IABC-LA elects 2015-16 Board of Directors

The votes are in! Members of IABC Los Angeles have elected the chapter’s Board of Directors for 2015-16:

nick mike nicole leslie

Nick Duggan

President

Mike Spasoff

Immediate Past President
& Webmaster

Nicole Maury

Past President & Treasurer

Leslie Dodson

Vice President, Social Media

The 2015-16 fiscal year begins on July 1, 2015. We look forward to continuing to serve as your chapter board – thank you for your support!

If you are interested in volunteering to support the IABC-LA chapter, please contact us at communications-vp@iabcla.com.

State of the chapter – May 2015

It’s been a year of change for IABC Los Angeles. Following our “lite-mode” plan we set out last summer, we have shifted from in-person events to online webinars to make better use of our resources. We’ve been happy to see many of you joining our webinars, and look forward to seeing the rest of you on our upcoming sessions (listed below).

It’s also the time of year where we elect the new Board of Directors for the chapter’s 2015-16 fiscal year. I’ve listed our current proposed slate of board members below, along with open positions. If you’re interested in a great professional development opportunity with a great team, please consider running for a seat on the board. Simply send an email to our President-Elect Nick Duggan at communications-vp@iabcla.com letting us know which position(s) you’re interested in, and he will explain the nomination process.

It’s been an honor to serve as your chapter President for the past year, and I look forward to remaining involved on the board and in the chapter in the year to come. Thank you for your continued support of IABC Los Angeles!

Best regards,
Mike

Mike Spasoff
President, 2014-15
IABC Los Angeles

 

Board Nominations

The chapter board intends to nominate the following slate of individuals to serve as the 2015-16 Board of Directors. Any open positions listed are available for any members to apply – simply send us an email. Anyone nominated to join the board must be a member of IABC. If you are not a member yet, please consider joining.

President Nick Duggan
Immediate Past President
& Webmaster
Mike Spasoff
Past President & Treasurer Nicole Maury
VP, Social Media Leslie Dodson
VP, Live Events open – apply here
VP, Webinars open – apply here
VP, Membership open – apply here
VP, Volunteers open – apply here
VP, Chapter Communications open – apply here
VP, External Communications open – apply here

Applications or nominations must be received by Friday, May 15. Voting instructions will be sent to all IABC-LA members by Wednesday, May 20. Votes will be due by Friday, May 29.

 

Upcoming Webinars

We are excited to announce our IABC-LA Learning Lounge webinars for the next few months. Mark the dates on your calendar to join us from wherever are to connect with colleagues and learn something new!

Tuesday, May 19, 12-1PM Career Development Roundtable: Sharing What Works
IABC Los Angeles board & members
Tuesday, June 9, 12-1PM Organizational Adaptability in a Complex World
Jeff Martindale, McChrystal Group
Tuesday, July 14, 12-1PM Strategic Planning, Fast & Fun
Barbara Fagan-Smith, ROI Communications
Tuesday, August 11, 12-1PM Social Business vs. Social Media: What’s
the Difference and Why Does It Matter?
Justin Levy, Citrix                              
Tuesday, September 8, 12-1PM Build Your Leadership Brand
Alison Davis, Davis & Company

IABCLA Presented “Hack Your Life” Webinar

On Tuesday, April 14, 2015 IABC Los Angeles presented a new “Hack Your Life” webinar as part of IABC-LA’s Learning Lounge Webinar Series during lunchtime. The webinar was presented by Demir Gjokaj, Founder of Lifehack Bootcamp, a system in eliminating, automating and outsourcing the clutter in your life. IABC-LA board member Nick Duggan moderated the well-attended webinar while Demir presented five life hacks to reclaim time in your life…not so you can do more(!) yet so you can truly be present, less stressed and focus on one task at a time.

