with Warren Egnal, founder and CEO of Engagement Strategies
Organizations of all sizes are focused on “employee engagement,” and with good reason. Engaged employees trust management more, adapt to change faster and are more aligned with vision and strategy. But how can you use communications to influence engagement? And what should you do during times of change and uncertainty?
Warren Egnal, President & Principal Consultant at Engagement Strategies, provided for answers and new ideas for inspiring engagement and influencing change within your organization. Together with Engagement Strategies client T. Paul Miller of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment they discussed:
• The bigger picture of employee engagement, and the important role that communication plays
• How you can use communication to improve engagement and overcome resistance to change
• What obstacles you might encounter and how to overcome them
• How to measure your success
About Our Speakers
Warren Egnal is the founder and CEO of Engagement Strategies. His experience with major global companies has led to a focus on helping corporate leadership define their visions, brands, and purposes; foster adaptation to change; and motivate positive employee, customer and other stakeholder behavior.
Prior to founding Engagement Strategies, Warren was hired by Edelman to manage all aspects of the agency’s San Francisco office. Before Edelman, he was with Porter Novelli, a global top ten communications firm, serving as a Senior Executive in the Consulting Practice and leader of Porter Novelli’s change management and employee engagement disciplines.
T Paul Miller is Senior Vice President at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment responsible for the company’s operating territories in the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions. Based at SPHE’s headquarters in Culver City, Miller, T Paul previously headed SPHE’s international licensing operation, and is now charged with growing and establishing new business opportunities in markets where the studio has operating offices, including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, India, Greece and Brazil. T Paul is responsible for optimizing the performance of a group of businesses that make a sizable contribution to SPHE’s global performance.
Previously T Paul served as head of finance for Sony Pictures International theatrical and home entertainment distribution companies and before that as Controller for Lucasfilm.
To learn more, please view the presentation deck on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego and logged in to access this page.
PR 3.0 – Social Media in a Highly Regulated Environment
with Kevin Dinino, Founder & President, KCD PR
Kevin Dinino of KCD PR, discussed how the world or marketing, public relations and social media is more integrated than ever before. Kevin shared his thoughts on “PR 3.0” and how PR/Marketing pros can utilize the powers of PR 3.0 and specifically social media to conduct effective campaigns in highly regulatory industries (in this case, financial services). He also focused on news tips to reach new audiences and showcased some best practices from KCD PR’s client base of financial services firms.
About our speaker:
Kevin Dinino is Founder and CEO of KCD PR, overseeing all client accounts and handling strategy and media relations for the firm’s financial services clients. Kevin founded KCD PR in 2009 to meet the growing need for PR and marketing services for financial services companies. Prior to founding KCD PR, Kevin served as vice president of public relations for LPL Financial, the largest independent brokerage firm in the nation. While at LPL Financial, he was responsible for the management and oversight of the public relations department and provided strategic communications counsel to the executive team. Prior to LPL Financial, Kevin spent several years on Wall Street as manager of external communications for TD Ameritrade. He has over 12 years of experience in public relations and communications, including four years at two New York-based PR agencies where he supported clients in the financial services, technology and consumer products industries. Throughout his career, Kevin has successfully developed relationships and secured coverage in major media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA TODAY, BusinessWeek and CNBC.
Kevin is also a sought-after source for trends in the PR and marketing world relating to financial advisors and financial services firms. He has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Dow Jones and SmartMoney magazine. He frequently speaks on the integration of PR, marketing and social media or “PR 3.0″ at various financial industry conferences. Kevin is a graduate of the State University of New York College at Buffalo where he received a B.A. in Public Communication. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). He resides in beautiful San Diego, California.
To learn more, please view the presentation deck on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego and logged in to access this page.
Effective Change Management: The Role of Communication
The most effective change initiatives involve a good planning process and a broad communication plan. Quite often the communication portion can be an after thought instead of an integral part of the change effort.
Also, many organizations undertake change projects without an approach for effective change management. This often results in resistance as the employees have not been informed about the change.
Join us on May 18 to explore the best practices in managing change in organizations and the important role of communication.
- Learn a model for change management
- Review the key components of a communication plan
- Explore how your role can help your organization more effectively manage change
About our presenter:
Sharon Lieder is an Organization Development Consultant heading her own firm specializing in organizational effectiveness, leadership development and strategic planning.
She has consulted with a number of organizations on developing an effective plan for implementing change projects.
Sharon is an adjunct lecturer at the University of San Diego’s School of Business teaching Strategic Management and Organization Behavior.
She is a past president of the San Diego Chapter of ASTD and an instructor for National ASTD’s Certificate program on Facilitating Organization Change. She also serves as VP of programs for the OD Network in San Diego.
To learn more, please view the presentation deck on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
IABC’s Spring Fling! Networking Your Way to New Business: How to Rise Above the Crowd
- Today your Google presence is much more important than your elevator speech
- How to maximize personal and social networking to rise above the crowd
- How to network more effectively
Today it is imperative to rise above the crowd. Today you need to be easy to find. Once people find you, your thought leadership needs to be robust to create your reputation and expertise. Your brand, whether you are a company or an individual, needs to be unique and distinctive.
If you are in transition you are in a huge pool of great talent vying for a limited number of jobs. It is not about your elevator speech, it is about your Google presence.
Today approximately 80 percent of clients find their own vendors. Increasingly recruiters and hiring managers are using the Internet and their personal networks to find people, because if they post a job, they receive too many resumes to sort through.
Whether you are a company or an individual you need to own the first page on Google with positive thought leadership so you look prominent, current and smart. Today you need to distinguish yourself based not on what you do, but on who you are.
