IABC Los Angeles “Diverse Storytellers” Video Series

Nicole Maury kicks off the “IABC Los Angeles Diverse Storytellers” video series featuring board members, past chapter presidents and chapter members. Bringing insights about our chapter from a Los Angeles niche perspective, the video series aims to bring fresh collaborative energy on what it means to be an IABC member here in L.A., and the benefits for you that resonate outwards to your work community.

May 14th – Bill Chott’s Presents “The Improv Trick”

Standing in a circle for an improv exercise, pointing to a peer across from you, and waiting for a “Yes” from them before walking across the circle to take his or her place doesn’t take a lot of brains. Yet it did for me, because I wanted the already-established rhythm of pointing and “Yes’s” and criss-crossing in the group to keep going. If a participant was slower on the “Yes”…I needed to not move until hearing that positive, welcoming “Yes!” from another.  But I did move! Welcome to Bill Chott’s “The Improv Trick” presented at our host, DIRECTV’s facilities.

Embarrassed? Sure! The “Slow Down. Walk. Don’t Run” tool applies here which is difficult to do in a business climate where we are expected to be “on” and “prepared” 24/7. Bill Chott, an experienced comedian from The Second City, is a highly experienced improv master who had us on our feet to experience creating, facilitating and bringing about positive change in ourselves and our team to approach just about any work situation.

So what is “The Improv Trick”?  In all fairness to Bill’s workshop participants all over the globe, we won’t reveal the answer here.  Yet the trick is related with taking that nerve-wracking anxiety we have all experienced when in a new business situation and…following your fear. Fun, interactive exercises included posing while another responds to that pose with his/her own pose.  The interactive creativity began when the rest of us called out 10 different adjectives or nouns to describe these integrated “statues”.  Once again, no planning involved, just getting out of ourselves and  participating in a moment’s notice in what’s happening. In another interactive exercise, DIRECTV host and IABC Exec Board Member, Michael Ambrozewicz waxed poetic on “cobwebs.” Student Outreach Chair Kyle Kearney let loose on “chocolate” and Greg Cash put “brussel sprouts” on our minds. When I looked over at Michael and Warner Boutin, Development Chair doing the mirroring exercise, it looked like a John-Wayne-Meets-The-Matrix-movie situation.

What does brussel sprouts have to do with business interaction? The answer is “trust”. Trust that your mind and creativity will work in a spontaneous, non-planned situation.

“The Improv Trick” managed to work well with introverts and extroverts alike in the group. We learned tactical tools in how to think and engage differently while on our feet and it made for a truly fun, friendly and “Yes!” evening.

Huge thanks to Bill Chott, and Michael Ambrozewicz and Caroline Leach of DIRECTV for sponsoring the event. I enjoyed planning the event while Christie Ly, Treasurer managed Eventbrite and registration details. Betty Henry, Communications Chair and Warner helped promote. Mike Spasoff, Media and Technology Chair did on-site and post-production work. Warner and Kyle captured still photos. Catering services provided by Open Sesame Grill.

In a final addendum announcement, we invited participants to stay to add a few words to our “Who Is IABC Los Angeles?” video project.  This chapter video series of :45-:60 video clips featuring current and past board members and members will support the niche that makes the Los Angeles chapter unique while also supporting the overall vision of IABC headquarters.  Look for the video series soon as we’ll populate social media.







Chapter Update on Plans, Progress and Professional Development

After Mike Spasoff and I attended Leadership Institute in February and welcomed new board members, we’ve spearheaded our new board’s strategic planning for 2013-2016 to refresh and align with IABC headquarters’ 21st century vision of IABC as a global flagship brand.  The goal is for our members to have incredibly valuable resources for professional development and networking opportunities in an industry that is changing faster than the speed of mobile marketing.  Meanwhile, the Los Angeles landscape has evolved: Silicon Beach to clean tech companies to healthcare…all providing diverse storytelling ground for communicators.

Christie Ly, Treasurer, Past President, and PR/Comms Consultant with Grayling Rose Kindel, has assisted greatly with supporting new strategic plans while engaging in the on-going preservation of our chapter’s all-volunteer board.  While the board duties does place time demands on busy professional and personal lives, we’ve assembled a talented, diverse and engaged team that includes Christie’s in-depth knowledge of best practices and certainly her board wisdom!