Built on the premise we live in a perpetual multi-tasking, time-starved world, Demir states emphatically “there is no such thing as multi-tasking”...we’re switch-tasking (poorly) from one unfocused task to another. (I’ve been saying this for the last few years!)  Lifehacking is about applying single-minded focus to a task by knowing exactly what outcome you’re working for. How many of us can admit it’s seemingly “more productive” or “more efficient” to answer email threads first to get them “taken care of” before we would suffer the pain of shutting off our phones, email and other gadgets to work on a priority project? Shut off our cell phones? Is Demir crazy?! Not so much.

Demi Gjokaj’s journey and his qualified exuberance for the life hack topic began with an admission he was, in fact, originally terrible at time organization and de-cluttering his life. While excelling as the youngest frequent commentator on Bloomberg and co-founder of start-up MONTAJ, which pioneered social media and video storytelling, Gjokaj became frazzled from the constant demands of managing time, technology and daily work and home life. Demir became dedicated to the notion it really doesn’t have to be this way. We make constant choices throughout the day to mismanage our work and home life resulting in too much stress, ignoring what’s really important and many times because expectations of others’ are involved…we allow our lives to become “stolen”.

We learned there are very painful consequences to not having life hack systems in place including being supremely scattered with and without tech, big dreams not moving anywhere closer, getting seriously behind, losing out on opportunities, and even financial problems.  We also learned some techniques towards reclaiming your life so you can be engaged, alive, present…and joyful!

If you’d like to learn what the tomato timer technique is (hint: turn off everything for 25 minutes and get to some focused one-task-at-a-time work) or some super-efficient strategic”snooze” delay email applications like Boomerang along with some other “Hack Your Life” techniques, play the recorded free webinar here (about 52 minutes long) which simply requires registration of your name and email first:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8311206560842152962

Demir provides a tremendous amount of thought-provoking and time-saving tips and techniques that helps turn all IABC-LA-ers into happier, more productive, less stressed execs, team players, managers, and consultants! And with the active participation by IABC-LA-ers in the webinar, clearly this topic was well-received and will be put to great use throughout the chapter!

 

 

“IABC-LA Learning Lounge: Hot Topics in Communications” Engages and Informs

On November 18, 2014, the chapter kicked off a new online event series “IABC-LA Learning Lounge: Hot Topics in Communications.”  In one pithy and productive lunch hour, IABC-LA members shared experience on social media, intranet engagement and career advancement. The online event format allowed for very efficient and effective resource sharing, and most of all, for members to reach out to other members to gain more fluency in a particular platform, software or resource.  Board Member Nick Duggan of Citrix hosted the webinar.

Highlights included:

  • An in-depth discussion on whether or not larger companies engage social media, both externally and internally.
    • Challenges faced by members included: social media generally used yet compliance, info security and corporate reputation issues (Board Member Vinca Russell of Amgen), how to get C-suite execs involved and model productive social media behavior; external corporate social media communities thrive yet internal communities are challenged.
    • What’s working: Merging/blending social media with real world events as a cornerstone comms strategy (not an offshoot).
    • Bill Spaniel complimented Janie Warren of Disney’s “dig-deep usage” of social media. Janie said it’s a work-in-progress at Disney to use social media tools that fully engage employees.
  • “SharePoint is so ubiquitous.” stated IABCLA President Mike Spasoff. He noted most major companies are not as educated on the competition. So what’s emerging in the intranet world?
    • Jive got Rebecca Gallagher’s attention in terms of it’s internal security benefits.
    • Igloo specifically markets itself against SharePoint. “Igloo is an intranet you’ll actually like” is the tagline.
    • Denise Pierre recommends prescientdigital.com
    • Nick Duggan of Citrix stated it takes 2-3 years for a new system to be embraced by employees or an audience. Change is hard. Yet benefits those who resist it the most, initially. Leslie Dodson of Kaiser Permanente noted KP had to take something away in order to put something in place. KP took a paper system away that did not facilitate sharing of information in a truly engaged way. While an uproar happened initially, now KP physicians “can’t live without the portal.”