You have to provide rationale for risk adverse hiring managers to pick you out of the crowd. You also need to capture the power of traditional press releases to create news about yourself or your company. Technology and the Internet are changing rapidly and dramatically. You need to be current on those changes and reinvent yourself constantly.
You also need to be extremely proficient in social media and social networks to help your search engine optimization and spread your thought leadership. You also need a strong personal network to create a strong reputation for you through word of mouth dialogue, generate referrals and empower you with resources.
About the Speaker:
Hank Blank runs a marketing services company based in Laguna Niguel, CA. He speaks on New Business Development and Networking to companies and organizations across the country.
Hank has been a keynote speaker for companies such as Jacuzzi, Sundance Dealers, Volvo, Sole Technology, Helms Briscoe and others. You can check out hank at www.hankblank.com or just Google Hank Blank.
To learn more, please view the presentation deck on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
Creating Engaging Communications Videos Like Disney
Video is everywhere. But creating no cost, easy and engaging videos for employees still seems to be a mystery. Even at a Disney, free and easy isn’t always achievable. See firsthand, how a vision and some motivation can generate an engaging video series and shift a culture. In this session, Christopher Swan explored the creation and growth of his Web-series and engagement strategy, along with the successes and challenges. It all leads to his basic outline, “video is easy, courage is hard.”
Key take-aways: Use tools and resources that are at no cost or very inexpensive; Push boundaries quietly and while encouraging feedback; Get started with a video project today.
Christopher Swan is a Manager of Training & Communication at The Walt Disney Company. An admitted technology nerd, Christopher manages employee intranets, promotes social media adoption and pioneers creative and unique content to engage employees and create an innovative environment at Disney. He also spent years managing change for system and operational implementation. Christopher’s excitement for new information and innovation drives his passion for making a positive footprint in the world. Follow Christopher’s blog.
To learn more, please view the presentation deck on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
Marketing to the Mature Marketplace
Speaker: Don Marsh
We have reached a unique moment in our nation’s history, when one in three Americans is over the age of 50 with the expectation of living longer than previous generations. For business and marketing professionals, the ability to understand and communicate with this unique target audience will be the pathway to increased customer satisfaction and long-term business growth.
At our February 23, 2011 event, Don Marsh shared with attendees how to:
- Learn the “Five Key Concepts” that motivate the 50+ Mature Marketplace;
- Understand how the unique physical and cognitive changes that occur with aging impact the decision-making process;
- Develop enhanced relationship-building skills for all staff levels that lead to increased customer satisfaction and long-term business growth;
- Create non-traditional marketing programs proven to be effective, especially in times of economic challenge and limited budgets;
- Develop external (customer acquisition) and internal (customer retention) communication programs that lead to increased market penetration and decreased marketing costs.
About the Speaker:
Don Marsh has 38 years of marketing experience and is the author of one book, and more than 200 articles. In 2009, he recorded a series of audio CDs for GE Financial, based on his presentation on “Marketing to the Mature Marketplace.” As a professional speaker, he has been a featured presenter at more than 100 senior-industry conferences, seminars and workshops. As a marketing consultant, he has conducted staff training workshops and created customized marketing programs for hundreds of business owners. After years under contract to national organizations and leading manufacturers, he now works as an Independent Marketing Consultant. As a result, his presentations contain no bias toward any company or product.
Starting Your own Communications Business
Speakers: Gayle Falkenthal, Falcon Valley Group and Joice Truban Curry, President/CEO of c3 Communications, Inc.
The event covered:
- What should you invest in when you’re getting started, and what you can put off spending until later (if at all).
- What you should do financial BEFORE you start a business.
- The top 10 mistakes to avoid.
About the speakers
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego-based public relations consulting company. Gayle spent 15 years as an award-winning broadcast editor and producer before transitioning into a public relations career. She represented the American Red Cross, San Diego County District Attorney, San Diego Convention Center Corporation, San Diego County Water Authority, and San Diego City Councilmember Dick Murphy before starting her own practice. Her clients include San Diego County Taxpayers Association, Lincoln Club of San Diego County, San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine, At Your Home Familycare, The Law Firm of Fleischer & Associates, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, GreenScaped Buildings and LEGOLAND™ California.
Gayle is known for her exceptional expertise in crisis communications, media relations, media training and strategic planning. The San Diego Press Club honored Falkenthal with the Andy Mace Award for Career Excellence in Public Relations, one of just 30 individuals with this achievement. She is a Press Club board member and past President; and also sits on the board of the San Diego Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, San Diego State University Friends of Journalism and Media Studies Alumni Chapter and KCR Radio Alumni Association.
Joice Truban Curry, a longtime San Diego public relations practitioner, founded c3 Communications in 2000. The three-time Silver Anvil Award winning agency is one of the fastest growing boutique agency’s in the San Diego region. Most recently, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) San Diego Chapter honored Ms. Truban Curry with the “Public Relations Professional of the Year” for 2009/2010 – the highest award one can win from their peers.
Throughout her tenure, she has created successful marketing communications programs for clients in the hospitality, tourism, retail, business-to-business, restaurant, consumer product, not-for-profit, senior living, wellness, health care and entertainment industries.
Prior to forming c3, Ms. Truban Curry was a senior executive at Berkman Communications, the national spokesperson and media relations director for Children’s Hospital and Health Center San Diego, and a press officer and field representative to State Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith as part of the California State Legislature.
How to Make Mobile Marketing Work for You: November 17 luncheon
Speaker: Frank Cowell of Elevator Marketing
Ever receive a random text message on your smartphone from a business that you’ve never heard of? While there is legislation to combat this increasing type of “spam” that is reaching our mobile phones, text messaging can be a great way for a business to connect with and service their client base, if done in a legitimate manner.
