IABC-LA members enjoyed a winning season as chapter participants celebrated with Guest Speaker, Former White House Assistant Press Secretary, Reed Dickens. The event bases were loaded with a fun stadium tour, a mouth-watering southern Backyard Barbeque, a state-of-the-chapter address by outgoing IABC-LA President Jamie Lipson, presentation of awards, and finally, an introduction of new 2009-2010 L.A. chapter Board Members.
Guest Speaker Reed Dickens shared stories that not only illustrated best practices for effective communications while he was in The West Wing, but also how he applies his communications skills to Fortune 500 CEOs, celebrity athletes, and entertainers through his communications strategy firm, Outside Eyes www.outsideeyes.com. Early on, Reed claimed he knew nothing about politics and was way over his head while taking his third airplane flight of his life in AirForce One, yet evolved and grew through his formative assistant press secretary experiences. Now Reed and his team are much sought after for crisis management situations, which he not only claims are all the same as far as human emotion and flaws in each crisis, but how participants react and make the same mistakes within the first 48 hours.
Dicken’s strategies involve two key elements to turn a devastating situation around quickly: transparency and speed. He recommends emphatically not letting lawyers answer questions in the media for a devastated or embarrassed client. Leave the “no surprises” strategies to the professionals…communications strategists. Yes! Dickens states, “…because everyone will eventually find out everything.” Reed also emphasized you don’t have to have a major media event to apply best practices in crisis management…a senior level executive being dismissed at your company can be strategized in the same way. Finally, Dickens presented a tool of asking whether or not a client’s issue is a perception problem or a reality problem? Sometimes the reality of a situation is the reality, and it can’t be hidden under the guise of perception no matter what the client requests.
A behind-the-scenes tour of Dodger Stadium included a walk through the famous and exclusive DugOut Club featuring outstanding memorabilia. And talk about a “backyard”! Members enjoyed sitting in the Dodger dugout and touching, not stepping on the famous groomed grass field. We learned it’s no accident the opposing team’s dugout is facing the bright western sun during games!
Michael Ambrozewicz presented The SUCCESS Award to superior communicator Linda Livingstone, Ph.D., Dean and Professor of Management, Graziadio School of Business and Management. Dr. Livingstone accepted her award with great insight about best practices which included truly listening to people around you and in your organization to avoid mistakes. Jamie Lipson presented the “SUNSHINE” award to our chapter’s enthusiastic Website Chair, Danielle Scott. And finally, we welcomed incoming IABC-LA President ’09-‘10, Christine Ly, who introduced our new Board of Directors for the upcoming year and made closing remarks.
DodgerTown got to experience it’s best practices by IABC-LA! Go, team!