Chic-ahhhhh-go! Messages profound and clear came home from the IABC international conference.As countries of good will wage war on terrorism Terrorist acts and the threat of Terrorism have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the usa patriot act , IABC IABC International Association of Business Communicators
IABC Indo-Americans for Better Community fights the good fight to win a righteous place for communicators at the executive table and to bring creativity, insight and truth to the words of businesses around the globe.
A rich professional education and inimitable in·im·i·ta·ble
Defying imitation; matchless.
[Middle English, from Latin inimit sense of fraternity combined to keep the synapses firing at the annual IABC international conference in Chicago, June 9-12. Some 1,500 people from 35 countries descended on the Hyatt Regency, turning the hotel into a happy training camp for modern-day communication "soldiers." They emerged fortified fortified (fôrt´fīd),
adj containing additives more potent than the principal ingredient. and equipped for the challenges ahead.
In a greater effort to share the experience with those remaining at the home front, IABC introduced a new benefit this year. A squadron of volunteers blanketed the conference territory, shooting out rapid-fire notes and loading them onto the new and improved IABC web site. With precision and speed, a virtual library of highlights peppered the site daily. And there they still reside at http://store.yahoo.com/iabstore/conup.html.
Make no mistake, however. Staring at a light box, guiding a cursor and tapping on a keyboard are no substitute for human interaction, for the energy and camaraderie long embraced as hallmarks of this organization. Only by attending the conference do you experience hugs in the hallway, laughter in the lounges and whitecaps of smiles breaking across a great sea of faces at keynote sessions. Tiny enclaves of idea-sharing; problem-solvers at an exhibit booth; the hum of international good will; intimate dinner parties that make friends of strangers; a chance to put a face with a name or reconnect with an old colleague--these moments cannot be captured on the web. They have to be lived.
So what did you miss?
At Sunday evening's opening session, sponsored by Deloitte & Touche, outgoing IABC Chairman John Clemons, ABC ABC
in full American Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. television network. It began when the expanding national radio network NBC split into the separate Red and Blue networks in 1928. , APR APR
See: Annual Percentage Rate , bounced onstage to the tune of "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow." The troops thus revved, Clemons shared the news and spread the thank-you's around. The association welcomed 55 new accredited accredited
recognition by an appropriate authority that the performance of a particular institution has satisfied a prestated set of criteria.
cattle herds which have achieved a low level of reactors to, e.g. members since last June, he reported. On that list was IABC's own president, Julie Freeman, ABC, APR, who passed her accreditation exam a week before the conference. Kudos went to Wilma Mathews, ABC, and the program advisory committee for putting together an outstanding lineup of speakers; to the Chicago chapter hospitality task force chaired by Peg Wander; and to lead sponsor Watson Wyatt Worldwide.
Marie T. Raperto, president of the Cantor Concern of New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , graciously accepted the Chairman's Award. She was called a woman who "evangelizes" our profession. "When I transitioned into communication, I had a lot to learn," Raperto told the crowd. "So I joined a variety of organizations and asked for help along the way. Every person who responded was an IABC member."
Following Raperto was the keynote address keynote address
An opening address, as at a political convention, that outlines the issues to be considered. Also called keynote speech.
Noun 1. from Andrea Mitchell Andrea Mitchell (born October 30, 1946) is a journalist, television commentator, and writer. She covers international issues for all NBC News broadcasts, including NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today, and MSNBC. , chief foreign affairs foreign affairs
Affairs concerning international relations and national interests in foreign countries. correspondent for NBC News NBC News (along with NBC News + HD) is the news division of American television network NBC, a part of NBC Universal, which is majority-owned by General Electric. Its current president is Steve Capus. It is the top-rated broadcast news division and has been for a decade. in the U.S. She offered a sobering look at "new realities" in light of 9/11. Mitchell discussed her travels overseas and her attempts to understand what people don't "get" about the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .
