Join us for the Holiday Party – Who Will Be “Knocked Off?”

What’s this?? I’ve 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 with the Murder Mystery 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 (especially Myra and Christie) have put in a lot of work to create an event that we believe will be great for networking, great for your stomachs (4 course meal) and great for the spirit (lots of laughs and camaraderie).  We decided to try something new this year (breaking from our afternoon tea tradition), and hope you will like it as much as we anticipate.

Please join us if you can.

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

Here are details for you:

SATURDAY, December 11th, 2010

Porterhouse Bistro in Beverly Hills.

Networking Reception: 12:30 – 1:30PM
The “Murders” Begin: 1:30 – 3:30PM

Register for A Holiday Murrrderrr Mystery Matinee with IABC-LA! in Beverly Hills, CA  on Eventbrite

Valet Parking is $5, limited street parking also available.



Post Event Report: Nov 17th, 2010: “Staying Relevant as a Communicator”

November 17, 2010…IABC-LA presented Susan San Martin’s “Staying Relevant as a Communicator.” This event was graciously hosted by Ernst & Young in downtown Los Angeles, and coordinated by our talented chapter member T.J. Stevko. “Who is hiring?” “What skills are in demand?” “How can a communicator showcase his or her special experience?” These questions and much more were addressed by San Martin, Principal, Plan B Communications, a results-driven executive search and consulting firm.

“It’s always dangerous for me to draft a presentation a few days early before the event.” said San Martin. San Martin shared with us her decision to scrap her well-prepared presentation in order to re-tool the entire thing…brainstorming on her dining room table with large sheets of rolled paper connecting boxes and brainstorming notes. And San Martin does get results. Feedback came in from 18 reliable lifelong communications contacts. This global outreach fostered an even more substantive cross-section of answers and suggestions from communications leaders all over the U.S. and the world…including India.

Is the hiring market improving for communicators?

• In absolute numbers, hiring is quiet in the U.S., yet we’re seeing a lot of hiring where business is growing in Asia and Latin America.
• There’s an increase in internal and employee communications communicators
• Re: social media expert hirings: Hire a 20-year employee. They know how to write and how to work through the system of a company.
• Bi-lingual and tri-lingual employees are in demand regarding social media with their ability to switch between cultural environments

What role does social media play in your communications strategies?
• Just knowing how to use FaceBook and LinkedIn does not define you as knowing social media.
• A really strong social media strategy pairs an employee 2-3 years out of school who knows how to connect with bloggers and dig out resources with a more traditional communicator of 20+ years who truly understands how to edit content.
• (One of our favorites!) Question: Do you have a social media strategy? Answer: Do you have a telephone strategy backing up your social media? (Nice!) Too many social media strategies rely on digital relationships without any personal touch.
• For communicators intimidated by social media…social media is a new tool, but not a new skill. Relax…you can do this because you already know how to communicate.
• Audiences do care about the written word, it’s just not accessed the same way.

What career missteps do you see?
• Communicators can be too choosy and too fearful. Get outside of your comfort level. If you’re a specialist, take on communications challenges so you become a generalist.
• Google, Ford, Intel all produce exceptional communications employees. Why? Because the employee does a stint in many different departments, becoming a business person first, a communicator second. Become a business person.
• Don’t forget how to write…grammar, SpellCheck. Print, emails, blogs all count.
• You must tie communications to business results.
• Don’t ramble in interviews. Practice sound bytes.
• STOP TMI!!!! Too much information on an interview or exchange.
• Not enough follow-through. Excitement on a social media project does not replace follow-through.

What smart moves are communicators making?
• Companies look for intangible qualities; sometimes the softer piece of information on a resume can make you stand out…rather than “blaring” it out loud.
• Go above and beyond. It’s about attitude…unexpected opportunities are your friend.
• Use a pay-it-forward mentality. Have a relationship-building focus.
• On an interview, do say “I’ve got initiative” as opposed to “I’m a fast learner”…be prepared to back it up.
• Research the company culture in your job search and understand it first, be honest with yourself if it’s the right culture for you, regardless of the company.
• It’s okay to make a resume 3-4 pages, as long as the information helps you to stand out.
• Look for successful communications organizations who reward good work and punish bad work consistently the same. They talk the talk and walk the walk.
• Develop relationships with subject matter experts.

Overall, Susan encouraged all communicators to get out of our comfort zones, and reassured those with 20 years experience that traditional skills still work in our rapidly changing landscape. Re-aligning relevant talent and skills is challenging…yet very rewarding.

