Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Join SIG sessions for communications professionals to expand your network and learn more about trending topics in the industry.

Most of our SIGs are held virtually on Zoom, but we will be returning to some in-person SIGs in 2022.

What are SIGs?

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are championed by IABC/BC members and offer informal opportunities to connect, learn and exchange knowledge with peers in an area of particular interest and relevance. There is no charge for IABC/BC members to participate in a SIG, a discounted rate for students and only a nominal charge for non-members.

Interested in facilitating a SIG discussion, but not sure where to start? 

Connect with Sunsan Seto, Director, Special Interest Groups (SIGs) at sigs (at) iabc.bc.ca to learn more.

SIG topics

Learn more about participating in one of our active SIGs:

Upcoming SIG sessions

Visit our events page to view upcoming SIG sessions or events.

Keep up-to-date by subscribing to our newsletter and joining our LinkedIn Group to receive notifications about upcoming sessions and to connect with other members.


Internal Communications SIG

Our IABC/BC Internal Communications SIG is about building a network of like-minded individuals in the greater Vancouver area.

If part of your portfolio is dedicated to delivering impactful communications that support a great employee experience, then we have loads in common already. If you are all about helping move your organization forward while proving your strategic value, then all the better!

Topics we talk about

From tackling communication challenges like disengaged employees, remote working, unsupportive executives or transformation, to just finding a group that ‘gets you’, we believe the dialogue for internal communicators is evolving. If you would like to be part of this conversation, please join in!

Co-Chair: Alfie Penfold

Engaging employees in the tech, sports, media, finance and education spaces over the last 10 years, Alfie Penfold employs an energetic and fun approach to internal communications. With a focus on building meaningful relationships, putting employees first and helping to connect team members, he seeks to deliver business value through effective and strategic communications.

Having moved to Vancouver in 2019, he is keen to grow his network within the communications community.

Co-Chair: Erin Raimondo

Erin Raimondo is, at the core, a writer and content-obsessed communicator with more than a decade of experience fostering engagement through effective internal communication. She is an expert at developing integrated communication strategies that fit and flourish in diverse environments.

Originally involved with IABC as a student, she’s back and looking forward to gathering with (and learning from) like minds!

Learn more

Connect with Alfie at alfie (at) icthrive.com and Erin at erin (at) icthrive.com.

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Public Sector Communications SIG

Public sector communications come with unique challenges. While the need for high-quality, impactful communication for our communities has never been greater, shifts in audience expectations, budgetary constraints and an ever-evolving digital landscape continue to challenge communicators in our sector to adapt.

Whether you’re new to communications or a seasoned professional, a marcomm hybrid or a traditional communicator, we welcome you to join us as we explore best practices, tackle complicated questions and celebrate wins. This community aims to encourage conversation that is focused, constructive and relevant to public sector communicators.   

Topics we talk about

Topics may include: transparency and trust, staff recruitment communications, social media, privacy regulations, social justice, communications on a budget, accessibility best practices, events promotion, advertising, media relations and more.  

While all are welcome, this group may be of particular interest to you if you are working in the public sector (e.g., health care, education, local government and community, infrastructure, etc.).

Co-Chair: Jessica Allen

Jessica is a digital marketing and communications professional with over 8 years of experience in higher education, healthcare and technology. She currently leads digital marketing at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. Prior to this, Jessica led digital marketing for Vancouver Coastal Health and UBC’s student recruitment team. 

Jessica enjoys translating emerging social media and digital marketing trends for the public sector, and integrating social with strategic communications goals. 

Co-Chair: Courtney Chu

Courtney is a marketing and communications strategist who helps organizations craft meaningful stories, messages and experiences that resonate. Courtney specializes in health and public safety communications and marketing, and has previously worked at the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council and Vancouver Coastal Health. Presently, she leads marketing and communications for safety initiatives at Technical Safety BC.  

When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Courtney boxing, practicing ukelele or trying to make life as pretty as her Animal Crossing island.

Learn more

Connect with Jessica at allen.jessicaruth (at) gmail.com and Courtney at courtneyhchu (at) gmail.com.

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Senior Communicators SIG

As a senior communicator, do you find yourself looking for ways to connect with your peers on issues that you find challenging? Whether you’re an independent consultant or heading a team of communicators, chances are many of your peers have run into similar struggles you might be facing.

The Senior Communicators SIG offers seasoned professionals — those with 15+ years’ experience — the opportunity to exchange ideas in a supportive, informal environment.

Join us to network, share insights and explore new ideas with your peers.

Co-Chair: Gary Carr

As an IABC member since 1991, Gary’s been a long-time IABC/BC volunteer and is a Past President of the chapter as well as a Past Chair of the Canada Western Region of IABC. He currently works as a Regional Communications Leader for Vancouver Coastal Health after spending more than 10 years working as an independent communication consultant and seven years at ICBC. As someone who loves connecting IABC members in pursuit of good discussions or wanting to learn from each other, he’s looking forward to organizing a lively group of seasoned members who are interested in participating in an online and F-2-F community on issues chosen and directed by the group.

Learn more

Connect with Gary at garycarrcommunication (at) telus.net.

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Pop-Up SIG

Chair: Maybe It’s You?

Do you have a topic to discuss with fellow communicators or is there a professional development topic you want us to cover? Are you looking for industry experts like yourself to help brainstorm solutions to common communications challenges? This is an excellent opportunity for you to join a SIG or host one yourself!

In this role, you will collaborate with the SIGs Team and arrange informal meetings to connect, learn and exchange knowledge with peers.

Potential SIG topics

Potential communications topics: B2B & Industrial Communications / Crisis Communications / Public Relations / Non-Profit and Government Communications

Past Pop-Ups

  • Health SIG: Communicating to frontline workers during the pandemic (June 7, 2021)
    Facilitated by Lori Last, Principal, Last Word Communications
  • Senior Communicators SIG: Being an effective, trusted advisor (March 10, 2021)
    Facilitated by Ryan Williams, MA, ABC, MC; Partner, Tekara Organizational Effectiveness; President, TWI Surveys Inc.
  • Senior Communicators SIG: What’s on the Horizon: Preparing our Communication Teams for the Future (April 15, 2021)
    Facilitated by Linda Ong, BA, AVC, Director, Information Technology Communications, Office of the CIO, UBC
  • Senior Communicators SIG: What Does Good Leadership Look Like During a Pandemic? (Jan. 13, 2021)
    Facilitated by Kristin Linklater, Executive Director, SFU Communications & Marketing
  • Let’s Talk About Equity, Diversity and Inclusion – IABC/BC SIG Session (Nov. 24, 2020)
    Facilitated by Dana Higgins, President, IABC/BC; and Asna Shaikh, Event Manager, IABC/BC

Interested in starting a Pop-Up SIG?

Connect with Susan Seto, Director, SIGs at sigs (at) iabc.bc.ca.

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