IABC South Bay Networking Mixer at Il Fornaio

On March 2, 2010, IABC-LA spoke “adesione!” meaning “membership!” at Il Fornaio Authentic Italian Restaurant in Manhattan Beach.  Board members, chapter members, re-invested members, volunteers, and members’ guests were networking and celebrating the chapter’s March Membership Month and enjoying qualifica di membro discussion over red wine and artichoke sausage tarts.

On a cool, rainy evening, members were treated to a warm and red-wine toasty room with welcomes from South Bay Events Chair, Myra Jolivet and Chapter President, Paula Cassin.  Both Myra and Paula gave a nod to the friendliness and accessibility of the professional chapter’s business vibe.  The event was enhanced by vibrant, richly colored still photographs taken by our new chapter sponsor and member, Ed Carreon of Ed Carreon Photography, who brought his talented PhotoShop-savvy assistant and large format Mac monitor.  The still photos team displayed gorgeous images of the lively crowd as conversations continued and new connections were made.  We’ll see ourselves, guests and events on our new and improved website.

The chapter raffled some prize wine and other donated premiums from Staples and other sponsors, allowing winners and chapter members Charlotte Lassos and Catherine Trout to leave with more than just business cards.  A special thanks to new chapter volunteers Geoff Thomas for his dedicated volunteer hours with Pamela Corante on the Membership Committee, and Danielle Grossman for her terrific assistant work with Paula regarding the new website.

Paula spoke about the “collegial” atmosphere of the chapter.  The room was truly a mix of members and members-to-be, checking out the festivities.  It was great to see and hear membership news Membership Committee Chair, Pamela Corante (a true foodie and weekend “market maven” …check out Pamela’s “Market Maven” blog!). PR Chair Tyler Jacobson chatted with Jocelyn Nguyen who has announced she’s joining after her trip back from Vietnam in a few weeks!  Communications Chair Cheryl Farrell enjoyed her Vanna White stint handing out raffle prizes. (Advanced USC degree-ed Cheryl can sing professionally,too, when she’s not creating outstanding writing and communications.)

We also welcomed recruitment expert and member, Susan San Martin, and her guest, Shellee Smith.  We were delighted to see members John Merryman, Kerry Bonner, Blaise Tracy, Seran Williams, Holly Fazio, and Steve Wellington.  Guests of members included Christina Cha, Ann Giblin, Charlotte Lassos, Ed Smallman of Loyola Marymount, Glenda and Brittany Wellington, Janet Herin and Francesca Mueller…all enjoying a taste of the chapter’s benefits.

Big thanks to the ever-talented Myra Jolivet for a lovely Italian networking evening!! Condizione di socio!!

To South Bay Members – this one is for you

This year the IABC LA volunteer Board decided to include two networking events completely FREE to members as an experiment.

Members pay $55 a year and we thought it made sense to give some of it directly back by fully funding some events. Our first networking event was held in Pasadena in November (and went pretty well) – now it’s South Bay’s turn to have an easy drive. Please join us!

Friends, non-members, students are all welcome, too – you’ll see there’s a nominal cost (below).

IABC Los Angeles invites you to a culinary journey through Italy while networking with your peers – business communications professionals from a variety of companies and organizations. Connect with experts in PR, crisis communications, marketing, corporate communications, writing and social media.

Bring 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!

REGISTER HERE

Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Time:  6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Location: Il Fornaio 1800 Rosecrans Avenue Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Cost

Free to any current IABC member from any Chapter
$20.00 non-members
$10.00 students with valid ID

RSVP: February 25, 2011

Parking: Free parking in adjacent lot.

REGISTER HERE

First Event for 2011 – Pasadena, Jan 27th – IABC After Dark

Happy New Year! Get a jump on your resolutions by joining us for our first IABC/LA event of 2011. We’ll be at redwhite+bluezz in Pasadena, the city the world turns to every January to ring in the new year.  red white & bluezz screenshot

This is an IABC/LA “After Dark” no-host event (translation: food and drinks are on your own), where you can connect with your fellow communicators, expand your network and enjoy a little cheer.

 Date: Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time:  5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Location:  redwhite+bluezz
70 S. Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
Cross Street: Green Street
(626) 792-4441

Cost: 
Free admission to any current IABC member from any chapter
$10.00 non-members

RSVP Deadline:  January 27, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.

