IMC Intuition

Thinking out loud about all things IMC

Posts Tagged ‘IABC

Cogent Change

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CW Three things resonated with me in the current issue of Communications World, Changing Course because I’ve learned from practical experience that how we communicate change has everything to do with successful execution and audience engagement.  Building bridges from emotion to logic (Nicholson), King III Communication management principles in South Africa (deBeer & Rensburg), and internal communication to deliver brand promises (Munslow) are the articles that I bookmarked, no matter how much change you have endured or championed, there is always something new to learn and consider.

Executive Editor Natasha Nicholson states it best[1]:   “Your story, rich with purposeful thinking, unfolds with the potential that this change will bring.  It shows what possibilities lie ahead if an obsolete approach is replaced by fresh ideas and innovative thinking.  So your story forms a bridge from emotion to logic.  It’s only in respecting emotion as we present logic that we can blend these two powerful forces to meet the demands of a new world.”

In “Playing the Rules”, Estelle deBeer and Ronel Rensburgh, PhD describe South Africa’s King Code III which must be observed in principle by companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange:  “Corporate governance is concerned with holding the balance between economic and social goals and between individual and communal goals…the aim is to align as nearly as possible the interests of individuals, corporations and society [Cadbury][2].”  The authors hold up this model of 6 guiding principles as a guide for global adaptation.  In view of the political situation currently in play in the Middle East and the role of social media in the unrest, these principles bear further examination.

An interview Daniel Munslow, Chief Communication Officer at Talk2Us in South Africa was a great read on internal communications, but this quote really resonated with me as an IMC person:  “Ultimately, public relations, marketing and advertising serve as tools to raise awareness and create an expectation in the minds of consumers.  It is the vital role of internal communications, irrespective of where the function sits in the business, to engage employees to deliver the promises of the brand.[3]

Both personally and professionally I have experienced a great deal of change in the past 10 years and learning how to respond and adapt graciously and efficiently is my idea of cogent change – what’s yours?

Communications World is a member benefit of IABC International

[1] Nicholson, Natasha (March-April 2011) from the editor; Change for the better.  Communications World, 28(2), 3.

[2] deBeer, Estelle and Ronel Rensburg, PhD. (March-April 2011) Playing the Rules.  Communications World, 28(2), 32-35.

[3] Munslow, Daniel (March – April 2011) Go from Good to Great.  Communications World, 28(2), 36-39.



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I’m excited to attend this year’s IABC Leader Institute (LI) in Nashville, TN where IABC leaders come together to share best practices and learn how to create programs and services that keep members active and engaged.

I attended my first LI as a new chapter leader in 2004 where I learned a great deal about leadership, not only for IABC, but for my job and community as well. This year, it is my great pleasure to serve the Accreditation Council as Director of Marketing and I will be attending our board meeting and networking with our international  members and staff. 

Which brings me to my topic, why do I belong to IABC?   Resources

 Watch the video 🙂


IABC – International Association of Business Communicators:

IABC Accreditation:

It’s all about the Brand

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Communication World magazine, published by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) published an excellent issue this month entitled, The Global Brand Nexus – well worth the time to review by any type of  organization because the understanding of brand and the model of how effective branding is achieved has changed over that past 10 years and will continue to evolve as we enter into the Web 3.0 era.

 In A whole new world Stephen Cheliotis and Lizzie Carr present a four step process for evaluating global brands:

  • Step 1:  Internal brand audit
  • Step 2:  External brand audit
  • Step 3:  Target consumer group identification
  • Step 4:  Vision and positioning

They present case studies from global brands like McDonalds and Gossard that show how brand audits were successfully used to implement local solutions while maintain the look and feel of the global brands.  In my experience, positioning statements are a frequently  missing, yet crucial link in the process.

Mark Schumann, ABC tells us to make sure your internal brand resonates with employees in his article The ties that bind.  He quotes from James Lynch, VP of Communications for American Express, “A brand is the company’s DNA…it’s that simple and that powerful.  But a company cannot only wear its DNA on its sleeve to its customers and the public.  It must also ensure its DNA is alive and well among its employees.”

Brand used to mean a clever logo and tagline along consistent look and feel of all of the company’s visuals.  Marty Neumeier tells us in his book The Brand Gap that “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization.”  Yes, visuals are important, but it is the company’s employees that deliver the product or service, not the logo.

CW Editor Natasha Nicholson interviewed author Nigel Hollis, author of The Global Brand about the challenges and opportunities associated with global brands.  One of his responses that I know I have found to be true is, “Don’t assume that worked at home will work abroad.”  Read the whole interview:   Thinking locally, thriving globally

I spoke with Natasha this past week and let her know what a great issue this was (it also includes a special Asia/Pacific report primarily on mobile marketing/communications), and she said, “Thanks! it was a very challenging issue to put together!”  No doubt.  It was excellent.

