50 years of global excellence

Setting a standard of excellence since 1970, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a vibrant global membership association with thousands of members from around the world.

Who we are and what we offer

IABC serves professionals in the field of business communication, bringing together the profession’s collective disciplines. We deliver on the Global Standard in communication through our educational offerings, certification, awards program, resource library, online magazine and annual World Conference. We support our community of business communication professionals with innovative thinking, shared best practices, in-depth learning and career guidance.

View our code of ethics

Career Levels of the Communication Profession

Foundation

  • When launching their professional career, the communication professional develops initial knowledge, skills, and behaviors, across the Global Standard purpose and principles.
  • The professional contributes under relatively close supervision and direction from a senior person, exercising initiative and creativity within a well-defined area.
  • The professional masters basic tasks and demonstrates competence within a communication strategy or campaign.

Generalist/ Specialist

  • At this milestone, the communication professional branches into a role with a specific focus (Specialist) or a broad multi-disciplinary focus (Generalist) that provides opportunities for a more strategic approach, applying a deeper understanding of the Global Standard purpose and principles.
  • The Generalist/Specialist leads projects or client engagements independently, developing credibility with stakeholders while building relationships related to areas of interest.
  • Many professionals choose to work in either Generalist or Specialist roles in the same or several organizations throughout their career.

Strategic Adviser

  • Through the consistent application of the principles, the Strategic Advisor assumes increased stakeholder responsibilities, project and business management roles, and financial administration. The Strategic Advisor provides strategic communication advice to the organization’s leadership.
  • The work of the Strategic Advisor becomes interdependent, taking responsibility for assignments other than their own and developing other leaders with communications responsibilities within the organization.
  • These professionals have strong leadership skills, broad business perspectives, and diverse expertise, exploring diverse communication techniques within various disciplines.

Business Leader

  • A Business Leader plays a crucial role in shaping the organization’s future by advocating for promising people, programs, and ideas that align with the organization’s direction. They lead the application of the principles within their organization and hold the leadership to account.
  • They have developed competence in several areas and are well-regarded in the profession, often operating in a global, national, or regional role. They effectively represent the organization on critical strategic issues and contribute counsel, coaching and function at a peer level with other senior executives.
  • The Business Leader is adept at identifying new business opportunities, motivating buy-in and gaining resources through a well-articulated and clear strategy. They effectively represent the organization on critical strategic issues.

The Six Principles of the Communication Profession

  • Ethics

    Communication professionals adopt the highest standards of professional behavior.

  • Consistency

    Acting as the organization’s voice, a communication professional expresses a single, consistent story for internal and external audiences.

  • Context

    The communication professional is sophisticated about the organization’s internal culture and external environment.

  • Analysis

    Communication professionals research and evaluate how to serve and promote the organization most effectively and then offer recommendations supported by direct and secondary evidence.

  • Strategy

    With rigor and discipline, a communication professional identifies opportunities and challenges both inside and outside of the organization.

  • Engagement

    A communication professional identifies and communicates with employees, customers, shareholders, regulators, government agencies and other groups with an interest in the organization’s activities.

Our Members

Our members hold positions in a variety of communication disciplines, including:

  • Public relations
  • Media relations
  • Corporate communication
  • Employee communication
  • Human resources
  • Graphic design
  • Public affairs
  • Editing
  • Investor relations
  • Leadership coaching
  • Government relations
  • Photography/Video production
  • Marketing communication
  • Community relations
  • Social responsibility
  • Writing
Becoming an IABC Member

Why join IABC

Whether you’re a corporate communicator, independent consultant, academic or student, IABC has the resources, connections and learning opportunities you need to move your career forward.
  • Make a bigger impact in your job

    Tap into hundreds of case studies, articles, webinars and other resources for new ideas, fresh insights and assistance in day-to-day problem-solving.

  • Exclusive members-only resources

    Looking for the next step in your career? Networking with other communication professionals in IABC can help you uncover the hidden job market. Post your résumé and view targeted job listings at the Jobs Centre.

  • Enhance your skills

    IABC offers a three-day World Conference, monthly member-only webinars and online courses through the IABC Academy throughout the year. Our library of webinars to help sharpen your skills in topics like social media, storytelling and change management is available exclusively to members.

  • The Hub

    IABC's private online community for members connects you with your peers around the world. Get help with pressing problems, pose a question for discussion, or access resources from fellow communication professionals. If you’re a freelancer, The Hub is also a great place to find potential clients in The Marketplace. And if you’re looking to expand your social network further, there’s no better place than an IABC chapter.