We ring in each new year with anticipation, hope and eagerness for a fresh start.
The new year is a time of new beginnings, a time to do things differently.  We make lists of resolutions — promising ourselves this year we’ll lose those extra pounds, eat healthier, exercise more, take care of our careers, and find more time to enjoy our friends and our family.

Your IABC/OC chapter is no different — it is also looking forward to the new year with anticipation — eager for what 2015 will hold. We have a new beginning! You’ve elected your 2015 board and the new positions and fresh faces will give us a chance to do things differently. The gift of information many of you provided during our 2014 survey has provided us our list of resolutions — our guide to give our IABC community the substance it’s looking for to stay relevant in 2015 and the years that follow. We look forward to your continued participation in this journey.  

Participation is the key to our new beginning, to keeping our resolutions and to staying relevant. The reason so many well intended New Year’s resolutions don’t make it to February 1 is due to non-participation — we don’t participate in the new eating plan, the exercise regimen or the career development opportunity.  Participate with us in 2015! Be part of our new beginning and kept resolutions!   Join the board (there are still some open positions), volunteer on a committee, attend events, and give us feedback.  

On Tuesday, January 13, you’ll have the first opportunity to participate in our IABC/OC 2015 activities. Our annual business communications forecast will feature industry leaders with unique views and insights into the communications trends, strategies and tactics for 2015. This is not a Second Tuesday Luncheon you want to miss!    

I look forward to hearing from more of you and learning how you would be willing to join us and participate in growing an IABC that provides the substance you’ve told us you crave on the job every day. By joining together, we can ensure that IABC will be able to provide all that is needed to propel us to a prosperous and satisfying future as professional communicators.

Please feel free to reach out to me at 949.622.1218 or via email here. Join the conversation! Please follow the chapter on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and join our LinkedIn group. View our videos on YouTube and our photos on flickr.

Best,

Sarah Willis
President, IABC Orange County


Thank you!
  In October, I shared with you some of the observations and challenges our IABC/OC chapter has faced over the past 18-24 months.  Several of you stepped forward to participate in our phone interviews and assist us in understanding how we can evolve as an organization and stay relevant in our business communications community.   Your responses have been helpful and greatly welcomed.  Thank you for the gift of information.  We’re excited to examine the feedback and use it to help set the course for 2015 and the years that follow. 

Over the next six to eight weeks, not only will your IABC/OC Board will be examining its research results to set the course for 2015, we will also be looking to fill board positions that will become vacant in January.  If you are an IABC member, you are eligible to be a board member!  We are asking you for the gift of time — we’d love to have you serve.  Elections will occur in December.  

We have open board positions in a variety of roles.  If you are interested in learning about the open positions and about what is involved in serving on the board, please contact me or another board member for more information.  Serving on the board is a great way for you to give back to the communications community, to learn and grow professionally, and to work side by side with other communications professionals. The IABC/OC Board is a fun group that works hard and works well together. I invite you to join us in giving to our communications community.  You will find it incredibly rewarding.  

This year, the local PR, marketing and communications associations will not be joining together for a collective holiday mixer.  Each group will pursue its own way to celebrate the holiday season.  After much consideration regarding the best approach for our group, your IABC/OC Board unanimously decided to give you, our IABC community, the gift of time in 2014 and not hold a holiday mixer.  Instead, we will be making a donation to our chapter’s charity organization, Habitat for Humanity of Orange County.  We are excited to be able to support this great organization and to give all of you the gift of time — an extra evening to take care of your holiday demands and preparations.  If you would like to augment our chapter donation, please contact me for information. Thank you for understanding our decision and thank you for considering giving to Habitat for Humanity of Orange County.

I look forward to hearing from more of you and learning how you would be willing to join us to grow an IABC chapter that provides the substance that you crave on the job every day.  By joining together, we can ensure that IABC will be able to give all that is needed to propel us to a more prosperous and satisfying future as professional communicators.

Please feel free to reach out to me at 949.622.1218 or via email here Join the conversation! Please follow the chapter on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and join our LinkedIn group. View our videos on YouTube and our photos on flickr.

Best,

Sarah Willis
President, IABC Orange County

Fall… The Season of Change

We’ve entered fall, another season of change. Although the weather still feels very summer-like, it will change in the months ahead. Like the weather, we see world dynamics changing almost daily. We will be voting on policy and local government leadership changes in November and we may be facing changes at work or at home. Change makes us uncomfortable because the future isn’t clear and consequently human beings usually don’t tend to embrace change. 

IABC-OC has been experiencing change over the past 18-24 months. As with other professional associations in Orange County and across the country, we’ve seen our membership numbers dip approximately 10 percent. On the flip side, over the same time period, our Second Tuesday Luncheon attendance has grown by about 50 percent. Things are changing and it’s gotten our attention. When you don’t understand what is causing change, you want to know why.

