IABC Los Angeles state of the chapter

President’s message, July 2014

I’d like to welcome everyone to our IABC Los Angeles 2014-2015 board year. I’m filled with excitement at both the opportunities and challenges our organization faces. But before I get ahead of myself, I really must thank our previous board members. Their support and dedication brought our membership together for some amazing events and great networking opportunities. Thank You!

Meet your new IABC Los Angeles board

  • Mike Spasoff, President
  • Nicole Maury, Past President
  • Gerhard Runken, VP, Membership (through Sept)
  • Dustin Alipour, VP, Events
  • Open Positions
    • VP, Membership (Sept. 2014 – June 2015)
    • VP, Finance
    • VP, Communications
    • VP, Social Media
    • Event and Membership Volunteers

Meeting the challenge

These are challenging times, both for our organization as well as our chapter. Professional organizations as a whole are struggling, and IABC is no different. For those of you who attended World Conference, or follow the discussions on LinkedIn the challenges at the international level are clear – as is the work being done to chart a path forward. In this message, however, I’d like to focus on the specific challenges faced by our chapter, as well as my plans to address them.

Volunteers needed!

Our chapter is an all-volunteer organization. Every chapter-run activity happens because someone steps up to make it happen. Because we are a volunteer-run organization, resources have always been in short supply. In the past, board volunteers have supplemented open volunteer roles and event schedules have been reduced as needed. This year is different. We have four unfilled board positions and many vacant volunteer opportunities. Put simply, we have just enough board members to cover the minimum commitments required to be a chapter within IABC.

One way forward would be to continue on our current path and simply ask our smaller board to do even more to maintain the status-quo – hoping that we could eventually fill the positions and return to normal. I think this is short-sighted though, and ultimately will only make the problem worse.

A sustainable plan

Given our lack of resources, our approach will be to significantly reduce or restructure our chapter activities and focus existing board resources on the long-term health of our chapter. Specifically, we will devote our major efforts to filling our open board and volunteer positions and developing a repeatable process for sustaining volunteerism within our chapter.

Below you will find a chart describing a new “lite-mode” operating model for our chapter. The reductions and changes are targeted to maintain what we feel is important in each of these areas while making time for the long-term improvements the board must undertake.

Previous operations Lite-mode
Financial reporting(a fixed requirement from international)
  • Monthly financial review and budgeting
  • Annual tax preparation and reporting
No change
Board meetings
  • Monthly online meetings
  • Two annual in-person meetings
  • As-needed in-person meetings before or after events
All online meetings
Member newsletter Monthly newsletter containing a feature article and relevant links A monthly president’s message
Membership renewal messages Personal phone call from the VP of Membership A personal email from a board member
Membership anniversary messages Personal phone call from the VP of Membership
  • A personal email from a board member
  • Recognition within our social media channels
Events
  • Monthly in-person events, alternating between panel discussions and networking
  • Annual keynote
  • Annual holiday party
  • Promotion of international and regional online events
  • Promotion of international and regional online events
  • Monthly Google hangouts to discuss “lessons learned”
  • In-person events, only if a volunteer from the chapter is willing to lead the event. The chapter will cover standard costs.
Social Media
  • Promotion of chapter events
  • Promotion of international and regional online events
  • Sharing content produced by the chapter
  • Topics of interest to or about Communicators
  • Promotion of international and regional online events
  • Sharing content produced by the chapter
  • Topics of interest to or about Communicators
  • Membership anniversary messages

 

What hasn’t changed

IABC International is undergoing a transformation and you can see the signs of this change in the newly improved Communication World as well as the newly formed IABC Academy. These changes may bring uncertainty but through it all IABC is still the premier organization for business communicators, and IABC Los Angeles continues to be a group of diverse storytellers doing incredible work for remarkable organizations. Your board is still dedicated to serving the membership of our chapter, and we sincerely believe that the changes I’ve outlined above will sustain us and build an even stronger chapter in the long term. We are, and will always be, your board – accountable to you and eager to hear your feedback.

