Aug 16 Luncheon Recap: Lecia Brooks, Southern Poverty Law Center

Thank you to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Lecia Brooks for joining us at our August professional development/networking luncheon as our guest speaker. And, thank you to our gracious sponsors, Rhealistic Design Group and The Tennessee Tribune! What an engaging discussion for all. We learned about crisis communication through the lens of current events happening all over our country.

Three key take-always were: 1. Always have a communications plan in place at your organization for when (not if) a crisis occurs; crises are by nature unpredictable, so being proactive will help you be successful when the time comes. 2. Address and respond to crises immediately as they arise; do not wait because it could be too late by the time you respond. 3. Stay abreast of current events and how they might impact the way your audience perceives your messages; this will help you to avoid being insensitive or offending your audience.

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Sept 20 — Watch for details of our monthly professional development & networking luncheon

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Aug. 16 — Managing Crisis with SPLC’s Lecia Brooks

Crisis Communications from the Inside Out.

Does your organization have an all-inclusive plan in place for managing a crisis?  More often than not, organizations fall short.  They fail to arm front-line employees with the tools to handle a crisis.  The communications professional knows that a “no comment” statement is a prescription for disaster.  However, a single well intentioned “no comment” from an employee may wreak havoc for an organization’s reputation for years.  A single tweet or Instagram can quickly escalate a local situation to national prominence.

Learn how to handle a crisis from the inside out.  Join us on Aug. 16 for a special crisis communications program, when Lecia Brooks of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) will be our guest speaker.  Lecia is the outreach director for the SPLC based in Montgomery, AL.  She will share crisis communication strategies for laying the foundation to a well thought out crisis communication plan so that everyone from the c-suite to the frontline worker will be prepared when the inevitable happens.  This program is advantageous for internal and external-focused business communicators, human resource and public relations professionals.

The SPLC founded in 1971 by civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin, Jr. has championed many legal landmark decisions on behalf of disadvantaged persons with disabilities, women, children and migrant workers.

Meet us at Maggiano’s for IABC Nashville August Professional Development Luncheon! Connect with communications, marketing and H.R. professionals from across Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. Be seen — see who else is in the room!

Sponsored by Award-Winning Graphic Designer David Jon Walker and Rhealistic Design


IABC is the only place to connect with communicators globally

IABC Nashville is your passport

Connect Here. Go Anywhere!

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July 19th Professional Development Luncheon Recap – Building Trust with Millennials

Our July 19th Professional Development Luncheon was full of entertainment and strong takeaways as we heard from a lively panel of millennial communicators who mapped out how to build a foundation for trust and attention among millennial audiences. If you missed it, below is a short recap (video included) followed by a few of the questions and answers from our panel.

Moderated by Sherry Roberts, associate professor at Middle Tennessee State University, our panel was asked specifically how brands and large organizations could capture the attention of millennials while remaining transparent, authentic and contributing to a larger conversation on today’s digital platforms.

The expert panel consisted of:

Ryan Stout, Partner & Strategist at Astute Communications

Sarah Loeffler, Content Manager at Tanner Corporate Services

Mollye Dietrich, Instructional Designer II at HCA

Brandon Mize, Development Director at Treeline Bamboo Partners

Questions & Answers

Sarah Loeffler:

Q: What are some of our challenges as communicators to engage the millennial generation?

A: Some of the challenges we face as communicators are keeping up with new technologies, but beyond that, keeping up with the right technologies for your audiences, regardless of whether they’re millennials or not. It’s not about being on every platform or channel, but rather, understanding what channels are best-suited for your organization and where your audience is – meet them wherever they are.

Additionally, as communicators, I think it’s natural for us to have the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, but now we’re having to do that on an even deeper level. That’s really what we have to do to accommodate not only the millennial generation, but everyone

Mollye Dietrich: 

Q: Do you have any suggestions for companies as to how to gain your trust as a millennial in reading their content versus other competitors?

A: First and most importantly, make sure your content is simple, easy to understand, and quick to get to. Millennials are constantly doing multiple things at once. Texting, scrolling through social media, emailing – you name it. If it takes me more than a few seconds to find or understand something, I move on to something else. If we can understand your content quickly and effectively, you can instantly gain our trust. It is also a good idea to make sure your content is mobile friendly. We always have our phones with us!

