The Care and Feeding of Your Network

IABC/LA Invites You to the Event:

The Care and Feeding of Your Network

Building Your Circle of Trusted Resources

(This event is free for IABC members)

Will 2012 be the year you strengthen your professional connections? IABC Los Angeles invites you to an evening of hands-on practical tips to build your “circle of trust” so it’s there when you need it.

Maybe you have hundreds of LinkedIn connections, but can’t remember the last time you had a meaningful connection within the network. Do you have contacts you can turn to for a job, a vendor, a best practice, a referral, a template or even a communications shoulder to cry on?


Helpful tips you’ll learn in a 60-minute interactive session:

1.  Breaking the Ice … or is it a glacier? Big ideas on small talk. How to connect with someone instantly, be memorable, transition to a business need

2.  Your Elevator Pitch. What is it? What should it include? Successful examples

3.  Matchmaker, Matchmaker Connecting others to demonstrate your value

4.  The Art of Follow-Up This differentiates you from 75% of most people. It’s simple, but few ever do it. It can make a world of difference.


Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Time:  6:00 PM – 8:00 PM*

Location: Il Fornaio Restaurant 

              1800 Rosecrans Ave                                                                                                

              Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

 Cost: Free to any current IABC member from any Chapter

         $20.00 for non-members

         $10.00 for students with valid ID

Appetizers and one drink included for all attendees

RSVP: February 20, 2012

To Register: Click here

Parking: Free parking in adjacent lotBring your business cards and a friend and join other communications professionals at the authentic Italian, Il Fornaio, Manhattan Beach location. Less than 5 minutes from the 405!

6:00 – 6:30 Open Networking

6:30 – 7:30 Four Helpful Tips -Interactive session

7:30 – 8:00 Open Networking – Practice what you learned

8:00 onwards – IABC After Dark

Communicating Complex Change: Health Care Reform

Are you overwhelmed by details of health care reform?

How do you communicate complex change to your audiences?

IABC Los Angeles invites you to hear communications experts discuss the basics of health care reform and how to communicate it to various constituencies.

This two-hour seminar allows diverse stakeholders to share their communications strategies about the ground-breaking legislation. Speakers will address health care messages targeted to the general public, physicians, under-served communities and others.

Panelists represent organizations serving local and national audiences:

Date: March 21, 2012    

Time: 5:30 – 8:00P
5:30 – 6:00P    Buffet and Networking
6:00 – 8:00P   Panel Session – Q&A
8:00P                IABC “After Dark”

L.A. Care Health Plan   

1055 W. 7th Street
10th Floor Conference Room 1017
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Parking is available for $5 per entry across the street from L.A. Care Health Plan.

Register on Eventbrite:

IABC Proudly Welcomes L.A. Care Health Plan

Official Event Sponsor

L.A. Care Health Plan logo

“As the nation’s largest public health plan, we are dedicated to helping Los Angeles County residents obtain health care for their families from doctors and other health care providers who understand and respect them.”

IABC “After Dark” is a post-event networking opportunity. Details coming soon.

For event inquiries, email

Visit IABC Los Angeles and IABC International

Event Committee: Cheryl Farrell, Cheryl Farrell Communications; Paromita Ghosh, L.A. Care Health Plan; Adam Kevorkian, Kaiser Permanente; T.J. Stevko, Cimone Farrell

11/17/11 – Shel Holtz Presented “Maximum Awareness, Minimal Effort” at Avery Dennison

IABC-LA presented “Maximum Awareness, Minimal Effort” by Shel Holtz on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at the Avery Dennison headquarters in Pasadena.  Holtz is an expert in communications, social media and technology and was superbly engaging in sharing “What’s the least we need to stay in touch, remain marketable and keep up-to-date?” And who has the time to use all these tools?

Holtz of Holtz Communications+Technology, is also known for his outstanding “For Immediate Release” (FIR) podcasts on business communications and tech with co-host with Neville Hobson.  He is a former IABC-LA chaper president and his expertise covers employee communications, corporate PR, crisis comms, media relations, financial comms, IR, marketing comms and compensation and benefits communications.

Shel addressed over 20 IABC-LA members over a buffet dinner at Avery Dennison’s cool 1960’s-style headquarters (the welcoming Koi pond was incredible!).  Christopher Swan of Avery Dennison assisted with providing the venue and an outstanding professional development evening.  The evening kicked off with member introductions and Paula introducing Holtz. We were just delighted to have Shel address the chapter…knowing full well of his intense global and domestic schedule.

