Blog

New Year, New Opportunities

Kecia Gray is the 2016-2017 President of the IABC Dallas chapter.
She is also principal of GRAY Marketing Solutions and co-owner of The MKTG Agency,
a social media marketing firm based in Plano. Reach Kecia at keciagray@gmail.com


Attractive opportunities result from industry growth and change

By Kecia Gray, IABC Dallas President

We don’t recommend this, but you'd have to drive the DFW Metroplex with your eyes closed to miss the amazing growth in the area. With growth comes adjustments and changes. Some are enjoyable, such as new restaurants and shopping areas; others are not fun, like construction and traffic. (We unofficially recommend the Waze app for navigation.) Managing change is just part of life and business.

IABC Dallas is changing, too. Earlier in the year, chapter leadership took stock of the opinions and desires of our members, volunteers and area business communicators. After evaluating a survey conducted by ExperiPro on our behalf, the Board of Directors found exciting new opportunities, validated the need for newer programs, and also learned some cold hard facts about areas ripe for change.

Focus on Silver & Gold Quill Awards

Reality check. Survey results showed a vast majority of our stakeholders were not interested in a local award program. We get it. There are already two other avenues to win awards with IABC: the regional Silver Quill and international Gold Quill awards. Our chapter will promote both of these to make sure business communicators have the needed information and support to apply.
Opportunity. The change in focus allows for volunteer hours and financial resources to be used in other areas, such as chapter marketing, volunteer programs and membership outreach, that are more impactful and effective. Starting with…

Big opportunity for members

Global is local in 2017. Each year, the international level of IABC chooses a city to host its Leadership Institute (LI) conference. This is where chapter board members and leaders connect with IABC leaders from around the world for three days of networking, best practice and idea sharing, and leadership development. We can't express enough excitement to tell you that Dallas is the chosen location for the February 2017 event!
Opportunity. This brings a variety of benefits for our members to meet and network with business communication leaders from just about everywhere in the world. And no travel budget is needed; they're coming to us.
Bonus opportunity: The LI conference also brings a testing opportunity for the Communication Management Professional (CMP) exam. The pricing was lowered just recently to reduce the barrier of entry.

The value of membership

What's the Value? Unfortunately, we received confusion and questions about the value of being a member of IABC.
Opportunity. We vow to do better in educating and sharing the benefits that come with membership, including access to networks, education, webinars, lowered fees and more. In fact, our Membership Committee is already hard at work with personal outreach, and it’s paying off. In October alone, membership increased 217% year-over-year. Incredible! So don't just take our word for it; ask a member or board member why they continue to be part of IABC.

Engagement and rewards

Time to get involved. That’s a double entendre, by the way. Who has extra time these days? Actually, with so many types of volunteer jobs at IABC Dallas, it’s very easy to make the time.
Opportunity. Some people volunteer for an hour a month, others work on a single project with a clear beginning and end, while still others hold permanent positions on committees. We know this because about a year ago, we launched a new volunteer recognition program to recruit, track and retain volunteers. Since then, almost 1,400 volunteer hours have been tracked by 71 volunteers. This is more than a 225% increase in active volunteers over a two-year period. For the first time in our chapter’s history, we've been able to recognize and reward our top three outstanding volunteers with a grant to the charity of their choosing.

Take advantage of what's offered

While adapting can be challenging at times, the IABC Dallas Board takes it as a mandate to lead and create high-quality, relevant opportunities and programs for our fellow business communicators, along with strengthening the business communication field as a whole. Whether you're new to IABC, have been away for a while or are actively involved, I invite you to try out IABC Dallas in 2017. Build your network. Build your career.

For more information about programs mentioned above:

 

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