IABC St. Louis Blog

April 28 | Tim Hortons: A tale of sweet succes

The iconic Tim Hortons restaurant and brand took St. Louis by storm in recent years. Join IABC St. Louis for lunch with Common Ground Public Relations to hear about how St. Louis hosted the most successful US market launch in the Tim Hortons company history. The Common Ground Public Relations team, along with Tina Bryan, vice president for Tim Hortons St. Louis, will share the strategies that have sustained intense interest more than a year and a half, earning an IABC St. Louis Quill Award of Excellence, the top prize in 2015, the Best in Show Award as well as thousands of happy, full restaurant guests in the process. When: Thursday April 28, 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. CST Where: Maggiano’s Little Italy #2 The Boulevard Saint Louis, Richmond Heights, MO 63117 How Much: Members: $30 | Non-members: $40 | Students: $20 RSVP now » WATCH NOW: 2015 IABC St. Louis Quill Awards Best in... read more

Member Spotlight: Patti Beck

Name: Patti Beck Employer: Bi-State Development (BSD) Title: Director of Communications Favorite Quote: In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. −Abraham Lincoln How have you benefited from being an IABC St. Louis member? The monthly lunch meetings are great learning opportunities for me as well as my team members. Also, the CW magazine contains good information I can use to do my job better and I appreciate the online resources IABC offers. Why did you to enter the communications profession? I liked to write growing up and did a lot of public speaking through 4-H and church from the age of nine until I left for college. As a double major in mass communications/TV-radio and journalism, I thought I would end up in radio but fell in love with television news. I was hired at KTVI during my TV-radio internship and worked my way up to news producer. After a few years, I accepted a producing position at KMOV, where I ate, breathed and slept television news for nearly two decades until I was recruited by a national charity here in St. Louis to become its director of communications. In 2010, I was hired by BSD as the external communications manager and then promoted to director of communications in 2013. How would you describe your role at BSD? I am the spokesperson for the organization so a good portion of time is spent talking to the media. I am on call 24/7. I am responsible for leading internal, external, social media and community outreach communications. I am very... read more

March 31 | Members-only happy hour

Celebrate Member Month! Join us for a FREE “Members-Only” happy hour/networking event: March 31, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wheelhouse Bar and Restaurant in Clayton Directions IABC and PRSA members will enjoy a free drink and appetizers along with a presentation by PRSA member Brad Wester on search engine optimization (SEO). Following the presentation, Wester will share templates for LinkedIn, Pinterest and blog posts with attendees. Sign me up for happy hour! Not already a member? Become member in March (Member Month) to get your application fee waived. Then we’ll see you at the free members-only happy hour! Join IABC & get the Member Month discount! Presentation by Brad Wester Imagine waking up, checking your email and finding a new request for proposal generated by your website, several emails from Pinterest showing that your pins are now reaching thousands of users and a LinkedIn message from a recruiter asking if you’d be interested in interviewing for a new position. That’s a great way to start the day. I see variations of this every few weeks, and it’s all due to a strong focus on search engine optimization (SEO). You can see the same results. SEO doesn’t have to be an intimidating task to take on. Follow the SEO templates I’ve created and avoid trying to understand all of the confusing and often debated relevancy factors search engines... read more