Everyone on the call got at least one very valuable resource takeaway to use in his/her respective work environment.

What’s on your communications mind? The IABC-LA Learning Lounge: Hot Topics in Communications webinar series invites you to engage, discover and gain resources to conquer your next communications challenge…while helping another member!

State of the Chapter – Fall 2014

We’ve got a few great updates for you this month, including new board members and our very first online event!

Chapter update

The board and I have been quieter than usual over the past several weeks because we have been hard at work on fleshing out what it really means to deliver on the IABC-LA “lite” plan that we shared in our last update. As a reminder, this “lite” plan puts a focus on sustainability and building a chapter that can deliver long term value to our membership.

One area where we’re going “lite” is our member events. Instead of focusing solely on time-intensive in-person events, we are moving to online events as a way to address our geographically diverse membership. We’re excited about the potential of online events to help us engage with one other.

First online event on November 18

Starting this month we’re kicking off our new “Learning Lounge” series of online member events. Several times a year, we’ll gather together from our homes and offices to learn from experts in our field, share best practices and build relationships with colleagues across Southern California.

You’re invited to our first Learning Lounge on Tuesday, November 18 from noon to 1PM. Grab some lunch and join us from the comfort of your office or home for a lively chat about “Hot Topics in Communication.”

Register for free via GoToWebinar (IABC members only).
Can’t click the link? Copy and paste this URL into your browser: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1846924810286651394

We’ll be facilitating a conversation about the trends and issues that are on YOUR mind, as well as sharing ideas and best practices with one another. Social, mobile, gamification – we’ll go wherever the conversation takes us. It will be a great, fun way to learn something new, get inspired or just enjoy getting to meet other communication professionals.

New board members

I’m thrilled to welcome several new members to our chapter board. Please join me in welcoming Nick, Leslie and Vinca. We do still have openings for additional volunteer board members, so if you’re interested in any of the positions below, please let me know.

  • President – Mike Spasoff, HealthNet
  • Past President – Nicole Maury, The Project Curator
  • VP Events – Dustin Alipour, Psychoanalytic Center of CA
  • VP Communications – Nick Duggan, Citrix
  • VP Social Media – Leslie Dodson, Kaiser Permanente
  • VP Member Engagement – Vinca Russell, Amgen
  • VP Finance – open
  • VP Webmaster – open

Together these board members bring exciting new viewpoints and vitally important fresh energy to build the new IABC-LA.

We’re also always looking for event and membership volunteers to help with the month-to-month work of running the chapter.  To those of you who have already contacted us with interest about volunteering – THANK YOU! As our new VP of Member Engagement, Vinca will be reaching out to you soon. If you’re interested in volunteering, please send us an email.

Thank you for your membership in IABC, and your involvement in the Los Angeles chapter. Don’t forget, please do join us for the Learning Lounge on November 18. After that, enjoy your holidays and we’ll look forward to seeing you in 2015!

Best regards,
Mike Spasoff

August Update

A little over a month ago I shared the state of our chapter and asked for help from our membership to fill some open positions. Despite being distracted by some truly lovely weather here in Los Angeles we got a fantastic response and I’m happy to be able to announce new additions to our board and some great progress on event planning.

Leslie Dodson will be joining us as VP, Social Media and Nick Duggan has agreed to join our board as VP, Communications. I’m excited about the talent and skills each of them bring to these roles; and you’ll learn more about them in upcoming messages. Until then please join me in welcoming them to our board. Several IABC Los Angeles members also wrote in to volunteer to assist with local events. We look forward to developing these opportunities and will announce them both in email and on our website.

This is great progress and a testament to the can-do spirit of our diverse membership. However, we can – and will – do more. We still have open board positions and would welcome anybody interested in volunteering in any capacity.

