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   Presented by: Angela Sinickas, MS, ABC, IABC Fellow Communication is central to your organization’s success. As a communication professional, you know you should be doing research and measurement to make sure your work is meeting the needs of your organization and its employees, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time or money to do so. In this course you will learn of a variety of easy and free ways to build evaluation techniques into your normal workday, as well as more sophisticated approaches when the situation calls for them. You’ll learn how to build measurement into your plans upfront, employ ways to measure messages, channels and outcomes, and make the best use of focus groups and surveys when needed. Angela has over 30 years of experience in organizational communication, including 14 years as editor, public information officer, manager and vice president at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. She led communication consulting practices at two major HR consulting firms for 13 years, and has been CEO of her own global communication research and measurement consulting firm since 2000. Her extensive client list includes 25% of the Forbes Global 100 largest companies. She is the author of the manual How to Measure Your Communication Programs and has written over 150 articles for professional journals, has spoken at conferences and workshops in 32 countries, and has earned 21 IABC Gold Quill awards (six of them for research/measurement projects). She earned a master’s degree in leadership in 2014 and was named a Fellow of IABC in 2008. See her full bio at:  www.sinicom.com. This course available for purchase through October 2017. Read More

  Facilitated by Rhonda Rathje, APR and Cara Jurkowski Research & analysis for internal communications transforms theory to practice to results for participants in this hands-on workshop.  Participants will learn DIY (Do-It-Yourself) research methodologies, focusing on models tailored to demographics, resources and desired outcomes. They will learn to differentiate quantitative and qualitative measurement techniques and the advantages and pitfalls of each. Participants will learn the best ways to use research as a tool for change, presenting results to leadership in the most effective way possible. The workshop will also showcase case studies of how some internal communications groups use research to measure their communications.   Finally, participants will be asked to share an on-the-job example for study and practice. These examples will be shared and discussed throughout the course, with the goal of each participant leaving with a fully-developed and ready-for-deployment research and analysis plan.  Bottom line, participants will learn how research & analysis can help drive their communications strategy.  Rhonda Rathje is a seasoned communications professional with 35+ years of proven, practical experience. Rathje’s professional history includes her work at Verizon, American Airlines and Walmart where she led numerous high-profile communication initiatives form corporate reorganizations to community events. Her capabilities include strategic communications planning, employee engagement, community relations and strategic counsel. Rathje has designed and implemented award-winning employee communications programs that generated bottom line results. She has led teams to solve business problems – helping organizations connect and engage employees to the business with communications. Both a strategist and tactician, Rathje earned a B.A. in Journalism from Iowa State University and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. Cara Jurkowski is a failed stand-up comedian and successful communications professional. As the owner of Stand Up Communications, she uses lessons from the world of stand-up comedy to help communicators of every ilk become funny-bone tickling, emotion-arousing, storytelling superstars of the business world. When she’s not busy using her powers to help communicators rule the world, you’ll find Cara changing the system from the inside. For nearly two decades, she’s worked with Fortune 500 companies using the power of communication to create cultures where employees laugh, learn, debate, inspire, improve, innovate and ignite; contributing their talent with passion and reckless abandon. Read More

  Instructor: Mary Ann McCauley, ABC, IABC Fellow Course Description: Creating a Dynamic Plan presents a strategic  communication planning model will allow you to achieve a consistent, higher level of excellence in your day-to-day communication tasks. For those of you with some experience in planning, this course will serve as a refresher and likely will present a new approach or two to your strategic process. If you have little experience in strategic planning, this course will offer a practical strategic planning process and model. It will be your tool to staying on track. IABC Academy Category: Communication Strategy and Engagement Category Description: A communication professional identifies and communicates with employees, customers, shareholders, regulators, government agencies and other groups with an interest in the organization’s activities. All these groups have the potential to change the organization’s results. The communication professional fosters and nourishes relationships with them that will support the organization’s mission and goals and uses dialogue to tell the organization’s story and garner support. Related to Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC) Domain: Communication Strategy and Engagement   Presenter bio: Mary Ann McCauley is an ABC, IABC Fellow, and is president and principal of Catalyst Communications, located in Reno. Mary Ann provides strategic communication counsel to broad spectrum of businesses and nonprofits. She works closely with senior management to develop and implement strategic corporate communication and marketing plans. Prior to founding her consultancy in 1987, Mary Ann held several management positions in large corporations including First Union Bancorporation, Hallmark Cards, Inc. and United Technologies Communications Company. She served on local, regional and international boards of the International Association of Business Communicators. Currently, she serves on the board of the Northern Nevada Literacy Council and on the Council as membership chair for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Reno branch. Read More

