Magazine article Communication World

CW Exclusive: An Interview with IABC's New Europe and Middle East Regional Chair: Growing Ties with Middle Eastern Communicators among Cambie's Goals

Magazine article Communication World

CW Exclusive: An Interview with IABC's New Europe and Middle East Regional Chair: Growing Ties with Middle Eastern Communicators among Cambie's Goals

Article excerpt

uncommonly stimulating

Communication Commons, IABC's online knowledge community, lets communicators discuss emerging trends and issues, and share best practices in employee communication, marketing/branding, measurement and media relations on a series of blogs hosted by recognized communication experts bike Silvia Cambie. Join the discussion at commons.iabc.com.

Longtime member Silvia Cambie was recently named the 2006-2007 chair of IABC's Europe and Middle East Region, following a yearlong stint on IABC's European board and four years on the board of IABC/Belgium; her term begins in July. Currently based in London, Cambie works as a communication consultant and a coach. In the 1990s, she reported from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union for a number of British and German business publications. She then moved to Brussels, Belgium, where she worked for nine years in external communication and public affairs. Cambie is Italian and has lived in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium and the U.K. She holds a degree in business administration and social sciences and speaks five languages.

CW Executive Editor Natasha Spring had a chance to speak with Cambie about her plans for the Europe and Middle East Region, her thoughts on leadership and what challenges she'll face.

Natasha Spring: Where do you see the region going in the coming year?

Silvia Cambie: These are interesting times for Europe. Enlargement of the European Union began two years ago, and two more countries [Bulgaria and Romania] will join in early 2007. These developments, together with the rise of China and India, mean that Europe has to open up and improve its ability to understand other parts of the world and their cultures. Communicators play a crucial role in promoting dialogue in multicultural corporations and organizations, and IABC, with its worldwide network of senior practitioners, can offer them great resources to help them carry out this complicated task. IABC stands a good chance of becoming more visible and growing in the region.

I would also like to establish closer ties with members in the Middle East. For example, we have been having discussions with members in the United Arab Emirates about a possible chapter there. This is a vibrant part of the world, home to a number of communication organizations, and with great growth potential for IABC.

NS: What do you see as your biggest challenges?

SC: We have to overcome the perception that IABC is too [oriented toward] North America and not sufficiently in tune with Europe's different cultures. We are also experiencing a disconnect between the region and the chapters. National chapters do not always understand why we have a regional board and what it can do for them. …

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