Ryan Stout: 

Q: How is advertising changing now that millennials are moving into more decision making roles?

A: In 2016, money spent on Internet Advertising surpassed money spent on Television Advertising for the first time. Why is this? Honestly, there are several reasons traditional television has been on the downward slide, not least of which is that millennials are simply watching less television. 25% of Millennials spend a minimum of 5 hours of each day on their smart phones; 50% spend at least 3 hours per day . Within this changing landscape, major opportunities are being discovered by courageous advertisers who are willing to buck the status quo and re-think their advertising campaigns to reach their customers.

I believe we are seeing more advertising that is designed to “include and entertain” audiences, as opposed to “inform and sell.”

Brandon Mize: 

Q: What is the greatest factor a brand/company should focus on when looking establishing credibility among millennials?

A: This comes from my true belief way down in my core, that a business’s greatest asset, in any capacity is its employees. I think the greatest factor a company should focus on to establish credibility is drilling in on their internal communications. Fact, people hate intranets and unique daily logins are down. There’s too many emails coming from the top, and middle managers don’t know how to communicate the company goals and strategies to the folks actually towing the line for the company. Focus on getting your house in order. Increase your employee engagement, incentivize team work, educate associates as to the why and you’ll see everything about your business get better. The millennials you’re trying to reach, and possibly influence are going to pull this thing out of their pockets, and search you on Yelp, Social media or Glassdoor and find out the good bad and the ugly about your company, usually from your employees either current or past. If you get your employees on board and aligned, the messages that matter are going to overflow from you staff. Their friends, family, followers and everyone in between are going to know who you are and why employee X likes working at your company. Millennials are extremely smart and the moment they have even the slightest interest in your company, they’re going to do their research and decide right then whether they’ll ever pay attention to you again, and you’d better hope that the folks who know you best, a.k.a your employees, have good things to say about you.

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July 19 Luncheon – Building Trust & Credibility With Millennials

It’s been easily determined that the millennial generation isn’t like any other before them. Armed with digital platforms and social technologies, their voice and influence can now impact the business decisions of even the largest corporations.

Whether it’s your internal staff, or an external audience – the messaging you’re putting out, and how it’s delivered is key to building trust and credibility with millennials. 

Sherry Roberts, will be our moderator. Sherry is a published Associate Professor at Middle Tennessee State University who has served as president of the Southern Business Education Association.  Join us as she asks our panel of rising millennial communicators what it takes to earn thier trust, and more importantly – their attention.

Ryan Stout is a Partner and Strategist at Astute Communications, a full-service interactive marketing agency in Nashville, TN. A one-time English major who transitioned to the business world, he now specializes in helping brands create marketing initiatives that are relevant, authoritative and actionable.

Sarah Loeffler currently works at Tanner Corporate Services as the Content Manager. She has been with Tanner for 4 years and is responsible for the development and delivery of all client materials, primarily performance support knowledgebases. She works with a variety of clients to evaluate, improve, or document from scratch the valuable organizational knowledge their employees possess, which is often an overlooked asset in many organizations.

Mollye Dietrich works at HCA as an Instructional Designer II. She has worked with HCA for 5 years now, creating communication and education deliverables in the Clinical Services Group, including web-based training courses, marketing, communications, training guides, podcasts, and more.

Brandon Mize is the Development Director atTreeline Bamboo Partners – a development agency  focused on large scale communications efforts. Brandon, a University of South Carolina alumni, found his niche in marketing technology and content strategy. He has worked to develop communications initiatives with some of Nashville’s largest corporations.

Join us at IABC Nashville’s July 19 Professional Development Luncheon. Network with our members, and other Mid-South communications and marketing professionals. Be seen — and see who else is in the room.

Meet us at Maggiano’s  July 19!

IABC is the only place to connect with communicators globally

 IABC Nashville is your passport!

New to the area or IABC Nashville? Let us know when you register, and we’ll make sure to connect you with others working in the Communications, Advertising, PR and Marketing fields.

$30 members/$40 non-members. Prepay only. Registration will not be taken at the door.

Maggiano’s is located 3106 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203.

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