Programs For 2013-14 To Follow IABC Strategic Goals

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.


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PowerPoint Presentation Designers Reveal How to Supercharge Meetings Through Interest, Engagement and Clarity

At our March luncheon meeting, Marshall Makstein – founder and partner of eSlide, a team of PowerPoint presentation designers in New York City – revealed an important truth:

 “Getting the attention of meeting participants in today’s fast-paced business environment requires speakers to provide facts quickly and in an interesting and easily understandable way, not as a cascade of mind-dulling and complicated slides.”

In his presentation, “Meeting with God—Is PowerPoint the Most Effective Strategy?” Mr. Makstein emphasized that business leaders are short on time and patience. He reminded us that people are routinely distracted in meetings by messages pinging almost endlessly into smartphones, tablets and laptops. “This requires speakers to devote more effort than ever into planning and presenting slides in an informative and attention-sustaining way,” he said.

According to Makstein, “Good PowerPoint presentation design can help achieve meeting communication excellence when the speaker has carefully thought out and designed ways to underscore key messages, rather than obscuring them with unnecessary material.” Makstein and his eSlide team advise that we make our presentations engaging and interesting. “Don’t just offer another PowerPoint slideshow full of irrelevant text and data that leads to complications and distractions.”

The following resources were mentioned during the meeting:  (our training video links)

Online meeting tools:

Online presentation sharing apps:

Best ipad app for playing PowerPoint on an iPad:

Alternatives to PowerPoint

Ann Middleman, principal of ADM Marketing & Research, and president of IABC-LI, added, “the slide show must clearly demonstrate to the attendees how they can use the information to change the  business calculus, use the data, sell the product or service, and grow the bottom line. Fluff has no place in a successful presentation.”

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eSlide designs professional PowerPoint presentations that communicate information quickly, accurately, and effectively to get the results you need at your high-stakes meetings. For a free consultation, or to download their free eBook on the 5 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a PowerPoint Presentation Design Resource, please visit


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Event Recap: Effective Organizational Communication Requires Tapping In To Corporate Culture

Jeff Levy, President of Janusian Insights, Inc., spoke at IABC’s February lunch meeting about “Understanding Corporate Culture To Achieve Success.” Mr. Levy explained the Competing Values Framework, a widely validated tool which includes a survey to quickly diagnose any organization’s existing culture, and at the same time, their preferred corporate culture.

Levy said, “Effective leadership and organizational communication requires connecting with people, and understanding corporate culture is at the heart of connecting.” Jeff Levy is the founder and president of Janusian Insights, Plainview, N.Y. a management consulting company that creates “extreme clarity” around achieving what hasn’t yet been achieved.

“The Competing Values Framework gives us a language to distinguish and discuss aspects of organizational life that might otherwise go unnoticed. For example, while a hospital may need a rule-bound culture that emphasizes stability, consistency, and steadfastness because human life is at stake, in today’s world, it also needs a way to encourage and instill innovative thinking, flexibility, and the adoption of new, creative approaches,” Mr. Levy explained.

In his presentation, Mr. Levy showed examples of different kinds of corporate cultures from many Long Island organizations, and showed how virtually all of them see a need to implement some kind of change, whether that means more sense of urgency and accountability, more attention to market forces, more systems and consistency, or more teamwork and collaboration.

Mr. Levy emphasized, “Even though organizations may have formal rules and priorities, they all have unwritten rules that govern ‘the way we do things around here.’ Any professional communicator who doesn’t know to ferret out these unwritten rules will risk producing works that lack credibility.”

IABC-LI’s president, Ann Middleman, principal of ADM Marketing & Research, added, “communications professionals serve a critical dual role when it comes to corporate culture and understanding the way things are done. Their first role is serving as the ‘travel’ guide to colleagues across the organization to ensure they understand the roadmap, and then taking on the job of effective communication.”

Janusian Insights Helps Leaders Build High Performance Business Cultures
Janusian Insights helps individuals, teams, and organizations create remarkable clarity around vision and strategy so it becomes inspiring and energizing. Leveraging a widely used and validated diagnostic tool, the “Competing Values Framework,” the firm enables leaders to continuously shape corporate culture in precise alignment with changing marketplace demands. Additionally, a natural side effect of using this framework fosters a continuous-strengthening mindset, giving organizations the ability to engage people to more-easily absorb and counter hardships, as well as to quickly and effectively seize opportunities. For additional information, please visit


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Please visit their sites to learn more about their important work.


ADM Marketing Helps Companies Become Knowledge-Driven
ADM Marketing & Research helps companies become knowledge-driven rather than assumption-driven through surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews and published information, for strategic and tactical marketing decisions. For additional information, please visit


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2013 IABC-LI Communications Awards

Don’t let the great communications work you did in 2012 go unnoticed. It’s not too late, or too early, to start working on your awards entry.

4 Reasons to Nominate Someone (including yourself)

  • Allows you to recognize the career achievement of a friend, colleague or client
  • Nominating a colleague or client is a way to deepen your relationship with him or her
  • It’s easy and FREE
  • You can nominate yourself, which would be a great way of attracting positive attention to your professional achievements

Download nomination forms here:

After you download and fill out the form, send as a Word document or PDF file to Sheila Ziegler at Please put “IABC Award Nomination” in the subject line. Thank you!


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