Brian Humphreys, from Canberra, Australia, enjoyed the speech, although he felt that Mitchell generalized a bit about the worldview world·view
n. In both senses also called Weltanschauung.
1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group. of 9/11. "In Australia, we took it very, very seriously," he said.
Sue Yund, from Minnesota, thought Mitchell was a wonderful choice. "She was very natural and personable PERSONABLE. Having the capacities of a person; for example, the defendant was judged personable to maintain this action. Old Nat. Brev. 142. This word is obsolete. ; she spoke from the heart."
Sunday night's "Welcoming Reception - A World of Rhythms" embodied the sights and sounds of a Korean percussion troupe, Spanish flamenco dancers dressed in flouncy red flowered dresses and a country clogger in overalls accompanied by fiddle and guitar. All were woven into one terrific show. Coordinating the action and adding special Chicago pizzazz was tap-dancing emcee Reggio "The Hoofer hoof·er
A professional dancer, especially a tap dancer.
Slang a professional dancer
Noun 1. ." He dazzled the audience with his own skill, and then brought on ruffle-shirted, 86-year-old tapper Ernest "Brownie" Brown for a final flourish.
At the orientation session, bright and early Monday morning, John Clemons, ABC, APR, Wilma Mathews, ABC, Peg Wander and IABC staff members shared tips on how to get the most out of the next three days.
Sponsored by Towers Perrin, Monday morning's general session honored IABC's 2002 EXCEL award winner Richard M. Schulze Richard M. "Dick" Schulze is the Founder and Chairman of Best Buy.
He was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota where he graduated from Central High School, afterwards attending Marquette University (he did not graduate). He subsequently spent time in the U.S. , founder, chairman and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of Best Buy Co. Inc. (See interview on page 48.) "Why isn't my boss like that?" lamented one communicator, as she headed to the exhibit hall after the session. "I want to work for him,'' said another.
As the four o'clock hour drew near, conference-goers circled the IABC silent auction tables. Pens in hand, they scrambled to scrawl a final number before the bell tolled an end to the bidding. This year's auction raised close to US$10,000, the proceeds earmarked for enhancing online member services. Lucky winners walked away with travel bargains (Jamaica, anyone?), distinctive merchandise (pass the Tiffany bowl, please), fine wines, baseball tickets and myriad professional development programs, services and publications.
Monday night's Gold Quill banquet, sponsored by Mercer Human Resource Consulting Mercer Human Resource Consulting is a human resource consulting firm that publishes the oft-quoted "Worldwide Cost of Living Survey." External links
adj. swank·i·er, swank·i·est
swank scene, with attenders decked out in formal attire. A jazz band and accomplished vocalists entertained, and the salad course was garnished with a bit of quirky hometown education from Chicagoan emcee Lou Williams Jr., ABC, APR. Excellence and merit award-winners in the renowned annual competition collected their trophies and, of course, applause, and the beloved Don Ranly, Ph.D., was honored as the newest IABC Fellow.
"When Les [Potter] called me about this award, I was speechless...and I cried," Ranly admitted. "My wife asked me why I was crying and when I told her, she said, 'That's a good thing, isn't it?"' Good, indeed.
Tuesday's general session, sponsored by Buck Consultants, featured an extraordinary speaker with a near-Shakespearean delivery style. "Lifesmith" Christopher Nevill from the Harlequin Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, addressed the hushed and riveted crowd with a passionate soliloquy soliloquy, the speech by a character in a literary composition, usually a play, delivered while the speaker is either alone addressing the audience directly or the other actors are silent. , "New values for a new work place."
The speech was almost a plea, an appeal to corporations to place their emphasis on humanity rather than financial profit. The oration was punctuated with pauses--deep breaths for the speaker, "soaking" time for listeners.
"When I look our over this audience, I see a reflection of my own inadequacy and fears," he began. [pause] "But I also see a reflection of my own magnificence, beauty, the outstanding qualities that are equally my birthright.. .and I know I have something to say."
