Mingle & Jingle: It’s good business

If I had to pick a theme for this edition of the President’s Letter, I would choose the Power of Party.  Holiday celebrations abound, highlighted by IABC Orange County’s festive gathering on December 5 at Irvine’s elegant Il Fornaio. It promises to be one of our best ever, with great food, beverages, gifts and stimulating conversations with fellow communicators.

That last point deserves special emphasis. In a day and age where we spend so much time staring at our device screens, hammering away on keyboards, and navigating our way through the digital world, the importance of face-to-face human connection has never been greater.

Set aside the anthropological need we have as humans to seek connection. That’s for sociologists to explore.  Let’s look at the business case for communications professionals coming together to exchange experiences, thoughts, ideas and a good joke or two.

A nationwide survey of PR agency owners by New York-based strategic consulting firm Gould Partners revealed that a whopping 86.7% of them landed their latest account through referrals and good old-fashioned networking. The success rate for those burning the midnight oil on nights and weekends responding to a RFP (Request for Proposal):  10%. Oh, and for those intrepid soldiers unafraid of repeated rejections, just 1% of them found gold at the end of their new business rainbow.

Now, that’s the consulting world. Maybe you’re a corporate communications professional with a great job, who isn’t looking for your next gig. I’d like to meet you, because employment data overwhelmingly shows that job tenure continues to shrink – often because of disruptive forces beyond our control. When it happens, you need a network with a rich reserve of relationship equity that you can access – like the one at IABC OC.

Finally, there’s the fun factor. As an old college professor of mine once said, “If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing!”  That’s what makes our parties powerful.

So, I hope you’ve circled December 5 in bright holiday red and plan to show up in bells.

It’s time to Mingle & Jingle – IABC style!

Michael Shepherd
IABC/OC president, 2017