Magazine article Communication World

We've Come a Long Way: A Personal Journey through Communication-And through IABC

Magazine article Communication World

We've Come a Long Way: A Personal Journey through Communication-And through IABC

Article excerpt

The times they are a-changin'--just not as much as you might think. Communication terms have always been cyclical. If you think we're on an upswing, wait. We'll soon be tumbling downward. Then wait some more--it'll come back up.

I thought about this as I recalled my experiences in communication and how they have paralleled changes in the industry. We've come a long way.

* Late 1950s: Thanks to the International Council of Industrial Editors (ICIE) Chicago, I meet my first mentor, Marion Murphy Levy, who gives me my first job. I learn about business, internal one-way print communication--and that the state of communication is nothing to sing about. We're talking at our audience, not to them. Our news releases are almost exclusively about people, products and services. What information that is presented to employees--through newsletters and magazines--is about newcomers, retirements, anniversaries, hobbies, vacations, babies and bowling scores.

* 1968: Another job, and a move to Philadelphia: I'm a "sales communication specialist." This is the beginning of key messages and the recognition of people as an important asset ("resource" would come later). We begin to add the "why" to our messages and to value feedback from all audiences.

* 1972: IABC is two years old when I move to Toronto with no job or place to live. IABC comes to my rescue through a member I had met at an international conference. Thanks, Wally Court!

* 1974: I'm an IABC vice president-at-large for Canada, with a portfolio that includes membership in a "women's committee" responsible for producing the association's groundbreaking publication Without Bias: A Guidebook for Nondiscriminatory Communication. …

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