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Listening to the membership.

ABC'S executive board did a lot of listening to the membership in 1991. What we learned shaped our activity for the year.

In response to our formal research, we set goals to: improve the flow of information about issues and trends affecting the profession; assist members in job transition; incrcease the association's financial reserve position; strengthen the chapter system and improve service delivery; develop and execute an enhanced membership recruitment campaign; and develop a business plan for improved service and growth outside the U.S. and Canada.

Membership held steady during 1991with a total of 11,533 members. We wanted more new members, but holding steady is acceptable considering the depressed worldwide economy.

Financially, IABC is stronger than ever. We finished the year with a "profit" of 140,000* and continued improvements in the financial management process.

Based on research, IABC established nine new or improved programs, products or services for members:

*Strategic Interest Groups meet member needs for low-cost, targeted information that helps them stay ahead of emerging trends and issues. There are 13 Strategic Interest Groups that group members by industry or discipline.

*PeopleFinders is an electronic database with specific information on IABC members to help improve networking by connecting members with others who share information about specific needs.

*VendorFinders is an electronic database that helps connect members with the right vendor. Vendors pay to be listed.

*Career Services provides a free handbook to currently unemployed members, a handbook for those members concerned about the possible loss of their jobs and a self-assessment test for those considering self-employment.

*The IABC/NEXIS Member Program provides specific information as well as information on trends and issues. NEXIS offers instant access through members' personal computers to a worldwide network of more than 750 newspapers, newswires, periodicals, trade journals and country reports. Members receive a discount on the monthly subscription fee, and a customized version of NEXIS Turbo software to help speed and simplify database searches.

*NEXIS searches through Communication Bank, the same service as above, except for members who don't wish to be a regular NEXIS subscriber. Communication Bank conducts members' searches for a fee.

*Gold Quill Work Plans, formerly known as "No Secrets," give members just those work plans they want by topic, audience and industry.

*Gold Quill Awards Program, now easier and faster to enter, is available in French, Spanish and English versions.

*International conference includes an extra half-day of programming, the Foundation opening keynote session and breakout sessions for the new Strategic Interest Groups--all for less than the price of attending all these segments last year.

IABC made significant progress in 1991 in developing a long-range business plan for service and growth outside Canada and the U.S.

Study teams considered a variety of scenarios IABC might Pursue to grow internationally and how each would benefit IABC members. From study team reports, the executive board chose the most feasible elements of each scenario for further research.

A project team now is developing a time line, identifying research needs and designing a process to move the international development effort forward. The process will be long-term, gradual and evolutionary.

With 1991's momentum, IABC clearly is the preeminent professional associatic)n for communicators.
COPYRIGHT 1992 International Association of Business Communicators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:IABC 1991 Annual Report; International Association of Business Communicators
Author:Potter, Les
Publication:Communication World
Date:May 1, 1992
Previous Article:Tune in to your leading linguistic indicators.
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