IABC garners its strength from the diversity, talents, and wisdom of its members. This October, we shine the spotlight on George Grimm-Howell, a 16-year member of our St. Louis chapter. George became involved with IABC as a student at Butler University. He’s since married his communications skills and passion for working with people to become Director, Talent & HR Solutions for Buck Consultants, a global HR benefits consulting services firm.
As a kid I was always interested in advertising and public relations. I loved the idea of fusing communication with creative concepts. As a student I was blessed to have solid writing skills. At Butler University in Indianapolis, I worked on the school newspaper and eventually changed my major from Public and Corporate Communications to Journalism.
The most significant experience that shaped your career?
My incredible ah-ha moment came several years ago with the accelerating pace of interactive communication. The ‘ah-ha’ was when I realized the ratio of print vs. online communication was going to completely flip in just a few years: 80%print/20% online quickly moved to 80% online/20% print.
The major issues facing today’s communications professionals.
Reduction in the quality of work is the most significant issue. The reduction in communication budgets means fewer professionals to do the work, and the advent of cheap and fast methods of communication often lead us to issue communications before they’re really had the proper scrutiny. A close second is the fact that our audiences increasingly don’t read, causing us to pare down content to the point where it’s almost devoid of true educational value.
Words of wisdom for young communications professionals today.
Expose yourself to examples of high quality work and surround yourself with people who are committed to the pursuit of communication excellence. (In other words, be active in IABC!)
If there was one thing you could change about your career choice, what would it be?
Since hindsight is 20/20, I now can see that I might have had even more value to my clients if I had studied more strategic organizational forms of communication rather than journalism. So much of our HR communication is essentially change management. Communication doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it happens in the context of what’s going on in the organizational environment. And the audience doesn’t read your piece only for the information it contains; rather, they view it their own lens as part of a process of validating their own world view. This is something I have learned over the years, but if do-overs were possible, I probably would study organizational communication.
How IABC St. Louis helped your career.
IABC has always been an important part of my professional life. It has helped my career by exposing me to what other excellent communication is going on in the St. Louis region and has provided a network of friends and acquaintances who help each other in many ways-from helping out when we have overflow work, to providing a specialty service that fills a unique need, to networking for employment opportunities.
Life’s next chapter.
The next chapter in life for me is navigating the experience of raising two college-bound teenagers, rediscovering the relationship with my wife after many years of busy child-rearing, and spending more time meeting interesting new people and wrestling with important ideas. Despite life’s experience, I find I’m never too old to change, to discover new experiences and to have my old assumptions challenged. I’m happy that I still don’t have all the answers, and I truly look forward to exploring the questions; the questions are usually much more interesting.
Thursday, October 24
11:30 am – 1:15 pm
Webster University Emerson Library
From Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In internship snafu – to the former intern suing P. Diddy – internships are a hot topic these days. Despite these and other high-profile cases, internships are still a valuable investment for employers and students alike – as long as they are executed effectively.
At this month’s IABC St. Louis luncheon, you’ll learn how to maximize an existing internship program or start one from scratch in your organization. Our panel represents all perspectives on this topic – from an employer, to a student, to a university internship director.
Key takeaways include:
- How can an internship program be beneficial to your organization – particularly in communications?
- Why should your nonprofit, corporation or small business invest in an internship program?
- What pitfalls should employers be aware of when employing paid or unpaid interns?
- What tips do the experts recommend for establishing or improving an internship program?
Mindy Berkowitz is Director of the School of Communications Center for Portfolio Development & Internships at Webster University. She has more than 20 years in the corporate community, non‐profit and educational organizations. As Director, she has taken a small internship program in scope and size and has created a program with a defined mission, learning outcomes, and assessment plan that is fully integrated into the culture of the School of Communications. The Center assists more than 150 students within 16 different majors each year in securing credit bearing internships across the country and globe. Mindy also serves as Midwest Region Co-chair of the National Association of Experiential Education.
Ellen Flesch is the Senior Graphic Designer at the Missouri Botanical Garden, where she’s been designing and producing books, posters, signage, advertising, and more for 13 years. She started the Garden Publications intern program in 2002. With four interns each semester, she has now mentored over 80 former interns. The internship program has grown over 11 years to a defined curriculum and project assignments that teach students what is like to work in the real world before they start their first professional job. She has also formed an alumni program to help former interns network and find out about job opportunities.