Frank Cowell of Elevator Marketing will show you why business owners should consider using text message marketing as a cost-effective way to reach their current and prospective customers.
He will discuss the growing trend of using text messaging for promoting coupons, last-minute deals, and new products/menu items and events, as well as for customer service, such as requesting and confirming appointments and reservations. He will also address how to implement safeguards to to ensure your message is not considered spam, and he will speak to the current legislation being considered in the U.S. Senate, which aims to curb unsolicited text messages.
Frank also shared:
- Ways to incorporate text messaging/mobile marketing in your business
- Strategies to grow your contact list
- How to be a responsible mobile marketer and avoid complaints
To learn more, please view Frank’s presentation deck on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
Capitalizing on Effective Communication: September 15th luncheon
How Courage, Innovation and Discipline Drive Business Results in Challenging Times with Kathleen Drummond and Christine Infante of Towers Watson
In a business environment that remains tumultuous, companies with highly effective internal communication programs are better prepared to keep employees engaged and retain key talent. Members learned what over 5 million global employees said about the most effective ways to communicate and keep them engaged and also learned the best practices of companies that are highly effective communicators.
Additional insight included how to:
1) Train leaders to talk about change:
- Train managers to be effective at dealing openly with resistance to change
- Help managers become more effective at addressing the needs and concerns of their current employees
- For messages about change use face-to-face communication channels over social media, the intranet or printed materials
2) Ensure that the Employee Value Proposition is aligned with the external brand
3) Develop an overarching communication strategy with outcome metrics
To learn more, please view Kathleen and Christine’s presentation deck on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
Influencing Your Audience: August 17 Webinar
Written by VP of Finance: Marilyn Olson
“Buzzwords are boring! Even worse – they are vague,” said professional writing coach and longtime IABC member, Ken O’Quinn, in our August webinar, Influencing Your Audience – Crafting Messages with Impact.
“For a message to persuade an audience,” Ken went on “people need to see or hear concrete language, words that link to real people, places, objects and concepts. That will help your audience grasp your message.”
Imagine, for example, you want to get employees to enroll in a recycling effort. You can’t take each employee out to the dump and plant them waist-deep to illustrate the consequences of not recycling. “In most persuasive messages – you do not recreate the experience; your words are all you have to work with.”
During the informative discussion, Ken guided us through more specific steps for writing persuasive communications. Anticipating your audience’s response to your message should guide how you order the information. If your audience is already supportive, you can go ahead and lead with your main point, then follow with your rationale, the benefits and the costs of your proposal. But, when the audience is resistant or skeptical, it’s helpful to start with an eye-opening fact or statistic that illustrates the impact of the problem, then go onto explain your solution.
To learn more, please view Ken’s presentation notes on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
Lights, Camera, ACTION!: July 21 San Diego 6 Studio Tour
Written by Michele Dortch, VP of Communications
You groggily wake up for another workday and flip on the television to your favorite morning news channel. The white noise of current events plays in the background while you hurriedly prepare for your day. Rushing by the television you pause … just in time to capture a breaking news story, or more likely the weather or traffic report, that’s caught your attention.
It’s a common scenario played out in many San Diego homes. But on July 21, a group of IABC/San Diego members and guests got an inside glimpse of what happens on the other side of that television broadcast. Aaron Hirschorn, IABC/San Diego member and Writer/Producer for XETV/San Diego 6, arranged for our tour of the second oldest television station in San Diego.
At the time of its launch, the XETV news building was the most high-tech building of its kind in the country. The station launched its first news operation in 1999 and currently produces five and a half hours of news programming during the week. We toured the XETV studio where anchors, photographers, and directors bring the news to life on television. It was intriguing to see the talent and technology needed to make a news program work:
Next, we visited the nerve center of the XETV newsroom – the assignment desk. A man in the know, Assignment Manager, Jake Minger, shared how he decides what stories make a news broadcast. Here are a few of his insights:
- Human interest stories are interesting. Beyond the typical “murder and mayhem,” viewers resonate with heart-warming stories that depict real-life people and experiences.
- Leave the pitch, or be pitched. If your story idea is really a disguised sales pitch for your product, service or event, Jake will sniff you out. Your “story idea” will end up on the “file cabinet of shame” where we saw stacks of videos, papers and you guessed it…pitched story ideas, that got pitched!
- Think video! This may sound obvious, but your story idea must be something that can be captured on air. XETV prefers to shoot its own footage, so there isn’t a need to send in your own video. Just consider how your story could be played out on air before you submit your idea.
Following the tour, News Director, Tauna Lange, joined us for lunch and shared a video montage of news clippings that earned the station nine emmy wins this year. After seeing all that went into producing a single news segment, we definitely didn’t take those emmy wins for granted.
Terrific job XETV – congratulations and thanks for having us!
Developing Relationships That Bring Business Opportunities: June 2010 Summer Social and Power Networking Event
>>Watch a short video interview (2:44 minutes) with Barbara Mencer, professional coach, speaker and trainer talking about some basic tips of effective networking.
Get a quick recap on this event: Go to our Be Heard Blog and leave a comment of your own.
For more information, please view her presentation on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
Developing relationships is the cornerstone of business today. The process, known as power networking, consists of gathering, collecting, and distributing information for the mutual benefit of you and the people in your network. It’s what you need to get to new heights in today’s competitive environment.
