Shel Holtz, IABC Fellow – “Maximum Awareness, Miminal Effort” – Pasadena, CA

What’s the least we need to do to stay in touch, remain marketable and keep up-to-date?

IABC/LA is delighted to host Shel Holtz, ABC and IABC Fellow, an expert in communications, social media and technology who will answer this question for us. He will discuss how to maintain maximum awareness of the latest trends by focusing on the essentials.  Please join us at Avery Dennison in Pasadena, November 17th after work for dinner, networking, and a discussion with Shel Holtz.
About Shel Holtz, ABC

Shel is principal of Holtz Communication+Technology with expertise in employee communications, corporate public relations, crisis communications, media relations, financial communications, investor relations, marketing communications and compensation and benefits communications. His weekly podcast, For Immediate Release, which he co-hosts with Neville Hobson, provides an insightful assessment of all things related to business communication, social media and technology. Shel is also a former IABC-LA chapter president.

 Register now

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Time:  6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Agenda: Networking, dinner, discussion and Q &A

Location
Avery Dennison Corporation
150 N. Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Cost
$20.00 Early-bird member (on or before November 7, 2011) then $25.00
$40.00 Non-member
$15.00 Students with ID

RSVP Deadline: November 14, 2011
Free Parking
After the main event, join us for IABC After Dark, our no-host, informal continuation of the evening’s festivities at an interesting venue nearby. (Details coming soon.)

Register now

Melcrum’s “What Does the Future Hold for Internal Communication?”

May 10, 2011…IABC-LA held an exclusive event “What Does the Future Hold for Internal Communication?” for 25 participants presented by Melcrum’s Strategic Communication Research Forum.  Melcrum is an internal communications company dedicated to offering domestic and global clients comprehensive body of knowledge of best practices, toolkits and research on every level of internal communication.  Jeff Hostler, Melcrum Vice President Research and Content, presented some eye-opening research such as “people don’t leave companies, people leave managers of companies.”  Jeff was accompanied by Melcrum’s Key Accounts Executive, Mike Dombo. Mike briefly described  Melcrum’s Black Belt Program which sets the standard for internal comms globally and the basis for research data presented during the evening.

IABC-LA Social Media Chair dynamo, Rebecca Mikkelsen, introduced Jeff Hostler who led us through a discussion starting with the post-recessional environment. Companies must rebuild trust and re-engineer respective employee value propositions.  Later, Jeff covered corporate structure and management style, roles and responsibilities, partnerships, technology, research and measurement and more with an emphasis on outcomes, not just outputs.
 
• Companies must take into account how four cross-generational groups of employees must interact and communicate with each other…and then think globally, culturally as well.

• The great challenge of evolving internal communications, no longer just a function “sitting on the side of the desk.”  Developing processes to support trust and transparency as well as sustainability is a key factor.

•  Building 10% more trust equates to 36% more pay increases for employees.  Now that’s positive!

Jeff also discussed partnerships and the importance of ensuring consistency across channels and stakeholders, as well how execs can foster trust without just pushing info out. 

On the topic of technology, Jeff purposely did not discuss social media in-depth, yet stressed connecting with local IT to collaborate on defined goals.  Too many internal comms departments put the FaceBook horse before the business strategies cart, without first evaluating whether specific social media is applicable.  Business priorities must lead over choosing tech methods. That said, too many companies also negated employees’ social media use by banning use during work hours, only to discover employees have smart phones in their purses and pockets to access social media anyway. 

Jeff also covered research and measurement and again, emphasized how important it was to measure outcomes not output.  It is internal comms responsibility to prove the value of a specific suggested strategy, which does require extra work time.  It’s not enough to know that 4,000 employees actually read an email (output)…how did they act on it (outcome)?   Company internal comms mistake survey answers from employees who state they understand a company’s business goals, yet that’s not a measurement…how do the actions of the employees support the business goals?

There were some excellent feedback and suggestions from our savvy participants providing terrific takeaways for everyone.  Chris Cabrera of Southern California Edison described a truly innovative employee resource group at SCE supporting SCE’s employee value proposition.
 
Big Thanks to the incomparable Gail Herring and Toyota for hosting the event.  Gail also serves on the chapter board as Treasurer.  Participants were also very appreciative to meet and hear experts Jeff Hostler and Mike Dombo of Melcrum, and to partner with Melcrum on senior internal communications events.

Please see video posted on YouTube at http://youtu.be/b54ZNZ9X5cI

Social Media Experts to Converge Thurs, Apr. 7

“There is a lot of social media thought leadership and good work happening in LA that we like to tap into annually.”  John Gerstner ABC, President, Communitelligence Inc., which is organizing the April 7 Social Media Advanced Skills Huddle (“SMASH” conference) and co-hosting the IABC-LA meeting immediately afterward.

