Your professional experience and title often aren’t enough to get leaders to listen to good communication advice.

How can you change that dynamic?

Most importantly, learn to speak the language of numbers to get their attention. You will also need to use more effective techniques when presenting your solutions, as well as being ready to address their objections. This session will share examples of how to gather research quickly, helping leaders better recognize your credibility when you’re advising your management team.

Key learnings will include:

  • Consulting: ways to improve listening skills and use the rule-of-3 for probing questions when a leader first asks for your help.
  • Research: ways of doing informal research to identify emerging issues or pretest potential messages, using pilot/control groups to test solutions, using business data from the last time your advice was not listened to.
  • Persuasion: how to present leaders with alternatives instead of only one solution, how to “chunk up” to higher objectives or “chunk down” to attractive characteristics of competing solutions so that you and your leadership feel the right solution has been agreed upon.


Please register by noon on Friday, April 6 to secure EARLY BIRD pricing below. Registrations received after this date will incur an additional $15 fee.

$40 – Members + processing fee
$50 – Non-members + processing fee
$28 – Students + processing fee

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Image of Angela Sinickas speaking

Angela Sinickas, ABC, IABC Fellow
CEO of Sinickas Communications, Inc.
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Angela Sinickas is CEO of Sinickas Communications, Inc., an international consulting firm that has worked with 25% of the Fortune largest 100 global companies. Author of the manual How to Measure Your Communication Programs, Angela has written over 150 articles, has spoken at conferences in 32 countries, and has received 21 Gold Quills from IABC for measurably effective communication.

Join us as we look into how the principles of marketing science can help us reexamine our strategies to create smarter marketing that resonates with audiences. Customer insights gleaned through scientific practice help businesses better understand their consumers’ needs and how to satisfy them.

Let’s get down to business

IABC is a critical weapon in my arsenal of knowledge. Like many communications professionals I’ve spent time striving to be creative and productive, and I’ve found that IABC offers something other organizations do not: Our members gladly share their skills and expertise – a single lunchtime conversation can provide the elusive solution to a troubling communications challenge.

IABC offers information at your fingertips – webinars, workshops, conferences and library of best-practices publications, among other perks – from an organization that ‘gets it.’ When it comes to business success, there is no substitution for real-life learning and in-person networking encounters.

Which brings us to the topic of this month’s Network & Knowledge Series lunch. “How to Get Leaders to Listen to You” will resonate with any communications pro who’s been asked to prove the dollar value of a strategic communications effort.

Satisfying such clients may seem impossible; as featured speaker Angela Sinickis says, CEOs and owners speak the language of numbers.

An IABC Fellow, Angela is CEO of Sinickas Communications, Inc., an international consulting firm that has worked with Fortune 100 global companies using principles of marketing science to create smarter programs that resonate with audiences. On April 10, Angela will show how to employ new methods to enhance the effectiveness of our strategic marketing efforts.

The April lunch is the latest in IABC Orange County’s series of presentations designed to provide cutting-edge solutions to modern communications challenges. Earlier we offered insights on what recruiters want from job-seekers; ways to respond to hacking attacks; and neuro-marketing. IndyComm discussed methods to make solo practitioners’ social media marketing efforts successful.

In other chapter news, I’m pleased to note that Judy Iannaccone is leading the Membership Team in welcoming new and returning members to the IABC OC ranks. Welcome, everyone!

When you evaluate the cost effectiveness of IABC membership, I think you will agree that there are few professional opportunities for knowledge and networking that match IABC Orange County. Please take part in our upcoming activities – we can’t wait to meet you!

Cathi Douglas
IABC/OC president, 2018

If you’ve even dipped a toe into the entrepreneurship waters, you’ve heard the “To Specialize or Generalize” arguments. You may be uncertain about whether niching is appropriate for you, afraid to pigeonhole your business by selecting a single specialization and — to borrow a phrase — putting all of your eggs in that basket.

On January 24, Joseph Aldrich, Principal Consultant for The Cypress Group, will guide IABC’s IndyComm group through an exploration of whether positioning yourself as an authority in one subject area is the right choice for your business.