If you want to take part in transforming our organization, or suggest a different solution, please reach out to me or other board members. My contact information, along with the rest of our board, is available on our website.

 

Vital Stats for July 2014

Membership1 new members
5 renewals this month
124 total members
Volunteers
3 current volunteers
(all board members)6 open volunteer positions
Participation19 people joined us at our last event
IABC Los Angeles is a group of diverse storytellers. We are the Los Angeles chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators – a group with 14,000 members from all around the world that join the 124 members from Los Angeles with an interest in the business of Communications.Stay up-to-date with IABC-Los Angeles
Subscribe to our newsletter | Follow us on Twitter | Like us on Facebook

We want to hear from you!

FeedbackEventWe recently held a Feedback meetup at the Library Bar in downtown Los Angeles. IABC members and other interested parties joined board members to socialize, share their thoughts and ask questions about our chapter.

The feedback and discussion was wonderful and will greatly help your board plan upcoming events throughout 2014.

 

If you missed the event though, don’t worry, there’s still a way to share your feedback! We’ve created a survey monkey that will allow you all to give us your feedback. Click the link below and let us know what you think!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/IABCLA2014b

Event wrap-up: Multigenerational Workplace Communications panel

On Tuesday, November 12th, IABC Los Angeles partnered with AMA Los Angeles to host a  multigenerational workplace communications panel.

Moderated by IABC LA’s VP of student relations, Kyle Kearney; the panel included Stefan Pollack, author, “Disrupted: From Gen Y to IGen” , Sean McGill, Sales Director: Ustream , Craig Rosenkranz, Public Policy advisor & millennial trend guru Katelyn O’Shaughnessy, founder of mobile trip app “Tripscope.

KYLE Panel Smaller pix size

“For the first time in history, workplace demographics span 4 generations, meaning 20 year old new hires find themselves working side by side with colleagues 50 years older.” – Trinet HR service.

As work paradigms shift, a communications gap may emerge between generations. Our panelists discussed millennial work ethics, economic challenges and communications trends across baby boomers, Gen X & Gen Y; referred to as “millennials.”

Millennial travel expert & CEO/founder Katelyn O’Shaughnessy described the employment landscape as “entrepreneurial.”

Having exhausted traditional employment hunting tactics, O’Shaughnessy cut her own path, creating demand for positions that weren’t officially open. The approach eventually worked. O’Shaughnessy also launched a travel app, Tripscope  ,for which she recently won Social Media Week’s $100k StartUp demo competition.

“If circumstances don’t exist, you need to create them,” said O’Shaughnessy.

Online video guru Ustream Sales Director Sean McGill agreed with O’Shaughnessy, likening today’s millennial work approach to the 2000/2001 dot com bubble.

The Pollack PR Marketing Group President and author IGen, Stefan Pollack pointing out that Millennials may be quick to skip jobs for a salary bump. O’Shaughnessy disagreed, citing college debt loads and a tight job market.

The panel discussed workplace nuances such as professional clothing attire, office vs. home work hours and corporate hierarchy. O’Shaughnessy said she might be 30 minutes late, but stays 2 hours after work.

Regardless of whether you’re a Boomer or Gen X, Pollack said their employees are expected to pull their weight equally.

“Can millennials be drivers, or do they need to be pulled along?” Live tweeted IABC guest Richard Romero.

Pollack and O’Shaughnessy disagreed about Boomers texting and emailing clients at 1am if necessary. Pollack made it clear that iGen doesn’t have a lock on this 24/7 practice.

Former public policy advisor Craig Rosenkranz described Government millennial work life as a different ball game. Positioning towards his UCLA Anderson School marketing MBA, Rosenkranz looks forward to the private sector’s opportunities & challenges.

On Goverment workers’ multigenerational standards, a couple audience members spoke up, describing baby boomer culture vs. Gen X and Gen Y expectations.

The panel agreed with Pollack’s observation, outlined in his book, IGen; Disrupted, that marketers and employers need to gain millennials’ trust by listening.