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
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Lassos and Warren on “Bridging the Gap Between IT and Comms” Event Review

On Wednesday, April 30th, IABC Los Angeles hosted “Bridging the Gap Between IT and Comms” with featured speaker Alan Lewis, VP, Client Engagement for JCS Consulting.  The event produced heavy participation by attendees in a conversational Q&A and sharing of case stories throughout Alan’s presentation. (Audio files of Alan’s presentation will be available shortly.)

We’re delighted IABC-LA members and attendees Charlotte Lassos, President, Straight Up Communications, and Janie Warren, Sr. Communications Representative, Enterprise Systems Learning & Communications, The Walt Disney Company, each provided her own p.o.v. of the event:

Charlotte’s Wrap-Up:

CKL photo_sm

Charlotte Lassos

 As communicators, we look to technology to make our jobs easier. We want tools that help us work more efficiently, speed things along, and ultimately, facilitate collaboration. We usually know what we want, what outcome we want to achieve, and that the tools are probably available. However, working with IT in a corporate environment to make it happen can be a different story all together.

I had the pleasure of attending the recent IABC-LA event “Bridging the Gap Between IT and Comms” presented by Alan Lewis. I found the presentation to be very informative and highlighted by lively dialogue.   Alan’s presentation covered a brief psychological overview of the IT professional, how to work with IT, cloud-based solutions that can help communicators innovate, and Communication 2.0 within an organization. He provided case study highlights and examples of his recent work with DIRECTV to implement a cloud-based collaboration platform, with built-in metrics, that has transformed they way work gets done at the company. By serving as an advocate of both teams, Alan was able to help communicators at DIRECTV get the solutions they needed in place while maintaining IT’s security requirements.   For me, the takeaways from this presentation include:

  • In the “old-school” way of thinking, IT professionals exist to fix problems. If you need their assistance with new technology, make a solid business case and present the business requirements necessary to help solve your communications challenge.
  • On-premise servers ARE, and will, move to cloud-based servers and organizations need to be ready for this change.
  • The emergence of cloud-based social business platforms will change the way work gets done. Social business harnesses the trends in market today, helping to change the business models of yesterday and drive brands forward into the operating modes of tomorrow.
  • Employees want to work with current and innovative technology tools, as well as the same social tools they use in their personal lives.
  • Corporate communicators can test cloud-based solutions on a small group within the organization based on business requirements presented. The group’s success can then be used to make a business case for use of that tool/solution enterprise wide. This may help organizations using the on-premise server model where the lack of timely software updates often stall productivity.
  • Bonus takeaway: one of the members recommended the book Grouped, by Paul Adams. The book is described as a useful resource for marketing and media practitioners on the subject of social networks.

I recently worked on a large project with a client to move from a traditional Intranet to an employee communication and collaboration portal. My role focused on content development and content management tools/processes. During this IABC discussion, I was able to draw parallels between the two projects and look at where things might have been done differently to further enhance the outcome on the client’s project. I gained additional knowledge to offer as possible solutions on future client projects.

By Charlotte Lassos Straight Up Communications

Janie’s Wrap-Up:

made up

Janie Warren

As a communicator in a finance/IT organization, I was elated to attend the IABC ‘Bridging the Gap between IT and Comms’ event.

The evening began in a lovely private “wine-cellar” type room of the Tin Roof Bistro, in Manhattan Beach, which included a variety of delectable eats from tasty cheeses to fruit, and let’s not forget the wine!  I had a chance to network with some fellow communicators, and then I carefully selected a seat towards the front of the room before the presentation began- I just knew I would have many, many questions.

I was immediately intrigued in the conversation ahead as the presenter, Alan Lewis, began his talk.  Not only does Alan have an IT background, he was extremely engaging and I instantly felt confident that I could ask any question.  In addition, the ‘open forum’ style of the event allowed for great conversation and experiences from an awesome group of like-minded communicators.

