IABC St. Louis Blog

Member Spotlight: Mary C. Foshage

Mary C. Foshage works in communications for SSM Health Care, a Catholic, non-profit health system that spans four states: Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, with its headquarters here in St. Louis. For more than three years she worked in public relations and marketing at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and for SSM Maternity Care. Outside of work Mary enjoys time with her family, playing sports, learning the violin and volunteering which she does for a few different organizations, including IABC St. Louis. What do you like most about your job? New challenges. SSM has never shied away from challenging people to accomplish new and better things. And in communications there are always new strategies to explore, new media to test out, new relationships to cultivate and new obstacles to think through and overcome. What is the most significant experience that shaped your career? A few years ago my boss and mentor left for a position at another organization. This was a good move for him, but it came at a hard time. We weren’t aware of his changing jobs and were in the middle of an international media craze. It was sad, exciting but even nerve-racking all at the same time. In the end my colleague and I pulled together (with help from other co-workers) and got through the month-long media hurricane. It was a few more months before another team member was hired so the craziness didn’t cease right away. Still, that time was a great learning and growing experience. I learned a lot about working under stress and that at the end of the media crazy... read more

Volunteer Spotlight: Cheryl Foster

Cheryl Foster is a Marketing Manager at Brown Smith Wallace, one of the Midwest region’s most prominent, locally-owned public accounting firms. Although Cheryl is a new, busy mom, she volunteered her time and marketing expertise for the recent IABC St. Louis Quill Awards. Read on to find out why – and what she thought of the experience. What do you like most about your job?   I love the variety and the fast-paced environment. No two days are alike. My team does everything from digital, social and content marketing to event planning and business development support for our practices and industry groups. While the demand can be challenging at times, the diversity keeps me on my toes and fully engaged. What is the most significant experience that shaped your career? Starting my career at Build-A-Bear Workshop allowed me to get a broad range of marketing experience very early in my career. I was there before the company went public, so there was great opportunity to contribute and take ownership of projects. It was an empowering experience that has shaped my career. How has IABC St. Louis helped your career? IABC has been given me a great opportunity to network with other marketing communications professionals in the St. Louis area. The organization also offers great professional development opportunities that have allowed me to keep pace with the many changes our field is going through. Why did you volunteer for the 2013 St. Louis Quill awards committee? Up until this point in my career, I had not volunteered much and I felt that it was high time that I got involved... read more

IABC December Event: Sharing Hope – How Doing Good Can Be Good for Your Business

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have cancelled our December event. Happy Holidays and we look forward to seeing you in January! Learn from this case study how Blick&Staff’s pro-bono work supported The Golden Cord Foundation and its mission by helping to make its inaugural blood drive a huge success through outreach to potential donors and media coverage to raise awareness locally of the benefits cancer patients receive from transfusions. In addition to supporting the blood drive event, Blick&Staff has provided the foundation with strategic counsel in the areas of planning, messaging, social media and media relations and holds a seat on the charity’s board. Learn from this pro-bono case study what results were achieved when these two organizations partnered, and what affect the work has had on both organizations. You will learn how your organization, whether a nonprofit, an agency or a member of the community, can benefit from pro-bono work. ABOUT OUR PRESENTERS Jessica Stegen, Founder of The Golden Cord Foundation Fighting alongside her husband Jon during his battle with a fiercely aggressive cancer in 2012 provided Jessica with a wealth of knowledge and experience she never expected to have at age 33. The journey she and Jon traveled with the support received from family, friends and co-workers continues to teach lessons of hope and love. Jessica currently operates her own special events consulting business, JLS Event Management, LLC. With more than 10 years of experience in working with nonprofit organizations, Jessica brings a unique perspective and expertise to the creation and development of The Golden Cord Foundation. About Blick&Staff Communications Blick&Staff Communications was founded in 1993 and is a... read more

Call for Presentations for IABC St. Louis’ Spring Seminar

“Sharpen Your Pencils: Communication Measurement & Management” Are you an expert on one of these topics or have a topic you think needs to be shared with leading communicators? IABC St. Louis is requesting speaker proposals for a seminar focused on communication measurement and management to be held March 27. The deadline for speaker proposals is December 20 to Shelley Lester. IABC_Call_for_Speakers_Spring_2014 Measurement topics could include: Market research, social media measurement, evaluating changes in employee actions rather than attitudes, analyzing brand recognition and response, integrated marketing communication results, meaningful measurement on a shoestring budget, QR codes, etc. Management topics could include: Best practices in communications planning, budgeting principles/how to, content management, supervising design/other agencies, strategic planning, reputation management tools, mobile strategies, etc. Mark Your Calendars for March 27. You won’t want to miss this year’s... read more

