Five years ago, I didn’t know IABC existed. I was working full-time, and taking night classes, with aspirations of becoming some type of communications manager. At the time, I was taking on small communications projects because I didn’t like my regular duties. I thought it might help me get a full-time communications opportunity. Looking back, I had no idea how “green” I really was and didn’t understand how exactly to grow.
I was introduced to IABC one summer during a partnership event between IABC/Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Library. I eventually became a member, thanks to some persuasion, but wasn’t exactly sure what membership meant. What does it give me? Will I learn anything? How should I maximize each dollar I spend on the organization? If anything, will this get me a job? Little did I know all the organization had to offer.
First, the networking opportunities were amazing! I had my resume reviewed, conducted some informational interviewing and discovered the differences between communications, marketing and public relations. (See, told you I was green). Second, I honed some skills while having a lot of fun. When asked to volunteer on IABC/Pittsburgh’s Awards committee, I met other members, developed my professional abilities and learned patience while working in teams.
Yet, the most valuable thing I learned was that the value of membership is a give and take relationship – give just a little, and you get ten times the return!
IABC’s a networking organization. We network with members, potential business contacts and long-time friends we’ve met along the way. I attend an IABC networking event just two days after moving to Chicago, where I met fantastic individuals willing to lend a hand. These relationships lead to close friendships and business deals. I’ve facilitated other member introductions where the members generated business. I’ve mentored, volunteered and learned – all the time becoming a highly enriched professional for doing so.
My question to members – both seasoned and new – is, “How will you maximize your membership?” Yes, IABC membership is an investment but I want to know how we can provide you with an increased return? Here are several suggestions that might inspire you:
- Take advantage of IABC’s Members Only online tools, like The IABC Marketplace, online job board or Discovery – our digital collection of best practices, templates, analysis and research. (Education and Professional Development)
- Mentor a university student (Mentoring, Community service)
- Volunteer on our marketing or communications committee (Professional Development, Leadership Development, Skill building)
- Lend some time as a greeter at a professional development event (Networking, Professional Development)
- Talk to at least three people at your next IABC professional development event (Networking)
- Volunteer on our board of directors (Professional Development, Team building, Leadership Development)
Membership has its privileges. We encourage you to discover your passion and let us help you in your development, both personally and professionally. Let us know how to better serve our most valuable asset, our members.