In the program presented by Barbara Mencer, attendees learned the secrets of successful relationship building:
- The paradigm shift: the do’s and don’ts of power networking
- How to work “for” a room instead of working the room
- How to enter and exit a conversation gracefully
- How to follow-up and stay connected
About the Speaker
Barbara Nichols Mencer is a compassionate yet results-oriented professional coach, speaker and trainer specializing in helping professionals and small business owners to grow their businesses. She has over 25 years of experience working in marketing and business development, which includes serving as strategic director of business development and marketing in professional service firms, in addition to her own consulting, training and coaching business.
Mencer is the author of countless publications on business development, including the booklet, Business Development: 97 Quick & Easy Tips for Lawyers, and the comprehensive practice building system, Making Rain Out of Mist. She’s also taught business development for professionals at the University of California, San Diego Extension.
When she’s not working, Mencer serves on the board of directors of two local nonprofit organizations. In addition, her hobbies include physical fitness and training for body-building competitions.
Employee Communications at Qualcomm: May 2010 Professional Development Event
>>Watch a short video interview (2:25 minutes) with Michelle Gerevas and Geeta Chinai of Qualcomm talking about how their company engages employees through all-hands meeting with the CEO.
Using a variety of two-way communication methods, the Employee Communications team at Qualcomm works to keep the company’s 15,000 employees — located in offices across more than 30 countries — informed, engaged, connected and inspired. Michelle Gerevas, director, and Geeta Chinai, manager, shared with the chapter some of the award-winning and successful programs their teams have implemented.
For more information, please view their presentation on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
Get a quick recap on this event: Go to our Be Heard Blog and leave a comment of your own.
About the Speakers
Michelle Gerevas has been a member of Qualcomm’s Employee Communications team since 2005, overseeing division communications. She and her team are relied-upon partners for all internal communications needs, including day-to-day division-wide activities, executive communications, organizational changes and acquisitions for Qualcomm’s 10 global business units/groups as well as supporting enterprise communication initiatives.
Prior to Qualcomm, Gerevas was senior manager of internal communications for Ericsson Wireless in San Diego where she developed and led internal communications strategies and programs for the global CDMA business unit. Prior to Ericsson, she held director-level communications and marketing positions with both software and Internet start-ups. She was also with Paging Network in San Francisco in a variety of sales management roles, leading major accounts teams that worked with Silicon Valley leaders like Cisco, Intel, SGI and Netscape.
Gerevas holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from CSU, Northridge, and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
Geeta Chinai joined Qualcomm in 2006 and oversees enterprise communications. Her team is responsible for Qualcomm’s daily news site, the internal annual report, all-hands meetings and other company-wide communications programs and events.
Prior to joining Qualcomm, Geeta worked in employee communications for Sony Electronics for four years and was an online content producer for SignOn San Diego. She also worked as an English teacher in China and Japan for three years. She has degrees in English and communications studies from the University of Virginia.
Free Resume Writing Workshop: May 2010
Whether attendees were looking for a new job or just needed to update their resumes, they learned the “new normal” for resume writing at a free workshop hosted by IABC/San Diego and featuring speaker Judy Thompson, president of Thompson Search. To learn more about the tips Thompson provided, go to our Be Heard Blog to read the write-up by IABC/San Diego member Karen Pearson.
Mining the Blogosphere: Panel Discussion with Local Bloggers: April 2010 Professional Development Event
>>Watch two short videos featuring bloggers from our panel (each video is less than 2 minutes long) who dispel myths about blogging and also give some tips on pitching them a story.
Missed the event? Curious about blogging? Watch a recording (58:19 minutes) of the panel discussion with Caron Golden, Dr. Michael Mantell, Denise Scatena and Stacey Ross.
Bloggers bring great influence to target markets and an added layer of media for communicators to mine.
This panel brought some of San Diego’s most influential bloggers together for a candid discussion on the do’s and don’ts of mining the blogosphere. At this event, attendees learned the best ways to develop relationships with bloggers, how to pitch stories and forge meaningful partnerships, and what makes a blogger tick.
About the Speakers
Caron Golden has been a freelance writer and editor based in San Diego for 20 years. Currently, she is food columnist for SDNN.com. Her work has appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Copley News Service, Westways, Orange Coast, and Edible San Diego. Her blog, SD Foodstuff, launched her professional food writing and radio career. It covers the food scene in San Diego and beyond. She appears as a contributor monthly on the KPBS radio show “These Days.”
Golden is an advocate of social media and as a consultant has been advising clients of new ways to promote their business and engage consumers using emerging technology. She also manages social media accounts for corporate clients. You can learn more about her work on her web site and blog, goldenwriting.com. And, you can, of course, find her on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter (@carondg).
For more than 30 years, Dr. Mantell has successfully been bringing upbeat, friendly and helpful psychological insights to individuals, families and businesses throughout the United States as a clinical and corporate psychologist in private practice. He’s been a regular on Good Morning America, KFMB-TV News 8, has appeared on Oprah, Larry King Live, the Today show, authored two best-selling books and speaks regularly for audiences throughout the country.
Successful Meetings Magazine included Dr. Mantell in their list of Top 25 Business Speakers. His blog, Dr. San Diego, can be found each week on the San Diego Magazine website, on Regator.com and Alltop.com. He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter and invites you to befriend and follow. Here’s an example of one of his columns.
SD Bargain Mama strives to be a comprehensive and informative resource for parents and community members who are looking for valuable products, quality services, and family-friendly events at affordable prices.
One of the core values of San Diego Bargain Mama has always been to listen to its audience. Reader favorites include website features on family freebies, deals online and around San Diego County, time and money-saving tips, 2-for-1 specials, and exclusive events and contests.