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less”, said General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, 2003. As much as we don’t crave change, we’re open to it. Your IABC-OC leadership likes irrelevance even less. We hope you share our feelings and our desire to figure out how IABC needs to change to stay relevant. 

If you desire to keep IABC-OC relevant, we’d love to hear from you. We will be conducting phone interviews to find out how we can continue on as a relevant organization. We’ll need interview participants and they don’t need to be members. In fact, we’d love to hear from non-members!

Each interview will last approximately 15 minutes. Once we get the one-on-one interview results, we’ll need volunteer leaders to help us develop a change plan and implement the changes necessary for continued relevance.

Change is hard. It’s a challenge and we can’t do it alone. We hope you’ll join us. Join IABC if you’re not already a member. Join in the phone interviews so we can better understand the needs of professional communicators in Orange County. Join our leadership team so we can implement needed change.

I look forward to hearing from you and learning whether you would be willing to join us to grow an IABC that provides the substance you crave on the job every day.  By working together, we can ensure that IABC will provide what you need to propel you into a more prosperous and satisfying future as a professional communicator.

Please feel free to reach out to me at 949.622.1218 or via email here.  Please follow the chapter on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and join our LinkedIn group.

Best,

Sarah Willis
President, IABC Orange County

 

Giving back … it’s all the rage

The ALS Foundation has captured lightening-in-a-bottle and literally transformed its contributions overnight.   The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a perfect combination of social media, traditional media, fun and purpose — gaining participation from all age groups and all walks of life.  The organization has mobilized with a purpose of doing a good deed and giving back.

As we enter the month of September and quickly approach 9/11, don’t forget, it is our country’s National Day of Service!  The eleventh of September is an opportunity for our country to mobilize with a purpose of doing a good deed, giving back and paying tribute to all those who lost their lives on that fateful 9/11 more than a decade ago.

For the third consecutive year, IABC/OC will be dedicating our September Second Tuesday Luncheon to giving back and to the 9/11 National Day of Service campaign.  At our Tuesday, September 9 luncheon, we will recognize four fantastic companies who are continuously dedicated to giving back.  In a panel discussion, hear how Chicken of the Sea, Ford Motors, Sempra Energy and Earth Friendly Products have created their own lightening-in-a-bottle through a variety of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and programs.  Please follow this link to sign up for the event.

But that’s not all.  Please join our chapter as we once again gather items to create welcome baskets for Habitat for Humanity families who will soon be moving into a home of their own.  These baskets provide them with many of the needed items for a smooth transition.  Please follow this link to find out what types of items you can contribute.

We promise if you join us on Tuesday, September 9, you won’t get wet!  You can stay dry and still join in the raging trend of ‘giving back’.  Hear what top companies are doing in Corporate Social Responsibility and have an opportunity to do your own good deed — all at the same time.

I look forward to seeing you on September 9!  And, as always, I love hearing your stories about how your IABC membership has been a benefit to you!

Please feel free to reach out to me at 949.622.1218 or via email here.  Please follow the chapter on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and join our LinkedIn group.

Best,

Sarah Willis
IABC/OC president, 2014


How’s your network doing? Does it need a boost? If you’re rating the strength of your network by how many links you have on LinkedIn or “likes” you have on Facebook, you might be missing the boat.   A strong network provides you access to information, resources and people.  It goes beyond simply having many links to being able to leverage those links to solve problems and create opportunities. One element that can’t be ignored when working to build and maintain a productive network is communication.  Those with the strongest networks are also often viewed as great communicators.  Good communication skills are essential to having a strong and productive network. There is no mistake; the best networkers ARE top-notch communicators.

By being involved with IABC and ensuring your communication skills are top notch, you are also strengthening your networking skills.  Our monthly luncheons and frequent mixers provide networking opportunities which are important to fine tuning interpersonal communication skills.  The topics we explore during our monthly Tuesday luncheons are varied and current, keeping you up-to-date in best-practice communication tools and strategies.  As an IABC member, you have the opportunity to expand your network through volunteering and working side-by-side with other professionals as you serve on a committee or on the board.

More value is gained than meets the eye when you’re active with IABC.  You stay networked, gain access to important communications information that can enhance your networking skills and in turn help you in your career. 

In August, we will take a break from our monthly Tuesday luncheons and instead host a networking mixer in the evening.  The venue is swanky and fun.  Take a break from the routine, join other communications professionals, expand your network and try out some of your communication skills. 

I look forward to seeing you on the evening of August 12.  As always I love hearing your stories about how your IABC membership has been a benefit to you!

Please feel free to reach out to me at 949.622.1218 or via email here.  Please follow the chapter onTwitter, like us on Facebook, and join our LinkedIn group.

Best,

Sarah Willis
President, IABC Orange County