“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!

Warner’s Corner – IABC Media Leaders Content Marketing Panel Wrap Up

(Los Angeles) On Tuesday, October 8th, 2013, IABC Los Angeles hosted a networking media panel event with Media Leaders at the ROC Center Santa Monica.

Moderated by Josh Ochs, the integrated communications panel covered everything from effective content creation, industry blunders/lessons learned, content marketing trends to leveraging social media tools.

The panel comprised of Chris Bechtel, Chief Marketing Officer, Make Good Social, Debra Eckerling, Goal Coach,Guided Goals and WriteOnLine, Priscilla Vento, Founder & CEO, 30 Miles North and James Aldous, Communications Director, OpenX.

IABC members and guests mingled with a diverse mix of West LA StartUps, Investors, Marketing/PR & corporate communications pros, social media managers, web developers, entertainment folks, gaming peeps, SEO gurus and much more.

Kicking off the panel, Josh Ochs asked the panel about leveraging online platforms to gain brand momentum, for which panelists cited a variety of tactics.

From hiring guest bloggers to managing editorial calendars, Debra Eckerling shared blogging tips, workflow tools and best practices.

On driving brand visibility, “get your video into the hands of relevant influencers,” said YouTube guru Priscilla Vento of 30 Mile North.

Chris Bechtel and James Aldous agreed Facebook is more consumer driven, and less business to business orientated. Panelists agreed. Aldous cited online chat tool Quora and Linkedin.

“Understanding where your audience lives is key,” said Bechtel.

2013-10-08 IABC-LA Media Leaders Event

 On integrated communications, the panel discussed the changing tides of earned-owned-paid-evolved media silos.

One IABC member asked where the panel thinks social media departments “live” these days. Vento said their social media manager functions separately from their media relations. Panelists agreed.

IMG_2749

In closing, panelists each shared a unique personal story. Turns out Priscilla Vento is an avid skateboarder, Aldous a non-fiction writer, Eckerling a karate black belt with stripe, and my personal favorite…Bechtel, a Bay Area rap video production founder (no longer). “Once clients who paid all in cash wanted their money back, I left town,” said Bechtel. The audience laughed.

For more event details and photos, follow us on facebook or twitter (@IABCLosangeles)

Special thanks, IABC-LA volunteers Stephanie BelskyLinda Arres and event sponsor Angel Launch.

by Warner Boutin, VP, Communications – IABC Los Angeles. Photo credits by Calvin Lee. 

For the complete 1-hour plus event video:

http://youtu.be/Qbl8BHX-OU4

 

November 15, 2012 – Erin Dick presents Megatrends in Communications at Il Fornaio, Pasadena

One of my favorite laugh-out-loud commercials of all time is when a then-unknown Jane Lynch (of “Glee” fame) hammers a microchip into the forehead of a new customer at Washington Mutual’s competing bank. A few moments later Jane’s colleague tries to scan some other poor customer’s head over and over.  With all the megatrends in technology moving at lightning speed, we may not be too far behind this commercial…and Erin Dick, Director of Communications for Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne knows this.

Through “The Future is Now…Now What?”, Erin presented some equally amusing demonstrations of just how far we’ve come with communications methods and gadgetry, as well as some very dramatic evidence of how technology supports our message-delivery choices, keeping us connected in ways that were impossible even just a decade ago.  Over appetizer skewers, stuffed mushrooms, and warm red wines at Il Fornaio in Pasadena, about 25 IABC-LA members and non-members listened to how megatrends in communications has evolved.

Erin discussed key elements, especially over the last decade, which includes shrinking gadgetry (think phone booths vs. cell phones and Nanos) and attention spans, transparency and decentralization, socialization and personalization, the need for speed, and the constants that continue to remain in the sea of change.

Besides a humorous overview of past devices such as brick-like cell phones and 8-track tapes, we got plenty of laughs from a spoofed newscast depicting the use and heavy reliance of social media amongst its “anchor and reporters.”  The reporter was up to 88 followers on Twitter yet just couldn’t seem to report the actual news.