Nevill shared his belief that society will be richer as business mobilizes around our common human values, and that communicators are well positioned to lead this shift.
"We do have a responsibility as communicators, and it's been called into question a great deal since 9/11," commented Kathleen Aswell, from California. "There is a call to action...it's different from before." She felt that Nevill was a good follow-up to Andrea Mitchell.
Nevill's speech got Allan Jenkins, from Copenhagen, Denmark, thinking about the challenges all communicators face. "What Nevill demonstrated is that we have common values, no matter what country we're in or what industry," he said. "The dangers and opportunities that face us are the same."
After the day's educational sessions, it was off to the exhibit hall for a networking reception. More than 50 exhibitors showed off products and services designed to help communicators solve problems and achieve goals. Soon conference totes were bulging with literature, CDs, samples and ad specialties--stress balls, Legos, LED key chain flashlights and more.
At the "Internet Cafe," sponsored by Root Learning, a bank of computers with high-speed data connections was a popular attraction. Lines were three deep and longer, as conference-goers checked e-mail and online news sources. No time for games of solitaire solitaire or patience, any card game that can be played by one person. Solitaire is the American name; in England it is known as patience. There are probably more kinds of solitaire than all other card games together. here!
Wednesday's top attraction was conference programming built around some of the highest-rated speakers from the past five years. Twelve "All-Star Sessions" featuring presenters such as Les Potter, ABC, Don Ranly, Ph.D., Shel Holtz, ABC, and Jerry Tarver, Ph.D., captivated cap·ti·vate
tr.v. cap·ti·vat·ed, cap·ti·vat·ing, cap·ti·vates
1. To attract and hold by charm, beauty, or excellence. See Synonyms at charm.
2. Archaic To capture. audiences, as always.
Noon brought a chance to look ahead to next year's conference in Toronto, June 8-11. Remarks from the engaging Patrick Gossage, former press secretary for Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, highlighted this special luncheon, which also featured members of the Toronto IABC chapter, who got conference-goers thinking ahead by sharing time- and money-saving tips for visiting their city.
With the troops rallied and armed with information and new relationships to take back to the work front, IABC bid farewell to convention-goers until next year.
RELATED ARTICLE: SESSION HIGHLIGHTS
Conference "tracks" this year helped attenders focus their education and plan their choices. Each session bore one of six category labels: employee communication, skills development, strategy and counsel, public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most , technology, or reputation and branding.
* Consultant Audrey Nelson, Ph.D., Boulder, Colo., presented "Victors with victims: conflict management in the work place," an animated session in which her audience was seen throwing paper wads at each other across the room. "MY mantra is 'hard on the issue, soft on the person,'" Nelson coached. "Separate ego from the issue--help the other person save face, keep dignity intact. You can tell someone to go to hell, and they'll thank you for it if you present it right. It's amazing what this can do," she said, pointing to a smile on her face.
* There was standing room only in "The four things you absolutely, positively have to know about business to be a competent communicator," led by J. David Pincus, Ph.D., APR, from the University of Arkansas The University of Arkansas strives to be known as a "nationally competitive, student-centered research university serving Arkansas and the world." The school recently completed its "Campaign for the 21st Century," in which the university raised more than $1 billion for the school, used . Only four? Well, the four turned out to be four categories containing close to 50 subjects--tough to cover in a 75-minute session. "IABC is the only communication organization that has the word 'business' in the title," Pincus said. "Knowing business terms and concepts is vital, but you need acumen beyond the jargon." Like it's time to enroll in an MBA MBA
Master of Business Administration
Noun 1. MBA - a master's degree in business
Master in Business, Master in Business Administration program.
* In "Cultural change at the BBC-internal communication's role," conference-goers learned how creativity and risk-taking combined to crate an employee culture shift. Russell Grossman, head of internal communication at the BBC BBC
in full British Broadcasting Corp.