Shel led everyone through various social media channels with an emphasis on matching the right tool with what the user is trying to accomplish with an audience.  Going beyond the standard FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn tools, Holtz illuminated outstanding resources such as Delicious, Paper.Li, ScoopIt, Mashable, Marketing Over Coffee and Storify.  And audio podcasts like Marketing Over Coffee and FIR allow you to multi-task and take a break from a screen. While you do not need to become an expert in all of these tools, it is very important to understand how content curation is integral to creating a filter for information overload.  (Look for the chapter to start using Storify…this was one of my favorite tools presented besides Marketing Over Coffee…and of course, FIR!)

Content curation was one of the big takeaways of the event and how trusted guides in content curation have evolved in media. Yet Shel spoke about the absolute necessity of context with content curation. Just like an art curator, it’s not enough to add pictures and artwork to a collection, there must be a context of what and why content is being added to a social media or media platform.  Shel supports the notion there’s no such thing as information overload, yet there is a serious problem with organizations and sometimes communicators not using enough filters to mine information.

Shel discussed two emerging career positions: community liaison and content strategist.  Within the community liaison role, someone has to have eyes and ears on the community surrounding an organization to achieve true community engagement.  A content strategist supports Shel’s concept that these days every company is a media company, whether the company chooses to be or not.  The difference between a content strategist and a traditional PR strategist is the content strategist focuses on content that is not pitched, yet still engages.  No corporate agenda pushing!

Interesting tidbits…Tumblr blogging tool has surpassed WordPress now. And GooglePlus is just terrific for getting answers to questions very quickly.  Christopher Swan pointed out…getting answers to Google Plus in general!  Christopher is part of the experienced trendy tool intelligentsia…with his “voice of reason” behind it all.  (Listen to Christopher on the video wrap-up of the event.)

On the subject of blocking employees from using social media on the job, the idea that just Millenials use social media is statistically wrong.  Age group 35-55 within companies using social media has created a flat statistic from even a few years ago.  It is crucial that employees have access to social media as studies have shown increased productivity.  88% of employees check social networks as a break between tasks, resetting concentration to do more work, not less work!

The evening wrapped up with a Whole Foods gift card to Shel for coming out to the chapter after a presentation same day to the IABC-USC Student Chapter.  Chapter President Paula Cassin also welcomed past chapter presidents who each told a funny or philanthropic anecdote while they were in office.

The conversation continued with Shel and well attended “After Dark” post-event socializing at “Bar Celona” for empanadas, Sangria, coffee, and connected conversations.  Shel pointed out how the face-to-face “After Dark” events are as important to communicators and the chapter as keeping up with contacts through social media connections. We appreciated Shel’s sentiments that IABC in general has a warm tone throughout its membership base.

Tremendous thanks to Shel Holtz, Christopher Swan, Avery Dennison, Christopher Cabrera who played escort to Holtz navigating Los Angeles chapter events and logistics while also moderating the evening’s event, and Dana Edler and Cheryl Farrell in welcoming/checking-in welcoming members. Special thanks to Adam Kevorkian, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes on important meeting logistics (like food!) We couldn’t have done it without him.








Murder Mystery Luncheon

We brought back by popular demand, a murder mystery luncheon.

What’s this? I just found out that one of our members is going to be ‘knocked off’ at our Holiday Party…

A secret source told me that he’s working The Dinner Detective actors, and not only will we have a fun ‘whodunit’ to solve, but corporate communications and IABC- LA Chapter shenanigans will come into play.

The Board has put in a lot of work to create an event that will be great for networking, great for your appetite and great for the spirit (lots of laughs and camaraderie).

Please join us if you can.


We’ve kept the price low (below cost, as we’re supplementing with Chapter funds and sponsorships), so it’s an excellent opportunity to experience a murder mystery for very little cost. We encourage you to bring family or friends along!

 Event Cost and registration:

Here are details:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Culver’s Club at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

6161 West Centinela Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230


Networking Reception: 1:00 – 1:30PM
The “Murders” Begin: 1:30 – 3:00PM

Quality Time for PR Minds 2011


Calling all PR professionals who want to give back!

If you have at least two years of public relations experience and are interested in donating your time and creativity to some very worthy nonprofits, then join PRSA-LA for “Quality Time with PR Minds

On Saturday, October 29, from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, at RAND Corporation in Santa Monica.

