IABC St. Louis Blog

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

November 20, 2014 – Successfully Manage Your Communications Career

Are you well positioned to thrive in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing communications environment? Whether you’re at the beginning of your career or a seasoned professional, you can take steps to keep your skills relevant and marketable. Join us on November 20 for a lively panel discussion with four experts who will provide vital tips and strategies for managing your career. During the meeting, communications career experts will provide insights on: Making professional connections and optimizing networking opportunities Leveraging LinkedIn and other social media platforms to help you advance to the next level in your career Preparing for your job search: What recruiters look for; resume and interviewing tips; and salary negotiation tips. About the panel Frank Danzo, Executive Coach, Author and Speaker,Founder of Career Networking Pro (careernetworkingpro.com) Frank is skilled at helping clients identify and find the success they are looking for. During his career, Frank has coached, mentored and influenced thousands of employees and developed and implemented a leadership development program for senior-level employees. He has individually coached hundreds of clients and business leaders to improve their performance and trained over 4,000 additional clients on the process of networking and job search. He is the author of the job search book, “People Hire People – Not Resumes,” in which he shares his proven process to conduct a successful job search or career change. Barbara Deters, Founder of Deters Consulting LLC (DetersConsulting.com) Barbara Deters, a resume writer and career coach for the past six years, has a unique background in journalism, corporate communications and human resources that enables her to help job seekers realize their unique skills and abilities, and... read more

October 23, 2014 – How to Effectively Use Social Media During a Crisis

When: Thursday October 23, 2014 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM CDT Add to Calendar Where: Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis 7730 Bonhomme Avenue St. Louis, MO 63144 We’ve all seen brands and organizations go up in flames online – whether the fault of an errant tweet, a product recall or a single bad customer experience. With the emergence of new communications channels, how do you manage a negative situation that’s unfolding live in the digital space? Lauren Melcher and Laura Garner from Weber Shandwick will share insights and case studies on how companies can best prepare for managing a reputation crisis. They will showcase key insights from training clients for crisis situations as they unfold on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media channels. The speakers will share: How organizations of any size or industry can use social media to develop a speedy, effective response to a crisis Key mistakes to avoid when responding to issues online Crisis and issues management changes over the last five years Register Now!* Meeting fees: $30 – Members $40 – Non-members $20 – Volunteers *No-shows will be billed their registration fee to reflect the per-person meeting cost unless contacting IABC St. Louis to cancel prior to 48 hours before the event. About the speakers: Lauren Melcher Senior Digital Manager Weber Shandwick Lauren Melcher is a digital strategist and social crisis preparedness lead for Weber Shandwick. She is the global product manager for Firebell, the agency’s proprietary multimedia crisis simulator, and has produced more than 30 crisis readiness simulations for dozens of international companies in the food, cosmetics, travel, insurance, government, healthcare and... read more

Jack Pfitzer Retires

Jack Pfitzer, former board member, recently retired from a long career in communications. All of us at IABC St. Louis would like to thank Jack for his dedication through the years. He has been invaluable to us as a member, recruiting new members, encouraging members to remain active and providing AV support for meetings and seminars. He also helped with many  bronze quill entries. Here, Jack talks about his career path, what role IABC played in his success and what young professionals can do to jump start their own communications career. What made you choose communications as a career? I enjoyed writing and admired the broadcasters who integrated good writing with great and colorful reporting; one of my favorites was Jack Buck. So I majored in journalism at the University of Missouri; my goal was broadcast journalism … the competition was intense. I had the opportunity to join WKOW-TV in Madison, WI as a reporter but turned it down to stay at Mizzou for a master’s degree; in grad school, I studied business communications. It opened my eyes to the many opportunities in corporate and public communication. I enjoyed my teaching in grad school and applied for a teaching job at Winona State University in Minnesota following my graduation in 1971. I taught writing and broadcast journalism about a quarter time and spent the balance of my time managing the university’s television center and curriculum. I did that for six years. While a university career felt very comfortable I chose a different path. Targeting practical application of my communications interests I found a position as Chief of Medical Media for the Veterans Administration... read more

Member Spotlight: Alice Telios-Dunlap

Employer: BJC HealthCare Title: Communications Specialist Years in the profession: 2 years Favorite quote: “Your time is precious, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”– Steve Jobs How have you benefited from being an IABC St. Louis member? Meeting communications professionals from across the St. Louis area has been an amazing networking opportunity for me, especially as a younger member of our industry. IABC has also given me the chance to volunteer for different programs and events. This will be a great addition to my resume, and I have fun doing it. What advice would you give to someone considering a career in communication? One piece of advice I always give to others interested in a communications profession , especially students I have worked with, is learn what you are good at, whether it is writing, research, event planning, etc., and learn even more skills that will make you a well-rounded asset to your work team. You are never going to know when having certain knowledge, like how to edit photos or direct a video production team, is going to come in handy. Having a full tool belt will make you stand out and can bring value to any team. What do you like most about your job? I thrive on being connected to a mission that serves the St. Louis community. My daily routines may not include providing direct care to patients and families, but I try to stay connected to how my organization influences people every day. This helps motivate me, and I believe it positively influences my ability to communicate to my organization’s diverse employee... read more

September 25, 2014 – Mission to Mars: Siemans' Out-of-this-World Communications Campaign

Mission to Mars: Siemans’ Out-of-this-World Communications Campaign Thursday September 25, 2014 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM CDT Add to Calendar Jim Phelan, Director of Global PR for Siemens’ largest software business, will outline the various elements and challenges associated with managing an award-winning global communications campaign. Jim led a team of communicators in more than 30 countries on five continents to execute a multi-faceted communications program that showcased how Siemens technology helped NASA land the Mars Rover Curiosity on the Red Planet in 2012.Integrating advertising, Web-based external/internal communications, media relations and other elements, the Siemens team worked closely with NASA on the Mars Rover campaign, which earned an IABC Gold Quill Award of Excellence in 2013.Join us on Sept. 25 to learn more about: Communicating successfully to a global audience Launching successful multi-channel communication campaigns Leading international teams Jim has extensive communications experience, including media relations, internal communications and websites. His background includes positions at EDS Unigraphics, IBM and Boeing. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia.Where: BJC Learning Institute 8300 Eager Road Second Floor Brentwood, MO 63144 Meeting fees: $20 – Members $40 – Non-members $20 – Volunteers Register Now!... read more