A Year of Learning: In 2010, IABC Continued to Deliver Leading-Edge Content and Professional Development Opportunities, Serving Members at Every Stage of Their Careers

By Freeman, Julie | Communication World, July-August 2011 | Go to article overview

A Year of Learning: In 2010, IABC Continued to Deliver Leading-Edge Content and Professional Development Opportunities, Serving Members at Every Stage of Their Careers


Freeman, Julie, Communication World


IABC members value what they learn from the association's publications, conferences and member discussions. They recognize that they need a resource like IABC to keep current with the best practices in organizational communication.

IABC needs to keep learning as well. And in 2010 the executive board and staff learned a great deal. We fielded two major member research studies--one that revealed why members join and retain their membership, and a second that helped us with dues pricing decisions. The overarching conclusion from both studies is that what members look for from IABC is content information that helps them succeed in their jobs and advance in their careers.

As in years past, IABC provided content through Communication World and CW Bulletin, which continue to receive high praise from members. CW Bulletin won a Maggie Award in 2010 from the Western Publishing Association for best e-newsletter published by a professional/trade organization.

The 2010 World Conference in Toronto as well as smaller, targeted conferences on employee communication, social media, research and measurement, and strategic communication all rated by attenders at an 80 percent or higher satisfaction rate--offered communication professionals face-to-face learning opportunities. The social media conference included our first-ever virtual option, increasing access to the conference content. Other firsts in the professional development area included an Asia/Pacific conference in Hung Kong and a student conference in Toronto.

Participation in the accreditation program grew in 2010, with 138 candidates entering the program and 104 earning the ABC designation. Because many senior-level communicators want to link professional development with accreditation, we piloted two new programs that did just that: the Corporate Accreditation Program for Asia/ Pacific Unilever communicators in Singapore, and the Executive Accreditation Seminar, in partnership with Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, which attracted participants from six countries.

As valuable as face-to-face learning can be, sometimes members need "just-in-time" learning. Discovery, launched in June 2010, was designed to meet that need. Discovery is IABC's online collection of resources, and includes best practices, templates, in-depth analysis, research and how-to manuals. In addition to being a rich reservoir of content, Discovery is a powerful tool to help members go from search to find much more quickly.

What's more, members continued to use IABC's eXchange for their blogs and MemberSpeak to get work solutions from their peers. IABC saw continued growth in the number of our social media followers as well. Our number of Facebook fans grew by 40 percent, Twitter followers by 41 percent and LinkedIn members by 47 percent. Klout, a highly respected leader in providing data on social media influence for Twitter and Facebook, reported that "IABC creates content that is spread throughout their network and drives discussions. …

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