Register Today

Aldrich will encourage the group through interactive discussion looking at brand voice, the ways in which you amplify your message (including where and how often), who constitutes your audience, and your own internal metrics (c’mon, you knew data would be part of this!). He will conclude the speaking portion of the evening with his advice to independents and consultants for continuing to re-evaluate and drive tactics for ongoing success in this area.

Following the presentation, Aldrich will host a Q&A for those looking to get answers to their burning niche questions.

About the speaker:

Joseph Aldrich

Joseph Aldrich
Principal Consultant
The Cypress Group
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Joseph Aldrich founded the integrated marketing firm The Cypress Group in 2008 to help both up-and-coming and established brands reach new heights of prominence through strategic public relations and communications planning. His clients can be found at the top of influencer lists for the shelter industry and luxury service providers. A frequent public speaker and design trend visionary, Aldrich is a recognized expert contributor to shelter publications, and an active member of a number of associations in his field.

Author, sales influencer and motivational speaker Jim Cathcart has said, “Your life is a series of relationships. The higher the percentage of high-value relationships, the greater your prospects for success. Turn each of your relationships into a high-value relationship.” So how can you create high value relationships that will help you to grow your independent business?

Join IABC’s IndyComm group on Wednesday, November 29 for a thoughtful look at how to use honesty, authenticity, and reciprocity to cultivate relationships and close sales.

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IABC board member and business development guru Lisa Thomas will walk us through how building relationships, showing consistency, demonstrating thought leadership, and developing strategic partnerships can be a game changer for independent communicators. She will explain how relationships are key to accelerating business, and review traditional prospecting tools and how we can use them to enhance those relationships.

The presentation will be followed by a guided roundtable discussion of best and worst sales techniques, and the best audience to target for your business.

Don’t miss this chance to find out how you can encourage your connections to know, like, trust – and buy from – you.

About the speaker:

Lisa Thomas

Lisa Thomas
Taylor Digital
View Lisa’s Linkedin Profile

Lisa Thomas is the Director of Marketing & Business Development for Taylor Digital where she and her team help their clients succeed online with custom digital solutions. Throughout her career, Lisa has helped businesses drive sales and tell their stories, revealing the value and innovation essential to their products and services. When not working in online marketing, Lisa serves on several local boards and is committed to political strategy and public affairs.

Are your internal communication strategies keeping up with the digital age?  In a world where people share and connect via online communities outside of work, are you providing a similar forum for your employees internally?

Learn the differences between a network and a community and how you can use tools like communities to bring organizations together, give employees a voice, crowdsource ideas and much more. Ciara O’Keeffe will also describe the necessary skills and attributes for a strategic Community Manager.

Key takeaways:

  1. What it takes to build a value-adding online community
  2. What to look for when selecting a community manager
  3. How to increase adoption of your internal social platforms


Please register by Oct. 13 end of day to secure EARLY BIRD pricing below. Registrations received after this date will incur an additional $15 fee.

Before Friday, October 13 end of day:

$40 – Members + processing fee
$50 – Non-members + processing fee
$28 – Students + processing fee

Register Today!


Ciara O'Keefe

Ciara O’Keeffe
Vice President, Product and Customer Delivery
StaffConnect Group
View Ciara’s Linkedin Profile
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Ciara O’Keeffe is a digital communications leader, speaker, author and judge. Utilizing her experience in HR and Internal Communications roles at Unilever, L’Oreal and Diego, Ciara O’Keeffe specializes in leveraging enterprise mobile technology to build stronger corporate culture. She has successfully led app development and launches in companies throughout the world.

Buyer personas (sometimes referred to as marketing personas) are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. Buyer personas help define pains, interests, and concerns of your current and prospective customers. Having a deep understanding of your buyer personas is critical to content creation, marketing, sales, and brand evangelism. The Buyer Journey is unique for each Buyer Persona.

Andy Etemadi, CEO of EYEMAGINE, an award-winning full-service marketing agency and a HubSpot Platinum Partner, will offer insights on how to define buyer personas and map your buyer’s journey to ensure you are creating content that influences the right people to take action.

Event fees:

Please register by the end of the day on Friday, September 12, to secure EARLY BIRD pricing below. Registrations received after this date will incur an additional $15 fee and meal selection cannot be guaranteed.

  • $40 Early Bird Members + processing fee
  • $50 Early Bird Non-Members + processing fee
  • $28 Early Bird Students + processing fee

Register Now!

