President’s Message: As with all great leaders, IABC Leadership Institute inspires optimism

Back to Blogs By Wendy Kubota, ABC, IABC/BC President Posted: April 8, 2014

In the words of Al Gore, “airplane travel is nature’s way of making you look like your passport photo”. And driving 8 hours between Dallas and New Orleans due to a canceled connector flight and arriving just five hours before your first session at IABC’s Leadership Institute – well, sadly. Your passport photo looks better than you. A road trip was not on my agenda nor for my car mates – Catherine Ducharme and Gary Carr – but discovering how IABC will be positioning itself to both lead our association forward and how it will best assist its Chapters to do the same, was.

It goes without saying, IABC has had its share of controversy. In a sense, they need to take the road less traveled to shape and strengthen our association in a rapidly changing communications landscape. This path is challenging and difficult. Thankfully, the team at HQ presented themselves to be truly committed and passionate about strengthening the leadership role our association plays in our industry. What was shared was both motivating and inspiring. Here are some highlights:

Award Alignment

Of the more than 30 percent of chapters/regions with award programs, all share the same challenges: struggle to attract entries, finding qualified evaluators, volunteer workload and overall award administration.

To create a streamlined and simple award process, IABC is piloting a centralized award program system. Here, all Chapters would use the same online award software where submissions are electronic and judges can be pulled from any IABC Chapter. And this applies to all award levels – local, regional and international. What does it mean for us? Access to quality judges outside of our Chapter so we avoid peer-to-peer judging and a simpler program to manage resulting in less workload for our volunteers and an overall improved award experience for participants. Our Chapter will use the new online award software for this year’s Bronze Quill awards.

Certification Update & ABC Plus

IABC is presently working on two levels of certification that is ISO standard to globally elevate both the value we bring as strategic practitioners and our overall profession. HQ is presently working on the blueprint for the first level credential and will be preparing and piloting the exam in the near future. In addition, they are launching ABC Plus to ensure the original accredited (ABC) members retain the recognition for their professional standard. This will include expanded IABC involvement, professional development opportunities plus marketing and recognition. More to come at the 2014 World Conference.

IABC Academy

IABC has created a global standard for a communicator’s career path: foundation, generalist/specialist, strategic advisor and business leader. Overall the Academy will provide curriculum development and programs to align with IABC’s new certification program as well as career assessment and support tools. This will establish the skills required to build your career and provide the leadership to continue to build the skills of our industry. IABC plans to launch it at the 2014 World Conference.

IABC Brand Taskforce

Led by Priya Bates, ABC, MC, the Brand Taskforce is evaluating the health and strength of the IABC brand, evaluating its brand assets (name, look, tagline, consistency), and will make recommendations that would allow the IABC brand to reach its full potential. They expect to launch their work at World Conference 2015 in San Francisco.

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