On a more serious note, yet absolutely astounding, Erin presented a simulation of tweets that occurred before the earthquake and tsumami hit Japan and just after.  Social media was a means of communication that allowed Erin, who was in Florida at the time, to exclaim “I was in Japan!” meaning she was following the tweets as it was happening. She was stunned by the gravity of the unfolding situation as well as the importance of just how fast Twitter facilitated communications amongst the watching world.

Shrinking gadgets translate to shrinking attention spans to process the barrage of informative overload expected on a daily basis. Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of heavy multi-tasking having experienced the underbelly of it: brain fog!  Both Erin and other studies show our iCrazy “smart’ world is leading to shrinking attention spans, an inability to use imaginations, poor focus and much lower comprehension.  Erin points out we are assimilating data at such a rapid pace, our brains are adapting to this new pace. Instead of memorization, we are analyzing data more.  Yet through these shrinking gadgets, the world just got smaller.  We are globally connected…big time.

Some constants that still endure are:

  • the need for timely and relevant information,
  • the use of both traditional and non-traditional media and
  • the importance of keeping relationships on track

There is evidence that our bullet-train information overload is now creating a welcome backlash through marketing and ads that suggest unplugging, communicating and recharging in the most old-fashioned of ways.  And as Erin concluded, let’s remember to meet face-to-face, write a handwritten note sometimes and be socially connected through one of the best pieces of technology on the planet…our human selves.

We thank Erin Dick for her passion in communicating these megatrends and for bringing her extraordinary experiences from her U.S. Air Force experience to illustrate just how far we’ve come into the future…which is now!

Thanks to Betty Henry, Communications Chair, for connecting and arranging Erin’s guest spot and event postings, thanks to Mike Spasoff, Media Chair, for his experimenting with streaming the event as well as setting up the tech side of things. Thanks to Christie Ly, Treasurer and Past President, for coordinating details with the restaurant and Eventbrite coordination, and thanks to Paula Cassin, Past President for some admin coordination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Care Reform Event at L.A. Care Health Plan on March 21, 2012

IABC-LA presented a highly informative panel of communication experts to discuss “Communicating Complex Change: Health Care Reform” on March 21, 2012 at event program sponsor L.A. Care Health Plan’s headquarters.  Cheryl Farrell, Board Member of IABC-LA, moderated this invaluable panel session to share how local health care professionals are communicating the complex changes of health care reform to various audiences (Event Podcast).

The distinguished panel included Patricia Clarey, Senior VP, Chief Regulatory and External Relations Officer of Health Net ;  John Merryman, Senior Director, Marketing/PR of South Bay Family Health Care; Ronald Owens, Director, Corporate Communications of Kaiser Permanente Southern California; Elena Stern, Communications and Marketing Director of L.A. Care Health Plan; and Cheryl Fields Tyler, Owner and CEO of Blue Beyond Consulting. The panel informed our chapter members how health care reform is being received and integrated by leading health care companies in Southern California (listen to the event podcast).

The panel discussion after a quick buffet dinner covered topics such as how this legislation is an extraordinary opportunity for innovation within the health care system as well as communications, how the new competitive environment created by mandating state-based Exchanges on individual policies will create positive benefits for consumers, and how do communicators break through to its new and existing audiences (we learned about the role and importance of Spanish-speaking Promotoras!)

So many advances have been made towards creating a communications system that is much more efficient than yesteryear including revolutionary a $5 billion electronic computerized patient records system as opposed to handwritten files and notes as discussed by Ron Owens of Kaiser Permanente.  Doctors are required to learn this system so a patient can be treated across states with tremendous efficiency.

Healthcare communications consultant Cheryl Fields Tyler emphasized the extraordinary opportunity for innovation that comes with such far-reaching legislature and how this is a game-changer for U.S. business overall.  She also emphasized the need for communicators to embrace and support the new legislation positively to create better understanding and trust between employers and employees.  Employees trust face-to-face meetings with direct managers.

