How to Build a Strong Brand: Circle of Fellows #39

How do you build a strong brand? And how can communicators—from the PR function to internal communications—play a pivotal role? On 15 November, four IABC Fellows gathered on a YouTube Hangout on Air to discuss how positioning varies, why strong brands are necessary today, and new trends in branding, including how to make employees a part of your brand team.

The panel included Priya Bates, George McGrath, Cindy Schmieg, and Mark Schumann (bios appear below). Watch the video here:

About the panel:

Priya Bates is a senior communication executive who provides strategic internal communication counsel in order to ensure leaders, managers, and employees understand the strategy, believe in the vision, act in accordance with the values, and contribute to business results. She is president of Inner Strength Communications in Toronto and previously served as senior director of Internal Communications at Loblaw Companies Limited.


George McGrath is founder and managing principal of McGrath Business Communications, which helps clients build winning corporate reputations, promote their products and services, and advance their views on key issues. George brings more than 25 years in PR and public affairs to his firm. Over the course of his career, he has held senior management positions at leading strategic communications and integrated marketing agencies including Hill and Knowlton, Carl Byoir & Associates, and Brouillard Communications.

Cindy Schmieg is an award-winning strategic communicator. With 30+ years of corporate, agency, and consulting experience, Cindy now teaches online within the Communications Master Degree program at Southern New Hampshire. She has served in many IABC leadership roles and was the 2018 Gold Quill Awards chair.




Mark Schumann is vice president of Culture and Communications at Sabre. He is also the co-author of Brand from the Inside and Brand for Talent. Before joining Sabre, he was Director of Graduate Communication Studies at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in New York City, as well as a managing principal and global communication practice leader at Towers Perrin. He served as IABC’s chair in 2009-2010 and is the winner of 17 Gold Quill Awards.

IABC staff

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