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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Ingram Barge team wins IABC Gold Quill at World Conference, Washington D.C.

So proud of board member Lysa Rigo and her Ingram Barge team (Steve Cross and Jaleena Ball) on their IABC Gold Quill Award of Excellence. The Gold Quill Awards program recognizes business communication excellence globally, and is acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards programs in the industry.

The awards were presented at the Excellence Gala, held on Tuesday, June 13, as part of IABC’s World Conference in Washington, D.C.

In total, IABC has recognized 227 entries as world class, announcing 74 Excellence Awards and 153 Merit Awards. Winners come from all over the world, with 16 countries represented in the winners list. They represent a cross section of public and private sector organizations, both large and small.

“The Gold Quill Awards program celebrates business communication’s best practices and the value professional, strategic communication programs bring to an organization’s bottom line, its brand and its reputation,” said Lynn Barter, ABC, MC, chair of the IABC awards committee. “Each entry is evaluated on its own merits against IABC’s Global Standard of excellence in communication. Winning a Gold Quill recognizes exceptional work, innovation and creativity.

“Gold Quill winners represent a global community executing their responsibilities ethically and to the highest standards of the profession. These exemplary practitioners deliver high-impact results for their organizations and clients, taking communication to the next level.”

For more than 40 years, IABC’s Gold Quill Awards have recognized and awarded excellence in strategic communication worldwide. The Gold Quill Awards honor the dedication, innovation and passion of communicators on a global scale with a focus on achieving solid business outcomes.

Congrats, Lysa and Team! In a few months, they will present their winning program focused on employee engagement. Stay tuned!

See all of the 2017 Gold Quill Winners from around globe!

IABC is the only place to connect with communicators globally!

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2017 Music City Gold Pen Awards Event Dazzles at Noah Liff Opera Center

IABC Nashville’s annual awards program honors the best in communications!

Under the soaring glass canopy of the Ragsdale Family Grand Lobby at the Noah Liff Opera Center in west Nashville, communications professionals from across Middle Tennessee were honored with gold for their excellence in corporate, government, higher education, and community communications.

“It’s said that opera is the highest form of art because it combines so many elements – complicated orchestrations as well as soaring melodies, vocals, acting, dancing, and set design,” said Tom Kenley, IABC Nashville chapter president. “So, this is an appropriate place to celebrate your award-winning projects and programs, woven together to create communications with impact.”

The evening awards program is an annual opportunity for IABC Nashville to recognize the often-unsung heroes who write, edit, create, and bring to life the many programs, special events, and powerful stories that punctuate life across Middle Tennessee. The chapter is honored to offer a platform to recognize excellence in communications, and celebrate those who turn their ideas into action, and offer hope and celebration.

Award winning WSMV-TV Channel 4 News Investigative Reporter Alanna Autler served as the celebrity host. And in addition, the evening would not have been possible without the generous sponsorships from The Creative Group, a Robert Half Company, and photographer Bernadette Ruby.

Of the 40 communications entries submitted, there were a total of 26 winning entries, 15 awards of excellence, and 11 awards of merit. Judging was handled by IABC chapter members in Tulsa, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, South Carolina, and Kansas City.

IABC Nashville is proud of its tradition in honoring excellence in communications, and providing a platform to those within the professional, who are making a difference in their communities.

To view all event photos, click here 


2017 Music City Gold Pen Award Winners
Category Project Recipient Company Award Type
Employee Engagement HCA IT Healthcare Inspired in Action Lisa Horak HCA Merit
Human Resources and Benefits Communication Military Recruiting Campaign Jaleena Ball Ingram Barge Company Excellence
Marketing, Advertising, and Brand Communication Marine Week Javier Solano MP&F Public Relations Excellence
Marketing, Advertising, and Brand Communication Kirkland’s Christmasland Style Board Blogger Campaign Aleah Heinlein MP&F Public Relations Excellence
Marketing, Advertising, and Brand Communication Middle Tennessee Football ‘Our Town Our Team’ Rob Janson MTSU Excellence
Marketing, Advertising, and Brand Communication Connexon Partners and Reliant Bank Pam Eldridge Connexon Partners Merit
Customer Relations Kirkland’s Blogger Partnership Campaign Angela Argiro MP&F Public Relations Merit
Media Relations Marine Week Nashville Tom Hayden MP&F Public Relations Excellence
Media Relations CSX Santa Train Javier Solano MP&F Public Relations Merit
Community Relations Marine Week Nashville Javier Solano MP&F Public Relations Excellence
Community Relations CSX Santa Train Javier Solano MP&F Public Relations Merit
Community Relations nMotion Community Relations Javier Solano MP&F Public Relations Excellence
Social Media Programs Marine Week Nashville Javier Solano MP&F Public Relations Excellence
Government Communications Programs TDOT Learning Network Jeff Davidson Tennessee Department of Transportation Human Resources Merit
Government Communications Programs Marine Week Nashville Javier Solano MP&F Public Relations Merit
Communication Research Marine Week Nashville Javier Solano MP&F Public Relations Excellence
Special Events Marine Week Nashville Javier Solano MP&F Public Relations Excellence
Special Events Bring Your Kids to Work Day Lysa Rigo Ingram Barge Company Excellence
Digital Communication Marine Week Nashville Javier Solano MP&F Public Relations Excellence
Digital Communication The Links Sheros Genma Holmes The Links, Inc. Excellence
Audio/Visual Rich the IT Guy Mich Michaud M*Modal Excellence
Audio/Visual Madagascar World Voice: Alive Paul Ladd World Christian Broadcasting Merit
Publications Marine Week Nashville Javier Solano MP&F Public Relations Excellence
Publications News Beam Rebranding Lysa Rigo Ingram Barge Company Merit
Publications MTSU Magazine Drew Ruble MTSU Merit
Publications The National Programs Manual Genma Holmes The Links, Inc. Merit

