A monthly newsletter for IABC leaders. Take a look inside for information about the 2018 Leadership Institute, the 2017-2018 Council of Regions, new onboarding materials, and more!
2017–2018 Council of Regions 

Congratulations to the 2017–2018 Council of Regions (CoR)! CoR is made up of the eight region chairs from each of the IABC regions who meet regularly to #createconnection and exchange ideas among regions. Region leaders are there to support chapters through providing resources and opportunities for information exchange, representing the interests of members at other levels of IABC, and offering guidance and feedback to leaders when needed.

One of the main focuses of the 2017–2018 CoR is to develop regional growth plans to support chapter success in alignment with the new #IABC1720 strategy. Activating IABC’s new strategy through leadership is the key to our success and chapters are encouraged to develop their own growth plans to align their chapter strategy with IABC’s updated vision, mission and philosophy. We’ve created a new template for chapter leaders to use to address the challenges they’re facing and develop a plan to overcome those obstacles. Chapters are encouraged to share their plans with their region leaders.

The Leadership Institute (LI) will also serve as a main priority of the 2017–2018 CoR. CoR will continue to oversee the 2018 LI, but following approval from the international executive board (IEB), CoR has shifted the role of the LI Program Advisory Committee (PAC) to the vice chair of each region. We’re excited to work with each of these regional leaders who will be bringing new ideas and insights as we begin planning LI.

You can learn more about your region's leaders by visiting the IABC website.

Save the date for the 2018 Leadership Institute!
We’re excited to announce that the 2018 Leadership Institute will be taking place 8–11 February at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla in San Diego, California! Create connection with fellow IABC leaders from around the world while enhancing your leadership skills and gaining new insights that can be applied to your chapter.

Call for speakers
This year, we are launching a new speaker selection process for breakout sessions. We’re interested in hearing from your chapter or region about what it is doing well that other leaders would benefit from learning about. In what ways have you aligned to the new #IABC1720 strategy to advance the profession, create connection and develop strategic communicators?

Do you have a stellar recruitment and retention plan? A professional development program that’s drawing in members and non-members? Or how about tips on engaging millennials? Leaders from small, medium and large chapters or regions are encouraged to apply for our call for speakers by 5 September 2017 for consideration from the 2018 LI Program Advisory Committee. The LI PAC will be considering all entries and encourages speakers to submit proposals on topics that will be beneficial to leaders around the world. You can check out the 2017 LI agenda for more information on what last year's breakout sessions looked like. All speakers are eligible for a complimentary LI registration, valued at US$199.

Event registration will open in November. In the meantime, be sure to start preparing your Chapter Management Award (CMA) entries. Winning entries will be celebrated at the CMA awards ceremony to kick off LI. Stay tuned for more information about LI in the coming weeks.
New onboarding materials for leaders
A new IABC 101 video has been created to support chapters and regions with onboarding. We encourage all leaders to check out this short video, which has valuable information about how IABC operates and additional information that is important for leaders. This video will serve as a great resource to you and your chapter as you being your strategy alignment planning.

Many of your boards have transitioned. Don’t forget to send your updated leader list to leader_centre@iabc.com if you haven’t already in order for all current leaders to have access to MMA and Leader Centre, where there are many additional resources for onboarding such as the onboarding toolkit that was launched at the 2017 LI, the Gift of Communication toolkit, and additional resources for leaders.
Register for IABC’s first virtual World Conference

The 2017 World Conference took place in Washington, D.C., 11–14 June. For the first time ever, IABC is giving you the chance to check out five of breakout sessions as a virtual experience. Those who attended the in-person event and purchased a full or standard conference registration received complimentary access to these virtual sessions. Those who did not attend can purchase the two Monday sessions for US$200, the three sessions on Tuesday for US$300, or all five sessions for US$500. Plus, IABC members receive a 50 percent discount!


Learn more about the five available sessions and register now on the World Conference website.

August Leadership Forum

Save the date: On Thursday, 10 August, at 2 p.m. PDT, we’ll kick-start our monthly Leadership Forum this term. We’ll be having a community conversation about bringing the new #IABC1720 strategy to life and hear from leaders who are proactively planning for the future. We’ll be altering the scheduled time of day from month to month to help accommodate participation across more time zones. For the August forum, the time in North America (2 p.m. PDT, 4 p.m. CDT, 5 p.m. EDT) corresponds to 10 p.m. GMT in the U.K., 7 a.m. AEST in Melbourne and 9 a.m. NZST in Wellington, New Zealand. Hope to see you there! 

Updated profile and member directory

IABC has launched an updated profile and member directory to make it easier for you to #createconnection. We've added even more fields within the member profile, including demographic information and areas of interest of expertise. We encourage you to log in and update your information today! 

Members can also now use the directory to search for other members by name, country, city, state, region/chapter, company, or area of expertise. Log in to iabc.com and go to your membership dashboard to take advantage of these updated features.

Beware of phishing scams!

In recent weeks, IABC has been notified of phishing scams that are targeting random chapters. These scams consist of fake money transfer requests via email and appear to be sent from a fellow board member. In some cases, the email alias will read as a board member's name but the actual email address is not that of the board member. Please be advised that fund transfer requests should never be sent via email. Learn more about phishing and please be sure to make all financial arrangements over the phone or in person to ensure your chapters safety.