Parking:  Nearby public parking lots are free for 90 minutes and $2 per hour after that.

Notes:  The Happy Hour menu is available until 6 p.m. and live jazz begins at 6:30 p.m.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Murder Mystery Holiday Luncheon 2010

 

IABC-LA’s annual holiday teas have been truly lovely and held in beautiful tearooms over the last few years…however, there was a chalk mark drawn around the still body of the tea concept this year in favor of something entirely newand unique: A Holiday Murder Mystery Luncheon! 

How well does a Murder Mystery go with the holidays? Only ZorroClaus, a wisecracking “LAPD detective” and crime-solving IABC members them-elves could participate in such twists and turns at The Porterhouse Bistro in Beverly Hills on December 11, 2010.  And yes, the demise of some “victims” was brought on by our own members (see video attached).  Who was involved and why?  Besides inspired event coordination by Myra Jolivet (who brought up the idea originally), with assistance by Christie Ly and Christopher Cabrera, a secret source supplied information about some chapter members to the host of the interactive Murder Mystery to create intrigue, heavy laughs, red herrings and fun.

The L.A. Chapter maintained its commitment and passion to communications as bodies fell from being “shot”, “stabbed” or “poisoned.”  Chapter member Bill Spaniel donned his baseball caps in Sherlock Holmes style and used his delightful wit as one of the crime-solvers. Bill also reminded us of the upcoming judging opportunities for The Gold Quill Awards.  Rebecca Mikkelsen and chapter President, Paula Cassin, reiterated how much we learn from the entries in participating as a Gold Quill Judge…with terrific networking opportunities professionally and personally. (Rebecca and I have become wonderful friends since pairing up as Gold Quill judging partners last January.  I later joined Rebecca’s social media team for the chapter this year.)  Rebecca and Stephen Cassin also participated kindly as our mystery host threw questions at us about what we know about these two possible suspects. 

We enjoyed our four-course luncheon of gourmet food and wine while catching up with members. Later, Julie Fornaro, our new website’s mastermind, read from a suspiciously-dropped business card “Hits-R-Us” while a wisecracking “LAPD detective” threaded the mounting clues throughout the interactive plot… including a Santa hat with a sword poked through a note from “ZorroClaus.”  Otherwise hard-working Chapter President Paula Cassin revealed herself as “ZorroClaus” …and Keeping Up with the Kardashians..well, sort of…having much fun distributing “stolen” cash and presents.  Kerry Bonner sported her bright and cheery red jacket during the event’s pre-luncheon cocktails…only to “wear a knife” and create some great laughs during her “death scene.” Bill Spaniel, David Schmidt, Gail Herring, Chris Cabrera and Stephen Cassin were terrific sports against the detective’s banter. Chapter crime-solvers also included Mauria McPoland, Marsha Webster, Louvenia Austin, Elodie Khavarani , Susan Delgadillo and Pamela Corante-Hansen…all suspects until proven innocent. Cheryl Farrell had some serious explaining to do…which led to some hilarious communications and “battle scene” antics between the detective and Cheryl.  

Congrats to Ariela Iringan and Briana Sharp who were the closest in figuring out the details, motives and storyline when everyone paired up to solve the crimes.  Our host proclaimed the rest of us as not-yet-detective-ready in our “pathetic” attempts to solve the motives behind the secrets.  We enjoy solving communications issues…or bad puns like “Nobody Does It Deader.”

Chris Cabrera of Southern California Edison and Paula Cassin, presented a $500 donation check to our chapter’s guest, Gina Quesenberry, Librarian at the El Monte Library in support of the El Monte Library’s programs that reach children, teens and adults.  We were delighted to have Gina take part in our mystery while being a gracious and good-humored recipient toward our chapter’s commitment to supporting our communities.  Chris Cabrera also stated that Southern California Edison is making a donation of 85 books to enhance the library’s materials towards further support.

Warm thanks to Myra Jolivet, Christie Ly, and Chris Cabrera for putting their distinct and creative fingerprints all over this memorable event.  Acting nods to Paula, Kerry and Cheryl…for hilarious comedic “drama” and our thanks again to The Porterhouse Bistro actors and staff who put some holiday crackle into our tongue-in-cheek event.

Don’t Trust Anyone…

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.”