Betty Henry, Communications Chair, of Betty Henry Communications (http://bettyhenry.com) has worked in-depth to provide a consistent newsletter as well as promotion for events. Warner Boutin, Development Chair, and Account Representative, www.businesswire.com  is helping us liaise with other associations and leverage our Los Angelean niche. Warner is also working on getting content marketing panels pulled together.  Mike Spasoff is our Media and Technology Chair, a Senior Media Development Consultant at Health Net (www.healthnet.com) and  Owner, Media Integrated (www.mediaintegrated.com). Mike has been instrumental in refreshing our website, leading our collaborative efforts on Google Drive and leading the charge with me regarding strategic planning for 2013-2016.

We’re building a new online presence through social media. See our new FaceBook business page at facebook.com/IABCLosAngeles. Look for further refreshes on our website, emphasis on heavy professional development events, and a resounding positive effort to better collaborate with association counterparts like PRSA-LA and HPRA . We’re all wearing multiple hats towards substantive event programming.

While a one-time accidental “oops” calendar oversight occurred on our April networking event same night as PRSA-LA’s event… I just attended PRSA-LA’s “ConnecXions” event last night (5/8/13) in Santa Monica. Charlie Gu, one of the newest and youngest PRSA-LA board members, welcomed me and Kerry Bonner.  Charlie and I discussed creating a premier collaborative event between the two associations at least once a year to leverage engagement and resources. We also agreed to look at chapter calendars ahead of time!  And look for more HPRA collaboration with their terrific and very collaborative team.

Kyle Kearney, Student Outreach Chair, of Kyle Allen Photo/Video (www.kyleallenphoto.com) and I met with USC’s Rebecca Weintraub and Jordan Schmidt, head of the student chapter. Rebecca will be hosting an event at USC in the fall for adult and student IABC-LA members. More student outreach will be forging ahead for UCLA, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, University of Laverne, and Santa Monica City College.

Kerry Bonner, a communications consultant in Int’l Trade Development/China and European Markets is doing membership outreach and is involved in cross-networking through various professional organizations. Our membership continues to include some corporate sponsored memberships as well as a diverse membership of independent consultants and smaller business communications professionals, covering all facets of communications from social responsibility to investor relations to media relations.

Engagement and collaboration with our neighboring chapters such as Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco will facilitate more professional development opportunities for members, as well as regional webinars.  We would like to leverage more globally-recognized speakers through headquarters’ connections. We can build exciting events while physically congregating West Coast chapters in respective venues while watching a global speaker in action from another country.

We understand career building and professional development content will excite members.  We also support IABC headquarters’ community approach, both inside and outside the organization. We’ve gained tremendous momentum and traction over the last few months to provide members with an IABC-LA experience to cover vast chapter demographics, with a foothold into thriving as a skilled knowledgeable communications professional regardless of what career level.

Look for our “Who is IABC Los Angeles?” videos coming out shortly. These multiple 45-60 second videos will populate social media and gain traction in cross-promoting what makes the L.A. chapter unique from our other west coast chapters.

As Warner Boutin stated recently, “Everyone was clutch” in pulling together the Big Foot West networking event after we had experienced some speaker and venue cancellations over last few months. Collectively, our IABC-LA members and potential members are also clutch in supporting new strategic endeavors during this invigorating time for IABC headquarters, our IABC local chapter and our IABC-related professional lives.

April 24th – April Networking Event at Big Foot West

If Los Angeles is the land of film-esque lighting, cool props and walking into different worlds, then Big Foot West proved to be a welcome departure from florescent-lit cubicles of the work-a-day world.  Over cocktails, filling appetizers and under dozens of elk antlers, a disco ball and mood lighting, IABC-LA welcomed members and non-members to our conversation-starter April networking event.

I introduced our diverse and highly enthusiastic new board team including Warner Boutin, Development Chair and Big Foot event lead; Mike Spasoff, Chair, Media and Technology; Christie Ly, Treasurer and Past President; Kyle Kearney, Student Outreach Chair and myself, President.  Kerry Bonner, Membership Chair and Betty Henry, Communications Chair, and Paula Cassin, Past President, had schedule conflicts.  We have some very solid and talented filmmakers on our team supporting our media efforts and promotion, besides outstanding experience in tech and communications.

