October Means Membership Discounts. Top 10 Reasons to Join or Renew!

Belonging to a professional organization is more than just a resumé booster—it can enrich your entire career. And in this large, diverse, metropolitan area of Los Angeles, it’s a real treat to schmooze with other communicators and get to know what’s going on behind the scenes at other organizations. Plus, IABC-LA’s monthly webinar series offers chances to learn a thing-er-two or showcase your own strategies and experiences.

October is IABC’s Membership Month, which offers 10% off international dues and will waive the $40 application fee. Current IABC members who recruit new members are also eligible to win a 2016 World Conference Registration Package.

And in honor of Membership Month, here’s a little reminder of what a professional organization can do for you:

Top 10 Reasons to Join a Professional Organization

posted by 4CTechnologies

  1. Broaden your knowledge: Professional organizations sometimes offer courses, seminars and/or lectures to keep themselves and their members up to date on the latest industry innovations, research and trends. Staying informed on your industry’s trends will only help you in the long run and will put you one step ahead of the competition!

    2. Take charge of your career: Take advantage of career resources. Associations often have job listings online or in print available only to their members. This is a great way to find targeted job postings for your area of interest.

    3. Build a better resume: Many organizations have career resources available such as tips on effective resumes or cover letter writing. Listing your association membership on your resume is impressive to current or future employers as it shows that you are dedicated to staying connected in your profession.

    4. Enhance your network: We all know that networking is key for the movers and shakers of the community! Making connections is critical, and joining associations give countless opportunities to connect on a local and sometimes even global level. For most people, creating professional relationships is important, and joining a group allows you to have a sense of security and trust. From this, you are able to support and help one another in reaching your professional goals.

    5. Be a Leader: Professional associations give you an opportunity to develop your skills as a leader, and this is important not only for your personal growth, but for your growth in your firm.

    6. Become a mentor: Giving back can be the greatest reward and benefit. Participating in forums, chat groups or discussion boards sponsored by an association is also a great way to grow your network. This allows you to use your peers as sounding boards and often make some great friends with the same interests as you.

    7. Make a new friend: Once we graduate from school, we all know how hard it is to get out and meet new people and make a new friend! Use professional networking groups as an opportunity to escape the norm and meet new people that may give you a reason to come out of your shell a bit more and have fun.

    8. Give back to the community: There are plenty of organizations that coordinate socially conscious initiatives to support community efforts. Whether it is a nearby animal shelter or a food drive for a local charity, there are sure to be plenty of options for you to choose for if you are looking to give back.

    9. Strength in Numbers: We live in a day and age where establishing a presence in any given career field often demands working long hours in the office and bringing work home when the doors close. At the end of the day, you may have ideas for cultivating partnerships, yet not feel up to shouldering all the responsibility to organize them. In a community organization, you have access to an established support system of experienced people who are motivated to get things done. The battle is half-won!

    10. Stay Inspired and Stay Motivated: Learn to love what you do! You may not even know that you love something, but it’s important to be proactive about things you discover on the journey. Join a professional organization and discover something new TODAY!

Changes coming to IABC accreditation program

In recent months, the IABC international executive board has undertaken a thorough review of the accreditation program and its role in supporting the professional development of members. Now in the final phase of the review process, a greatly improved accreditation program is scheduled to launch in mid-2013.

With that in mind, the board has announced that it has halted (as of Sept. 1, 2012) acceptance of applications for accreditation of any kind – including individual candidates and Accreditation Completion Program (ACP) groups – until the new program is in place. The application process will resume after the launch of the new program.

The IABC Accreditation Committee has distributed the following questions and answers:

Why was the decision made to suspend applications?

There is never a good time to stop something that has been going on for decades. The International Executive Board (IEB) deemed it best to deal with this issue as early as possible in the chapter year to minimize impact to chapter program schedules and regional conference agendas and to allow local and regional leaders the time to make revisions.

Will the suspension affect current accreditation candidates in completing the program?

No. The suspension does not affect candidates already in the accreditation program. The current program will remain in force for current candidates who are submitting portfolios and studying for their accreditation exams. Accredited members will continue to serve as mentors, portfolio evaluators and exam assessors. We will do everything possible to help candidates earn the ABC designation before the new program begins in mid-2013. 

Will this suspension affect the amnesty program that was announced recently?

No. The amnesty program applies to candidates who have already started the accreditation program. It provides members who began the program between January 2008 and January 2011 the opportunity to complete it without paying any additional fees.

Providing professional development opportunities to members continues to be among IABC’s top priorities. Please direct any questions or concerns you may have to the professional development staff via recognition@iabc.com.

IABC announces changes to the Gold Quill Awards program

Major changes are coming to the 2013 Gold Quill Awards program!