IABC is only place to connect with communicators globally!!

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Membership Spotlight – Mollye Dietrich

On a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights its diverse members through a Q&A feature. We are pleased to showcase Mollye Dietrich, an instructional designer at HCA.

mollye-dietrich_hcaIABC: What is your background?

Molly: I was born and raised in Nashville, TN (yes, I am not a “transplant!”). I went to Franklin High School, then attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville for college (and am a HUGE Vols fan!). I received a Bachelor of Science in Service Management with a major in Retail and Consumer Science, and a minor in Business Administration. I moved back to Nashville the day after I graduated in 2011, and haven’t left again since.

IABC: How did you get started in this business?

Molly: My first job in Nashville after college was in retail (since that is what I studied in undergrad), but I quickly realized that this was not a long-term career for me, although I love everything about fashion. I decided to move to a job in IT sales, which I also soon realized wasn’t the right fit for me either. A friend of mine knew that I was unhappy with my job, and encouraged me to apply for something completely out of my comfort zone, which happened to be the best decision I ever made. I started with HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) in 2012 as an Implementation Specialist, traveling to different hospitals across the U.S implementing our paperless Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. After that, I was an Assistant Project Manager for a short period of time and learned all of the ropes of a project from beginning to end, including the communications and education role of a project. I decided that I wanted to try something a little more creative, and interviewed for an Instructional Designer position, and here I am today!

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

Molly: My current role is an Instructional Designer with HCA. I have been in this position for almost 2 years, however, I have been with HCA for almost 5 years. As an ID, I create communication and education deliverables for different projects across my specific department at HCA, the Clinical Services Group (CSG). This includes (to name a few) web-based training courses, communication and marketing strategies, branding, toolkits, brochures, posters, facilitator and learner guides, podcasts, and tip-sheets.

IABC: What makes your business/organization stand out?

Molly: HCA is the biggest healthcare company in the world, with ownership of over 165 hospitals and 115 surgery centers in the U.S and London, England, as well as over 205,000 employees. With a company this large, it seems that it would be easy to get “lost in the shuffle.” However, that is not the case at HCA. Every employee is treated with dignity and respect, and their work portrays the mission and values of HCA everyday – “Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.” It is also amazing to me how involved in the community the organization is, especially since the corporate office is right here in Nashville. There are so many local non-profits that I have gotten to volunteer at because of HCA giving me the time to do so. Every employee is offered 24 hours of volunteer time throughout each year, as well as one designated work day, “Community Day”, where employees can get together to serve the community away from work.

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

Molly: Personable, positive, and outgoing.

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

Molly: I am a HUGE cat lady. I love cats. I was also on the bowling team in high school which not many people would expect.

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

Molly: Don’t be afraid to take risks, and be confident in your ideas and your work. I have learned to be more confident over the past two years in my ID role by trial and error. Once I got more comfortable with thinking outside of the box with my ideas and my work, (and realizing that it was ok to fail), I was able to use my confidence with business owners more effectively.

IABC: What makes an effective communications leader? 

Molly: Someone who is transparent in their communication styles – they can see all sides of a situation and are open to different views and ideas. They are also great communicators because they not only speak, but they also listen. I think listening to all ideas, being aware of all views, offering fair advice, and communicating thoroughly is also what makes an effective communications leader.

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

Molly: Meeting so many different people in the Nashville area that are involved in different industries like communications, education, instructional design, marketing, graphic design, and public relations (to name a few), and getting to know the many different faces of “communications.” This has been something that I have always wanted to get to learn more about, and can use in my everyday work. I also love getting to attend the monthly luncheons and networking with all of the different members as well. It has been eye-opening to me to see all of the different companies that use communications in many different ways in their businesses.

IABC: What prompted you to join IABC?

Molly: As I grew stronger in my role as an Instructional Designer, I also wanted to learn more about the communications side of the business. I wanted to join a professional association in Nashville, and I did a little research and found IABC. I started going to some of the luncheons and other events last year, then recently decided to join as an official member!

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