IABC - International Association of Business Communicators Be Heard

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IABC is the premier organization for communication, business and journalism students. We offer a variety of resources and opportunities for students who plan on entering the communication profession. Get insights from leaders in the profession, make valuable contacts, and supplement your academic education with practical training to get your career started.

Inside the Mind of a Hiring Manager: Sandy Pell

January 7th, 2013

Interview conducted by Jenny Chan: @JPYChan This post originally appeared on the IABC/BC student newsletter.

Sandy PellWe kick things off with Sandy Pell, who is the PR Manager at HootSuite. She has held that role for over a year and has seen the company grow exponentially in that time. Her background is in photography and marketing and still provides stock photography to major websites. Her insight is particularly valuable as the profile of HootSuite has seemingly exploded overnight and the PR challenges at the company are always evolving. Thanks Sandy!

What makes PR different than the other streams of communications, such as corporate communications or marketing?

PR is all about encouraging the sharing rather than selling of your story – helping to teach users how they can simplify their lives. I’ve found success in public relations by striking a perfect balance of being both 50% proactive, and 50% reactive to the needs of those stakeholders who matter most. It’s important for PR teams to make sure they have continued a 2-way flow of communication in a genuine, conversational format. This type of relationship, although similarly related to corporate communications or marketing teams, differs in that it’s all about true conversational engagement with contacts, trust, and your ability to tell a story that others can easily relate to.

At HootSuite, we’re always looking for new ways to revolutionize social communication on a global scale. Through various public relations initiatives, my team and I focus on driving initiatives built to educate today’s power user, small business, and large enterprise on the best practices for bringing social media into an organization. Each audience differs greatly from one another and it is PR’s challenge to meet the needs of each of these groups.

Businesses can no longer ignore that social media exists – it’s happening whether or not a company is listening. I see proactive companies driving PR initiatives to help guide these social media conversations in order to meet long term goals and strategies. Read the rest of this entry »

Get Involved: You’ll be glad you did

May 17th, 2012
Cassandra Sheppard

Cassandra Sheppard, IABC/ Loyola University

By Cassandra Sheppard

As I prepare to say goodbye to my undergrad college career, I can honestly say that college has been one of the best experiences of my life. I put in a lot of hard work but definitely had my fair share of “play” along the way. And now in a few short months it’s all going to be over, and it’ll be time to enter the real world. Am I scared yet? I sure am.

But as nervous as I am to begin my life as a working professional, I know I’m ready. During my undergrad career at Loyola University Chicago, I’ve gained crucial knowledge and skills that have prepared me to enter the world of suits, strong handshakes and 9–5 jobs (that is what this all leads up to, right?).

My time with IABC has helped immensely to prepare me for what comes next. Through my participation on the student chapter board and the variety of events I attended, I was able to become a stronger communicator, a better networker and a more confident person in general. As I move forward in life and look to begin a long and successful career, or at least just score that first job, these are the skills I feel I can use the most to get myself where I ultimately want to be. Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of the Business Card

May 1st, 2012

by Alyssa Aalmo

IABC business card

The business card: a small, understated piece of paper that every professional has in their arsenal. At networking events, happy hours, and off-site meetings as well as during business and even personal travel, you should never be without it. Why is this 2 x 3.5 inches of paper so important? Aside from having a memorable personality, it is the only way people can follow up with you and, more important, keep in touch.  An exchange of business cards presents an opportunity to expand your network, which can come in handy immediately or in the future for job advice or possibly a career change.

Many people get business cards when they enter a company, but anyone can have business cards made. If you are an intern, a freelancer or even between jobs, get cards that display your contact information and maybe your business interests, such as journalism or history. This could be the gateway to a new job. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Easy Tools for Communicating You

April 24th, 2012

by Darcy Eikenberg

Whether you’re looking for your first full-time job or just a short-term gig, there’s one thing you must learn to communicate about right now. It’s you.

Did you realize you’re now another communication project to add to your portfolio? If not, it’s time. But you don’t need a fancy website, ad budget or well-designed collateral to reach your goals for this campaign. You can go far just using these four simple (and free) tools. Read the rest of this entry »

Lessons Learned When Trying to Find a Career Path

April 10th, 2012

career path, Angee Linsey

by Angee Linsey

If you’re like many students who are looking forward to a career in the communication or marketing fields, the more you are exposed to different paths within the field, the harder it is to decide exactly which direction you should take with your first post-college job.