In 2007, San Diego Bargain Mama started out as an e-newsletter with deals around the county that Ross, a stay-at-home mom, e-mailed to 35 of her friends and family members. By the eighth e-newsletter, Stacey had garnered 500 subscribers. And so, through careful research and many late-night writing sessions (after her two children were tucked into bed), she transformed the San Diego Bargain Mama e-newsletter into its own brand, complete with a website, blog, and events.
Denise Scatena is the co-founder and co-editor of SoCal PR Blog, a resource to support Southern California PR practitioners to stay in-tune with the ever-changing marketplace, and a principal owner of Scatena Daniels Communications. Scatena has extensive experience creating and implementing effective public relations strategies to achieve successful results for various types of organizations. Her vast experience gives her the perspective of what organizations want to achieve, as well as the goals and desires of their business partners/affiliates.
Within her career, Scatena has had the pleasure of working with some of the largest and well-known non-profit organizations in San Diego County. These include ARC of San Diego, East County Family YMCA, Mama’s Kitchen, Meals-on-Wheels, San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego North Chamber of Commerce and YWCA of San Diego County. The work performed on their behalf has helped these organizations advance their missions, drive awareness and attendance to fundraising events, and raise critical funds in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Additionally, she has worked on tradeshows, events and large-scale tours on the West Coast, including Cirque du Soleil®, Disney on Ice®, Head to Toe Women’s Expo (San Diego and Orange County), Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus®, San Diego Boat Show, and the annual tradeshow for the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association.
She has also led and supported public relations efforts for business brands, including Time Warner Cable, Belmont Park, California Pizza Kitchen, FasTracKids®, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, Mission Federal Credit Union, Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, San Diego Lending Solutions, University of Phoenix, and the San Diego Wave House®.
Embracing Change: Working with Millennials and Harnessing Their Optimism in Today’s Workplace: March 2010 Professional Development Event
Written by Mark Hersberger
>>Watch a short video interview (3:49 minutes) with Diane Spiegel defining the different generations in the workplace today.
They want everything now, they are the first generation to grow up with the Internet, and they communicate in 140 characters or less. They’re called Millennials, and they’ll soon dominate the workforce and the consumer landscape.
“Millennials are the youngest of the four generations in the workplace and you need a communication framework and common language so you can effectively address them,” said The End Result CEO Diane Spiegel at IABC/San Diego’s March 2010 professional development event.
Speigel stressed that this is an unprecedented era with four generations actively involved in the workforce, each with different experiences and expectations. They are:
- Traditionalists, born between 1900-1945, who believe in patriotism, hard work, and a defined chain of command
- Baby Boomers, born between 1946-1964, who are optimistic and idealistic
- Generation X, born between 1965-1980, who are self-reliant and skeptical
- Millennials (also known as Gen Y), born between 1981-1999, who are tech savvy, globally oriented, collaborative, and flexible
Furthermore, Spiegel noted that Millenials grew up somewhat coddled and pampered by their parents, which translates to high expectations and a want-it-all-now attitude when they enter the workforce. They have different values and perspectives than their predecessors, including:
- A desire for partnership-based work environments, meaning they want to impart knowledge, not just learn from veterans
- An expectation of a “results-only work-environment,” which prioritizes outcomes over time-and-effort inputs
- A high comfort level with technology, including new media applications
- A sense of connectivity via social networking
- Loyalty to their supervisor and direct co-workers, but not necessarily to the organization
“The lesson is: You can no longer take a one-size-fits-all approach to your communications,” explained Spiegel. “Therefore, you have to view your communications as a matrix and match the format and messaging to the preference and habits of the generation you’re addressing.”
Spiegel also offered some tips for both communicating with Millennials and ways to better integrate them into your organization:
- Use partner mentoring and relationship building. Millennials, as Spiegel emphasizes, show more loyalty to their supervisor and team than the organization, so you need to get them on your side early. In turn, be open to learning from them, too.
- Provide feedback and coaching. Though Millennials often come across as know-it-alls, they also crave coaching and feedback. Their generation got much more direction and pats on the back during their upbringing.
- Understand boundaries. Millennials grew up on a first-name basis with everyone, have more relaxed appearance standards (including an acceptance of tattoos and piercings), and often don’t make distinctions between their professional and private lives. Help them understand the appropriate boundaries at work, whether it’s how they communicate to senior staff, present themselves via appearance, or what the appropriate line is between their professional and social identities.
- Provide a rubric. Clearly lay out for Millennials the exact steps they’ll have to take to achieve goals and advance in the organization. Share with them the standards your company uses to define success.
- Be transparent. Take the lead in showing Millennials how the organization works and where they fit in.
And for all the Millennials reading who want to know what steps they can take to bridge the generational gap, Spiegel offered this advice: “Go to your boss and ask the top three things you can do to help out and make their life easier and how you can excel in the position.”
For more information, please view Spiegel’s presentation on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
About Diane Spiegel
Diane Spiegel is one of the nation’s recognized leaders in corporate training and development. With more than 25 years of experience, she is an industry leader and innovator who founded The End Result and created the firm’s highly successful training methodology, Sage Leadership Tools.
An organizational architect Spiegel specializes in developing training plans that offer organizations a strategic process to educate and develop their employees, and provide the framework for cultural and organizational change.
Spiegel’s clients span many a variety of industries – hospitality, food services, retail, energy and education -and include BlueCross of Southern California, Celebrity Cruises, Edison International, Costco, Jamba Juice, Legoland California, and Wolfgang Puck Cafes, to name a few.
The Changing Landscape of Crisis Communications in a Social Media World: February 2010 Professional Development Event
Written by Jennifer Nance, VP of Administration
>>Watch a short video interview (2:32 minutes) with Gayle Falkenthal hitting the key points of her presentation.