Quality Time is your opportunity to make a significant contribution in just one day by helping to inspire, encourage and empower local nonprofits to tackle their most challenging communications issues.

For more information, please visit and click on “Quality Time with PR Minds




October 12th – Social Media CRASH Course and Workshop

On October 12, 2011, IABC-LA members attended “Social Media CRASH Course and Workshop” hosted by Belkin at corporate headquarters in Playa del Rey.  Christopher Keough, Corporate Communications Manager at Belkin hosted members to a case study discussion of in-depth social media platforms. Meanwhile, Julie Fornaro, the chapter’s social media chair, masterminded a scavenger hunt workshop equipped with learning-as-you-go clues and “sweat-producing” tasks divided amongst team challenges.  Myra Jolivet, chapter communications chair volunteer, moderated the overall discussion.

Keough introduced Lee Drasin, Belkin’s new Director, Interactive Marketing and Leah Polk, Senior Global Public Relations Manager.  Drasin came to Belkin from Petrol Advertising and shared an example of using FaceBook and email as a platform for an interactive social game named “Battlemail”.  Drasin’s example proved to be an exciting concept for the receptive client, however, as time wore on, so did the client’s concern about strategy, presentation and the approved 100k budget to create awareness for a movie entitled “The Crazies” tied into the social media platform.

How did a social media incident end up crashing Leah Polk discussed a case study in which a recent incident involving a “30 routers in 30 days” campaign turned into a worldwide 50 percent of sale that lead to a learning experience of learning experiences in social media usage and strategy.  Polk also mentioned creative social media strategies such as Belkin’s “make over your dorm room” prizes. There was much discussion about whether communicators will become Google-Plus supporters, comparisons with FaceBook’s capabilities, and how Klout can be an effective tool regarding scoring social media’s effectiveness.

Armed with laptops, cell phone apps for the social media scavenger hunt and a truly engaged attitude, participants included: Christie Ly, Chris Cabrera, Cheryl Farrell, Charlotte Lassos, Jevon Ooi, Divya Chandran, Kris Kraves, Roxanne Truesdell, Dawn Pace, Beth Martin, Ann Giblin, Deshauna Brown, Stacy Noble, Julie Pine, Mark Dernheim, Hillary West. All “got game” in Julie Fornaro’s fun twists, turns and team challenges during the social media scavenger hunt.

IABC-LA Chapter President, Paula Cassin, ended the evening with invites to upcoming not-to-be-missed events including Shel Holtz and the laugh-a-minute Murder Mystery Holiday luncheon in December.

Finally, Paula thanked Belkin by offering an honorarium from the chapter to a charity of Belkin’s choice for outstanding hosting and speaker participation.  We so appreciated the evening!




Social Media Crash Course & Workshop – October 12th, South Bay

Social Media Crash Course & Workshop…(a Working Dinner)
& IABC-LA “After Dark”

Bring your laptops, iPads, mobile device of choice and tech-stories to IABC- LA’s Social Media Crash Course & Workshop. Whether you’re a “Techx-pert” or a “Tech-newbie,” there‘s something for everyone! Dinner will be served!

Join us for a unique experience using social media for strategic communications: internal, external, crisis and more. We’ll tackle technology such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ for your communications goals. You will hear case studies and please bring your own!

Power up at 6:30 PM
Power down at 8:30PM

Belkin  Café @ Belkin Corporation
12045 E. Waterfront Drive
Playa Vista, CA 90094

And after the crash course, you’ll need a rush, so get permission to stay up late (c’mon, it’s not that late) and attend IABC-LA “After Dark,” our after-hours portion of the evening. For those continuing the fun, we’ll meet at Rush Street, a Chicago-themed joint with great beverages and desserts.  So, don’t be shy, be “Chi” and join us!

Click here to register

IABC-LA Nose Wine Cellar Networking Event 9-21-11

IABC-LA Nose Wine Cellar Networking Event 9-21-11

IABC-LA Chapter kicked off the beginning of the networking season with a warm toast of conversation, and networking at Nose Wine Cellar Networking Event in Pasadena on Wednesday, Chapter President, Paula Cassin welcomed members and very special guest, Adrian Cropley, IABC Chair in from Australia! Members were surrounded by brick “cellar” walls and stocked wine shelves, and enjoyed especially warm and lively conversation, deep red wine “legs” while sipping glasses from premium vineyards, bruschetta and cheeses, all while continuing that signature friendly-chapter atmosphere that is IABC-LA.  Cimone Farrell, volunteer event coordinator did a lovely job of putting the event together at Nose.

