Current IABC/Chicago News
May 21, 2013
Courtney Dobrow, Director of Communications at Morningstar Inc., earned an Award of Excellence in Digital Communication/Marketing in the 2013 IABC/Chicago Bronze Quill Awards. We asked her a few questions about her award-winning project, “Eureka, Morningstar’s Innovation Platform,” and the Digital Communication/Marketing field in general:
What was the biggest learning you took from your project?
We knew going in that the Eureka platform would enable employees to share and generate internal support for their ideas, and lead to collaboration across businesses and geographies. We also learned, very early in the process, that creating, launching, and implementing Eureka would require a collaborative approach. It started with encouraging the three employees around the world who were independently pursuing company-wide innovation programs to join forces. Once we obtained the support of senior Morningstar leaders, we formed a Eureka team composed of the original architects of the Eureka idea, internal communications, HR, and other interested employees that worked closely with our designer and developer to create the platform. The team has continued to meet biweekly to shepherd employee submissions, do necessary follow-up with stakeholders, and continue making improvements to the platform. Eureka wouldn’t have gotten off the ground and continued to operate successfully this team collaborating.
Before Eureka, we didn’t have a formal, public channel for employees to share ideas and provide feedback on colleagues’ ideas, and when we decided to develop the platform internally, we were starting from scratch with limited internal resources. The process of designing and developing a platform from the ground up was a new experience for most of us. We learned a lot about prioritizing, in particular the need to introduce must-have functionality in phase one and hold off on adding major new features until phase two, balancing available resources, timelines, and meeting employee needs.
How did this project reinforce anything you already knew?
We knew from feedback employees provided in various company surveys that they wanted a formal way to share their ideas.
How do you keep your digital communication/marketing fresh and relevant?
Responsiveness is the key to keeping Eureka fresh and relevant. It’s critical that the Eureka team provide feedback when an employee submits an idea, from acknowledging the submission to posting updates to ultimately sharing whether or not Morningstar will pursue the idea. If there’s a perception that Eureka is stale or not receiving attention from decision-makers, employees won’t interact with the platform. We also want to continually improve the employee experience with Eureka, through design and development.
How do you see digital communication/marketing evolving in the next few years and what excites you about the field?
The field is exploding with ideas and new technology. It’s such a powerful way to connect with each other and increase engagement.
IABC/Chicago would like to thank ROC Group for its sponsorship of the 2013 Bronze Quill Awards.
May 20, 2013
Jeffrey Conover, seasoned communications consultant, and Colleen Baker, DePaul Univeristy communications major, discuss what the program entails and how it delivers clear, practical rewards to both of them.
The IABC/Chicago Mentor Program provides students with assistance in launching their careers in communications. Students gain from shared insights, advice, connections and experiences of a seasoned professional as they explore internships, jobs and continued studies. Mentors are rewarded by the satisfaction of contributing to the initial business success of a communications student thus giving back to the profession.
This short video highlights how a mentoring relationship can really flourish without too much of a time commitment. Through her participation in the IABC/Chicago mentorship program, Colleen has gained an awareness “of a lot of avenues of communications that I haven’t even considered,” going beyond what she’s learned in the classroom.
Jeffrey also benefits from the program, saying that the volunteer work with Colleen “has really reenergized me in terms of my day-to-day perspective on my work life. It hasn’t required a lot of time and I’ve gained a tremendous amount from it.”
Colleen agrees, “It doesn’t take a lot of time. You really get a lot out of it. I know I have so far!”
The IABC/Chicago Mentor Program is designed to:
Create opportunities to expand students’ awareness of broader scope of available career paths
Foster knowledge building related to specific skills/capabilities (i.e., writing, design and planning)
Build networking opportunities in areas of student interest as well as expanded areas
Facilitate transition between classroom and career placements including internships
Gain insights related to communications for future generations
Build management/mentor capabilities
For more information on the mentor program contact us at:
May 9, 2013
We are pleased to present to you the following slate of candidates to serve on the 2013-2014 IABC/Chicago Board of Directors. At a time when all of our professional and personal lives are extraordinarily busy, these individuals have committed to serve IABC/Chicago, the world’s oldest IABC chapter, and one of its largest.