It’s not exactly typical for a speaker to encourage attendees to pull out and turn on their cell phones during a live presentation. But that’s just what Gayle Falkenthal did at the start of her engaging presentation called “The Changing Landscape of Crisis Communications in a Social Media World” on Feb. 24.
In keeping with the spirit of social media and to demonstrate its instantaneous impact, Falkenthal (@prprosandiego on Twitter) encouraged everyone to pull out their phones and tweet throughout her presentation, using #IABCSD to make comments or ask questions.
People Are Talking about Your Company
During her talk, Falkenthal (who has an Accreditation in Public Relations) addressed both how and why to get your organization prepared for crisis in a world now dominated by social media. For starters, “social media has changed the landscape of communication, because it has no gatekeepers,” said Falkenthal, who is president of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego-based public relations consulting company.
Social media content is dependent on a sole author and has no editors or publishers to reign in thoughts before they’re pushed out into the digital sphere. Simply put, there’s no one there to edit what is said before it’s shared publicly. This is a scary proposition for communicators, but good or bad, someone is talking about your company or business right now, she warned.
With all the chatter that’s going on in the social media sphere, Falkenthal pointed how critical it is be aware of what’s being said about your company or business, to listen to what’s going on and to know about and learn how to use the various platforms where these conversations are occurring.
Along with that, every organization needs to be prepared to react more quickly than ever to a crisis, which means ensuring you’ve been listening and aren’t caught off-guard. It’s all about the preparation when you need to move fast, she explained. Your company’s crisis plan can’t be a dusty document on a shelf that no one has read for years.
24-Second News Cycle
Traditionally, when a crisis struck, communicators feared a deluge of cameras, news conferences and media requests. Now, with tweets, everyone is a reporter and their comments on Twitter, Facebook and the like are instantaneous. What was once a 24-hour news cycle is now a 24-second news cycle. Social media allows immediate engagement and creates the need to respond just as instantly.
She cited the recent example of Southwest Airlines, which recently came under fire in the Twittersphere for removing film director Kevin Smith from one of their flights because he was deemed too large. Smith posted a photo of himself on the flight minutes before he was booted, and the social media world erupted, some taking his side, others agreeing with Southwest.
Newspaper Circulation vs. Social Media Users
Just how pervasive is social media in San Diego County, compared to traditional media? Falkenthal advised that the current circulation for local newspapers is still solid. For example, in San Diego County, the number of readers of the San Diego Union-Tribune is 276,331 on weekdays and 378,696 on Sundays. Local TV newscast viewers are at 60,000 households. However, the total number of Facebook users in San Diego County is at a shade under 1 million, at 957,000 and growing.
Armed with this background knowledge, she went on to explain that crisis communication in the Twitter age involves listening, observation and conversation.
A question that all communications professionals need to ask is, how do we listen to the chatter… where do we look in social media?
- Blogs and comments, which are very searchable — they come up quickly and offer a distinct point of view.
- Microcommunities and microforums, e.g. Twitter — many thought and opinion leaders are on there.
- Social networks such as Facebook, so you know where your audiences are and what they are saying.
- Customer/audience networks — like magazines, there is a group for everyone. From the thrift store junky to people with an affinity for disabled dogs, individuals can discuss issues amongst those with shared interests.
For more information, please view Falkenthal’s presentation and handout on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
The New Rules of Engagement: How Communicators Shape Leaders’ Thoughts and Actions: January 2010 Professional Development Event
Written by Bonnie Nicholls, VP of Communications
>>Watch a short video interview (2:49 minutes) with Mark Schumann hitting the key points of his presentation.
Employee engagement is the big buzzword these days. But what does it mean and how does our knowledge of it help us as communicators influence company leaders or at least help shape the messages they send to employees?
Mark Schumann, the 2009-2010 Chair of IABC International, helped explain this topic by illustrating it with several colorful case stories during his presentation. He then led a breakout session after the luncheon, where members applied what they’d learned to real communications problems they deal with at work.
Schumann called engagement a magical combination of what employees think, believe, and feel, and how those contribute to the actions they take at work. “It’s that magical set of ingredients that creates strong relationships,” he said, whether it’s between the company and its employees, customers, investors, or the community.
What are the six new rules of engagement?
1. Embrace the new consumer
The idea of engagement started at the top, Schumann said, and was defined by company leaders and managers. But over the years, the power shifted. Now it is the customer, investor, or the employee who says what engagement is, and they hold the remote control. They can either tune in to the message from the company, or tune it out.
He gave an example of a dairy conglomerate that had come up with an engagement model to get employees of a newly purchased dairy to “conform.” In his research for the conglomerate, Schumann discovered that employees worked for the dairy because of family history or the dairy had a strong presence in the community. By talking to employees to find out what was important to them, he found out that they didn’t care who owned the dairy; they just wanted to make sure the new owner didn’t change their experience of what it was like to work there. A key component to embracing the new consumer, then, is listening to them first.
2. Understand what disappoints and disengages
You need to know your audience before you can influence them, and one way to do that is by listening. In an acquisition, for example, if you know that employees of the acquired company are worried that they’ll lose their independence or a key component of their culture, those concerns can be addressed in communications with those employees. Knowing the audience can help you avoid pitfalls, say the wrong thing, or help you advise company leaders how to do so.
3. Influence the organization to satisfy what people hunger
Schumann gave a great example of a CEO he advised who wanted to make a grand entrance on a stage for an all-hands meeting with employees, use a PowerPoint and bring out the leadership team. Schumann advised the CEO that this was not the year to do so, because he would turn off the employees he was trying to connect with. Schumann convinced the CEO to remove the barriers between him and the employees: the stage, the PowerPoint and the leadership team. He also convinced the CEO to meet employees at the door and look them in the eyes. “This meant the employees would be more apt to listen to the message,” Schumann said.