Paula Cassin welcomed everyone to a new networking event year, and noted the chapter’s collegial engine really does run on the steam of its volunteers.  New Zealander Paula and all of us were delighted to welcome affable international colleague, Adrian Cropley, who addressed the crowd with a few words on this year’s three-point focus of career, content and more value regarding IABC membership.  Adrian is the Principal for Cropley Communications in Melbourne.

Chris Cabrera invited members to “stay out a little later on a school night” for the After Dark after-event portion of the evening…which will continue throughout events this year so participants can connect a bit more over lattes.  Susan San Martin, our chapter career development volunteer and Christopher Swan enjoyed some chat time with Adrian.  Bill Spaniel welcomed members to assist in the process of judging the writing category for the Gold Quill Awards in January.  Paromita Ghosh and Rebecca Mikkelsen continue to bring their fresh energy to events, while Cheryl Farrell hit “the big time” recently in a professional video for diabetes including dozens of singing kids. Members attending or on the guest list included Greg Cash, Kerry Bonner, Shannon King,  Julie Lowe, Sandy Smith, Jessica Santana, and Jane Stenehjem and Dyanne Weiss.  And UCLA grad student Aubrey Kelly stated on Flip camera that this event helped her make up her mind to join the chapter as well as volunteer!  And Cimone’s  peer, Courtney is looking to join as well. Delighted to have all of you in attendance!

Our chapter sponsor and volunteer “paparazzi” Ed Carreon kept the flash bulbs going and we look forward to our visages posted on our website.

The chapter makes an effort to create plenty of networking and career development events throughout the year and in locations that give plenty of ease-of-access to members.  We’re off to a terrific start this year under Paula’s second direction with her second term as President.  Existing volunteers and members and our newest faces all toast to career, content and more value!

Shel Holtz, IABC Fellow – “Maximum Awareness, Miminal Effort” – Pasadena, CA

What’s the least we need to do to stay in touch, remain marketable and keep up-to-date?

IABC/LA is delighted to host Shel Holtz, ABC and IABC Fellow, an expert in communications, social media and technology who will answer this question for us. He will discuss how to maintain maximum awareness of the latest trends by focusing on the essentials.  Please join us at Avery Dennison in Pasadena, November 17th after work for dinner, networking, and a discussion with Shel Holtz.
About Shel Holtz, ABC

Shel is principal of Holtz Communication+Technology with expertise in employee communications, corporate public relations, crisis communications, media relations, financial communications, investor relations, marketing communications and compensation and benefits communications. His weekly podcast, For Immediate Release, which he co-hosts with Neville Hobson, provides an insightful assessment of all things related to business communication, social media and technology. Shel is also a former IABC-LA chapter president.

 Register now

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Time:  6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Agenda: Networking, dinner, discussion and Q &A

Avery Dennison Corporation
150 N. Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91103

$20.00 Early-bird member (on or before November 7, 2011) then $25.00
$40.00 Non-member
$15.00 Students with ID

RSVP Deadline: November 14, 2011
Free Parking
After the main event, join us for IABC After Dark, our no-host, informal continuation of the evening’s festivities at an interesting venue nearby. (Details coming soon.)

Register now

Career Development – Calibrating your Role as a Communicator Webinar Free to Members

Calibrating your Role as a Communicator  –  Industry-agnostic perspective on how to guide your career.

Click here for more details on November’s ‘free-to-members’ seminar, presenting our very own Los Angeles member and expert Susan San Martin!

Susan San Martin, CEO of Plan B Communications, executive recruiting firm specializing in communications and marketing functions.

Susan has over 20 years of diversified communications and marketing experience with demonstrated success in addressing diverse internal and external organizational needs across a wide range of industries.   She is a highly-regarded talent acquisition and executive recruiting professional with broad and deep experience in aligning client needs with candidate expertise.  An enthusiastic, results-oriented leader and team member, she believes that two-way, comprehensive communication is the cornerstone for all successful relationships.
Most recently, Susan was a Vice President and Executive Recruiter with The Repovich-Reynolds Group, a retained executive recruiting firm, where she was a senior recruiter for mid- to senior-level communications and marketing searches. A sampling of the clients with whom she has partnered include: DaVita Inc., Dell Inc., Western Union, Inc., Lowe’s Companies, Inc., ProLogis, Cardinal Health, Inc., The Blackstone Group, and Watson Land Company, among many others.