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

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.

Generalist/ Specialist

At this level the communication professional branches into a role with either a specific or a generalist focus, where work experience provides opportunities for a more strategic and problem-solving approach. The communication professional will apply a deeper understanding and practice of the Principles.

Here, the communication professional begins to refine their career choices. They can be satisfied as a generalist or specialist for a number of years or for a whole career, but expertise and responsibility will continue to grow. Some professionals never need or want to move away from this milestone, thriving on interdependent work. They will build expertise in at least one area of the industry. They will develop credibility and a reputation while building strong internal networks of relationships related on their area of expertise and gain greater ability to develop strategic focus and problem solving techniques.

Strategic Adviser

Maturing as a communication professional through consistent application of the Principles, at this milestone they are expanding expertise and innovation. The communication professional assumes increased responsibilities, including resource management.

They are interdependent, taking responsibility for work other than their own and developing others within the organization. To accommodate their personal development needs, they seek to build additional areas of expertise. They have strong interpersonal skills, broad business perspectives, stimulate others through ideas and knowledge, and effectively represent the organization’s clients and external groups. They have expanded their expertise in niche disciplines and explored innovations within these disciplines. They are highly skilled and confident, providing strategic communication advice and counsel to the organization’s leadership.

Business Leader

The communication professional at this milestone demonstrates the ability to serve at a senior peer level, leads within an organization by providing counsel, and helps to set organizational direction at a strategic level. They set a standard for application of the Principles.

As business leader, they play a key role in shaping the future of the organization by sponsoring promising people, programs and ideas. At this milestone, they have developed a distinct competence in several areas of expertise and often have a regional or national reputation. The professional influences the future of the organization through original concepts that often lead to changing the way business is done. They are adept at seeing new business opportunities, motivating buy-in and gaining resources. They competently represent the organization on critical strategic issues, and are sought after to provide counsel and function at a peer level with other senior executives.

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.