Strategies for Measuring & Improving Internal Communications

Innovative tactics to help you gather employee feedback, analyze results, and
create an action plan for improved engagement across your organization

September 25 – 27, 2018 | Nashville

Mention “IABCNashville” for $200 off!

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Call for Entries

The Nashville chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is proud to issue its call for entries for the 2018 Music City Gold Pen Awards. The Music City Gold Pen Awards recognizes exceptional efforts of middle Tennessee communicators by highlighting best practices in business communications, management skills, thought leadership, and creativity.

Judged by other IABC chapters, a Music City Gold Pen is one of the most prestigious awards a communicator, designer or marketing strategist can earn.

IABC Nashville invites you to submit your best work to be considered for a 2018 Music City Gold Pen Award. Submissions must include work produced or completed between Jan. 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

Categories and divisions coincide with the Gold Quill Awards conducted by our parent association, IABC International. With four divisions and 28 categories, the awards represent a broad range of disciplines. Entering the Music City Gold Pen Awards this year means you’ll be prepared to make your mark at the Gold Quill Awards.

Due dates and fees
Member Non-member Student
Thursday, Aug. 2 Standard $80 $90 $30
Monday, Aug. 6 Late $100 $110 $50

 

Continue reading to learn more about what you will need to complete your entry into the 2018 Music City Gold Pen Awards.

 For additional assistance, please contact Tom Kenley (tkenley@gmail.com).

2018 Music City Gold Pen Award Entry Instructions

1.  Pick your category.

Review the Music City Gold Pen Award Divisions and Categories and pick the category that best fits your entry. You may enter the same project in more than one category; however, you must pay a separate entry fee for each entry. We also invite you to enter as many different projects as you like. (After selecting you Division and Category, you may want to go ahead and request a folder to be set up for your entry. See the first step under “4. Submit your entry”.)

2.  Prepare your Work Plan.

Your work plan is the key element of your entry that describes all the elements of your work. Entrants must demonstrate how their project applied planning and skills, including research and analysis. The work plan must be submitted in a PDF with minimum 0.5-inch margins and a minimum font size of 10 points and must not exceed four pages.

Complete the core elements of your work plan by providing the following information, using the sub-headings provided:

  • Business Need/Opportunity: What business need or opportunity did the entry address? How did it affect the organization? Clearly describe the issues the organization faced and outline any impact these issues had on performance, reputation, image, profits, participation, etc. Highlight any formal or informal research findings that support your analysis of the need or opportunity.
  • Intended Audience: Describe the intended audiences (primary and any other audiences) and specify the key characteristics (needs, preferences, demographics, etc.) which factored in developing the
  • Goals/Objectives: In responding to the need described above, what communication goals and objectives were articulated and how did they relate to the business objectives or strategies.
    • Goals describe what your communication project was designed to accomplish. Choose one or two key goals to describe in detail. These key goals should be oriented to your organization’s future Goals are not measurable, but often lofty and/or visionary.
    • Objectives should be realistic and measurable, and should examine outcomes such as quantity, time, cost, percentages, quality; a change in behavior (did your audience start doing something? Stop doing something? Or keep doing something?) or other criteria. How directly do the measurable objectives address the stated need?
  • Solution Overview: What solution was developed and why? Summarize the project, program or campaign and describe the rationale for the chosen approach. Describe the projected impact expected on the business need or opportunity. The solution should demonstrate your thought process, imagination and approach to problem solving. How effective was the program/campaign or project in meeting the stated business objectives? How effectively was the program implemented in terms of budget, time and other resources?
  • Implementation and Challenges: What challenges did you face? Describe how the project was implemented (include budget, time, technical equipment and other resources). It does not matter if the budget was small – show you made efficient use of money. Discuss timeframes and describe any limitation or challenges that you faced when selling and implementing your Judges are looking for flexibility and a capacity to resolve problems and negotiate solutions. Note any special circumstances and discuss how they were addressed.
  • Measuring/Evaluation: How did you measure your project’s results? Every result should be linked to one or more objectives. Results must be shown to be valuable, thorough, and convincing. Measurement should demonstrate outcomes, not outputs. What indicators were used to measure the project’s success in meeting its objectives? Measurements must be quantifiable and must be linked back to the objectives. How successful was the solution in meeting the business need or opportunity? What criteria were used to evaluate the results against the objectives?

3.  Choose your Work Sample(s).

 You can upload a maximum of five work sample files. Your work sample files must be in PDF, PNG, JPG, GIF, MP4, WMV, M4V formats. If you have more than five work plan files, please combine them into fewer PDF files. Each file is limited to 2 GB (2,000 MB) in size.

Work samples should include supporting materials illustrating the communication program. It can include the actual materials identified in the work plan, such as communications programs, publications, videos, photographs, etc.

Work samples should be submitted in formats easily handled and reviewed by the judges. Electronic and interactive work samples should be viewable on PC or Mac equipment and/or software. For websites, provide the URL or IP address of the site in your entry. For intranets or “limited, secured access” sites, provide instructions on how to register for the site, along with an account name and/or password. If access may be a barrier to evaluation or the site may change after submission, consider submitting a ‘tour of the work sample’ (five minutes or less).

