A message from IABC Nashville: COVID-19

As many of you are aware, President Trump declared a national state of emergency over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak last week, and the CDC issued guidance on in-person gatherings, including a recommendation of social distancing of groups of 10 or more. The number of people affected is rising fast and has begun to impact those in our region. The IABC Nashville Board of Directors is actively monitoring the situation with the health and safety of our communications tribe as our top priority. As a result, the following actions are being taken:

  • Effective immediately, all in-person IABC Nashville networking events, professional development luncheons, and the 2020 Music City Gold Pen Awards will be postponed until further notice. The threat of COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and one that we must take seriously. Our Board of Directors will continue to monitor the situation and will rely on guidance from federal, state, local governments, and the CDC.
  • We live in a digital age and now is the time to embrace the technology that we utilize in our day-to-day lives. Our Board of Directors will be strategizing on ways we can potentially offer professional development opportunities to our members digitally. For the latest updates on these developments, be sure to check our website and social media channels, including Facebook and LinkedIn. In the meantime, we recommend visiting the IABC Academy website offering excellent online training programs and courses on various topics.
  • Several of you have already registered for events in March and April. As previously stated, all proceeds from our networking mixer that was to be held on March 12 will be donated to the Community Foundation of Middle TN to help with Nashville tornado relief efforts. IABC Nashville will provide a full refund or a credit toward any other IABC Nashville event that you may have already registered for. We understand the importance of in-person meetings, but we must be vigilant in doing everything we can to mitigate the risk associated with COVID-19 – and that means keeping our community safe.

This is a challenging time for our city, our nation, and our world but we are #NashvilleStrong and will get through this together. Please continue to take care of yourselves and take care of each other. We look forward to networking with you in person soon. If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out via email

Warmest Regards,

Mollye Dietrich
2020 IABC Nashville President


POSTPONED: Difficult conversations – Keeping your cool under pressure

March 12 1:30 pm CT update:
In light of the most recent updates related to COVID-19, we will be postponing this month’s luncheon. We hope to reschedule this panel for a future date.
We will continue to monitor the most up-to-date COVID-19 guidance for our future events and will update you accordingly.
Thank you for your understanding, and please stay safe out there! 

As professional communicators, it is easy to advise others on how to respond in certain situations. But when we find ourselves in the midst of challenging conversations with clients, colleagues or a crisis, are we equipped to respond appropriately and set the right example for those who trust our expertise?

Join us Wednesday, March 25 for an in-depth panel discussion with respected communicators from a variety of industries sharing their insight into managing difficult conversations. Learn practical strategies and techniques for maintaining your composure during these challenging workplace discussions.

Meet our panelists

Teresa Bailey
Wealth Strategist
Waddell & Associates

Kristin Story Baron, PHR
Director, HR Business Partner, Corporate Shared Services
Loews Hotels

Judith Meyer
Assistant Vice President, Business Risk Solutions, Information Protection and Security
HCA Healthcare

Moderator: Lauren Reed
Founder and President
Reed Public Relations

Event information

Schedule

11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Networking
12:00 p.m. – 1 p.m. – Panel Discussion and lunch

Location

Waller Law, Nashville City Center
511 Union Street, Suite 2700
Nashville, TN 37219 

About the event

The panel discussion will cover:

  • Protecting valuable professional relationships despite personal disagreements or challenging interactions.
  • Managing challenging discussions with peers, colleagues and superiors in the workplace.
  • Taking accountability for our role in the direction and outcomes of difficult conversations.
  • Overcoming fear and misunderstanding about financial matters. 

Reserve your spot

Register today – we look forward to seeing you there! 

 


“Let Me Get This Straight”: When Identity Politics Becomes Identity Language

Plenty of articles have been written about achieving gender parity in the PR profession. But what nobody’s talking about is the collision course we’re heading for as communicators when gender parity meets gender neutrality. Can we—should we—be gender-agnostic in the workplace? What are the issues? How can communicators influence the conversatio

On January 22,  Michael Deas, ABC, SCMP, took us on a deep-dive into this topic, comparing current AP style guidelines with practical workplace realities. 

Our presenter:
Michael Deas, ABC, SCMP
Director of Communications and Public Relations, Volkert, Inc.

Michael Deas, ABC, SCMP, is at his heart a teacher and a writer but professionally, he has never been either of those. Instead, he has poured his ability into a variety of roles over his 34-year career: editor, missionary, translator, marketing manager, corporate communications manager, and communications director. Currently, Mike leads all internal and external communication at Volkert, Inc., an infrastructure engineering firm based in Franklin, Tennessee. Prior to this position, Mike was an independent consultant with Ideas Abound, LLC, a marketing communications agency that he and his wife Colleen owned and operated.

Mike has been a member of IABC for 23 years, a past president of IABC South Carolina, an Accredited Business Communicator since 2004, and a Strategic Communication Management Professional since October 2018. Mike is also a fluent German speaker and certified translator and interpreter.

His wide range of experience in communication roles–for companies large and small, public and private, for-profit and nonprofit, on both sides of the Atlantic, in two languages–equips him with insight on the challenges facing today’s communicators.


