has passed since IABC first embarked on the journey towards a new global credential for communication professionals: the CMP (or Communication Management Professional, for those who are ‘acronymed out’!).

The program is in full swing, with graduates around the globe now able to include these all-important letters after their name. IABC has of course been dedicated to setting a standard for professional communication for decades, most notably with the development of the Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation that is still held by hundreds of professionals worldwide. This commitment to setting a global standard for professional communication practice paved the way for the association to enter into the development of the new CMP credential.

So, why is certification the right choice for IABC?

This is a question that came up back in 2013 and people are still asking us. For me this was the result of a number of threads that all became intertwined at the same time. If we cast our minds back to the 2011-14 strategic plan, the IEB sought to align all IABC’s programs in support of communication professionals’ careers. At the same time, the Accreditation Committee had highlighted several key issues for the long-term sustainability of the ABC program. In looking at the various options open to IABC in response to this, certification emerged as an avenue that could meet the association’s needs in many ways:

  • Assessment for certification depends on a body of knowledge for the profession – this could also be a basis for other programs for professional development, awards, etc. and for the association’s content strategy. (This body of knowledge is developed by and with the profession to make sure it represents what we should know and the skills we should have.)
  • Assessment is based on an exam and evaluation is in no way subjective
  • The volunteer commitment to run the program is much less intensive
  • The process around certification (as opposed to accreditation or other similar programs) reduces liability for the association, as it is related only to the body of knowledge
  • The ISO 17024 standard for professional certification programs provides a framework for building the program; meeting this standard sets our program apart from any other in the world

Why does ISO matter?

Once certification was determined to be the right way of moving ahead, IABC had a decision to make: figure this out on our own or follow the international standard for the management of professional certification programs. It chose the latter for a number of reasons:

  • No other communication association has an ISO-standard certification program; this differentiates us from the competition by having a built-in level of credibility
  • As an international association, IABC wanted a truly global credential, not one that only met the standards of one country
  • The ISO guidelines apply to the management of the program and provide quality assurance for the administration and development of the credential. This is critical in showing people, particularly those outside our profession, that all aspects of the program conform to international standards of best practice
  • It provided guidance as to how to establish the program (we didn’t need to figure this out on our own) and would avoid having to retrofit the program later on and make (potentially costly) changes to how the program is administered
  • Recognition of ISO standards in industries and markets across the globe is very high, which would give visibility to our certification program. Many organizations have to meet ISO standards (for compliance with health & safety, for example) and there is increasing interest in setting standards for professions at the ISO level
  • The pursuit of the ISO standard is voluntary and shows IABC’s commitment to meeting the highest possible standards for its certification program

Given that IABC is seeking to establish the value and impact of this important new program, I think that its focus on making it the best it can be from the outset is admirable. It will help build credibility amongst anyone who is trying to learn more about it, not least of which the hiring managers around the world who are going to be curious to know what is behind the new set of letters they are seeing after communication professionals’ names in years to come.

I am honestly thrilled to see the progress that has been made with the certification program and I am impressed with how much it is being embraced by our organization worldwide. This is all thanks to the commitment of the series of IEB members since the journey began, as well as the hundreds of people who have been involved in bringing certification to life. I have been lucky to witness this from the inside, from my time on the Career Roadmap Committee where I saw all the various streams begin to align, and then as part of the inaugural Global Communication Certification Council (where I co-chaired the exam committee). The current GCCC is in the process of developing the next level of exam to bring the designation to an even broader group of professionals. It’s incredible just how far things have come in such a short space of time. Learn more about Certification.

I can vouch for the passion and drive that has been a huge part of realizing IABC’s vision for certification and I am still massively confident in what it will do for IABC, for communication professionals around the world and for raising awareness of what we do to people who are far less familiar than we are. The journey is far from over, but I hope you’ll join us all on it.

Neil is Past Chair of IABC EMENA and has served on numerous IABC committees, notably the inaugural Global Communication Certification Council. Neil is a Regional Leader of the Year and in 2015 received the Rae Hamlin Award for services to professional certification. He is currently Vice Chair of the Program Advisory Committee and will chair the 2018 World Conference in Montreal.