Susan San Martin was a Vice President and Executive Recruiter with The Repovich-Reynolds Group where she conducted mid to senior-level communications and marketing searches. She has partnered with clients such as: SC Johnson, DaVita Inc., Dell Inc., Western Union, The Blackstone Group and many others. Over the last two years, she stepped out on her own to create Plan B Communications, using her 20+ years of diversified communications and marketing experience to become a highly-regarded executive search professional.

We welcomed Susan to join us for the “After Dark” portion of the evening at “The Library Bar” to learn more about Susan’s passion for talent acquisition and her love of cooking!

Thanks to T.J., Ernst & Young and Susan San Martin for a very powerful evening of professional development.

October 26th, 2010…IABC-Los Angeles presented “An Entertaining Evening with Sony Pictures Global Communications”

 

Imagine developing integrated global employee messaging to 140 countries. Or creating a fun, interactive worldwide online employee scavenger hunt to find “Salt.” Or pondering what Jimmy Stewart would think of solar panels on his namesake Sony lot building.
 
IABC-LA members packed the Thalberg screening room in Culver City on the historic Sony lot to hear how Sony approaches its external media and integrated internalmedia campaigns. IABC-LA Board Member Myra Jolivet, event coordinator and presenter host, introduced Jim Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Global Communications, Erica Netzley, Vice President, Employee Communications, and Helen Porter, Director, Employee Communications for an inside look at how the Japanese-based company keeps a global focus through its diverse media divisions. The Sony panel covered internal, external, corporate social responsibility and employee meetings and events.

Kennedy discussed how home entertainment has evolved with changing consumer habits. (BlueRay is hot!) Meanwhile, Sony expands further into Russia, China and India where movie audiences are the fastest growing.  Kennedy noted “Movies still remain one of the most cost effective means of entertainment” for individuals. External communications strategies also include building up environmental responsibility, as well as the current popularity of 3-D movies.

Kennedy and Netzley emphasized Sony’s commitment to a creative, casual culture, while Kennedy stated the company is not a factory.

While all Sony employees access the recently launched “my SPE” (Sony Pictures Entertainment) for worldwide internal news and interactivity, Netzley discussed sharing the 30,000 ft. view from above through a still-hard-copy-printed quarterly newsletter. The quarterly educates employees across Sony divisions including Imageworks, Screen Gems, Columbia Pictures and more.  Global employee communications include a Q&A from division execs to take a “deep dive” into the inner workings of each division. A weekly “Sweeps” newsletter has been transitioned from print to e-newsletter. Erica and Helen noted Sony employees were currently not interested in using social media on the employee site, yet this is a topic that will be revisited.

Netzley and Porter discussed the importance of “my SPE” and “SPE Life” as “Cool…new…fun…and on the lot.” This casual, accessible strategy allows Sony employees to enjoy video clips of Sony Co-Chairs Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal discussing, for example, a current tv show with great humor. “My SPE” also includes video clips of employees’ jobs all over the Sony world.

There was a tremendous emphasis on being, acting and staying environmentally friendly as Sony transforms its culture as a worldwide globally green leader. The “My SPE” dedicated green home page communicates pilot composting programs, earth days, beach cleaning days, transforming sets for reuse, and much more. Culver City employees have influenced green behavior resulting in 99% of Sony waste being diverted from landfills. And Sony’s movie productions are now receiving awards for green behavior.

IABC members enjoyed a substantive Q&A with the panel at the end of the presentation, and then continued the conversation at the “After Dark” event at Culver City’s “BottleRock Wine Bar” for some loud(!) lively wine and beer networking at a record turnout.

Big applause and thanks to Myra Jolivet and the engaging Sony presenters for such an informative inside look!

Staying Relevant as a Communicator – What Skills Will We Need in Future?

Professional Development – Communications

  • What skills are in demand, and which are losing importance?
  • What do communicators need to stay relevant in light of the constantly-changing social media landscape?
  • Which industries are growing?
  • How can a communicator showcase their talents and stand out in today’s information overload world?
  • What are long-term prospects for Communicators based in Los Angeles?

Whether you’re content in your role or looking for a change, Susan San Martin, leading executive recruiter specialized in Communications, will provide you with insights into where the profession is headed and what all communicators need to do to stay current.

Speaker: Susan San Martin, Principal, Plan B Communications, LLC, Executive Search and Consulting Services.

Susan San Martin HeadshotSusan San Martin 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.

Hosted by Ernst & Young

WHEN: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 6:00 PM (PT)

WHERE:

Ernst & Young
725 South Figueroa
EY Conference Center – R306B
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Register for Staying Relevant as a Communicator - What Skills Will We Need in Future? in Los Angeles, CA  on Eventbrite

Sony Pictures Entertainment, October 26, 2010

Sony Pictures Entertainment lights up screens around the world with its film, television, home entertainment and online content.