  • For Communication Management entries, the Work Sample elements should be efficient – include only pieces that back up your submission such as printed pieces, photos of events, letters of endorsement and other key documents. It is not necessary to include minutes of meetings, memos, project plans, every media clipping etc. unless they specifically provide necessary proof.
  • For Communication Skills and Education entries, the Work Samples should illustrate tactics, show finished product and key documents that support the Work

4.  Submit your entry

New for 2018, the Music City Gold Pen Awards will be utilizing shared folders to upload submissions.

  • Step 1: Click here to complete this brief submission form. Within 24 hours, you will receive a confirmation email containing:
    • A link to the Google Drive folder you will use to upload your award submission assets
    • A link to use for payment
    • Key reminders of deadlines, the MCGP Awards event, etc.
  • Step 2: Upload Work Plan and Work Sample(s) to the shared folder before the deadline.
  • Step 3: Submit payment using link in the confirmation email before the deadline.

5.  Plan to attend the 2018 Music City Gold Pen Awards in September, watch for details!

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Membership Spotlight – Joe Diorio

On a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights its diverse members through a Q&A feature. We are pleased to showcase Joe Diorio, freelance writer, editor and proofreader. 

 IABC: What is your background? 

Joe: 30-plus years in writing, editing, proofreading. I have worked in marketing communications for corporations (IBM, DuPont), agencies (Ketchum and smaller independent agencies), and higher education (Harcum College (www.harcum.edu), The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication (www.asc.upenn.edu), and Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development (https://peabody.vanderbilt.edu).

I returned to freelance writing in 2017 after deciding to retire early. I say “returned” to freelance writing because I worked for myself as a freelancer from 1991 – 2000.

IABC: How did you get started in this business?

Joe: Completely by accident. I had been a newspaper reporter in Connecticut and a friend and co-worker had left newspapers to take a job in corporate P.R. with IBM. He convinced me to send IBM my resume. I was convinced they wouldn’t hire me, so I sent them a resume that I know for certain had at least two typos in it. IBM called me in for an interview anyway, and eventually placed me in a job in Washington, D.C. doing product publicity for IBM. Personal computers were brand new then so doing product P.R. was easy for someone new to the business.

 

 

IABC: What is your current position and business affiliation? How long have you been in this role?

Joe: I am a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader. My work covers all three categories. For example, I’m presently writing about PET/CT scanners for a healthcare client, I’m editing a lot of academic articles, and I am proofreading coaching materials for the USTA.

I’m also the editor and writer of a free monthly email newsletter focusing on good writing called “A Few Words About Words.”

 

IABC: What makes your business/organization stand out?

Joe: I like to say I sell peace of mind. My clients will get good, clean, accurate copy that is very readable. My proofreading and editing work is thorough and reliable.

 

IABC: If you could describe yourself in three (3) words, what would it be?

Joe: An editor’s editor. (A client used that term to describe me and I liked it a lot.)

 

IABC: Tell something about yourself people would be surprised to learn.

Joe: I turn old, broken guitars, banjos, and mandolins into functional art (shelves, decorative items). I sell them through Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/shop/POGOGuitars   I have exhibited them at Vanderbilt’s Wond’ry interdisciplinary research center.

 

IABC: What lesson(s) have you learned along the way that you believe has made you a better communications professional?

Joe: A person who is 15 or 20 years younger than you can teach you as much as someone 15 or 20 years your senior.

 

IABC: What makes an effective communications leader?

Joe: Call me at 9 p.m. on any night; I’ll be at my desk working and can try to answer you.

 

IABC: What do you feel is the greatest benefit of IABC?

Joe: It’s a powerful network of smart and dedicated communications professionals.

 

IABC: What prompted you to join IABC?

Joe: Same reason as the greatest benefit of IABC. Also, as a sole proprietor it’s important to have a connection to other professionals.

 

 

 

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Wednesday July 18th – The Master Communicator’s Secret Weapon

The Master Communicator’s Secret Weapon, Yes And…

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), every time a company replaces a salaried employee, it costs the business an average of 6 to 9 months’ that salary. This is painful and costly for every stakeholder in your business. Today, savvy businesses are seeking new ways to improve communication and culture in (and out) of the office. That’s where business improv training comes in. 

Don’t miss Futureforth founder, Dave Delaney, presenting his acclaimed, “Improve with Improv” presentation. Delaney will share three key skills from improv that you can use each day to improve your communication skills with colleagues, clients, friends and family. You will learn to listen better, not to fear failure, and to accept opportunities with an empathetic open mind.

“Improvisation – and the improv toolkit – offers great grounding for leaders challenged to thrive in a business climate that demands agility, resilience, quick thinking, and ease with ambiguity. Counter-intuitive as it might seem, business is often an act of improvisation, not planning. So we say “lights up” on the era of the leader as an improviser.” – Harvard Business Review.

Dave Delaney is a marketing communications professional specializing in digital marketing and corporate communication through improv workshops. Dave is a proud dad, happy hubby, authorspeaker, founder of Futureforth  and Networking For Nice People.

 

IABC Nashville audience members will also receive a free copy of Delaney’s ebook, “Improve with Improv”. Expect plenty of laughs and ah-ha moments during the IABC Professional Development Luncheon.

 

Join us at Maggiano’s Little Italy for our July 18th Professional Development Luncheon!

Click on the link below to register or RSVP.

 
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