Amanda Karas is a senior at Webster University seeking a bachelor’s degree in public relations. Amanda gained practical experience during her internship this past summer at the City of St. Peters. Her internship experience helped her improve her writing, event planning and more. She has always been interested in communications and has held several on-campus positions related to public relations and special events.
This event is co-sponsored by Webster University School of Communications.
September Professional Development Meeting
Unleash the Power of Social Media Case Study
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Don Sanford, Principal of Buck Consultants
Learn how to use social media to educate your audience about a key business topic. While social media is being used by many organizations to recruit talent and to create a forum for internal conversations, few companies have unleashed its true power to educate employees about key business issues. In this session, Donald Sanford, Principal of Buck Consultants, will provide a unique case study, with proven metrics, that shows how a “Facebook-like” social media platform was created to educate employees about a complex new business subject.
During a three-month period in 2012, Don worked with a company to launch the new site using weekly “news feeds,” personalized information and interactive quizzes, to drive key messages around an important business subject. He measured employee knowledge of the subject prior to the launch, and following the three-month period, to gauge its true impact.
This case study, presented at the IABC World Conference in June, explores the unique finding and impressive results achieved! It could become an important new way for you to communicate with all of your employees.
About Our Presenter
Donald R. Sanford, Principal, Buck Consultants
Don Sanford is a principal in Buck’s Communications practice and leads the St. Louis Communications team. He has more than 30 years of consulting and related management experience and has assisted clients with numerous human resources campaigns.
His past includes serving as the national leader for the Communications Practice as well as leading one of the firm’s largest offices. Prior to his consulting work, Don worked as an editor of a newspaper, as a manager of marketing communications, as an editor for a public relations firm, and as a manager of publications in a corporate communications group.
Don is a lifetime member of IABC and has received dozens of awards from the organization during his career. He is a frequent speaker on a wide array of effective communication strategies.
$30 – Members
$40 – Non-members
$20 – Students
Maggiano’s Little Italy#2 The Boulevard Saint Louis
Richmond Heights, MO 63117-1122
11:30 a.m. – Registration and Networking
12-1:30 p.m. – Program
Ragan Communications’ presents the Social Media for Nonprofits Summit – a summit that will give you strategies to make social media an integrated part of your communications with advocates, members, media and other stakeholders. Join us at this even on September 9-10 at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis.
Some takeaways of this event include how to: create a uniform brand across social media channels, prepare for and manage an online crisis, measure the value of your social media initiatives and use social media for nonprofit fundraising.
For a limited time, IABC St. Louis members receive a $150 discount – learn more here!
Lights, camera, communication!
From the large business to the small nonprofit, a video series can become an effective communication strategy. In this case study, learn about the St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s “The Frontline for Hope” – a moving six-part docu-series that takes you behind hospital doors for inspiring stories of doctors, nurses, patients and families.
Narrated by Joe Buck, the series aired on KSDK Channel 5.
At this presentation, you’ll learn:
- How the docu-series evolved and its tie-in to fundraising
- How patients, families and physicians were selected to appear
- How the series was promoted to staff and the public through social media and other channels
- How it was received and what lies ahead
Jackie Ferman, Media Relations Manager – Ferman’s responsibilities include coordinating traditional news media, social media and video/digital content. Before joining St. Louis Children’s in 2003, she worked as a television news producer at KSDK in St. Louis and at a station in Houston. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Suzanne Fontaine, Director of Events and Marketing, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation – Fontaine leads a team that raises nearly $2 million per year to support the hospital’s mission to do what’s right for kids. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Tulsa and a master’s degree in communications from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Abby Wuellner, Senior Media Relations Coordinator- Wuellner joined the media relations team at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 2010, after spending five years as a television news reporter and anchor at affiliates in Springfield, MO and Minot, ND. She now assists with coordinating traditional news media, social media and video/digital content for Children’s. She has a degree in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame.