Hear firsthand from Sony Pictures’ Global Communications team about the company’s approach to external media challenges and opportunities and to creative integrated internal communications campaigns.

This event will be hosted on the historic Sony Pictures studio lot in Culver City. Space is very limited. (There is also an IABC LA “After Dark” gathering immediately following the event…so keep reading!)

Date and Time:
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
7-8pm for the presentation at Sony Pictures
8pm on for networking with IABC After Dark.

Speakers:
Jim Kennedy – Executive Vice President, Global Communications
Erica Netzley – Vice President, Employee Communications
Helen Porter – Director, Employee Communications

Cost:
$20.00 current IABC member through Friday, Oct 22
$25.00 current IABC member after Friday, Oct 22
$40.00 non-members

Register here now.

RSVP Deadline:
12 noon, October 25, 2010

Parking: Instructions will be provided to registrants.

Afterwards, please join nearby for networking and refreshments:

BottleRock Wine Bar — Culver City
3847 Main Street
Culver City, CA 90232
Phone: 310.836.WINE (9463)

Map and directions are here.

Immediately after the curtain goes down on the Sony event, head over to BottleRock Wine Bar for IABC After Dark. It””s just down the road, and a chance to network, continue the convo and connect with your fellow communications comrades. This no-host type of event follows every IABC meeting and is designed to keep the energy flowing, help us discover new and interesting places and demonstrate that anything can happen “After Dark.”

February 19 Event: Measuring Communication’s ROI on a Shoestring Budget

We had a great meeting at Edison on February 19. More than 60 people attended to hear communications superstar Angela Sinickas talk about “Measuring Communication’s ROI on a Shoestring Budget” – and in some cases, with NO budget.

Angela’s presentation was jam packed with useful ideas that participants could walk away and implement the next day – from low-cost/no-cost research techniques to a host of grids (she loves grids) that can help you demonstrate your value to even the most skeptical senior exec.

You can listen to the presentation here. (please be patient with the download — it’s a big file.)

For more information and great free stuff, go to Angela’s web site at www.sinicom.com. After you listen to her presentation, email her at angela@sinicom.com to get a copy of her slides too.

Thank you, Angela!

Many thanks to Zanku Armenian and the fine folks at Edison for hosting the meeting and providing a buffet of yummy hors d’oeuvres. Zanku and his colleague Jeramy also did a presentation on all the neat stuff Edison is up to with their communications and advertising.

February 18 Event: Integrating New & Old Media

On February 18, Cara Good, Chief Executive Officer of WunderMarx PR, spoke with a group of almost 30 communication professionals about how companies are combining new media (blogging, podcasting, social networking, etc.) and old media (newsletters, press releases, etc.) to reach their strategic objectives.

As Good explained, new media is simply another tool that communicators can add to their toolbox. These technologies don’t replace the other communication tools we have come to rely on. Instead, communicators must learn when and how to integrate these new tools into their communication plans.

One key point Good made was that, in addition to creating a blog or social networking site, it’s important to monitor existing blogs that write about your company or products. Communicators must stay on top of what others are saying so they can respond quickly when necessary. One attendee cited an example where a blogger posted inaccurate information about one of their products. Because they were monitoring the blog, the company was able to quickly send that blogger accurate information and correct the post before it was picked up by other blogs and potentially other media outlets.

According to Good, social media allows communicators to establish a personal connection with employees or customers. Blogs, for instance, should be written in a personal tone as opposed to a more formal or “corporate” tone. As a general rule, Good says blog posts should be rather short and frequent — about 250 words per post with new posts added 2 to 3 times a week.

This is just a portion of what Good covered at the event. You can view her entire presentation here.

And you can learn more about WunderMarx and Cara Good using the following links:
www.wundermarx.com
Follow Cara Good on Twitter: twitter.com/remarx
Subscribe to Cara Good’s blog: caragood.com
Get LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/caragood

December 14 Event: Annual Holiday Tea

Once again, the Annual IABC-LA Holiday Tea was a great success. Almost 40 people joined us in the Magnolia room of the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills for a lovely afternoon event. After mingling for about 30 minutes, guests enjoyed champagne, finger foods and, of course, an assortment of teas.

The chapter would like to thank Toyota for generously sponsoring the event and donating $1,500 to our honorary charity WriteGirl. We would also like to thank the attendees for donating notebooks, dictionaries and thesauruses.

Pictures from the event