Pat Clarey of Health Net has served as chief of staff to both former California governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pete Wilson, with current Health Net responsibilities for federal and state regulatory, legislative and compliance issues.  Pat discussed the new legislative concept of “guaranteed issue” for individuals seeking individual insurance policies through the reform’s American Health Benefit Exchanges, which has not been offered in the current California landscape if an individual had a pre-existing condition such as asthma.

John Merryman of South Bay Family Health Care noted the importance of funders for newly established programs.  In his view “money follows money” and the health care reform will shift how funding funnels through non-profits as well as private health care companies.

Elena Stern of event sponsor L.A. Health Care Plan enlightened us on how significant the role and use of a Promotora, a female Spanish-speaking healthcare advocate, is to underserved communities needing an array of healthcare and healthcare related services.

Finally, audience participants engaged in a Q&A with more information shed on topics such as how doctors are receiving all of this new legislation.

Big thanks to “Communicating Complex Change: Health Care Reform” event committee including IABC-LA members Cheryl Farrell, Paromita Ghosh, Adam Kevorkian, T.J. Stevko and Cimone Farrell.  Bill Spaniel served as podcast engineer while Ed Carreon of www.carreonphotography.com provided photography.

The chapter also kindly thanks event sponsor L.A. Health Care Plan for its sponsorship and use of its downtown headquarters facilities.

Please click here to listen to the event podcast.

 

11/17/11 – Shel Holtz Presented “Maximum Awareness, Minimal Effort” at Avery Dennison

IABC-LA presented “Maximum Awareness, Minimal Effort” by Shel Holtz on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at the Avery Dennison headquarters in Pasadena.  Holtz is an expert in communications, social media and technology and was superbly engaging in sharing “What’s the least we need to stay in touch, remain marketable and keep up-to-date?” And who has the time to use all these tools?

Holtz of Holtz Communications+Technology, is also known for his outstanding “For Immediate Release” (FIR) podcasts on business communications and tech with co-host with Neville Hobson.  He is a former IABC-LA chaper president and his expertise covers employee communications, corporate PR, crisis comms, media relations, financial comms, IR, marketing comms and compensation and benefits communications.

Shel addressed over 20 IABC-LA members over a buffet dinner at Avery Dennison’s cool 1960’s-style headquarters (the welcoming Koi pond was incredible!).  Christopher Swan of Avery Dennison assisted with providing the venue and an outstanding professional development evening.  The evening kicked off with member introductions and Paula introducing Holtz. We were just delighted to have Shel address the chapter…knowing full well of his intense global and domestic schedule.

Shel led everyone through various social media channels with an emphasis on matching the right tool with what the user is trying to accomplish with an audience.  Going beyond the standard FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn tools, Holtz illuminated outstanding resources such as Delicious, Paper.Li, ScoopIt, Mashable, Marketing Over Coffee and Storify.  And audio podcasts like Marketing Over Coffee and FIR allow you to multi-task and take a break from a screen. While you do not need to become an expert in all of these tools, it is very important to understand how content curation is integral to creating a filter for information overload.  (Look for the chapter to start using Storify…this was one of my favorite tools presented besides Marketing Over Coffee…and of course, FIR!)

Content curation was one of the big takeaways of the event and how trusted guides in content curation have evolved in media. Yet Shel spoke about the absolute necessity of context with content curation. Just like an art curator, it’s not enough to add pictures and artwork to a collection, there must be a context of what and why content is being added to a social media or media platform.  Shel supports the notion there’s no such thing as information overload, yet there is a serious problem with organizations and sometimes communicators not using enough filters to mine information.

Shel discussed two emerging career positions: community liaison and content strategist.  Within the community liaison role, someone has to have eyes and ears on the community surrounding an organization to achieve true community engagement.  A content strategist supports Shel’s concept that these days every company is a media company, whether the company chooses to be or not.  The difference between a content strategist and a traditional PR strategist is the content strategist focuses on content that is not pitched, yet still engages.  No corporate agenda pushing!