Host a certification exam

Is your chapter or region looking for ways to help advance the careers of business communication professionals? The Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC) encourages you to host administrations of its certification examinations. You can complete an application to be considered as an exam host. Learn more on the GCCC website.

Chapter spotlight: IABC British Columbia 

IABC BC President Jeanette LeBlanc shares the chapter’s tips on creating a successful special interest group (SIG) program.

How to start a SIG program and why your chapter needs to love SIGs!

In 2015, Canada’s BC chapter overhauled their special interest groups (SIGs) program to reach more

members, create more meaningful networking opportunities and connection, profile different member

segments of the chapter, and engage more senior members.

Special interest groups are free to members and focus on different topics of interest either by industry,

sector, skills or specialties, or by experience level. Usually attendance is limited to 15 people to keep the atmosphere relaxed and conversational.

In years past, BC has had SIGs for intranets, social media and for independent communicators, among

others. But, awareness of these groups was limited, and meetings were typically invite-only and closed-group. Although this structure has value, too, we saw an opportunity to market this program more and open to our broader membership.

In doing so, we have observed an increase in SIG attendance, including from non-members, which

created a new revenue stream for the chapter, among other value-add benefits for members.

These peer-to-peer learning opportunities are growing in popularity for many reasons, and support the

new #1720 strategic framework pillar of Create Connection. 

Reasons to love special interest groups

1. They appeal to all levels of membership. From students to senior communicators, create groups based on experience level, and discuss topics relevant to each experience level. This is a great way to engage your senior members, to chair a group or be the special guest at a specific meeting topic.

2. They generate revenue. Open this free member program to non-members by charging a nominal fee. Try starting with $20 per meeting.

3. They create more volunteer opportunities. Chairing a SIG is a manageable commitment for someone who wants to volunteer but doesn’t have a lot of time. Start with asking the chairs to commit to four meetings in the year.

4. It’s a low risk/cost program. There is no cost to establish a SIG program. Have SIG chairs host the

meetings in free spaces.They are 60–90 minutes long and no formal catering is required.

5. They provide an opportunity for informal networking. Attending large networking events can be

intimidating for many, let alone finding the right people to connect with in your area of interest. SIGs cut through all of that, and you connect with like-minded peers faster.

6. They create chances for peer-to-peer learning. Because the content of the SIG meetings is informal, it’s about sharing our expertise with each other rather than in a classroom setting.

7. They provide membership growth opportunities. Opening SIGs to non-members is a powerful yet casual way to introduce them to the value in joining IABC. We create connection and learning opportunities.

If you’re wondering how to start a SIG program, here are a few best practices.

How to start a SIG program:

Have a dedicated board member or program manager

Whether part of a portfolio, an individual board role on your board, or a volunteer program manager,

ensure someone owns the program to be consistent with registration, marketing and communications,

and liaise with the SIG chairs.

Know your membership.

Look at your segmentation from experience level to industry sectors. Start with interest group themes that appeal to these groups to better serve their interests.

For example, we have a strong segment of communicators in medical or health related organizations,

and our Health Communicators SIG is one of the most popular.

Find SIG chairs/champions, based on these member segments.

Our SIGs this year included: senior communicators, independent communicators, health communications, internal communications, and digital strategy communications. We are looking at groups on education, non-profit organizations, and B2B communications this coming year.

Program structure and setting expectations

What is your minimum request of each chair? Start with one meeting on a set day each month, or a

minimum of four meetings throughout the year. Ask chairs to commit to draft topics for each meeting and tentative dates for each meeting in the year. Then follow up to confirm as each date approaches.

Avoid scheduling a SIG that conflicts with your other programs or events.

Informal meetings focused on discussion

No formal agenda or presentation required.

Chairs ask a few questions to spark discussion and conversation unfolds from there.

Invite a special guest to speak to their experience like a mini-case study discussion.

Use existing systems

Once chairs, topics and dates are identified, use your existing event registration system and communication channels to promote the meeting like all your other events.

Profile your SIGs and chairs

Include them on your website: take a look at SIGs in IABC/BC.

Crowdsourcing power

If your chairs don’t know what your members want to discuss, ask them at the first meeting, and plan discussion topics from there.

SIG chairs are the event managers

Chairs identify the free venue space and the topic and bring in their special guest speakers, The chapter manages the registration and marketing.

The success of our SIG program has led us to create a dedicated board role for the 2017–2018 year and look at further growth opportunities for this program. Our new director of SIGs will manage the overall program.

We also must share kudos to IABC/Calgary for a strong SIG program, which we’ve taken notes from and adapted for our chapter.

If you have questions about the IABC/BC SIG program, connect with 2017–2018 Chapter President

Jeanette LeBlanc at president@iabc.bc.ca.

Important dates
2325 August 2017
Novotel, Clarke Quay, Singapore 

2224 October 2017
Kelowna, British Columbia

57 November 2017
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

811 February 2018
2018 Leadership Institute
San Diego, California
Sharon Hunter
International Executive Board Chair