Thursday, August 22 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
11:30-12 Networking and Registration
Ces & Judy’s
10405 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63131
$30 – members
$40 – nonmembers
$20 – students
Join IABC St. Louis for an evening of networking, fine wine and dialogue on the power of nonverbal communications.
For more than a decade, TED Conferences, LLC has been fostering the power of “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Together with other St. Louis communicators, explore insights from a TED Talks video presentation by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. In the presentation, Amy discusses her latest research on the impact of body language to our hormone levels, feelings and behavior. She illustrates how “power posing” – even when we don’t feel confident – can in fact have a dramatic impact on our chances for success!
Have you been looking forward to reconnecting with your fellow business communicators? Then join us for what will be an intellectually stimulating evening with IABC St. Louis!
When: Thursday, June 20, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Sasha’s on Shaw, 4069 Shaw Ave. St Louis, MO 63110
$30 – members
$40 – nonmembers
$20 – students
About the Presentation
Amy Cuddy is a Harvard Business School professor who studies how we perceive and are influenced by other people and vice versa. Her fascinating work on how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom has won praise worldwide. Amy’s TED Talk on power posing, posted in October 2012, has been streamed over 5 million times and is already one of the all-time most viewed talks on TED.com. Amy’s work has been featured on the Today Show, CNN, MSNBC and in Fast Company, Harvard Magazine, Wired, The New York Times, Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. TIME magazine named Amy as one of 2012’s “Game Changers” and Business Insider chose her as one of the 50 Women Who Are Changing The World in 2013. Amy holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton University and B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado.
Join us in June as we celebrate IABC St. Louis Membership Month. Gather good memories. Identify your prospects. Then, share with a non-member friend or colleague how IABC can help advance their career.
The reasons are many:
- Monthly networking opportunities
- Job search assistance – including interviewing and salary negotiation tips
- 24/7 access to a wealth of communications materials
- Professional development tools and seminars
- Access to communications thought leaders worldwide
Yet recruiting – like membership – also has its rewards. Recruit a new member who joins by June 30 and you could win six free IABC St. Louis July 2013 to June 2014 professional development luncheons – a $180 value. The more new members you recruit, the greater your chances of winning!
But, the June Membership Month rewards don’t stop there. Every new member you recruit:
- Will have their $40 new member application fee waived
- Can attend one of our professional development luncheons – for free
What’s your career success story, and how has IABC membership benefitted you?
Have you been thinking about getting out of the stands and stepping up to the plate? Now’s the time to get in the game! IABC St. Louis is recruiting team players interested in joining our 2013 Board.
IABC St. Louis offers unique volunteer opportunities for you or your staff members to get involved in leadership positions. You might be a seasoned professional looking to help other communicators grow at all stages of their career. Or you might be newer to the profession and looking to build your leadership skills and network. Wherever you are in your career, your skills can help build our team. If you have been a past board member, please consider how you may contribute to the current board.
Elections are in June, and the board year for elected officials begins in July 2013.
Open positions include the following:
- Vice President of Professional Development
- Professional Development Chair
Three directors-at-large serve on the board, for rotating three-year terms. The directors are experienced board members who attend all board meetings and take on special projects as they and the board determine.
IABC is an outstanding organization to be a member of, but is even more rewarding when you are involved in its operations. To continue to provide exceptional professional development opportunities and value to members through seminars, speakers, awards and training, it takes committed volunteers dedicated to growing our profession.
I encourage anyone who is ready to step up their involvement and wants to learn more about volunteering to please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 654-6420.
Thank you for your service!
IABC St. Louis President
It’s never been more important to stay ahead of industry trends, to learn about best practices from successful leaders and to network with hundreds of professionals in other markets. Do it all in June, by registering now for IABC’s annual World Conference at http://wc.iabc.com/.
When you register, you’ll have a chance to win one of six iPad minis in an IABC national giveaway. Beginning April 15 for 12 weeks, one winner will be announced every two weeks.
Reminder: Discovery premium content open to all members
As of January 1, premium Discovery content is available to IABC members for no additional fee. (Previously, subscriptions to premium Discovery were $99 per year.) All members will automatically have access once they log in with their member ID and password. What’s the best Discovery topic you’ve learned about?