Interesting tidbits…Tumblr blogging tool has surpassed WordPress now. And GooglePlus is just terrific for getting answers to questions very quickly.  Christopher Swan pointed out…getting answers to Google Plus in general!  Christopher is part of the experienced trendy tool intelligentsia…with his “voice of reason” behind it all.  (Listen to Christopher on the video wrap-up of the event.)

On the subject of blocking employees from using social media on the job, the idea that just Millenials use social media is statistically wrong.  Age group 35-55 within companies using social media has created a flat statistic from even a few years ago.  It is crucial that employees have access to social media as studies have shown increased productivity.  88% of employees check social networks as a break between tasks, resetting concentration to do more work, not less work!

The evening wrapped up with a Whole Foods gift card to Shel for coming out to the chapter after a presentation same day to the IABC-USC Student Chapter.  Chapter President Paula Cassin also welcomed past chapter presidents who each told a funny or philanthropic anecdote while they were in office.

The conversation continued with Shel and well attended “After Dark” post-event socializing at “Bar Celona” for empanadas, Sangria, coffee, and connected conversations.  Shel pointed out how the face-to-face “After Dark” events are as important to communicators and the chapter as keeping up with contacts through social media connections. We appreciated Shel’s sentiments that IABC in general has a warm tone throughout its membership base.

Tremendous thanks to Shel Holtz, Christopher Swan, Avery Dennison, Christopher Cabrera who played escort to Holtz navigating Los Angeles chapter events and logistics while also moderating the evening’s event, and Dana Edler and Cheryl Farrell in welcoming/checking-in welcoming members. Special thanks to Adam Kevorkian, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes on important meeting logistics (like food!) We couldn’t have done it without him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 12th – Social Media CRASH Course and Workshop

On October 12, 2011, IABC-LA members attended “Social Media CRASH Course and Workshop” hosted by Belkin at corporate headquarters in Playa del Rey.  Christopher Keough, Corporate Communications Manager at Belkin hosted members to a case study discussion of in-depth social media platforms. Meanwhile, Julie Fornaro, the chapter’s social media chair, masterminded a scavenger hunt workshop equipped with learning-as-you-go clues and “sweat-producing” tasks divided amongst team challenges.  Myra Jolivet, chapter communications chair volunteer, moderated the overall discussion.

Keough introduced Lee Drasin, Belkin’s new Director, Interactive Marketing and Leah Polk, Senior Global Public Relations Manager.  Drasin came to Belkin from Petrol Advertising and shared an example of using FaceBook and email as a platform for an interactive social game named “Battlemail”.  Drasin’s example proved to be an exciting concept for the receptive client, however, as time wore on, so did the client’s concern about strategy, presentation and the approved 100k budget to create awareness for a movie entitled “The Crazies” tied into the social media platform.

How did a social media incident end up crashing Belkin.com? Leah Polk discussed a case study in which a recent incident involving a “30 routers in 30 days” campaign turned into a worldwide 50 percent of sale that lead to a learning experience of learning experiences in social media usage and strategy.  Polk also mentioned creative social media strategies such as Belkin’s “make over your dorm room” prizes. There was much discussion about whether communicators will become Google-Plus supporters, comparisons with FaceBook’s capabilities, and how Klout can be an effective tool regarding scoring social media’s effectiveness.

Armed with laptops, cell phone apps for the social media scavenger hunt and a truly engaged attitude, participants included: Christie Ly, Chris Cabrera, Cheryl Farrell, Charlotte Lassos, Jevon Ooi, Divya Chandran, Kris Kraves, Roxanne Truesdell, Dawn Pace, Beth Martin, Ann Giblin, Deshauna Brown, Stacy Noble, Julie Pine, Mark Dernheim, Hillary West. All “got game” in Julie Fornaro’s fun twists, turns and team challenges during the social media scavenger hunt.

IABC-LA Chapter President, Paula Cassin, ended the evening with invites to upcoming not-to-be-missed events including Shel Holtz and the laugh-a-minute Murder Mystery Holiday luncheon in December.

Finally, Paula thanked Belkin by offering an honorarium from the chapter to a charity of Belkin’s choice for outstanding hosting and speaker participation.  We so appreciated the evening!

 

 

 

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

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.