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Networking is crucial in business, whether you’re looking for new clients, resources, or that next job opportunity. But are you networking effectively?

Join us Tuesday, June 20 at 6 p.m. when we will explore best practices with Sven Johnston of Gigasavvy. You’ll learn how to effectively engage others, establish the right message, and get you in front of the right audience.

Event fees:

Please register by noon Monday, June 19, to secure your entree selection and pricing below. Registrations received after this date will incur an additional $15 fee and meal selection cannot be guaranteed.

  • $30 Early Bird Members 
  • $40 Early Bird Non-Members
  • $23 Early Bird Students

Register Now!


Sven Johnston

Sven Johnston
Founding Partner and Senior Vice President

View Sven’s LinkedIn Profile
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Sven Johnston is a Founding Partner and Senior Vice President at Gigasavvy, a Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency. He has more than 20 years experience in international business development, a passion for digital marketing, and a skill for building long-term strategic partnerships. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies all the way down to start-up entrepreneurial businesses. His work spans the globe having worked in Germany, Australia, South Africa and the U.S.

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As professional communicators, the struggle with how to best handle controversies and difficult issues that, if not handled appropriately, can significantly impact our company’s or our client’s brand and reputation is all too real. How do we guide the actions of our teams, including our executives, and maintain consistent, responsible, ethical and legal choices through difficult times?

Join our distinguished panel of experts for our May 10 luncheon at Taps in Irvine as we take an in-depth look at strategies and solutions for a world where, as IABC International notes, “fake news” and “alternative facts” have become common terms, and it is incumbent upon us to keep the record straight

Event fees:

Please register by noon Monday, May 8, to secure your entree selection and pricing below. Registrations received after this date will incur an additional $15 fee and meal selection cannot be guaranteed.

  • $40 members
  • $50 non-members
  • $28 students

Register Now!


Jeff Campangano

Jeff Compangano
General Counsel and Vice President
Word & Brown Companies

View Jeff’s LinkedIn Profile

Serving as the General Counsel and Vice President for the Word & Brown Companies, a leading provider in health insurance and benefits administration products, Jeff Compangano brings almost twenty years of substantive legal experience to the benefit of his clients. He is an adjunct professor in the disciplines of Law, Communications, Political Science and Sociology at Chapman University and Brandman University, actively developing and teaching courses throughout the year.

Mary Luthy

Mary Luthy
Director, Corporate Communications
Beckman Coulter

View Mary’s LinkedIn Profile

Mary Luthy has decades of experience as a professional communicator, in a variety of industries from not for profits to public agencies to publicly traded companies. She has worked in both marketing and corporate communications, and currently is director of corporate communications at Beckman Coulter.

David Cordero

David Cordero
Senior Account Manager
Communications Lab

View David’s LinkedIn Profile

David Cordero, Senior Account Manager for Communications LAB, has nearly 20 years of experience directing government relations, public affairs and community outreach programs in Orange County. Throughout his career, he has worked with elected officials, boards of directors, business owners, public agencies, coalitions and others to advance sound public policy, as well as projects and programs that address needs in the community. David also serves as the Accreditation and Ethics Chair of the Public Relations Society of America’s Orange County Chapter.

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Looking ahead to a new year, and celebrating the successes of the year past

The blank page staring me in the face when I sat down to write this letter serves as a fitting metaphor for my new role as President of IABC Orange County.

Questions swirl: What do we want our Chapter to accomplish in the coming year? How will we prioritize our objectives? Where are the biggest challenges and most compelling opportunities? How will we measure our success?

Fortunately, I don’t have to tackle these issues alone. With the great minds and experience inherent in our newly installed IABC/OC Board, I’m confident we will address each one at our upcoming strategic planning retreat with much deliberation and insight, ultimately setting the course for an amazing 2017.

Boards lead and manage organizations. Members make them grow. And that’s why your involvement this year means so much.

Attending IABC monthly professional development forums, engaging through our social media communities or the Chapter website – and, especially taking a sponsorship role – is truly a win-win proposition. You gain access to people, resources and content that makes you a better professional. The Chapter, meanwhile, benefits from the wealth of talent, experience and perspective that you – and only you – can share.