Feb. 25 | The Future of Media

Today’s media: Fewer reporters covering more beats. How can you get their attention? Vivian Schiller, Weber Shandwick’s executive editor-in-residence, will share an insider’s point of view on the current state of the news media and will address questions such as “Can storytelling survive the 140-character society?” “What if all content in the future is (gasp) sponsored?” and “Is long-form journalism dead?” Communications professionals from all walks of the trade can benefit from her insights. When: Thursday February 25, 2016 from 11:30 AM to 1:15 PM CST Where: Maggiano’s Little Italy 2 The Boulevard Richmond Heights, MO 63117 Agenda: 11:30 – 12:00 – Networking 12:00 – Lunch served 12:10 – 1:15 – Presentation, Q&A Fees:* $30 – Members $40 – Non-members $20 – Students *No-shows will be billed their registration fee at the per-person meeting cost unless contacting IABC St. Louis prior to 48 hours before the event. Register now » About the Speaker: Vivian Schiller, Executive Editor-In-Residence at Weber Shandwick Prior to her current role with Weber Shandwick, Schiller was most recently chair of global news at Twitter, where she set the strategy for partnerships with journalists around the world. Before that, she oversaw the acquisition of MSNBC Digital Networks at NBC News, then a joint venture of Microsoft and NBCUniversal. Previously, Schiller was president and CEO of NPR, where she was responsible for elevating the organization’s digital media presence, significantly expanding its revenue base, and launching new units and products. She also served as general manager of NYTimes.com and helped the company introduce its first mobile offering. Earlier in her career, Schiller led the production of news documentaries and... read more

Feb. 20 | Coffee & Conversations for Students

College students in the St. Louis area, majoring in marketing, public relations or similar business communications field, are invited to join professionals of IABC St. Louis for free coffee and conversations about careers, communications and more! International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) St. Louis is the organization to help jump-start your career. And now is the time to make connections and get to know people. Our business communicators cover the gamut – from internal communications, marketing, and digital media, to writing and public relations, investor relations and more. Connect with people and hear firsthand what it’s like to work at agencies vs. a corporation vs. a non-profit organization, all of varying sizes and specialties. Coffee with us can be your ticket to a rewarding career! We’re here to help you: Network Learn about available IABC resources that can help you land a job Explore the discounts and benefits we offer students Ask questions and get answers Oh, and enjoy coffee – on us! Join us Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 10 – 11: 15 a.m. St. Louis Bread Co. (Panera) 10336 Clayton Rd, St. Louis, MO 63131 Get Directions Let us know you’re coming! Register for this FREE event by emailing info@iabcstl.org by Tuesday, Nov. 17. If you can’t make it but want to connect with an IABC professional, email info@iabcstl.org. Read more about students and IABC... read more

Jan. 28 | Award-Winning Communications

We’re having lunch at Maggiano’s on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. and will showcase three award-winning communication programs! Each of our guests earned a local, regional or international award in 2015 for communications excellence. Join us to get the inside scoop on branding with Angie Winschel of Brand Almanac; electronic employee publications with John Twombly of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and writing and design with Michele Ludwig and Dawn Crosno of Concordia Plan Services. Register now! Meeting Fees: $30 – Members $40 – Non-members $20 – Students *No-shows will be billed their registration fee at the per-person meeting cost unless contacting IABC St. Louis prior to 48 hours before the event. About the Speakers: Branding: Angie Winschel, Brand Almanac Winschel will share Missouri Division for Health’s new visual identity. The effort earned an IABC St. Louis Quill Award. Angie Winschel is a co-founder of Almanac and has more than 20 years of  experience as a communications professional in not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. She focuses on strategic messaging as the foundation for all successful branding, marketing, and communications. Electronic employee publications: John Twombly,St. Louis Children’s Hospital Twombly will discuss Children’s Chat, part of an internal communication transformation that has increased measurement and engagement. The newsletter earned the regional IABC Silver Quill. John Twombly has worked in communications/marketing at St. Louis Children’s Hospital/BJC HealthCare for 20 years. He serves as 2014-2016 IABC St. Louis chapter president. Writing and design: Michele Ludwig and Dawn Crosno, Concordia Plan Services Through a collaborative effort led by Buck Consultants, CPS’ 2015 Concordia Health Plan Open Enrollment campaign was recognized by IABC International with a Gold Quill Award for both writing and publication design. Michele Ludwig is... read more