Publicly financed broadcasting system in Britain. A private company at its founding in 1922, it was replaced by a public corporation under royal charter in 1927. in London, U.K., described his company's "Just imagine!" campaign, which posed the question "How can we become the most creative organisation in the world?" Spread out across a number of months were "Dream and Design" sessions, each providing up to 50 employees with an opportunity to brainstorm on quick-fix improvement ideas for the company. With this shot-in-the arm approach, employees were encouraged t take risks. "Some ideas may not work," they were told. "So what? It's OK to fail." Wow, that's some culture shift.
* "Price, quality and innovation are barely, competitive advantages anymore," noted Kevin Thomason, ABC, FCIM FCIM Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing
FCIM Flexible Computer Integrated Manufacturing
FCIM Florida College of Integrative Medicine (Orlando, FL)
FCIM Florida Center for Interactive Media , president of MCA MCA
in full Music Corporation of America
Entertainment conglomerate. It was founded in Chicago in 1924 by Jules Stein as a talent agency. In the 1960s it bought Decca Records and Universal Pictures, and today it produces films, music, and television shows. Communicates Ltd., London, U.K., in his session, "Creative solutions for reputation and brand building." So what do we sell? "The personality of the company and its employees," Thomson suggested. "Marketing departments are more and more interested in what's going on What's Going On is a record by American soul singer Marvin Gaye. Released on May 21, 1971 (see 1971 in music), What's Going On reflected the beginning of a new trend in soul music. internally, the company culture and history. The brand is the people." This is a fundamental shift in corporate thinking--enhancing the company brand from within.
Thomson suggested that companies invest at least British [pounds sterling]100 (about US$150) per employee in branding education programs every one to two years. So what's the return on investment? In one case study, he noted, the company got its money back within three months. "Never use the 'C' word (communication) with executives," Thomson said. "Business people want business strategy, business results."
* Sometimes in the conference menu of detailed strategies, sophisticated theories, expensive research and elaborate communication programs, one finds a "Why didn't I think of that?" course of plain vanilla Refers to the bare minimum of functions that are known to be available in an application or system. Contrast with bells and whistles. common sense. Such was Dottie B. Gandy's, Allen, Texas, session, "First praise, then profit." Author of 30 Days to a Happy Employee, Gandy told her audience to exercise their "acknowledgment muscles" and pay attention to being positive with employees. Her simple process results in soaring productivity and morale, she claims. In a nutshell, the idea is to sit down with someone every day for 30 days and appreciate that person aloud with a few minutes of praise about his or her contribution, work habits, fine qualities, etc. That's it (well, not exactly, but you can't beat the results for the cost). Note: The approach works with spouses, children and friends, too.
* In Wednesday's All-Star Session, "Integrating your communication messages for maximum power," presenter Jerry Stevenson of Stevenson Consulting, Dallas, Texas, detailed the advantages and disadvantages of print and electronic communication and discussed ways to integrate these media. Despite the growing popularity of e-mail and the Internet, paper is still valuable and popular. In fact, Stevenson told his audience, the amount of paper used in business has tripled since 1980. Of course e-mail has immediacy, but print is a better medium for depth of information and complex relationships among stories, charts, timelines and other material. As in many aspects of life, the right tool for the right job applies here.
If you couldn't pry yourself away from work to attend the conference, you can still hear most of the sessions on audiotape au·di·o·tape
1. A relatively narrow magnetic tape used to record sound for subsequent playback.
2. A tape recording of sound.
tr.v. . The All-Star Sessions are available for your listening pleasure on CD, too. For details, go to www.conventioncassettes.com/iabc or call 800-776-5454, or outside the U.S. +1760-773-4498.
Trish Lester is president of Signature Communications, a public relations and marketing firm in Santa Clarita, Calif. A 25-year member of ABC, she serves as deputy director of finance and administration on the board of ABC U.S. District 6. She can be reached at Trish@SignatureCommunications.net.