4. Stimulate conversation
5. Protect leaders from themselves
6. Secure the company soul
While that may seem like a major task for those of us in communication, it’s what we do every day with messaging. For example, we often start with the truth in our communications, but then other voices start to contribute and change the message. “We lose those arguments when we argue the words,” Schumann said. Instead, we should say this: “When people hear these words, here’s how they may react.”
He added, “One of the greatest skills a communicator has is facilitating.”
For more information, please view Schumann’s handout on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
Change Management Communications: November 2009 Professional Development Event
Written by Bonnie Nicholls, VP of Communication, IABC/San Diego
>>Watch a short video (2:46 minutes) of Brian Justice as he addresses some key points of his presentation.
Brian Justice, principal and owner of Brian Justice Strategic Communications, has worked with many companies going through cataclysmic shifts in the workplace, from cutting positions (to make way for new ones) to introducing workforces to each other after an acquisition.
Each change means that employees go through an emotional rollercoaster, starting with anger and fear on one end, then moving on to curiosity and learning.
The desired outcome, of course, is a workforce that’s excited and onboard with the change. Change management communications helps them get there.
“How do we create a workforce that is involved, engaged and aligned?” Justice asked at IABC/San Diego’s Nov. 18 professional development event. “That is the whole point of change communications.”
His presentation, geared toward an audience that supports rather than manages change communications, covered the basic models of change management, the building blocks of change communications, some case studies, and then some tips and tools takeaways.
“The role of change communications is to influence, shape and drive different actions,” he said.
So following only a traditional communications strategy by posting stories on the company intranet or sending out email blasts from the CEO isn’t going to cut it.
“Informing by itself isn’t change communications,” Justice said.
To influence and shape opinions and behaviors, you have to do more than that, and it has to be two-way or face-to-face, such as town halls, teleconferences, team meetings, team building, and training, for example.
Justice provided an excellent list of essential tools for communicators, with examples of each media type (print, dialogue, multimedia, electronic) and purpose of each one, as well as a list of questions you need to ask those who are managing the change. He also offered five action steps you can take to make communications successful:
- Assess and measure (spot surveys, virtual focus groups, phone interviews)
- Focus on outcomes
- Make leaders accessible (virtual/town halls, teleconference Q&A)
- Position managers for success (samples, FAQs, skill training)
- Make your channels more engaging (CEO blog, CEO webcast, team wiki, message board)
For more information, please view Justice’s entire presentation on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
Social Media Is Here to Stay: Linda Zimmer’s Seven Steps to Developing an Effective Strategy
October 2009 Professional Development series on social media: Part Two
Written by Celia Bloom, VP of Marketing, IABC/San Diego
Linda Zimmer’s enthusiasm about social media was contagious. Not only did she make a complex topic easy to understand, but Zimmer, the CEO of Marcom: Interactive, was so engaging at the IABC/San Diego’s Oct. 28 professional development event that even the most intimidated listener left feeling inspired and empowered to learn the lingo and put social media to use in the workplace.
What she shared came down to communications brass tacks: Know your goal, and know your audience. This is essential to successfully navigating around the social media hype around Twitter and Facebook. We as communicators are so excited about the next big thing and the fact that everyone’s doing it that we forget the essentials: thinking strategically.
>>Watch a short video interview (1:32 minutes) with Linda Zimmer: zimmer-interview_new_002
Here are some highlights of her presentation:
- Ask the right questions.When developing a social media strategy, Zimmer says the first question most people ask is “Which tools do I use?” She says, “This is the WRONG question.” The right first question is “What value can social media bring to the business?”
- Use technographics to find the audience.Zimmer says companies need to “throw demographics out the door” and replace them with technographics, a way to classify people based on how they use social media. For example, there are creators, critics, influencers, collectors, joiners and spectators. Websites such as Omgili, Google Blog Search and BlogPulse can help locate these audiences.
- Define the social media object.Successful social media sites are built around “objects” that unite people with shared interests. Zimmer says a social media object is the “object” of discussion between two or more people such as a photo on Flickr or an item on eBay.
- Make the social media object shareable.After defining the object, Zimmer says it’s important to find the best way to share it and start a conversation that increases the number of participants. She suggests using RSS feeds, Facebook and other relevant networks.��� ���
- Measure strategy effectiveness.Tracking measures that correspond directly to the strategy is the best way to determine its effectiveness. Zimmer encourages companies to look at the type of followers on their networks and to determine how relevant they are. She also says it’s important to track change in volume, nature and tone of comments to make messages more effective.��� ���
- Decide what social media venue (s) to use.Zimmer emphasizes the importance of matching the social media venue to the object and audience. For example, Microblogging is effective for sending brief text updates using Twitter, Jaiku or FriendFeed. Media sharing is effective for creating interest groups and introducing promotions using YouTube, Snapfish, or Last.fm. Widgets are great utilities for desktop engagement.
- Determine the required resources.A good social media strategy can’t succeed without the appropriate resources. Zimmer recommends having a digital team (including marketing, customer service, social media and technicians), a digital budget (for content, development, engagement and monitoring) and reporting tools.
Social media is here to stay and whether you’re a seasoned pro, a novice or somewhere in between, Linda Zimmer’s seven steps are a great way to start or evaluate your social media efforts.
You can access Zimmer’s presentation on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page.