 ‘Strategic Engagement: Engaging Leaders to Engage Others’ is your ticket to the solution of one of the most critical issues facing business today—namely, how to raise the employee engagement levels in our organizations from a paltry 33% to more like a majority of the workforce. Current engagement levels, according to the Gallup Organization, are costing American businesses anywhere from three to five billion dollars a year in lost productivity, absenteeism, talent retention and accidents. Gallup asserts from their long-standing research that the leading culprit in this scenario is ‘lousy managers.’ This course examines the necessity to engage employees strategically through more effective leadership at all levels of the organization and highlights the challenges and opportunities you will face in assisting your own leadership in this vital task. Strategic engagement, like strategic communication, raises engagement from a mere wish to a deliberate organizational strategy that enlists all of the interested parties from the CEO to the team leader in a concerted effort to address the engagement deficit. Anything less than an integrated strategy with engaged leaders deliberately working to engage others is unlikely to succeed. Instructor Bio:   Roger D’Aprix is internationally known for his influence on the evolution of organizational communication. He is a long-time pioneer in shaping the strategic internal- communication practices that we now accept as commonplace in all kinds of organizations. In his 1996 best-selling book ‘Communicating for Change: Connecting the Workplace with the Marketplace,’ he offered the view that effective organizational communication must be proactive rather than reactive and focused on the marketplace as the first cause. In brief, he argued that it must be strategic. In this self-paced course he brings to bear the same strategic mindset to the complex process of increasing employee engagement.   IABC Academy Category: Communication Strategy and Engagement Category Description: A communication professional identifies and communicates with employees, customers, shareholders, regulators, government agencies and other groups with an interest in the organization’s activities. These groups have the potential to affect the organization’s results. The communication professional fosters and nourishes relationships with them that will support the organization’s mission and execute the organization's business strategy.   Read More

  Presented by Heath Applebaum, ABC, BA, MCM, OCGC Strategic Reputation Management: Learning the keys to protecting your organization’s most valuable and vulnerable asset Whether you work for a multinational company, a government agency or a non-profit organization, nothing is more important than your reputation. Your success depends upon earning the trust of a plethora of stakeholders and online influencers who can become your biggest ambassadors or most vocal adversaries.  One thing is for certain, if you don’t measure your reputation, you cannot effectively manage it. With the proliferation of online threats to reputation, your next crisis may be only a click away, so new strategies and tools are required to ensure lightning fast responses to digitally-empowered consumers, sensationalist media, and disengaged employees.  This is a crucial course every professional communicator, both the young, and young at heart, can learn from.  Heath Applebaum is an international-award-winning communicator, reputation management consultant and university professor with 20 years of diverse agency, corporate, consulting and non-profit experience. Heath is the President of Echo Communications Inc., a reputation management consulting firm he founded in 2000.  Heath has led hundreds of successful campaigns for organizations of all sizes, from innovative start-ups to Fortune 100 companies.  He has spearheaded corporate communications strategies and programs for companies such as PepsiCo, Cadillac Fairview, Deloitte, RBC Financial Group and MasterCard.  Heath is a sought-after industry expert that has spoken at more than 60 communications conferences around the world to train thousands of executives, including two IABC World conferences. He is also a respected public relations Professor that has taught 25 courses and nearly 800 students at several top universities and colleges.   Heath is an Accredited Business Communicator and Gold Quill Award winner that holds a Master of Communications Management (MCM) from McMaster University, in Toronto Canada. He has also judged international, national and local award programs for IABC and several other industry associations.  Read More

Rhonda J. Rathje, APR  “Suit up and show up.” Once called a “rock,” Rhonda Rathje is known for moving forward and making things happen. If you want something done, ask her.  When it comes to dotting I’s and crossing T’s, Ms. Rathje is the master of details. Her legacy is to leave things better than when she found them.   Ms. Rathje is a seasoned veteran of public relations at Verizon, American Airlines and Walmart including employee communications, executive communications, media relations, storytelling and community relations. Her understanding of how communications positively impacts a business, her top-notch writing skills, and her enthusiasm for effective communications are strong assets of Ms. Rathje. She brings a holistic approach to every communications issue, along with strong project management skills.   With her go-get- ‘em attitude, she is an accomplished project manager and planner – always intent on delivering results. As a seasoned pro, Ms. Rathje has developed numerous employee communications programs; she has directed employee engagement initiatives; and she has built and led teams to solve business problems.   Welcome to “Succeeding in Internal Communications – Behind the Scenes with Effective Project Management.”  As an Internal Communicator for your company, you not only need to know the ABCs of communications, but you must deliver and demonstrate results. Yet, many well-intended initiatives fail to deliver, despite the time and resources invested in them. As the world becomes more complex, your business becomes more challenging. That means people need special tools, techniques and knowledge to handle their project management assignments, such as justifying your project, developing objectives and schedules, obtaining commitment from your team (stakeholders) for a project, delegating, holding people accountable and assessing the overall situation. In fact, project management is noted as a top five competency considered most important for a successful Internal Communication (IC) practitioner. To further this point, project management skills are increasingly in demand. Achieving excellence in project management will also help you: Improve your overall management skills, which will enhance your overall marketability Demonstrate that you mean business and you can get things done Deliver – results and outcomes – for your business Focus on the real work that needs to be done, thus helping you be more effective and value-added That’s why you can also consider project management as an investment in yourself. For some who have experience in project management, this course may serve as a refresher and provide you with new approaches to project managing. For those new to project management – as well as leading a project – you’ll learn valuable tips and tools to apply to your everyday work project.  For others, it will provide you with the essentials of basic project management skills so you can demonstrate your value to your organization. As you progress through the course, you will be asked to apply what you have learned to a case study, develop a project plan and test your recall of the material presented. Read More

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