Why are social media posts like the cobbler’s children?

Finding good writing on social media can be like finding the proverbial unicorn.

A guest blog by Joe Diorio

The end of 2019 represents not only the end of another year, but the end of a decade.

That’s prompting no shortage of #grateful type posts on social media. Sadly, there is more than a bit of repetition to all of them, since the posts all start out the same way.

“So grateful for …”
“So happy to see …”
“What a year this has been …”

The problem with this is that if everything reads the same, then nothing may be read at all. The scan and skip nature of reading online material makes it way too easy to gloss over these posts.

It’s not just end-of-year messages, either. After IABC Nashville presented its annual Music City Gold Pen Awards, the avalanche of social media messages about the awards mentioned a lot except what was done to win the awards. Here’s a sample of what showed up in my various social media news feeds:

“Congrats to all of today’s award recipients!”
“We are thrilled to announce …”
“Wow, we are in awe …”
“So proud of you …”

At the risk of making everyone hate me, we are communicators, right? Then why are our social media posts so – what’s the word? – dull? Repetitive? Uncreative?

OK, everyone put down the torches and blunt objects and please read on before sending me a variation of a “WELL, YOU TRY IT” email. Don’t kill the messenger (a variation of that phrase can be traced all the way back to Sophocles in 442 B.C., but I digress). We all know the demand for quick and up-to-the-nanosecond communications is leaving good writing in its wake.

Dull writing is the proverbial kiss of death for marketing communication professionals. A decade after Nicholas Carr asked in The Atlantic asking “Is Google making us stupid?” we seem to be forgetting that the single most important job for us is to communicate.

We get it that you are proud, happy, and thrilled to have won, but go a step further and tell us why. Rather than saying “we are thrilled to announce” how about:

  • “Teamwork and a dedication to the goal of increasing widget sales by 10 percent resulted in our being recognized with a Music City Gold Pen Award.”
  • “A team from our agency and our client who believed we could pull off an event that
    heretofore never took place in Nashville was honored…”
  • “We taught consumers something they never knew before …”

In other words, use social media to tell your followers what you did, how you did it, and why you did it. We all have scores of social media accounts we follow. Identify those nuggets of wisdom that made your communication effort an award winner and lead with that. And along the way omit the needless and, sadly, self-serving words. Everyone should plan their social media posts about their awards as carefully as they plan the communication activities that garnered them said awards.

In 2009 I had the privilege of meeting Ted Sorensen, who wrote so eloquently while chronicling the presidency of John F. Kennedy. He explained the need to communicate clearly and effectively with a brilliant shaggy dog story.

He said a salesman was setting up shop to sell seafood. First pass at a sign: “Fresh Seafood, Fish for Sale.” Well, he thought, who would sell stale fish? So he shortened the sign: “Seafood, Fish for Sale.” Heck, fish ARE seafood, so the word “fish” was dropped. But if he’s selling seafood in a store, then why say it’s “for sale”? The final sign, eloquently and to the point, read, simply, “Seafood.”

And, by the way, I’m confident he was proud, excited, and humbled by the chance to open his store.

Happy new year, and let’s write carefully out there, people. 

Joe Diorio is a Nashville IABC member and a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader. You can sign up for his newsletter, “A Few Words About Words,” by visiting his website

Would you like to be a guest blogger?
Email us at iabcnashvilletn@gmail.com


Panel discussion: Entrepreneurship in Communications

With the end of the year fast approaching, many business communicators are reflecting on the next steps for their brands and careers. What does it take to launch a freelance career or establish an agency? How can businesses and in-house communicators benefit from hiring a freelancer or agency to help take their brands to the next level?
 
Join us Wednesday, November 13 for an in-depth panel discussion with some of Nashville’s most well-respected communications entrepreneurs as they share their insights on what communicators should do when starting their own business, and what in-house communicators should consider when hiring and working with an agency.

Meet our panelists  

 
Janet Kurtz, CHDM
President & Founder, Kurtz Hospitality Marketing
 
Angie Boyd-Chambers
President & Founder, Boyd-Chambers Communications
 
 
 
 
Mike Smith
President, Founder & Chief Marketing Strategist, Conjure
 
 
Moderator: Kellie Davie
Managing Director & Founder, Keycom
Vice President of Professional Development, IABC Nashville

Event information 

Schedule

11:30am-12pm – Networking
12:00pm-1pm – Panel Discussion and lunch

Location

1918 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
 
Saltine is located in the old Blackstone building. Ample parking is available in the lot adjacent to the restaurant.

About the event   

The panel discussion will include:
  • What to consider when starting your own business in the communications field.
  • Balancing creativity and client work with business operations.
  • Client relations: The good, the bad, and the savvy.
  • How companies and in-house communicators can maximize their agencies for long-term ROI. 

Reserve your spot

Register today – we look forward to seeing you there! 

Thank you to our sponsor!

Special thanks to our November 2019 luncheon sponsor: Keycom


©2020 All Rights Reserved - IABC Nashville

error

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)