Here are three lessons I learned early in my career that may help you find your way.

1. Try it On for Size

Read the rest of this entry »

Liz Guthridge’s 5 A’s of Effective Communication Advisers

April 3rd, 2012

by Cyrus Rivera

If a career in communication is in your future, you would do well to follow the advice of accomplished communication professionals Liz Guthridge (Connect Consulting), Virginia Stefan (ROI Communication), Kenneth Windsor (BrandAdvocat), and Mary Kuhn (AAA).

In IABC/San Francisco’s 7 March panel discussion on being an effective communication adviser , these professionals discussed Guthridge’s five A’s: Acumen, Awareness, Anticipation, Affability and Adaptability.

Leaders look to a number of different strategic advisers to help them solve their problems and get results that meet their goals and advance their strategies. With so many problems rooted in communication and so many communication choices out there, communication professionals have many opportunities now and in the future to provide strategic counsel. Read the rest of this entry »

Check out these 20 free IABC web seminars

March 29th, 2012

Did you know IABC has an extensive archive of free and free for member web seminars? Check out some of these great learning opportunities and be sure to check out all the other web seminars available now.

Free archived web seminars

Employee engagement: The communicator’s role
presented by Steve Crescenzo, Crescenzo Communications
Recorded 28 March 2012

Mobile Marketing: An

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introduction to text message marketing
presented by Derek Johnson, Tatango
Recorded 25 January 2012

Crisis communication in the digital age
presented by Daniel Tisch, Argyle Communications
Recorded 16 December 2011

The Twitter triangle and digital donuts
presented by Marc Wright, simply-communicate.com
Recorded 19 October 2011

Finding your voice: Writing for “New Media”
presented by Steve Crescenzo, Crescenzo Communications
Recorded 5 October 2011 Read the rest of this entry »

Unsolicited career advice to PR students

March 26th, 2012

By Donna Papacosta

One side benefit of having been around the block a few times, as they say, is the opportunity to share some of my experience with students. When I attend IABC events, I usually encounter students and recent grads eager to

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speak with the more seasoned practitioners.

I consider myself a student, too, albeit one with a little more mileage than a recent grad. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

  • A presence on social media platforms is a must if you want to distinguish yourself and attract potential employers. Think of a niche you can blog about, whether it’s fashion or cars. Read the rest of this entry »

Career Spotlight: John G. Clemons, ABC, APR, IABC interim executive director

March 7th, 2012

Student Connection editor Torey Klucznik spoke recently with John G. Clemons, IABC’s interim executive director, about his career path, his current position and his advice for those who are embarking on a career in communication.


Torey Klucznik: How long have you been in the communication profession?

John Clemons: More than 20 years.

TK: What made you decide to go into the communication field?

JC: My original career choice was to be a journalist. I fulfilled that goal by becoming a general assignment reporter for The Star-Ledger newspaper in New Jersey, then a magazine editor in Manhattan. I later turned to the communication profession and was able to use all the

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skills I learned in the two previous positions. It all fit together nicely and I have no regrets about the professional decisions I have made.

TK: What was the best job you’ve had?

JC: I have been asked this question before. Each position that I have held has had some elements of being “best,” but to more directly respond to your question, working at Marriott International was a wonderful experience. I enjoy the hospitality industry because it is constantly changing, and I was promoted to a vice president in less than three years. The upward movement happened because I really loved the work. Read the rest of this entry »

What it takes to be a public information officer

January 20th, 2012

by Cyrus Rivera

Being a public information officer, or PIO, is not for the faint-hearted. Nonetheless, public information can be a very rewarding career. PIOs can be the first point of contact for the media, sometimes prompting camera time and news coverage, and can play a huge role in bolstering an agency’s image. Like other communication jobs, public or private, it requires you to formulate and execute a communication strategy that creates a favorable public image for a given organization—in this case, a government agency. But public information is an around-the-clock, on-call field. During times of crisis, when information is in high demand, it is not unusual for public information officers to take 3 a.m. phone calls from the media. Throw into the equation people’s generally negative preconceptions about government, and you can see the disadvantages of the job.

To be successful, however, aspiring PIOs should strive to obtain the following skills, through practice, workshops or seminars: Read the rest of this entry »

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