Topics included:  how an IT professional thinks, how to work best with IT, and how to utilize cloud based solutions in an organization.  As expected, I had quite a few comments and inquiries– all of which were addressed beautifully.   Since the event, I’ve begun to apply some of the lessons learned.  For instance, I now know that building relationships with IT pros can really make life easier.  I also understand the background of the ‘cloud’ and how to best utilize social solutions in the workplace.  I even received a great tip on a social habits book called Grouped which I plan to indulge real soon.

Overall, the presentation was excellent, Alan was very knowledgeable, and I especially enjoyed hearing different scenarios and perspectives from other attendees.  I look forward to the next IABC event!

By Janie Warren, Sr. Comms Rep, Enterprise Systems and Learning Comms – Disney

IMG_3448 IMG_3426 IMG_3445

 

Robin McCasland, IEB Chair Provides Outstanding IABC Transparency and Profession’s Global Trends

On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Robin McCasland, International Board Chair for IABC visited Los Angeles chapter members at RGP’s offices in downtown Los Angeles.  Our chapter members were treated to two outstanding presentations, both substantive in transparency about IABC headquarters and in content in “Who We Are, Where We Are, and What’s Next?”  

“Communicators have evolved into facilitators of the conversation,” said McCasland.  Robin also stated the take-notice fact that communicators, especially in the present glare of 24/7 media exposure, are now being viewed as professionals with highly skilled expertise in the same context doctors and lawyers are viewed professionally in respective careers.

Before Robin pulled us deep into the GPS of exactly what’s happening with communications’ professional and global trends. McCasland invited us into a transparent GPS operations-view of IABC Headquarters. IABC is now 70 countries/9 regions strong! With highest membership in the U.S. and Canada, the organization is expanding even further into Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, Middle East and Russia!

Photo Apr 22, 7 06 49 PM Photo Apr 22, 7 15 42 PM Photo Apr 22, 8 34 22 PM

Robin worked closely with Ann Lazurus, Interim Executive Director of  IABC, as well as several other “razor-focused” IABC execs dedicated to refreshing IABC and addressing multiple “thorny” issues.  Task forces were created. Issues addressed include an extremely expensive headquarters’ lease to attracting new staff to eliminating or reducing extraordinary budget expenses.

IABC’s ancient website and ABC professional certification are being updated…Gold Quills process has been transformed  and much more. IABC headquarters may transition to a virtual office, be moved locally or completely relocated. Members have positively praised new staff for their customer service and member focus! For Robin’s inside look at headquarters, please access YouTube audio links:

Around the World with IABC
Communications Trends
IABC International Update

On global trends and the profession, Robin provided facts and figures in her Prezi presentation which are “waking up” other industries, viewing communications professionals as extremely necessary in today’s business world. See 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer.

McCasland stated, “Running a communications department today is like running a political campaign.” Social media, workplace environment, clients’ new power in shaping engaged information…and are you ready to respond to a crisis in five minutes? In the current climate as a pro communicator, you need to be. Stories are now told in visual images to evoke an emotional response to get customers or employees to take action.

Moving forward, IABC is looking at how the industry can create consistent standards in certification as a professional communicator both domestically and globally. The org is also exploring the value in creating courses and education for recent young college grads heading into business environments, yet without tools such as Ethics and Strategic Comms.

Huge thanks to Robin McCasland, FRSA, who took on a tremendous amount of responsibility as IABC’s IEB Chair when many would have backed away…and for giving the L.A. Chapter incredibly valuable information to support the chapter and our careers.

Big thanks to Vivien Hughes, Managing Director, Marketing, Communications & Media, and Chris Paik-Phong, Sr. Operations Manager, RGP (Resources Global Professionals), for allowing us to use the cool event space! She’s invited us to use it again at a later date.

