November letter from the President

Dear IABC/SC members, I thought it would be nice to offer a break from politics, so I waited until today to share with you some takeaways from the IABC Southern Region Conference. It was a fantastic event at Coca-Cola Headquarters in Atlanta on October 13 and 14. Discretionary Effort This term was new to me. It’s what differentiates the best from the average. Bosses and clients expect a baseline level of service. The discretionary effort is the work that goes ‘above and beyond’ that basic expectation. Thermometer or Thermostat There are two kinds of professionals. Thermometers and thermostats. A thermometer constantly measures and reports. A thermostat measures and reports, but also has the gumption to utilize resources to regulate. In business, a thermometer points out the problem while a thermostat anticipates and adjusts so there is really no problem in the first place. Which are you? Which do you want to be? Keys to Success Focus Anticipation Initiative Responsibility Customer Questions Potential customers have these questions for anyone, selling anything. Can I trust you? Do you care about me? How is this relevant and my best option? Storytelling Storyselling The world of communications, marketing, and advertising is crowded and filled with noise. Here are three techniques for “selling” your story. Lead with a paradox or sort of startling assertion. Dickens — “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Lead with rapid succession. Off the top of my head example — “Tom hates squirrels, Cathy is scared of raccoons, and Maggie shudders at the thought of snakes. It’s a good thing Don and John run...

CONNECT 2016: Joint Professional Development Conference with SCPRSA

Conference Registration is now open! CONNECT2016: Friday, Nov. 4, 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. SCANA Headquarters, 100 SCANA Parkway, Cayce, SC 29033  The South Carolina chapters of the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators are bringing together communication professionals to CONNECT on topics of media relations, crisis communications, trends in technology and more. This one-day statewide conference will educate new and seasoned professionals on industry-leading topics. Registration is required. CONNECT2016 is open to all members and non-members of each organization, along with any other communications professional interested in attending. Costs: Students: $50 (not eligible for Early Bird rate) Early Bird SCPRSA or IABC/SC Members (Ends Sept. 30): $100 Eary Bird non-member (Ends Sept. 30): $125 After September 30: SCPRSA or IABC/SC Members: $150 Non-members: $175 Keynote sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina SCPRSA and IABC/SC CONNECT2016 Presents … Marcus Lattimore  Marcus Lattimore, former USC Gamecock football player and San Francisco 49ers and current Heathwood Hall assistant football coach, will ignite our Connect conference with inspiration, motivation and powerful testimony. As marketing and communications professionals, we can all use a pep talk to rally our creative powers and create big ideas. This is a keynote address you con’t want to miss. Lattimore will be available after his keynote for signing and pictures.  Breakouts: May I Have This Dance? Moving Beyond Diversity to Inclusion Dr. Katrina Spigner CEO, Re-Source Solutions, LLC SUBJECT: Diversity and Inclusion The Power of Public Speaking Marion Crawford Robyn Zimmerman Crawford Strategy SUBJECT: Public Speaking It’s Hot, Hot, Hot! The Hot Seat of Palmetto Politics Chip Felkel The Felkel Group SUBJECT: Politics and PR What...

October Letter from the President

Dear IABC/SC Members, The other day, I was joking with a veteran communicator about how it seems that many public relations professionals are hopped up on something. We came to the conclusion because we read something like this from businesses and organizations nearly every week: “Company is excited to announce….” You might ask, what’s wrong with that? Or, why is it bad for our profession? First, it’s poor form. Professional writing should tell your audience about your news or information. It’s not about how it makes anyone feel. Secondly, professional communicators should not write things that are false. I’m sure some of you are reading this and thinking, that a new hire or new event is exciting and that I’m being pedantic. To those of you, pause for a moment and consider two videos showing actual excitement. This baby girl heard a Katy Perry song. These folks found out that Oprah Winfrey had just given them a new car. That is what excitement looks like.  If, upon hearing what you are about to share, you or your boss reacted like any of these people , then by all means, write excited. If not, avoid the subjective language. Successful public relations strategy is rooted in fact and figures, not rhetorical half-truths. Instead of the flowery words, dig deeper and explain to your audience why that new hire stood out and how he/she is going to make your business better. Or, tell us how that fundraising event going to count in your community. Certainly, that takes more time and effort — but, it’s worth it. PS. October is Membership month. Learn about gift cards you can...

