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IABC International Association of Business Communicators | Be Heard

Dear fellow IABC member:

Yesterday, the International Executive Board (IEB) passed IABC's 2013 budget. This represents yet another step in moving the organization forward towards its strategic goals of providing members with relevant, valuable content and extensive support to help them develop their careers.

Before I share some of the highlights to expect in the coming year, I would like to address some of the concerns about the recent restructuring. On 29 November, 16 of 32 IABC employees were let go, 10 immediately and six to be released at the end of the first quarter of 2013. Out of respect for those let go and due to legal restrictions, we will not release names of those no longer with IABC. I and the rest of the IEB thank them for their contributions over the years and wish them well in the future.

This difficult decision was not driven by financial issues. It resulted from an assessment of the existing staff and processes through the lens of the strategic direction of the organization. Unfortunately, the skills of some of the staff didn't match the skills that will be needed to move the organization forward. The business review also identified needed efficiencies in some processes. New staff who possess the requisite skills will be hired over the next several months. Ultimately, the staff will consist of 27 employees. The net reduction of five positions primarily reflects the outsourcing of our digital infrastructure.

Some have criticized the communication effort around the restructuring. As I've said to many members, I appreciate the constructive feedback. Could we have done some things differently? Yes. Should we have done some things better? Yes. Personally, I have learned a number of lessons. Our communications fell short and messages did not land well. We tried to be respectful, considerate and sensitive to the needs of our departed colleagues as well as those who continue to serve our members.

Now, however, I believe it's time to look forward. To help the organization achieve its strategic goals, the IEB asked Executive Director Chris Sorek to assess the business of IABC and ensure that the organization's focus was on what members and the communication profession need today. And will demand tomorrow. His analysis emphasized the broader needs of our profession while weighing the business realities of all of IABC's programs.

Yes, that means changes. Some programs may be modified, some may go away and some may be renewed. New offerings will be introduced, as well. Of course, some measures may take longer than others to implement, but I and the rest of the IEB support Chris' approach to taking IABC in the direction it needs to go to ensure its future success.

This is certainly a journey of change, with roots in member feedback collected over the past few years. The strategic plan itself was officially launched in January of this year, and in a few short months after taking over the organization's operations in July, Chris put together a comprehensive business plan, which the IEB approved in November.

With this plan in hand and the 2013 budget approved, we believe we can now turn our focus fully to delivering on the strategy.

Examples?

* Discovery Premium Content Free to All Members--Effective 1 January, there will be no charge for IABC members for premium Discovery Content (previously $99 per year). All members will automatically have access to the mass of great content, free of the additional charge. All members whose subscriptions run into 2013 will receive retroactive refunds.

* Enriched Mobile-, Tablet- and Desktop-Friendly Communication World---During the first half of 2013, we will unveil a new, content-rich Communication World experience. The new digital format will allow for interviews and information beyond the articles, and will ultimately be available on a monthly basis. To reduce costs and our carbon footprint, we will cease production of the print version. The January-February issue will be the final print issue.

* Revitalized Gold Quill Program--Already launched, an improved Gold Quill Program is currently accepting entries--totally online--across a broader range of categories with a streamlined submission process. The entries will be judged by individuals who have been trained to give greater feedback and insight to entrants. Furthermore, Blue Ribbon Panel judging sessions will be held in Canada, Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States.

* Revamped Accreditation and Certification Program--During the second half of 2013, we will introduce the revamped accreditation/certification program. This will be designed to address the needs of communication professionals across the career road map by providing benchmarks along the path to professional excellence.

* Book Publishing to Cease; Focus on Greater Regional Conference/Seminar Support--During the first half of 2013, we will stop publishing books. Instead, we will work more closely with our chapters and members to share best practices and content globally, as well as more closely coordinate conferences and seminars to support chapter and regional development. Look for updates on this in the second half of 2013.

* Re-evaluating the EXCEL Program/Executive Communication Recognition--The EXCEL program for recognizing communication excellence in a non-communications executive has been placed on hold for 2013. A task force will be assigned by the IEB to determine how to best address recognizing strong communication efforts among non-communication executives.

We're excited about what's in the works, but understand you may have a question or two. To that end, Chris and I will be conducting two Q&A webinars tomorrow 19 December for all IABC members. It will be recorded and a link will be provided for members who cannot attend either session.

We welcome the opportunity to talk about the strategy, where it's taking the organization in the next 12 months and how it impacts you, the dues-paying member. Because we know you have choices and extensive demands on your time and energy, we're working to keep IABC valuable and relevant to you and all communication professionals.

Thank you for reading and for your support of IABC,

Kerby

Kerby Meyers
2012-13 Chair
IABC International Executive Board

7 am PST event
Event:IABC End of Year Q and A
Type:Listed Event
Event address for attendees:iabc.webex.com/iabc/onstage
Date and time:Wednesday, December 19, 2012 7:00 am
Pacific Standard Time (San Francisco, GMT-08:00)
To calculate your time for this event use the world clock
Duration:1 hour
Event number:663 801 864
Teleconference:1 hour
Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada)
1-877-668-4493
Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
1-650-479-3208
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Access code: 663 801 864
4 pm PST event
Event:IABC End of Year Q and A
Type:Listed Event
Event address for attendees:https://iabc.webex.com/iabc/onstage
Date and time:Wednesday, December 19, 2012 4:00 pm
Pacific Standard Time (San Francisco, GMT-08:00)
Thursday, December 20, 2012 11:00 am
Australia Eastern Daylight Time (Sydney, GMT+11:00)
To calculate your time for this event use the world clock
Duration:1 hour
Event number:660 046 094
Teleconference:Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada)
1-877-668-4493
Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
1-650-479-3208
Show all global call-in numbers
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Access code: 660 046 094

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