Magazine article Communication World

Professional Communicators Will Find an Advocate in IABC Group

Magazine article Communication World

Professional Communicators Will Find an Advocate in IABC Group

Article excerpt

One of the IABC executive board's initiatives for 2007 is to explore the role of advocacy in the profession and in the association. Michael Zimet, who will lead the group investigating this issue, spent 24 years in communication at IBM and currently has his own communication consulting practice, Dialogue Solutions. He has been an IABC member for 13 years and is passionate about the people and the profession. "We all believe in what we do and view advocacy as one way to elevate our profession in the business world and beyond," he says. Here, he shares with CW some of the goals of and the thinking behind the board's advocacy initiative.

CW: What does advocacy mean?

Michael Zimet: Advocacy is multidimensional. In general, it's about promoting the communication profession and raising our profile among such audiences as business leaders and organization staffs. For some people, advocacy also means taking public positions on a broad spectrum of economic, ethical and professional issues. There are others who feel that professional associations such as IABC should play a formal role in championing specific social issues, and even adopting them as sanctioned projects.

CW: What is the intent of the advocacy group?

MZ: Our primary objective is to research the concept of advocacy and recommend what IABC can and should do in this area. We'd like to develop a strategic advocacy plan that would not only define specific objectives and benefits but also provide a framework within which to achieve them. Like any good strategic plan, we'll include specific tactics that we feel would add value to the profession and to IABC.

CW: How will IABC benefit from the existence of this group?

MZ: We want our work on advocacy to enhance and add another important dimension to IABC. Think of it as an extension of what IABC is all about. We already provide a variety of benefits, features and services to communicators worldwide; this may well be a springboard to making communication an even more integral and valued part of global businesses and organizations.

CW: What do you see as the advocacy group's biggest challenge?

MZ: Our greatest challenge will be to set realistic objectives, time frames and strategies. There are so many facets to advocacy--and so many opportunities to explore--that we have to narrow our focus to what will add the most value to IABC and the communication profession. …

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