Can’t attend the all-day SMASH conference?  Join us for the IABC meeting directly afterward to hear a brief recap from SMASH speakers Sally Falkow and Michael Terpin.  It’s April 7 from 5-7 p.m. at USC and everyone is welcome.  Here’s more from John:

Q:  Your company, Communitelligence, has been producing social media conferences in LA for quite a few years. Why Los Angeles?

A:  We actually produced one of the first social media conferences in the country there in 2007. It was called PR Online Convergence. Beyond simply liking the city for its flair and weather, there is a lot of social media thought leadership and good work happening in LA that we like to tap into annually. And this year we have some great partners to help, including Social Radius, USC and IABC Los Angeles.

Q:  What’s unique about next week’s S.M.A.S.H. (Social Media Advanced Skills Huddle) at USC April 7?

A:  It should be a fun and valuable day of learning. We have lined up some of the smartest and most interesting experts on social media, and the huddle agenda has built-in huddle time to group-brainstorm practical answers to a set of how-to questions.

And if you can’t attend the day, there will be a recap during the reception that IABC-LA is hosting from 5-7 PM, plus if the technology Gods allow, there will be a webcast hookup with the MediaSense conference taking place in New Zealand at the same time.

April 7 SMASH Speaker Says Engagement is Key in Social Media

“We know that a high percentage of companies and nonprofits are using some form of social media, but unfortunately too many use it as a new channel to push out content.” –Social Media Strategist Sally Falkow, who will speak at April 7 Social Media Advanced Skills Huddle (“SMASH” conference) and the IABC-LA meeting immediately afterward.

Can’t attend the all-day SMASH conference?  Join us for the IABC meeting directly afterward to hear a brief recap from SMASH speakers Sally Falkow and Michael Terpin.  It’s April 7 from 5-7 p.m. at USC and everyone is welcome.  Here’s more from Sally:

Q:  What’s the most common element you find missing from social media strategies?

A: Engagement. We know that a high percentage of companies and nonprofits are using some form of social media but unfortunately too many use it as a new channel to push out content.  The engagement factor is still low.  Businesses need to learn to interact with their very smart and connected customers and employees.

Q: You have a new book coming out soon.  What does it cover?

A: It covers social media intelligence and how to find and extract actionable insights from the fire hose of data available in the online conversations.

Tickets include a drink and appetizers and are $25 for members and $40 for non-members.  Register by April 6 at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1457462309/auto

April 7 Social Media Advanced Skills Huddle

Join IABC LA and Communintelligence April 7th at USC for a Social Media Advanced Skills Huddle! Here are the details:

April 7, 2011- Full-day Workshop: Social Media Advanced Skills Huddle (SMASH),  Communintelligence

University of Southern California, Downtown Los Angeles

Click here for details (registration through Communitelligence)

SPECIAL IABC LA Discount Code ($200 off): smash11iabc

April 7, 2011 5-7pm – SMASH Summary by Expert Speaker and Cocktails

University of Southern California, Downtown Los Angeles

If you can”t come to the full day workshop – why not join us for 2 hours? We’re going to virtually connect with the New Zealand Mediasense social media conference happening at the same time. We’ll hear highlights from their event and Michael Terpin and Sally Falkow will webcast a brief recap of SMASH for local and New Zealand attendees. For Workshop attendees, this is included in registration, but IABC members and friends can register just for the evening speaker and networking event.

Members: want to judge the 2011 IABC Gold Quill ””Writing Category”” entries?

Bill Spaniel, ABC, is coordinating the writing category entries for the 2011 IABC Gold Quill Awards and invites you to be part of the judging panel for 2011. The panel will conduct judging from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 12 in Santa Clarita, Calif. Should judging not be completed on all entries at that time, he will host an additional round of judging on Feb. 26 at the same location.
Volunteering as a judge is a prestigious and important role. Becoming a Gold Quill judge provides an unrivaled development opportunity, as you review and learn from some of the best work in the industry. As a judge, you are responsible for upholding the standards and reputation that has made Gold Quill the world’s most respected standard for communication excellence.

If you would like to sign up as a judge for either or both of the above dates, contact Bill at bill.spaniel@calcpa.org.

For more details on the program, go to www.iabc.com/awards/gq

Upcoming Web Seminars – Free to IABC Members

Did you know that IABC International offers a series of free webinars to members? I figured you might have missed it, as there is such a wealth of information available. Here’s the schedule as it stands today and the link IABC International page:

Communicating change: The emotional journey
presented by Adrian Cropley, ABC, Cropley Communication
19 January 2011

Telling stories: Captivate your audience and spread your message
presented by Donna Papacosta, Trafalgar Communications
23 March 2011

When the headline is you: An insider’s guide to handling the media
presented by Jeff Ansell, Jeff Ansell & Associates Inc.
25 May 2011

TBD
presented by TBD
13 July 2011

Creating a job search strategy for communicators
presented by Angee Linsey
8 September, 2011

TBD
presented by TBD
9 November 2011

Click here to go to the Web Seminar page if you’d like to check for updated links – you’ll find the Free-to-Member events about halfway down!

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