All of this is part of the IABC/OC Member experience. Then there’s the fabulous array of educational tools, informational resources and content-rich events – highlighted by this year’s World Conference in Washington, D.C. – that comes with belonging to a worldwide Association of top-flight communicators.

Add it all up and it’s easy to see why more and more professionals are discovering the value proposition of IABC. Maybe you know one or two. I encourage you to bring them to our next event. We would love to meet and welcome them!

While planning is critical to any successful endeavor, it’s equally valuable to look back and see all that was accomplished over the past year. IABC/OC enjoyed a great year thanks in large measure to the excellent leadership of Past President Elaine Beliakoff, whose tireless work – evidenced over the past several weeks in pulling together our submissions for the upcoming IABC Chapter Management Awards – ensures we will be well-represented this February in Dallas. Thank you, Elaine!

It’s just one more reason why 2017 promises to be a very special year at IABC/OC. I’m looking forward to sharing it with YOU!

Michael Shepherd
IABC/OC president, 2017

Are you among the 47% who make self-improvement-focused New Year’s resolutions? Let us help you keep your resolution to elevate your personal brand in 2017. Experts will be on hand to help you learn and define the elements of your personal brand, cultivate your brand online, and ensure your image is going to help you take your career to the next level. Studio B will also be on hand to help you update that old headshot with a new profile photo (additional $45 fee).

In addition to great tips to kick start your brand enhancement efforts, you could also leave with a valuable door prize, including:

  • A copy of Susan Howington’s book, “How Smart People Sabotage Their Job Search,” and a complimentary one-hour phone consultation with Susan
  • A copy of “Personal Branding for Dummies,” featuring Diana Jennings, contributing author
  • A copy of “Give Your self Permission Anthology; 44 Inspirational & Insightful True Stories of Risk-Taking, Life Changes & Successful Outcomes,” featuring Darcy Burke of Watermark Associates

Register Now!


Diana Jennings

Diana Jennings
Founder, Brand You Image/Personal Brand and Image Management Strategist
View Diana’s LinkedIn Profile
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Diana Jennings is the founder of Brand You Image, and a pioneer in integrating personal branding with image management. Her professional credentials include being a Certified Image Professional (CIP) and past President of the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI); Reach Communications, Inc. Certified Personal Brand Strategist (CPBS); and is an advisory board member to the Image Consultant Business Institute of India. She has contributed to three career related books, and is the chief contributor to the chapter, “Fashioning Your Image to Match Your Personal Brand” in Personal Branding for Dummies (Wiley 2012, 2014.)

Susan Howington

Susan Howington
CEO, Power Connections Career Services
View Susan’s LinkedIn Profile
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As the CEO and Founder of Power Connections, a national outplacement company, Susan Howington is a sought-after expert in the Executive Career Transition field, applying her practical knowledge and visionary wisdom as a consultant, coach, author and industry speaker. In Orange County, she was profiled by OC Metro Magazine as one of 15 Orange County Women Who Inspire Others. She has appeared in the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, national online publications like ABC7 New York, CBS2 Chicago, Fox Business News, and to name a few. She is the author of the just released book on called “How Smart People Sabotage Their Job Search: 10 Mistakes Executives Make and How to Fix Them.” She and her company have had the pleasure of being interviewed in both 2014 and 2015 by the Wall Street Journal regarding the dynamics of job search. Susan earned a B.S. degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Northern Arizona University.

Judy Zulfiqar

Judy Zulfiqar
Chief Strategist, Watermark Associates
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Judy Zulfiqar serves Watermark Associates as Chief Strategist. Prior to joining Watermark, Judy was founder and President of RKR Marketing & Advertising, which was founded in 2001. Judy has had the pleasure of serving a wide variety of industries locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. She established RKR as a boutique agency that was strategically located in the heart of Southern California Wine Country to serve as a perfectly positioned destination in the marketplace to handle projects large and small and she brings that experience with her to Watermark. Judy has more than 15 years of experience in helping clients manage their personal and professional brand across all media platforms including LinkedIn. Judy earned her Master’s in Business Administration from Pepperdine University. She completed her field study in Thailand focusing on emerging markets.

Event fees:
• $30 members
• $40 non-members
• $23 students

Register Now!