For more event details, follow IABC Los Angeles on facebook and Twitter.

Special thanks, IABCLA volunteers, panelists, board of directors, AMA Los Angeles & Chipotle Burritos.

 

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March webinar: Glowing Your Business


It’s not a typo. It’s an intentional use of a word to describe the effect on businesses that take advantage of creating partnerships with non-profit companies.

If you want to increase your organization’s communications and public relations effectiveness, impact all your stakeholders and introduce proactive thinking to your C-level, you are highly encouraged to attend this webinar. Presented by Bruce Burtch, one of the nation’s leading experts in the field of cross-sector partnerships and cause marketing, this webinar will show you how to

  • introduce the concept of embedding a “cause consciousness” into your organizational culture;
  • explore how cross-sector partnerships will provide significant economic and social benefit for all your stakeholders while creating a greater good for society;
  • leverage and enhance your existing corporate social responsibility, public relations and community relations programs to new levels of success; and
  • understand how to measure the return on investment from cross-sector partnerships and present a strong economic argument to your organization’s leadership for participation.

The webinar will be held twice – 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. PST – on March 28. Find out more details and register!

 

Use research to make your case to senior leaders

CEOs and other executives might understand that communication is important, but they may not see what impact it is has on the business, or the value of their own communication efforts.

In CW Radio episode #26, author Alison Davis talks about how to use five kinds of research to make the case to executives about the value of communication, and how their own role in communicating with employees can make a difference.

Coming in May: The Improv Trick!

What’s the key to teamwork, communication and creative problem solving?

Learn the trick used by every professional actor and comedy whiz. In this two-hour workshop, you’ll learn “The Improv Trick,” from Bill Chott. Bill’s interactive seminar will get you on your feet and practicing exercises that you can use to build your confidence as a public speaker, facilitate icebreakers and get a team in gear.

Bill Chott is known for his work with Selena Gomez as Mr. Laritate on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place, and he also voices cartoons on Saturday Night Live. He appeared on screen with Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary and was one of the stars of the Top 10 film The Ringer. In 2012, Bill won the INNY Award for Best Improv Coach and was awarded the 2010 Mastermind Award from St. Louis’ RFT Magazine. His improv troupe The Sauce was recently on the cover of the arts section of Pasadena Weekly.

You can learn a bit more about “The Trick” on Jon Grayson’s show Overnight America on CBS radio.

Watch the IABC Los Angeles website for more details!

Pinterest Unleashed! Friday, March 22

Pinterest Unleashed – Coaxing Consumers to Your Brand and Business With the Best Social Media Mix

Friday, March 22, 2013

Invest just 60 minutes and this webinar could change your thinking about communications!

The social media ecosystem is ever changing. As communicators, we’re asked to keep pace with the social tools in the marketplace to better understand which ones are relevant.

Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site ever. Join Alex Littlewood, head of Customer Success at Pinfluencer, as he sorts out and provides a strategic view of each social media opportunity. Alex is as seasoned as it gets in the social sphere. He has spent more than a decade with Silicon Valley companies leading strategy during the social revolution. He’ll guide participants through what’s happening with Pinterest and its ability to drive consumer buying behavior.

View the event summary and register for this informative event. Tune in to plan your best social media campaigns in 2013.

Build a social business by empowering employees on social media

With more emphasis being placed on the role of social media both inside and outside an organization, companies of all sizes throughout the world are learning the necessity of teaching their employees how to use this communication channel.

In this recent CW Bulletin article, “Build a Social Business by Empowering Employees on Social Media,” author Laura Nicholas lays out a five-step framework for the best way to get started.

New IABC Pacific Plains Region website

IABC’s Pacific Plains Region (of which our Los Angeles chapter is a part) has launched a new website. It provides regional news at a glance, provide links to both chapter and regional events, combines the regions Facebook and Twitter feeds in one place and highlights activities from the various chapters.

Take a look at the new Pacific Plains Region website at http://ppr.iabc.com.