IABC St. Louis Blog

Member Spotlight: Travis Snyder

Name: Travis Snyder Employer: Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Title: Senior Communications Specialist Favorite Quote: “Be who you are and say what you   feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss   Why did you join IABC St. Louis?  I joined IABC St. Louis in January this year for the opportunity to network and learn best practices from other business communicators in the St. Louis area. Though I’ve only been a member a few months, I have already gained valuable professional insight through my attendance at IABC professional development events. I’ve learned how to better manage my time, how to stay focused on the most important aspects of my job, and I’ve learned the real value of what we do as professional communicators. What possessed you to enter the communications profession?  I have a passion for meeting people and telling their stories, as well as taking complex subjects and writing about them in a way that’s easy for everyone to understand. My career in communications allows me to explore these passions on a daily basis. I’m from Indiana and I moved to St. Louis in July 2014 to advance my career. I’d previously worked as a news reporter for a local newspaper in my hometown of Vincennes, Ind. How would you describe your role at Mallinckrodt? As a communications specialist, I develop communications that support and reflect Mallinckrodt’s focus on improving lives in a variety of ways, including employee emails, news articles, blog posts, web and graphic design, photography and digital signage to name a few. What do you like most about your job? I... read more

May 28, 2015 – Share the Wealth with Best Practice Round-table Discussions

Enjoy a lively, interactive program format on Thursday, May 28, featuring round-table discussions on communication trends and best practices. Everyone is encouraged to bring a best practice insight to share with their table. It’s all about communication contributing to business goals and, ultimately, business success. Table seating is first come, first served, and each table will be assigned one of the following disciplines for you to choose: Internal/Employee Communications: Share trends, measurement tools and best practices Corporate PR: Compare tools and best practices, identify your growth goals Executive Communications: Share creative approaches, discuss barriers to excellence, and take away new ideas Proving Your Value: Learn how your peers are building relationships and proving the value of communications to senior management Communications Planning: Discuss successes, failures, and lessons learned in developing and selling your plans Feel like you might miss out on useful information because you can only sit at one table? Don’t fret! The second half of the meeting involves a table facilitator sharing cumulative best practices from that table with the entire group. The round-table meeting format was organized in response to IABC member survey feedback this spring encouraging alternative luncheon formats. Date: May 28, 2015 Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Maggiano’s Little Italy 2 The Boulevard Richmond Heights, MO 63117 Meeting Fees: $30 – Members $40 – Non-members $20 – Students *No-shows will be billed their registration fee to reflect the per-person meeting cost unless contacting IABC St. Louis prior to 48 hours before the event.   Register... read more

April 30 – Networking Happy Hour

April Showers Bring (almost) May Happy Hours! Celebrate Spring and Build Your Professional Network  For many, the word ‘networking’ evokes feelings of anxiety and dread. Others view networking as an opportunity to meet new people and build long-term relationships. If you would like to be among those in the second category, join the St. Louis chapters of IABC, PRSA and AMA in a fun and relaxed environment where you’ll learn new networking tips, and at the same time grow your professional network. Date: Thursday, April 30, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Snacks and drinks (beer, wine, water and soft drinks) will be provided. This event is FREE to IABC, PRSA and AMA members; $10 charge for non-members. It’s hosted by the St. Louis Arts and Education Council located in the Centene Center for Arts and Education Building at 3547 Olive Street – 4th Floor, St. Louis, MO 63103-1014. Parking: A paid lot is located next the building. There also is ample street meter parking. Note that street meters operate until 7 p.m. Register... read more

Member Spotlight: Shera Dalin

Name: Shera Dalin Employer: U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (a division of U.S. Bank) Title: Media & Community Relations Manager Favorite quote: “Would you rather be right or happy?” — A Course in Miracles How did you enter the profession? In 2006, I quit my job as a business reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to become a freelance magazine journalist. (Note how freelancers are “journalists” and newspapers have “reporters.”) I quickly discovered that the freelance journalism field was overrun with writers and the competition was fierce. I added corporate and nonprofit copywriting and public relations to my skill sets as a matter of necessity. I attracted a variety of clients, many of whom are friends still today.  How have you benefited from being an IABC St. Louis member? I can’t praise enough the opportunities I’ve had to add to my professional development and share wonderful camaraderie with other members. Members have also been very open to sharing their expertise when I’ve asked, and I’ve learned a tremendous amount. How would you describe your role? Like so many communications professionals, I wear a lot of hats. I write and distribute press releases, work with media, keep an eye on reputation management issues, manage our government affairs efforts, write copy for trade advertising, write social media posts, and even create signage for our interior and exterior spaces. What do you like most about your job? I do work that I can believe in. Every day I get to share the good news about the affordable housing developments we invest in, the historic buildings we help preserve, the businesses we help... read more

March 26, 2015 – Cutting Edge Social Media Strategies that Work

Whether you’re a novice at social media or an expert looking for some new ideas, two experts will be presenting their best tips and tricks for attracting and holding followers, engaging with your audience, managing reputation and measuring your results. Date: March 26, 2015 Location: Maggiano’s Little Italy Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Register Now About Our Presenters: Mandy Manley, a Duchess of Paducah and graduate of the University of Kentucky, is a communications specialist at Reliv International. She’s a Kentucky Press Association award-winning journalist, and was chosen as the winner of the St. Louis Publisher’s Association’s “Get Ready, Get Published” contest in 2010. Her novel, Foundations, a work of historical fiction, has been a real hit with her family. Read Mandy’s advice for social media success, hilarious videos and tips for being and all-around likeable person at www.mandymanley.com. Bethany Prange started her career in 2000 as a journalist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Today she writes a weekly parenting column for an independent newspaper, but social media strategy for nonprofits is now her specialty. She served as the social media strategist at the St. Louis Area Foodbank for five years, initiating a blog and building the food bank’s social media platforms from a few hundred followers to thousands. Bethany also helped the nonprofit win a new Toyota Highlander and grants totaling $105,000. In 2011, she developed and launched an innovative team of social media ambassadors whose primary goal was to devote their expertise in social media, brand management and marketing strategy to the cause of hunger relief. This new method of “creative volunteerism” helped the Foodbank boost... read more

