International Association of Business Communicators

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International Association of Business Communicators
Type Not-for-profit
Industry Public Relations Marketing Internal Communications Human Resources
Founded 1970
Headquarters San Francisco
Area served Worldwide
Employees 25
Website www.iabc.com

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a San Francisco-based, not-for-profit membership association for business communications professionals with approximately 14,000 members and 100 chapters. The association was founded in 1970 by merging the American Association of Industrial Editors (AAIE) with the International Council of Industrial Editors (ICIE). The IABC Foundation was created as part of IABC in 1982.

The IABC tagline is "Be heard." IABC provides professional development, career growth opportunities and networking for people around the globe who work in a wide variety of industries including healthcare, technology, energy, retail, government and banking. IABC members typically hold roles in marketing, human resources, public relations and internal communications; many are independent consultants and strategists. IABC offers professional, corporate, student and retired memberships. The IABC job board connects employers with job seekers in the communications field.

Each summer, IABC hosts World Conference, a three-day event with professional development seminars and activities, as well as talks by industry leaders. Recent conference speakers included Richard Edelman, Shelly Lazarus and Peter Cuneo. The 2014 World Conference 8–11 June in Toronto, Canada, with speakers including Lesley Jane Seymour of More Magazine, Cindy Gallop of MakeLoveNotPorn and a panel of CEOs from Undercover Boss Canada talking about insights into employee engagement. Volunteers will work with United Way of Toronto to help affiliated charities solve communications challenges during Give the Gift of Communication. The IABC Foundation Luncheon examines issues of gender equality first raised in the IABC reports from the 1980s: "The Velvet Ghetto" and "The Velvet Ghetto Revisited." [1]

IABC's Gold Quill Awards is one of the only international program recognizing the projects in a marketing, communications, public relations, design and journalism. For more information, visit the Gold Quill Awards website.

IABC supports several awards programs, professional development conferences and webinars, as well as networking events. It also publishes a monthly digital magazine called Communication World (CW), as well as studies on communications.[2] IABC partnered with Human 1.0, Society for New Communications Research and Great Place to Work on a Social Workplace Trust Study released in late 2013. It found that when employees are allowed to post on social media about their organization, they're happier at work and feel more trust in their leadership.[3]

Decisions within the organization are made by a two-thirds vote of the executive board, which is elected by members. IABC members agree to follow a professional code of ethics, which encourages members to do what is legal, ethical and in good taste.[4]

History[edit]

IABC's predecessor was the American Association of Industrial Editors (AAIE), which was founded in 1938. AAIE became a member of the International Council of Industrial Editors (ICIE) in 1941. It withdrew from ICIE in 1946 over policy differences, but formed IABC when it merged again in 1970.[5][6] In IABC's first year of operation, the association had 2,280 members and was focused on internal communications.[7] IABC's research showed its members were moving into positions with broader public relations responsibilities and the association expanded its scope.[8] In 1974 it merged with Corporate Communicators Canada.[7]

In 1982 the association formed the IABC Research Foundation, which funded a study of 323 organizations in the 1980s to determine what made some public relations teams more effective than others. The study found that executive involvement in communications was the best predictor of effectiveness.[9] The Research Foundation also looked into the status and pay of women in the public relations field, in a pioneering study called The Velvet Ghetto.[10]

IABC had financial troubles in 2000 after losing $1 million in an e-business initiative called TalkingBusinessNow.[11][12] In 2001 a grass-roots initiative was started within IABC's membership that eventually developed into the Gift of Communication program, whereby members donated their professional services to local charities.[13] Membership grew 7–9 percent each year in the 2000s due to an increasing number of practitioners in the field of internal communications.[6] IABC hosted its first annual world conference in 2005[14] and grew to more than 16,000 members by 2008.[6] That same year, IABC accredited Chinese citizens for the first time in the Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) program.[15][16]

In 2009 the IABC Research Foundation conducted a survey that found 79 percent of respondents frequently use social media to communicate with employees.[17] It also co-authored a study the following year that found email and intranet were the most common internal communications tools among respondents.[18][19]

For 40 years, the association offered an accreditation program called Accreditation for Business Communications (ABC). By the time the program ended in 2013, a total of 1,003 people had earned ABC status. Though the program stopped accepting new applicants in September 2012, ABCs will be recognized as long as they maintain their membership in IABC.[20][21] A new professional certification program to replace accreditation with a more affordable, computer-based process was proposed in January 2013. The goal is to set an international standard for all communications professionals that will be recognized by an organization such as ISO17024. The autonomous international group to oversee the creation of the new certification program — the Global Communication Certification Council — was appointed in February 2014. For more information, see Certification.

Organization[edit]

IABC offers professional, corporate, student and retired memberships. Corporate members include The William K. Kellogg Foundation, Wells Fargo, KPMG Canada and Cisco. Representatives from different chapters and regions, as well as professional members, vote at the Annual General Meeting to elect members to the international executive board. The board can change dues, establish new chapters, create workgroups and remove members with a two-thirds vote. IABC also has various committees focused on ethics, research, finance, auditing and others. All positions within IABC are filled by volunteers.[22] The International Board Chair for 2013-14 is Robin McCasland of Texas, USA. She will be succeeded in June 2014 by Russell Grossman ABC of London, United Kingdom. The Immediate Past Chair is Kerby Myers of Colorado, USA.