Member Spotlight: Kim Pett

Name: Kim Pett Employer: Modern Litho Title: Account Executive How would you describe your role at Modern Litho? I’m a sales account manager, customer service rep and business developer. I’ve been in the printing industry sales now for more than 15 years, six of which were with Midtown Printing. When Midtown and Modern Litho Printing merged in 2013, the range of services we offered expanded. I focus the majority of my time on bringing in new business and managing existing business. What do you like – or find most challenging – about your job? I’ve developed lifelong friendships in this job. You never know who you’ll meet on any given day or how that person may affect your life. It’s quite exciting. As for challenges, the most challenging hurdle recently has been the economy. From downsizing to juggling staff, many companies have had to make drastic changes. Several of my clients today wear multiple hats, and as a result, they need more help figuring out the most profitable way to stretch marketing dollars and still achieve the desired results. Rather than just being a sales rep, we’ve actually become print consultants. What possessed you to enter the communications profession? I started my career as a graphic designer and moved to sales. I’m a real people person. Printing is a custom industry. I like the challenge of helping my clients find the right solution for their printing projects. How have you benefited from being an IABC St. Louis member? IABC membership has helped me build business. I’ve made some great business connections, as well as new clients through IABC networking... read more

Open call: IABC St. Louis Speakers Bureau

Is sharing knowledge your passion? Do you have an interesting story to tell future communicators? In 2016, IABC St. Louis is going back to school and you can too with the IABC St. Louis Speakers Bureau. The new IABC St. Louis Speakers Bureau exists to: help groom tomorrow’s leaders help those future leaders gain an understanding of the value of communication in business. The IABC St. Louis Speakers Bureau will partner with local universities to help foster relationships between professionals and students through case study presentations, lectures, events and mentorships. Professionals interested in being part of this new collective should tell us about their area of expertise and preferred topics/fields of study by Friday, Jan. 1,... read more

Dec. 9 | Jurassic Holiday Happy Hour

Join IABC St. Louis along with AMA, PRSA and SMPS for a Jurassic Holiday Happy Hour! St. Louis’ communicators, marketers, advertising and public relations professionals will converge on T-REX from 6 – 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Having seen a year of tremendous growth in the St. Louis Startup community, we are returning to T-REX’s fifth floor, the hub of their community space for work and play, and the perfect location to bring together new companies with the metro area’s best promoters. All industry-related organizations coming together Meet new people Catch up with industry friends Eat. Drink. Network. BEST PART: The registration fee is waived (and you’ll do some holiday good) if you bring either 15 cans of food or one new toy to the event. You may also opt to donate $10 in advance or pay $15 at the door. Donations will support Operation Food Search and Toys For Tots. Register... read more

Measuring Up | Event Recap

Businesses that build their sales through public outreach (advertising, PR, direct mail, digital, trade events) have long sought to quantify the effectiveness of their expenditures.For decades, the marketers used a “swim lane measurement” philosophy whereby each channel’s efforts were measured in isolation. This simplistic view of marketing resulted in each channel’s results usually being vastly over and under represented. The IABC St. Louis guest speaker for November, Ross Toohey, shared his view that marketers’ goal should be to measure the synergy of all outreach efforts and not the individual program effects. Ross is CEO and President of 2E Creative, a St. Louis agency that works with clients to answer the What, How and Why of their clients. He shared with the St. Louis gathering his three-step process to leverage the “Big Data” that abounds in every organization into meaningful communications plan: Centralize, Analyze, Optimize. Centralize Collect and quantify the data that’s available with a focus on the signals vs. the noise. Look at factors that affect your results — prior marketing plans, broad market conditions, and competitive actions. How did customers respond and how did your organization respond? The answers are somewhere in that data! Analyze Here’s where Ross suggests you do some “war-gaming.” Test your theories on customer behavior, tweak the strategy and tactics, then test again. Part of this process includes assigning a measure of elasticity to the different business drivers. That means determining what size of an effect does one driver (i.e., TV ads) have on another metric (internet search, clicking an ad, etc.). Optimize Take the results of steps 1 & 2 to learn, adjust... read more