We commend them for providing their time and talent to IABC/Chicago, and ask you to signify your acceptance of this slate by voting here.
IABC/Chicago Board of Directors 2013-2014
President – Connie Mayse
Past President – Justin Brunner
Secretary – Michael Mazur
Director, Accreditation – Rosanne Belczak
Director, Chapter Marketing/PR – Debra Lynn Ross
Director, Member Communications – Emily Parker
Co-Directors, Educational Relations – Kelly Hipchen and Ruth Savaloine
Director, Membership – Julia Dunlop
Director, Professional Development – Lisa Thomas
Co-Directors, Volunteers – Gabi Loring and Anne Divita Kopacz
Awards – Karissa Seltz
Sponsorship – Peg Wander
March 6, 2013
I would like to first welcome Tova Vance, Nancy Nash and Jeffrey Conover to the IABC/Chicago board of directors. These new chapter leaders joined mid-year, which presents a unique learning curve. Yet, they are overcoming their respective challenges, are quickly learning systems, and will (hopefully) continue through the 2013-14 season! I encourage you to meet them at one of our upcoming events, or send them an email.
IABC holds an annual Leadership Institute for chapter and regional volunteer leaders, so that they learn, share ideas, and gain further insight into the organization. This year’s conference proved particularly interesting, given all of the changes occurring at headquarters, along with the execution of the organization’s current strategic plan. Here are some highlights:
- On Monday, Feb. 11, IABC distributed a comprehensive quarterly update on the organization’s strategic plan. I encourage you to take a look through it, as the document provides updates on the current projects undergoing change – a new career road map, accreditation updates, awards program updates, and research. IABC’s executive leadership also stated that quarterly updates will be distributed to members going forward, providing members with accurate updates. These member only reports may be downloaded at iabc.com.
- One highly discouraging statistic was that IABC’s email open rate is quite low. The good news is that they’ve decided to send a lot less of them. The organization as a whole will begin to better align messaging, making it more relevant and timely to the individuals accessing it. To keep informed on all of the organization’s happenings, be sure IABC emails aren’t going into your spam or junk mail folders.
- The conversation around Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation continues to evolve. IABC mailed a research-based proposal to accreditation directors and certain individuals across the globe. This proposal was erroneously interpreted by many as the final program plan. In addition, third-party certification consultants devised a proposal, which was submitted for review. Let me be clear, although significant progress has been made to review and propose updates to the accreditation process, no changes have been finalized.
The chapter’s board of directors and I want to provide the highest member value possible. IABC/Chicago is fortunate to be in a market where we have professionals from varied backgrounds and levels of experience. We hope to maximize that opportunity by providing events relevant to each need (and have some fun along the way).
We will, to that end, be launching our bi-annual member survey in March via a dedicated email. I strongly encourage you to complete the survey in its entirety, and provide any feedback you feel relevant. The results help craft chapter program topics, events, and allow us to do a better job for you.
Finally, thanks to everyone who submitted for this year’s IABC/Chicago Bronze Quill Awards! Judging will take place next month and I wish you luck.
As always, don’t hesitate to email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions, comments or concerns.
February 25, 2013
Susan Coe Heitsch talks with us here about her experience being a member of IABC/Chicago. Thank you, Susan!
February 13, 2013
IABC/Educational Relations is seeking assistance with the following student chapter programs:
2/28: Panelists needed with expertise in portfolio development
3/28: Portfolio reviewers needed for “speed dating” style reviews
4/11: Panelists needed for “Communications Jobs You Never Heard Of”*
*Traditionally one of the most popular programs of the year! Many students are interested to learn about opportunities outside Advertising and Public Relations agencies.
All programs will be held on Loyola Water Tower Campus from approximately 6 to 8 p.m.
If you are interested, please contact Peg Wander at email@example.com.
February 13, 2013
New and lapsed members who join or rejoin IABC by February 28, 2013 will have the usual $40 application fee waived.*
New and lapsed members will receive a free month of membership for each new member they recruit (up to one year of free membership) during this promotion.**
*The fee waiver does not apply to renewing members, students and transitional members because they are not required to pay application fees.
**Lapsed members who rejoin and recruit new members must have been lapsed six or more months to qualify for the free month(s)