By Ann Middleman
The strategic plan for the International Association of Business Communicators focuses on three pillars:
Content, Career, and Business. In support of the “content pillar,” the international organization has identified four themes that focus on connecting communication to business. These themes link the goals of professional communicators with the business outcomes most desired by CEOs. Building our programs for next year on these content themes will help communicators enhance their relevance and value to the companies for which they work, or which they represent.
- Drive Performance: Communication professionals create communications that dramatically improve an organization’s performance.
Communication professionals create a strategic communication plan to achieve the organization’s goals by engaging with stakeholders, conducting research to determine which solution will be most effective in a given situation, setting measures for success and using data to evaluate outcomes. They must be fluent and comfortable in the language of business and their organizations’ industries.
Potential topics: strategic planning, measurement, behavioral research, data analysis, stakeholder engagement, market research, market / trend analysis, customer experience, outcome measurement, business language, global business environment, integrated reporting, CEO communication, investor relations, financial communication.
- Create bridges: Communication professionals unify the organization and support innovation.
Communication professionals understand the business environment and create connections across business areas. They are master storytellers who use technology, visual elements (such as graphics and video), and the techniques of traditional journalism to capture stakeholders’ attention and transform information into clear and impactful narratives. They must be adept with technology, comfortable deciphering complex data and at home with social media.
Potential topics: social media, gamification, consumerization, big data, video, mobile communication, visualization, digital storytelling, transmedia, infographics, multimedia, online collaboration, innovation, creativity, human resources, investor relations, technology, IT, integrated communication, marketing, public relations.
- Focus on values: Communication professionals foster a culture of authenticity, shared values and trust.
Communication professionals support organizational reputation and performance by ensuring that communication is accurate, responsible and ethical. They create meaningful relationships with customers/clients and employees by using communication to make and enhance the connection. Communication professionals support and leverage a healthy culture to guide an organization through change and crisis. They must understand the global nature of business and shape communication that respects diversity.
Potential topics: sustainability, crisis management, ethics, change management, brand, reputation, mentoring, transparency, trust, authenticity, influence, culture, cultural sensitivity, corporate social responsibility (CSR), employee communication, workplace.
- Learn and adapt: Communication professionals respond to changes and build new skills.
Building on exceptional writing, planning and strategic abilities, communication professionals continually reach beyond expectations, adapt to the evolving needs of the business, learn new skills, and assimilate knowledge from related fields that examines the relationship between communication and human behavior. A communication professional’s strategic thinking stems from business acumen and includes openness to new technologies, now and in the future. They must understand the global economy and stay abreast of emerging business issues.
Potential topics: career development, multi-skill integration, strategic adviser, business acumen, communication competencies, skill development, knowledge management, content curation, psychology, anthropology and sociology.
As we develop our programs for the coming year, we will use these four themes to enable Long Island communicators to:
- Connect with peers from corporations, agencies, and small businesses
- Communicate your experiences and learn from others
- Cultivate new skills and information in order to maximize your value to your firm or your clients.
Which topics are you most interested in? Leave a reply below and let us know.