RGP Logo - Full Color - Lo-Res JPEG Format

Thanks to Dustin Alipour, VP, Events for catering help, and to Mike Spasoff, President-Elect for photos and tech help.  And appreciative thanks to attendees for supporting these events:

 

 

 

 

 

 

IABC Cutting Edge Internal Comms Panel Wrap Up

(Los Angeles) On Wednesday, February 26, 2014, IABC Los Angeles hosted a networking panel event “Cutting Edge Internal Communications” with internal comms experts at the South Pasadena Central Library in Pasadena.

Moderated by President-Elect, Mike Spasoff, the internal comms panel provided everything from insights to the newest internal comms vehicles, what new tools add value and which tools get in the way, approaches to cross-generational challenges, tried-and-true skill sets, and the differences from internal comms compared to external marketing and PR.

The panel consisted of Kristin Wong, Manager, Internal Communications, Global Corporate Communications at Avery Dennison, Jeremy Soule, Manager of Employee Communications at Activision Blizzard, Daniel Penton, Founder of ICPlan, and Betty Henry of Betty Henry Communications.

IABC Members, non-members and guests enjoyed a light dinner, pithy panel discussion and Q&A.

Kicking off the question on what “stubborn” vehicles are still being used vs. what’s new, Jeremy Soule simply replied, “Email!” Regarding new tools, Jeremy emphasized a social collaboration platform is a must with  a “fun, positive voice” to reflect the employees. Kristin Wong stated Avery Dennison made the decision “the email attachment was dead” and transformed the entire employee population to Google Docs for shared collaboration.  Daniel Penton discussed Yammer, smart phones as engaging employee comms tools. Betty Henry emphasized connecting the company’s brand with internal tools, including entertaining or humorous ways to engage employees.

Attendees at IABC-LA's "Cutting Edge Internal Communications" event on 2/26/14 in Pasadena.

On tools adding value or getting in the way:  Kristin stated employees absorb information visually now in an anytime, anywhere platforms. Avery Dennison created a risky yet very rewarding video blog of the CEO who uses his own iPhone to capture himself all over the Avery Dennison global offices and shares the super short video blog posts with employees, and answers questions.

Jeremy Soule says tools must reinforce Activision Blizzard’s “We make fun” motto.  He shared his views on how extremely important trust-building is with employees, especially when there are tough announcements later.

Kristin Wong shared on cultural shifts and a values-based company culture affecting Avery Dennison’s significant milestone building location change.

Betty Henry discussed mapping out employees’ ages, education-levels, towards understanding the employee audience. She also discussed a fun case study engaging employees through an employee film festival in which over 50 hilarious films were submitted. Betty also mentioned employee audiences are more of a finite audience compared to external audiences.

Photo Feb 26, 20 00 58

Internal comms approaches also included wi-fi, no company phones on desks, gaming, using enthusiastic employees as change champions, training bosses to walk the walk, and profiling departments separately vs. treating employee populations as one homogenous group.

“Use your feet!” says Jeremy Soule.  Face-to-face hallway meetings can be incredibly effective in gaining needs information, even at super-cool and gadgety Activision Blizzard!

Daniel Penton emphasized internal communicators “must give internally what employees are exposed to externally.” In other words, same quality counts inside as outside messaging and visuals.

The attendees’ Q&A produced some terrific follow-up discussion on different apps such as Crowd Campus, push notifications, MailChimp and more case studies. The audience got a big laugh at Betty Henry’s story on “Compliance. A Hotbed of Comedy” and enjoyed Kristin Wong’s recap of how a life-sized cardboard cut-out of the CEO was photographed all over the world and authentically connected employees from Ohio to employees in Asia.

Huge, special thanks to Mike Spasoff for putting such an outstanding, informative panel together and the South Pasadena Library.  Thanks to board members Dustin Alipour, Kyle Kearney, Gerhard Runken and Christie Ly. And thanks to Bill Severino for assisting in the set-up!

For more event details and photos, follow us on facebook at “IABC Los Angeles” or twitter (@iabcLosangeles)

Photo credits: Kyle Kearney.