 Links in this post:

 International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) –

Communication World magazine –

 The Brand Gap-

The best time to read this book is before you need it

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I used to work for two executives who would “wing it” with the local press, only to end up being irate because in their view the local media didn’t get it right.  The executives were actually being both honest and forthright, however the subject matter was highly technical and the media, under pressure to fill a blank newspaper every day with timely community news, didn’t have the time nor inclination to do the research, so they winged it as well – with disappointing results.

My first priority when I started working in communications was to establish a relationship with the local press, and provide background information that provided the information and context the local reporters needed to write better stories, also known as PR 101.

Fellow IABC member, Crisis Communications Consultant and Keynote Speaker Gerard Braud recently published a great book, “Don’t Talk To The Media; 29 Secrets You Need To Know Before You Open Your Mouth to a Reporter” where he shares his experience as a news reporter and provides 29 chapters of entertaining and thought provoking advice on media relations.  His book is light and refreshing, and while many of his points are sensible public relations, he provides that extra layer of expertise to take clients and practitioners to the next level of media awareness.

I first met Gerard at the 2009 IABC Heritage Region Conference where he gave his “When It Hits The Fan” Keynote.   He is definitely the guy you need when a crisis occurs, but he’ll be the first to tell you that the best time to craft a plan is when you don’t need it.

The best time to read this book is before you need it.

Read Gerard’s blog at – its good stuff

Work Twitter into your next event

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I got this link from IABC’s CW newsletter; We do this at our IABC events and it’s quite cool — read on…

Written by Beth Ryan

April 7, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Gold Quill BRP Reflections

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The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity here at work as well as working on my capstone project for grad school.  In the midst of it all,  I was honored to be selected to serve on the blue ribbon panel for IABC’s Gold Quill awards.  Unlike many awards in the profession of communications, Gold Quill entrants must pass two levels of judging.

Central to winning a Gold Quill award is submission of a communications plan complete with measurable results — business results.  At the Blue Ribbon Panel level, a team of two judges carefully evaluates each submission and comes to a consensus on the final results.  I had the great privilege of working with Lelde McCoy, Managing Director of the Reputation Group in Australia.

We found that many,  if not most, entrants did not create measurable objectives for their project; those who understood the importance of communications planning created outstanding work, both in the area of creative and content that produced real value for the organizations they serve.  We saw incredible work from all over the world, and learned from each other as well as from the larger group that gathered for meals each day.

What an excellent experience for someone like myself, working solo in a small engineering firm to work with some of the world’s finest professionals and analyze their best work.

It doesn’t get better than that 😉

International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)

IABC Gold Quill Awards:

Written by Beth Ryan

March 29, 2010 at 5:49 pm

We All Work For Our Websites

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Day 2 of the IABC Heritage Region Conference started out with a presentation by Bob DiBiasio, PR chief for the Cleveland Indians.  My initial thought was yea, right, he’s pitching sports entertainment, I’m in  B-to-B industrial…well, after 30+ years in the business, Bob shared a lot of information that was pertinent for any PR practitioner.  He generously shared the key components to their 2010 business plan:

An engaging speaker, he really warmed up the room when he said, “We all work for our websites.”  Isn’t that the truth?   He quipped that PR really means “Planning Right” or “Promoting Relationships.”

I attended an employee communication workshop with David Pitre that was just outstanding.  Here is a small piece of the research he shared with us:  “When we ask employees in surveys and focus groups, ‘What’s the one thing you would change about employee communication?’ they responded:

  • Increase honesty, transparency and clarity
  • Hold more meeting or face-to-face sessions
  • Increase relevance
  • Increase timeliness
  • Streamline communication

 I have many notes to myself to take back to work!

 Gerard Braund entertained us at lunch with his talk, “When Social Media & Crisis Communication Collide:  When ‘it’ hits the fan.”  This was a light hearted journey through a very serious topic.  I had the pleasure of eating with Gerard at the Dine-Around and he shared his journey of developing this system over his past 20 years as a journalist and PR professional.  He has great tools in place that any organization can benefit from.

I was honored to introduce Dan Droz for “Strike Up The B.R.A.N.D.”  Dan is an animated speaker who took us on a journey understanding what great brands are and how they are built.  Here are his 5 attributes of iconic brands:

  •  Backstory
  • Relevance
  • Archetypes
  • Nomenclature
  • Design

 We left with an additional CD, “7 Simple Principles of Marketing Leverage.”  All good stuff as I return to work and begin my 2010 communications plan.

I wrapped up the day with 13 Axioms for Surviving Interesting Times with Dr. Tamara Gillis, where she shared some of her latest research for a new IABC publication.  Stayed tuned for more information.

Like all IABC conferences, you really work from morning until evening and get an enormous amount of ideas for both your workplace and your career.  Where else can you get professional development in all areas of corporate communications in one day?

Looking forward to Day 3. 

Heritage Region Conference website,