Call for Presentations for IABC St. Louis' Spring Seminar

“Sharpen Your Pencils: Communication Measurement & Management” Are you an expert on one of these topics or have a topic you think needs to be shared with leading communicators? IABC St. Louis is requesting speaker proposals for a seminar focused on communication measurement and management to be held March 27. The deadline for speaker proposals is December 20 to Shelley Lester. IABC_Call_for_Speakers_Spring_2014 Measurement topics could include: Market research, social media measurement, evaluating changes in employee actions rather than attitudes, analyzing brand recognition and response, integrated marketing communication results, meaningful measurement on a shoestring budget, QR codes, etc. Management topics could include: Best practices in communications planning, budgeting principles/how to, content management, supervising design/other agencies, strategic planning, reputation management tools, mobile strategies, etc. Mark Your Calendars for March 27. You won’t want to miss this year’s... read more

IABC November Event: Annual Reports – They’re Not Just For Shareholders

Thursday, November 14, 2013 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Maggiano’s Little Italy Register Here Annual reports – they’re not just for shareholders. Our November luncheon presentation will be a panel discussion on annual reports and how different organizations use them to communicate more than financial results to key audiences. Panelists for the discussions will be: Michael Burger, marketing communications manager and a 12-year veteran at Monsanto. For the past five years he has been part of the Corporate Affairs organization focused on sustainability communications. In 2011 he was part of a small team that developed the first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report for Monsanto that followed the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) framework. Since then, Michael has developed a GRI B-Level report for the 2012 calendar year, and is currently working on the new G4 guidelines of GRI for 2013. Ryan Farmer, communications manager at the St. Louis Area Foodbank since 2009. Ryan has transitioned the Foodbank’s annual reporting to a web-based format that supports story-telling about the organization’s mission and successes. Before starting at the Foodbank, Ryan spent nearly 10 years working in the radio industry, both here in St. Louis and in Des Moines, IA. He received his BA in Radio/Television Production from Drake University in 2000. Kristin Gumper, manager with Standing Partnership where she provides reputation management counsel and strategic communications support. Most recently, Kristin completed The Doe Run Company’s inaugural Sustainability Report in accordance with the GRI standards. Kristin’s project management and copywriting efforts have landed clients numerous accolades, including several APEX Awards for Publication Excellence, IABC Silver Quill and Bronze Quill awards, and TAM awards from the Business Marketing Association in St. Louis. Bob Prow, vice president at Obata Design.... read more

IABC November Event: Annual Reports – They're Not Just For Shareholders

Thursday, November 14, 2013 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Maggiano’s Little Italy Register Here Annual reports – they’re not just for shareholders. Our November luncheon presentation will be a panel discussion on annual reports and how different organizations use them to communicate more than financial results to key audiences. Panelists for the discussions will be: Michael Burger, marketing communications manager and a 12-year veteran at Monsanto. For the past five years he has been part of the Corporate Affairs organization focused on sustainability communications. In 2011 he was part of a small team that developed the first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report for Monsanto that followed the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) framework. Since then, Michael has developed a GRI B-Level report for the 2012 calendar year, and is currently working on the new G4 guidelines of GRI for 2013. Ryan Farmer, communications manager at the St. Louis Area Foodbank since 2009. Ryan has transitioned the Foodbank’s annual reporting to a web-based format that supports story-telling about the organization’s mission and successes. Before starting at the Foodbank, Ryan spent nearly 10 years working in the radio industry, both here in St. Louis and in Des Moines, IA. He received his BA in Radio/Television Production from Drake University in 2000. Kristin Gumper, manager with Standing Partnership where she provides reputation management counsel and strategic communications support. Most recently, Kristin completed The Doe Run Company’s inaugural Sustainability Report in accordance with the GRI standards. Kristin’s project management and copywriting efforts have landed clients numerous accolades, including several APEX Awards for Publication Excellence, IABC Silver Quill and Bronze Quill awards, and TAM awards from the Business Marketing Association in St. Louis. Bob Prow, vice president at Obata Design.... read more

Member of the Month: George Grimm-Howell

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. Why communications? 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... read more

IABC October Event: An Internship Program for Your Organization – What It Takes to Get the Job Done!

Thursday, October 24 11:30 am – 1:15 pm Webster University Emerson Library REGISTER HERE 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... read more

Unleash the Power of Social Media Case Study

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. Register Today! 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... read more

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