Harnessing Emerging Media with Southwest’s Paula Berg
September 2009 Professional Development series on social media: Part One
Written by Dave Hargarten, Director of Corporate Membership Recruiting, IABC/San Diego
“Paula ROCKS!” tweeted Molly Jarrell, IABC/San Diego chapter president, after the September 24 event. By the number of RT’s (re-tweets) later that day, other attendees were just as thrilled with the session.
Paul Berg is a fearless pioneer. She is also the manager of Emerging Media at Southwest Airlines. As guest speaker for that afternoon, she kicked off the first of the two-part series on social media.
Berg has been part of the Southwest Airlines family since 2001. For the last fours years, she has focused her time and enthusiasm on harnessing social media tools to improve customer communication, including a company blog, as well as a consistent voice on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Southwest works non-stop to incorporate social media into every aspect of their communication.
Berg candidly led the group through a number of examples that Southwest has weathered in the last few years including her stint supervising on-location production for three seasons of Airline. Remember the reality series that aired on A&E? There were a number of reasons for taking this leap, explained Berg. A big one was that Southwest found they were reaching an entirely different demographic than with their traditional advertising.
Not that the production of the show didn’t come without “white-knuckle moments,” explained Berg — Southwest had no editorial control of the show. But when revenues started to climb after the show’s debut, company leaders were convinced that the gamble had paid off. This was the company’s first foray into being authentic and transparent — much like what today’s social media tools are designed to do.
When the show ended in 2006, the blogosphere was just starting to percolate, and that’s when Nuts About Southwest — the company blog — came into being as a replacement for the television show. “It became the place for virtual focus groups, a place to make and break news, and a place to tell the rest of the story,” said Berg.
All forms of social media used by Southwest allow the company to connect with customers in places that are the most comfortable for them. It’s that simple. Berg then shared what she’s discovered along the way:
- Don’t be afraid to join the conversation. Not everyone out there is going to like what you’re doing, so you need to have a “thick skin.”
- Act fast. For example, you don’t have to have Fortune 500® quality lighting to shoot a YouTube video.
- Build a strong team. Your channel owners of Facebook, Twitter, etc., need to not only monitor their channel, but also “live” there and inhabit it. Know the demographics of the channel. And, she added, it’s very important to have an executive sponsor that really “gets it.”
- Establish your voice in the channel(s) before a crisis. Don’t wait until there is a problem brewing.
The company believes very strongly in having social media “in their blood” — building on their successes and learning as they go. If Twitter and Facebook were to go away, Southwest’s social media embrace has positioned them for whatever technology wave is next explained Berg.
“It’s not about how many people are following you,” she said during the webinar. “It’s the conversations. It’s possible to have quality relationships, and it’s possible on Twitter to meet some great people in the IABC.”
Twitter, if you haven’t heard, is the latest social media sensation. Those conversations are short — just 140 characters for each line of dialog — but they are dynamic. And you don’t have to be at your PC (or Mac) to tweet. You can do it by mobile device. You can find people with the same interests as you, and you can learn and share information.
“I follow a lot of communications professionals,” said Ball, who is the marketing manager for Stewart Title Guaranty Company’s Western Operations Group. Through Twitter, she’s able to stay on the cutting edge of communications because she shares articles and best practices with others, and gets the same from them.
- Nuts and bolts: How to set up your account, why your bio matters, why an actual picture of your matters, what it means to follow and have followers
- Twitter etiquette: Why it’s important to attribute other people’s tweets (called re-tweets) and respond to those who mention you on Twitter.
- Spam: Learn how not to spam while your tweeting. If you keep putting up the same exact tweet every 20 minutes (e.g., check out my new site!), that’s spam. That’s not a conversation. And it will make you quite unpopular.
If you want to watch Ball’s webinar or see her PowerPoint presentation on our Speaker Presentations page. Note: You must be a member of IABC/San Diego to access this page. Or take a look at her Twitter page. You just might want to start a conversation.
IABC International Conference: June 2009
Written by Stephanie Grant, President-Elect, IABC/San Diego
I had never been to the IABC International Conference so I was honored to receive a scholarship from Pacific Plains Region. Needless to say, my first experience was one to be remembered.
The opening general session set the tone for the entire conference. Brian Dunn, president and COO of Best Buy, engaged us all with his contagious enthusiasm, especially when he capped off his presentation by saying, “communicators are the heart and soul of an organization.”
From Angela Sinickas’ session on communication measurement to Steve Crescenzo’s executive communications presentation, I walked away with several takeaways. In fact, I’ve shared Steve’s 10 tips for successful executive blogs below.
Social media took center stage this year. Throughout the conference, there were sessions on Facebook, Twitter, Web 2.0, wikis, blogs and other social networking tools. Many attendees used social media to share their conference experience with others who could not attend. In nearly every session there was someone near me who was tweeting! Times sure are changing and it’s clear that organizations must embrace the use of social media as a communication tool.
All in all, this conference was a great learning experience that reaffirmed what it means to be a member of IABC. As a member of IABC you are never alone, even if you are the sole communicator for your organization. There are 13,000 other IABC members throughout the world that are always willing to connect with one another to trade ideas, share best practices and make the profession of communications stronger. It’s empowering to be a member of IABC and it was incredible to be surrounded by so many peers from all over the world. Thank you for giving me this opportunity!
Steve’s executive blogging tips:
1. Include something personal in posts.
2. Encourage conversation by asking questions.
3. Bring in guest bloggers for a diversity of views.
4. Tell stories, both personal and business.
5. Don’t be afraid to tackle the tough stuff.
6. Report from the field when possible.
7. Admit mistakes.
8. Say what you can’t talk about.
9. Share examples of people who do things right.
10. Set expectations for your role in the comments section.
Note: Members of the IABC are eligible for scholarships to IABC events from their local chapters.