We were delighted to have a “guest of honor,” SCE’s Chris Cabrera, Past President and board member for last few years.  Chris Keough of Belkin enjoyed talking with Cabrera about what it’s like to be a Chris(!)  We welcomed Nancy Profera, Editor, Crosslink Magazine for Aerospace Space, who is very interested in volunteering and participated in one of our Google Hangouts.  Gerhard Runken, Sales Manager of Automation (digital printing), is also getting involved in volunteering with the chapter towards membership.  Great to see Dawn Pace of KPMG, and meet Andrea Wilcox of Davis and Co. and Elizabeth Albright of Pharmavite.  Warner introduced us  to Businesswire colleague Rachel Kaye and Sam Wolk of Cardwell Beach.  (With the magic of WordPress, I shall add other attendee names shortly.)

Whether attendees appreciated Big Foot West’s kitsch-y or retro-trendy vibe, the group enjoyed networking with one another and looks forward to meeting up again.

Big thanks to Warner Boutin for bringing the chapter to a completely different locale and doing much of the legwork to make it happen.  Thanks to Kyle Kearney (www.kyleallenphoto.com) for great still shots of the board pre-and during event.  Mike Spasoff served as wingman getting last minute details in order on location.

IABC-LA Board 2012-2013 at Big Foot West

Use research to make your case to senior leaders

CEOs and other executives might understand that communication is important, but they may not see what impact it is has on the business, or the value of their own communication efforts.

In CW Radio episode #26, author Alison Davis talks about how to use five kinds of research to make the case to executives about the value of communication, and how their own role in communicating with employees can make a difference.

Coming in May: The Improv Trick!

What’s the key to teamwork, communication and creative problem solving?

Learn the trick used by every professional actor and comedy whiz. In this two-hour workshop, you’ll learn “The Improv Trick,” from Bill Chott. Bill’s interactive seminar will get you on your feet and practicing exercises that you can use to build your confidence as a public speaker, facilitate icebreakers and get a team in gear.

Bill Chott is known for his work with Selena Gomez as Mr. Laritate on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place, and he also voices cartoons on Saturday Night Live. He appeared on screen with Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary and was one of the stars of the Top 10 film The Ringer. In 2012, Bill won the INNY Award for Best Improv Coach and was awarded the 2010 Mastermind Award from St. Louis’ RFT Magazine. His improv troupe The Sauce was recently on the cover of the arts section of Pasadena Weekly.

You can learn a bit more about “The Trick” on Jon Grayson’s show Overnight America on CBS radio.

Watch the IABC Los Angeles website for more details!

Pinterest Unleashed! Friday, March 22

Pinterest Unleashed – Coaxing Consumers to Your Brand and Business With the Best Social Media Mix

Friday, March 22, 2013

Invest just 60 minutes and this webinar could change your thinking about communications!

The social media ecosystem is ever changing. As communicators, we’re asked to keep pace with the social tools in the marketplace to better understand which ones are relevant.

Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site ever. Join Alex Littlewood, head of Customer Success at Pinfluencer, as he sorts out and provides a strategic view of each social media opportunity. Alex is as seasoned as it gets in the social sphere. He has spent more than a decade with Silicon Valley companies leading strategy during the social revolution. He’ll guide participants through what’s happening with Pinterest and its ability to drive consumer buying behavior.

View the event summary and register for this informative event. Tune in to plan your best social media campaigns in 2013.

Build a social business by empowering employees on social media

With more emphasis being placed on the role of social media both inside and outside an organization, companies of all sizes throughout the world are learning the necessity of teaching their employees how to use this communication channel.

In this recent CW Bulletin article, “Build a Social Business by Empowering Employees on Social Media,” author Laura Nicholas lays out a five-step framework for the best way to get started.

New IABC Pacific Plains Region website

IABC’s Pacific Plains Region (of which our Los Angeles chapter is a part) has launched a new website. It provides regional news at a glance, provide links to both chapter and regional events, combines the regions Facebook and Twitter feeds in one place and highlights activities from the various chapters.

Take a look at the new Pacific Plains Region website at http://ppr.iabc.com.

From the Discovery files: Conversations with CEOs

What do CEOs value in communication? Marketwire sponsored an IABC Research Foundation study that found the answer to that question and more. Here are podcasts of three of the interviews conducted for that study.

These are just a few of the podcasts available to members on Discovery, IABC’s next-generation online library.