Services[edit]

IABC hosts networking events and mentoring programs to help recent graduates connect with working public relations, marketing and corporate communications professionals.[23] Most professional members join IABC to further their career advancement, professional development and to grow their professional network. IABC is no longer accepting new applicants for its Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) program, but a new certification program has been initiated that would involve computerized testing and renewals every three years.[24] The new certification program will have two levels; the first level being developed is for Communications Generalists.[25]

IABC publishes a code of ethics,[26] which has three principles: that professional communications be legal, ethical and in good taste. It says members should be sensitive to cultural values, as well as be truthful, accurate and respectful.[27] Before 1995, the code said "Communicators should encourage frequent communication and messages that are honest in their content, candid, accurate and appropriate to the needs of the organization and its audiences."[28]

IABC hosts the Gold Quill Awards, which are bestowed at three levels: Gold, Silver and Bronze. The Gold Quill is an international awards program that's open to both members and non- members. The Silver and Bronze Quills are conducted at a local chapter level and open to both members and non-members.[29] The awards are bestowed for "creatively and effectively communicating" in measurable ways that contribute to the local community.[30] In 2014 the Gold Quill has four divisions and more than 40 categories.[31] Both the Gold Quill and some of the regional chapters offer special awards for college students.[32]

Publishing[edit]

IABC also publishes a monthly digital magazine Communication World. Recent issues have shared researched and first-person, expert articles on connecting with Millennials, social intranets and crisis communications.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ wc.iabc.com
  2. ^ http://www.iabc.com/publications/
  3. ^ http://www.iabc.com/publications/reports/quarterly/Social%20Workplace%20Trust%20Study.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.iabc.com/about/code.htm
  5. ^ American Association of Industrial Editors (AAIE) Records, Syracuse University Library, retrieved December 3, 2012 
  6. ^ a b c O'Dwyer, Jack (January 26, 2009). "Emphasis on internal communication spurs IABC". O'Dwyer's. 
  7. ^ a b International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, retrieved December 4, 2012 
  8. ^ James E. Grunig (1992). Excellence Public Relations Pr. Psychology Press. pp. 533–. ISBN 978-0-8058-0227-6. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  9. ^ Grunig, James E., and Larissa A. Grunig. "Public Relations In Strategic Management And Strategic Management Of Public Relations: Theory And Evidence From The IABC Excellence Project." Journalism Studies 1.2 (2000): Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 3 Dec. 2012.
  10. ^ http://www.iabc.com/researchfoundation/reports.htm
  11. ^ O'Dwyer, Jack (April 9, 2002). "IABC, PRSA Revamp Ties to Ragan, PRW". O'Dwyer's. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Special Insert: Ragan Report's IABC Watch". Ragans. August 3, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Social Responsibility at IABC". Association. February–March 2011. p. 21. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  14. ^ "IABC preps for World Conference". O'Dwyer's. May 29, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Global standard for business communication is introduced in China - Shanghai Expo will bring opportunities to PR industry". Shanghai Evening Post. September 26, 2008. 
  16. ^ "The first-ever Chinese citizens earn the ABC designation". Shanghai Business Daily. September 13, 2008. 
  17. ^ Palmer, Maija (March 22, 2010). "Time to connect". The Financial Times. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Email, Intranet Top Tools for Engaging Employees". MarketingProfs. August 9, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  19. ^ Ciarallo, Joe (August 4, 2010). "IABC Survey: Email, Intranets More Popular Than Social Media For Employee Engagement". PRNewser. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  20. ^ http://www.iabc.com/abc/accredited/
  21. ^ O'Dwyer, Jack (December 3, 2012). "IABC Cutting Staff by 16, Digital Emphasized". O'Dwyers. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  22. ^ "IABC Bylaws", About IABC (IABC), retrieved December 3, 2012 
  23. ^ U. S. Department of Labor (1 April 1996). Occupational Outlook Handbook, 1996-97. Bernan Assoc. ISBN 978-0-89059-061-4. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  24. ^ O'Dwyer, Jack (January 14, 2012). "IABC Proposes That "Certification" Replace ABC". O'Dwyer's. 
  25. ^ http://www.iabc.com/education/certificationcouncil/gccc.cfm
  26. ^ Rise of Public Relations Ethics (chapter), Mini-Me History: Public Relations from the Dawn of Civilization, By Don Bates APR Fellow PRSA, for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, 2002, Updated 2006, Retrieved July 4, 2007.
  27. ^ "Code of Ethics", About IABC (IABC), retrieved December 4, 2012 
  28. ^ Public relations codes of ethics, Northern Kentucky University, retrieved December 4, 2012 
  29. ^ "IABC makes call for entries for 2001 Bronze Quill awards". Kansas City Business Journal. February 13, 2001. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Johnson & Johnson Garners 2 Gold Quill Awards". Philippine Daily Inquirer. June 20, 2007. 
  31. ^ https://gq.iabc.com/info/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/GQ14_call_for_entries_pdf.pdf
  32. ^ http://gq.iabc.com/info
  33. ^ Communication World (CW) 

External links[edit]