Thursday, February 12, 2015

A different kind of open mic event

Musings from sunny, but chilly, Orlando, Florida:

Day one of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Leadership Institute. The International Executive Board (IEB) invited chapter leaders from around the globe to freestyle questions, comments or suggestions to the board. As you might expect, a crowd appeared to take advantage of the opportunity. Here's what we learned in the ensuing conversation:

  • IABC plans to review membership pricing, including the application fee. They plan to include pricing in the upcoming member survey. A reminder: chapters can adjust their fees, increasing or decreasing if desired.
  • The organization will also consider our corporate membership structure—currently not really corporate, but a collection of individuals who work for the same organization.
  • IABC needs to define the roles of the international organization, the regions, and chapters. How do we operate as one IABC? We're not maximizing value at present.
  • A committee is being organized to produce an annual report.
  • New programs are ramping up—IABC academy, certification program ("meeting the 21st century")—best practices.
  • IABC's finances are recovering from the issues of the past six to seven years—now moving in the right direction, with investment in programs, infrastructure. The concerns now are not expenses (they have greater control of this) but in revenue.
  • The organization is taking steps to replace staff, re-evaluating each position to ensure we're making the best use of our resources.
  • The IEB, for the first time, has more than half its members from outside the U.S., ensuring a more global perspective. Two former chairs will research how to better leverage our membership in the Global PR Alliance.
  • IABC will go old school with lapsing members, sending a print mail reminder along with the electronic reminders already sent.
  • Russell Grossman, the IEB chair, will visit chapters, if invited and if practical.
I put this account together for my colleagues on the IABC/Chicago board. I intend to do the same the next two days of the conference; we shall see if I can follow through on that. 

Oh, and at right, Martha Muzychka, Canada East Region, accepts the Regional Leader of the Year award. Well done, Martha!

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