Last April, volunteers polled IABC members to determine the overall awareness of the Gold Quill Awards, reasons for entering or not entering, the program’s perceived value and the preferred channels and vehicles for communicating about the awards. The research also gauged support for a longer entry period, a streamlined entry process, better tools for entrants and a wider selection of divisions and categories.

Briefly, survey respondents told IABC that they wanted the following changes:

  • More consistent and fair evaluation
  • Better feedback
  • An easier entry process
  • Better entry materials that clearly define expectations and help entrants prepare successful entry
  • An extended entry period to encourage entrants from various geographic locations to participate
  • A broader offering that mirrors the scope and breadth of the communication industry

The Gold Quill committee and staff have taken this feedback seriously while moving ahead with an offering that’s more relevant and serves the needs and expectations of members and all communication professionals.

To that end, program leaders have made the following changes:

  • Elimination of first-tier evaluation for entries
    All entries will be reviewed by one of five trained and highly qualified regional Blue Ribbon Panels, to be held in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia and South Africa.

  •  A new score sheet that ensures entrants will receive thoughtful feedback on every section of their work plan and work sample
    The revised score sheet is more objective and intuitive for both evaluators and entrants.

  • A minimum training requirement for everyone who evaluates entries
    The International Executive Board approved a new designation for IABC awards evaluators – International Awards Evaluator in Good Standing. More information on how you can earn this designation will be available in October.

  • A new online approach
    The 2013 program has moved online for both entrants and evaluators, allowing entrants to save time and money.

  • A simplified the entry process
    The entry process has been simplified by integrating the Communication Skills and Communication Creative divisions, and by standardizing the maximum number of pages (four) for work plans across all divisions and categories.

  • A longer entry period
    A longer entry period – from October through early March – will provide more time to prepare an entry.

  • Enhanced entry tools
    Available tools will continue to include webinars for entrants and a new guide that clearly spells out the expectations of evaluators. A new guide for entrants, “The Midas Touch – How to Prepare a Gold Quill Entry,” will take you through entry preparation and allow you to check your work against the evaluation standards before you submit it. The guide will be available on the IABC website in October.

  • New divisions and categories
    Broadened and revised the divisions and categories ensure that the program is relevant for more communication professionals.

In addition, the existing mentorship program will continue, offering one-on-one coaching at no cost to entrants.

Watch for the 2013 Call for Entries, which will be mailed and/or available for download soon. The Call for Entries will outline these important changes, and a new dedicated website scheduled to go live in October (gq.iabc.com) will provide more details.

If you have questions or comments, please send them to recognition@iabc.com.

IABC to play leading role in educating communicators on the Wikipedia community

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) has announced the creation of the Wikipedia Task Force. The task force will guide and support the education of professional communicators about issues and processes for ethical and effective actions with regard to Wikipedia articles. This will include engaging with the Wikipedia community, others associations and representatives from PR firms to build trust and mutual understanding.

The task force, chaired by Shel Holtz, ABC and IABC Fellow, will investigate the growing concern related to news reports of undisclosed editing of Wikipedia entries by individuals and public relations firms. The task force will support efforts to educate and share information through articles and professional development to shed light on this multi-layered topic.

According to Holtz, the task force has released the following statement:

“With regard to the communication profession and its relationship to the Wikipedia community, IABC supports engagement through accuracy, transparency and ethical behavior, as articulated in the IABC Code of Ethics. We applaud constructive efforts to create a better understanding between these two communities, such as initial steps taken by CIPR in the development of Wikipedia guidelines for public relations professionals. IABC’s overarching commitment is to inform and educate its members and seek opportunities to further the dialogue in addressing this complex issue.”

“IABC supports any initiative for transparent communication,” said Kerby Meyers, IABC Chair. “It is important to maintain open and vibrant online communities while ensuring that the information is factual and shared in an ethical manner.”

IABC names International Executive Board (IEB)

The International Association of Business Communicators has announced officers for the 2012–2013 international executive board (IEB).

The international executive board is the governing body of IABC and develops the strategic plan for the association under the guidance of bylaws approved by the IABC membership. The board supervises, controls and directs the affairs of the association; actively pursues IABC’s mission; determines its policy within the limits of the law, bylaws and articles of incorporation; upholds the IABC Code of Ethics; and supervises the disbursement of funds.

The 2012–2013 IABC International Executive Board
includes the following members:


  • Kerby Meyers

Vice Chair

  • Robin McCasland

Past Chair

  • Adrian Cropley, ABC


  • Tom Roux
  • James Lynch, ABC
  • Russell Grossman, ABC
  • Peter Yorke
  • Kristen Sukalac
  • Michael Ambrozewicz
  • Jeff J. Bishop
  • Terry Cerisoles
  • Vita Kernel, ABC
  • Gloria Walker, ABC (2012–2013 Chair of the Accreditation Committee)
  • Michaela Hayes (2012–2013 Chair of the Research Committee)

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication. Established in 1970, IABC serves more than 14,000 members in 90 countries.