Oct 11: Your Brand or Bust!

Join IABC/SC on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at Colonial Life, for our monthly professional development luncheon, as we share insights about personal branding. Cathy Love, VP of marketing and communications at SCANA, will encourage our evaluation of the relationship among our personal, team and our organization brand. Does what you say, post, tweet, present or publicly announce align your career and your company’s brand? We look forward to seeing you Tuesday, Oct. 11, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Colonial Life Blvd., Columbia, SC 29210. About the speaker: Love is a native of Columbia, S.C., and a 1985 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BA in journalism. She joined SCANA in 1993 and brings with her some 30 years of communications and marketing management dedicated to protecting and promoting the reputation of SCANA and its energy-related subsidiaries. In her current role, Love is responsible for media relations, corporate communications, marketing and philanthropy. A supporter of community engagement, Love has previously served as SCANA’s United Way chair, is a member of SCANA’s Women’s Leadership Group, a board member for the Columbia Museum of Art and is the chair of the Crescent Society, an organization that supports leadership excellence in South Carolina Women. She was also recognized as a 2012 Distinguished Alumna by the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications. When Tuesday, October 11, 2016 11:45 AM  – 1:15 PM Where Colonial Life Colonial Life Blvd, Columbia, South Carolina 29210, USA Dress Code Business attire View Details, Fees & Location View Event Agenda Registration Deadline Monday, October 10, 2016 Please respond by clicking one of the buttons...

August Letter from the President

Dear IABC/SC Members, About a week ago, I had one of my standard nightmares.  It’s test time and I haven’t studied. Another variation: one hour from a newscast and not a word is written.  In this most recent one, I was standing inside a graduate classroom at UNC-Charlotte. Dr. Jack Piel was about to test my skill using math manipulatives. But, I woke up just in time. Before falling back asleep, Dr. Piel’s class motto popped into my head. “You never learn anything completely new in the abstract, you only make adjustments to what you’ve learned in the past.” Our subconscious minds are very cool. In his class, Dr. Piel stressed that teachers should introduce mathematical concepts with things students can hold in their hands. Think legos and scales for introducing fractions and decimals. I don’t teach math anymore, but that motto is certainly applicable to the kind of work we do. Whether you are announcing a new product or service, changing a price structure, or running a messaging campaign, business communicators must begin by identifying the audience and, more importantly, what it already knows. Once you’ve done that, the stories start telling themselves. A case in point — a fake book burning party that saved the library in Troy, MI. The folks responsible for that campaign understood their community. The people of Troy believed in the power of knowledge, information and the exchange of ideas. The library supporters tapped into that base belief brilliantly. Burning books provided for a perfect metaphor that spark widespread engagement. Before starting that next project, give pause. Deeply consider not only who you are trying to reach, but...

Aug 9: Let’s “Glow” to the Columbia Fireflies

Aug 9: Let’s “Glow” to the Columbia Fireflies Enjoy a behind the scenes look at the Columbia Fireflies at Spirit Communications Park on Tuesday, Aug. 9. Learn about communication and marketing strategies behind Columbia’s newest minor league team along with community partnerships and fundraising opportunities. A ballpark-style lunch will be served, trivia prizes will be given and the park will be open for shopping and ticket sales for IABC/SC members and guests. When Tuesday, August 9, 2016 11:45 AM  –  1:15 PM Where Spirit Communications Park 1640 Freed St. Columbia, South Carolina Dress Code Business attire View Details, Fees, and Location Registration Deadline By Noon, Monday, August 8,...