February 26, 2015 – Change Management ROI

Join us on February 26 as Annie Rzepecki, Communication & Change Management Consultant at Towers Watson, shares client stories and insights from their ten-year study on the role that internal communication and change management play in business success. During this session, you will learn how communication practices have evolved over the years and how effective communication and change management can impact financial results and engage key talent. At this event, you will learn how to: Utilize effective change management and communication to unleash discretionary effort and superior performance Motivate and engage employees Apply examples from relevant case studies to your own organization or business Register Now Meeting Fees*: $30 – Members $40 – Non-members $20 – Students About Our Speaker Annie Rzepecki is a Change Management and Communication consultant in the Minneapolis office of Towers Watson. Annie helps her clients facilitate and sustain organizational and cultural change and motivate employee behavior across a variety of topics, including benefits, mergers and acquisitions, talent management and organizational alignment, and employee engagement. Annie’s clients include 3M, Charter Communications, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, CNH Industrial, Maritz, Medtronic, Monsanto Company, Post Foods, Thrivent Financial, and many more. *No-shows will be billed their registration fee to reflect the per-person meeting cost unless contacting IABC St. Louis prior to 48 hours before the... read more

Member Spotlight: David Sheets

Name: David Sheets Employer: Perficient, Inc. Title: Public Relations and Communications Manager Favorite quote: “Don’t come to me with problems, come to me with solutions.” Bill Harmon, faculty adviser of my college newspaper and my first boss. How did you enter the profession? Through journalism. I was a newspaper editor and content manager for almost 30 years, 15 of which were spent at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After the newspaper downsized, I started my own business as a digital content manager for small and medium-size companies, which led to assorted marketing communications projects. How have you benefited from being an IABC St. Louis member? My membership was directly responsible for getting me my job. The connections I made through IABC led to other networking opportunities that put me on Perficient’s radar. Plus, I have met many people through IABC who are not just excellent business contacts, they are now wonderful and cherished friends. How would you describe your role? I clarify and coordinate Perficient’s message in house, make sure it advances our objectives as well as those of our strategic partners and clients, then work with the marketing director and CEO to promote our thought leadership and advance Perficient’s global reputation as a respected player in the information technology industry. What do you like most about your job? It’s so different from what I was doing in newspaper journalism but just as important, and the challenges it presents are well worth tackling. Success in business requires more than just an enviable business model. Effective communication helps match people with needs to people with services. Without a clear message and the strategy to deliver it, superb products will... read more

January 21, 2015 – How to Think Like A CEO

Join PRSA and IABC for our annual joint meeting on Wednesday night January 21st from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the BJC Learning Institute. As communicators, we’re often so busy helping others that our own development falls to the bottom of the priority list. During this interactive session, attendees will hold a mirror up to themselves to discover – based on criteria of successful CEOs – how to be more effective. By understanding the Top 10 CEO Care-Abouts and the practical behaviors and skills that work for the most effective leaders, attendees will be able to decide which strategies will help them lead better and differentiate themselves. The session covers key development opportunities such as: Staying focused on the top business priorities Articulating the value of the communications function Managing your time Developing your team You don’t need to be a CEO to take some of these best-practice strategies and apply them to your job. In the end, understanding these Care-Abouts can help any person – from entry-level to senior leader – be more effective, productive, and more content with work. About Our Speaker A leading consultant, speaker and author, David Grossman is one of America’s foremost authorities on communication inside organizations. Grossman, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, helps leaders drive productivity and get the results they want through authentic and courageous leadership and communication. When: January 21, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Where: BJC Learning Institute, 8300 Eager Road, St Louis, MO 63144 Free parking in the garage across the street from the BJC building. Take the elevator to the pedestrian bridge and follow the signs to the meeting. Menu:... read more

Member Spotlight: Rhonda Sciarra

Rhonda Sciarra, Communications Manager at Mallinckrodt and a past IABC St. Louis president, now serves as 2014-2015 Director of IABC’s Pacific Plains Region (PPR). The organization supports the leaders and members of the region’s IABC chapters with resources and professional development opportunities. Here, she talks more about her role heading PPR and why she stepped up to volunteer. 1. Why did you become involved with IABC at the regional level after your leadership experience at the local level? Since I joined IABC 10 years ago, I have found incredible value in part through investing in volunteering. IABC has provided me with great access to best communications practices, an expanding network of peers and friends in the profession, and a way to grow my skills as a leader and communicator. I became involved at the IABC Pacific Plains regional level because I was enthused by the region’s purpose: to connect and support chapter leaders and members at large across the U.S. West and Midwest. It was a great next step in my IABC involvement. 2. The release says: “The Pacific Plains Region of IABC supports the leaders and members of the region’s IABC chapters with resources and professional development opportunities.” Which examples of resources/professional development opportunities that IABC members can use would you want to highlight? In addition to a focus on chapter leader development, the region offers IABC members professional development opportunities in the form of webinars, in-person events and our annual awards program.
The Silver Quill Awards give professional communicators in our region an opportunity to showcase their best work. And the 2014 Silver Quill Awards program is easier than ever. This year, we have better aligned the... read more