IABC-LA Nose Wine Cellar Networking Event 9-21-11

IABC-LA Nose Wine Cellar Networking Event 9-21-11

IABC-LA Chapter kicked off the beginning of the networking season with a warm toast of conversation, and networking at Nose Wine Cellar Networking Event in Pasadena on Wednesday, Chapter President, Paula Cassin welcomed members and very special guest, Adrian Cropley, IABC Chair in from Australia! Members were surrounded by brick “cellar” walls and stocked wine shelves, and enjoyed especially warm and lively conversation, deep red wine “legs” while sipping glasses from premium vineyards, bruschetta and cheeses, all while continuing that signature friendly-chapter atmosphere that is IABC-LA.  Cimone Farrell, volunteer event coordinator did a lovely job of putting the event together at Nose.

Paula Cassin welcomed everyone to a new networking event year, and noted the chapter’s collegial engine really does run on the steam of its volunteers.  New Zealander Paula and all of us were delighted to welcome affable international colleague, Adrian Cropley, who addressed the crowd with a few words on this year’s three-point focus of career, content and more value regarding IABC membership.  Adrian is the Principal for Cropley Communications in Melbourne.

Chris Cabrera invited members to “stay out a little later on a school night” for the After Dark after-event portion of the evening…which will continue throughout events this year so participants can connect a bit more over lattes.  Susan San Martin, our chapter career development volunteer and Christopher Swan enjoyed some chat time with Adrian.  Bill Spaniel welcomed members to assist in the process of judging the writing category for the Gold Quill Awards in January.  Paromita Ghosh and Rebecca Mikkelsen continue to bring their fresh energy to events, while Cheryl Farrell hit “the big time” recently in a professional video for diabetes including dozens of singing kids. Members attending or on the guest list included Greg Cash, Kerry Bonner, Shannon King,  Julie Lowe, Sandy Smith, Jessica Santana, and Jane Stenehjem and Dyanne Weiss.  And UCLA grad student Aubrey Kelly stated on Flip camera that this event helped her make up her mind to join the chapter as well as volunteer!  And Cimone’s  peer, Courtney is looking to join as well. Delighted to have all of you in attendance!

Our chapter sponsor and volunteer “paparazzi” Ed Carreon kept the flash bulbs going and we look forward to our visages posted on our website.

The chapter makes an effort to create plenty of networking and career development events throughout the year and in locations that give plenty of ease-of-access to members.  We’re off to a terrific start this year under Paula’s second direction with her second term as President.  Existing volunteers and members and our newest faces all toast to career, content and more value!

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

September 23, 2010: IABC-LA’s Fall Networking Kickoff Mixer and “After Dark” Event

http://www.youtube.com/v/rq4WIpEk6oU

September 23, 2010 – IABC-LA hosted its free fall Networking Kickoff and Mixer to members in Pasadena with Indian flair and “After Dark” desserts.  Paromita Ghosh, Events Chair for the area, put together a lively, colorful, mouth-watering evening at Mezbaan Indian Bar & Restaurant, Pasadena.
  
Paula Cassin, President, IABC-LA, says the L.A. chapter’s plans for the 2010-2011 year will include more fun, more relaxed and casual networking opportunities in addition to the year’s schedule of heavy-hitter speaker and panel events.  So we Chicken Tikka’d and found some new friends and members along the Kickoff way. 
 
We welcomed new and existing members Karrie Hawbaker, who just moved from Washington, DC, Lisa Wendt, David Jamieson and Kelley Haggert of Disney, Ernest Greene from USC, Vivien Hughes of Resources U.S., Jim Wong, Dawn Pace of KPMG, Risa Koppel of Pacific Bell, and David Gordon Schmidt of DG Schmidt PR/Marketing Services. Rebecca Mikkelsen, Social Media Chair for the chapter enjoyed a social media topic chat with Jim Wong and David Gordon Schmidt, who recently relocated from Michigan.

The chapter also kicked into the new IABC-LA “After Dark” series of meet-ups after events to continue the conversation and fun at a nearby location for after dinner drinks, desserts and/or those foamy lattes we all enjoy. David Schmidt enjoyed “After Dark” at the buzzing Mi Piace in Pasadena on Thursday night after Mezbaan…well, he should…he’s a former Wolverine in his past Michigan life!  Chris Cabrera of Southern California Edison, mastermind of the “After Dark” series, welcomes L.A. chapters members to enjoy just a little more nightlife together at L.A.’s best haunts.