IABC UK & Ireland newsletter March 2020

Hello everyone. What a crazy few days it’s been since my last newsletter.
I guess that most of us are now working from home, and whether it is with children out of school or partners similarly working at home, we’re all trying to learn how to coexist in new ways than ever before.

Of course we are all concerned for the health and well-being of loved ones and I’m sending my thoughts and best wishes to all of you and hope you stay well.

Resources to help Communicators respond to COVID-19

Now more than ever it’s important to be part of supportive communities.  The COVID-19 pandemic presents huge and unprecedented challenges for communicators. There is still much that is unknown, but whatever happens we know that effective communication is more critical than ever. In fact in many companies the internal communicator is now more in demand than ever and the challenge is more about trying to keep order and help our audiences navigate through the likely mass of Coronavirus related comms. 

Consultants, agencies and membership organisations including IABC are all offering a range of resources to support communicators; a quick look at social media in recent days proves that.  My advice is make sure that what you use gives you what you need. I’d certainly recommend the IABC resource page, which has some really helpful links, webinars and other useful materials; and more is being added regularly. 

Keep an eye on both the global IABC and our IABC UK Twitter and LinkedIn feeds as we’ll share additional useful resources as they become available.

Whilst COVID-19 dominates our thoughts at present, we have to adapt and for IABC UK we are thinking about what we can continue to do to support communicators. 

Going digital

Clearly we have had to pause our in person events for now but the importance of networking, supporting each other and learning is as important as ever, perhaps more so. 

So I’m delighted that our popular monthly networking drinks will be held virtually. Join us this Thursday 26 March at 6.30pm for networking, learning and conversation. Just bring your own drink. 

This month’s theme will explore how we can build meaningful connections that can add real value when we’re all working remotely. Places are limited and going fast so please sign up here. We intend that these networking events will continue to run monthly. The good news is you don’t need to be in London to join this time. I look forward to seeing you. 

IABC UK & Ireland is delighted to be working with our sponsors LumApps this year. On 7 April we are looking to support a case study based webinar where LumApps will feature one or more of the great brands that they work with. For details about LumApps’s Employee Communication Platform please see their website here.  

We were disappointed to postpone our Women in Communications event, due to take place last week, as we had a near record number of people signed up. We’re looking at how we can bring this to you virtually, on 22 April, so more on this soon, through IABC UK & Ireland on social media and our website. 

I hope you are able to join one of these, or other online events in the coming weeks. Do let me, or anyone on the Board know if there are any other topics you would like us to cover.  

How the world used to be

With everything that’s been going on February feels like a lifetime ago.  We had a great turnout at our second monthly networking drinks. It was good to spend time connecting with members old and new. Thanks to everyone who came, and to our sponsors Lumapps for their support.

February Leap Day saw me join 18 other volunteers at the Gold Quill Blue Ribbon panel day.  Ours was one of the largest panels globally.  It was a great day working with fellow evaluators who travelled from far and wide including US, Italy and Ireland – a great demonstration of the I in IABC.

I’ve said it before, Gold Quill is the best definition of excellence in communications that I know. The three years I’ve been judging are amongst the most inspiring experiences I’ve had in communications. 

Last month also saw Sarah Harrison, our chapter President-Elect, getting to experience the international nature of our organisation with two insightful days at IABC Leadership Institute in Texas. Sarah blogged about her experiences here.

Looking ahead 

Obviously our plans will evolve but as things stand June remains a big month in IABC land.

The IABC World Conference is due to take place in Chicago between 14-17 June. World Conference is the best event of its type globally. I know that IABC are looking at all options at the moment for what they might do.

30 June – a big day! 

At the end of June we are planning for a packed day of IABC activity in Central London. 

In the morning we will host the certification exams currently offered through the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC). This is the first time that we have offered the chance to sit for this prestigious qualification in the UK. 

You do not need to be a member of IABC to take the exam so please feel free to share with your networks. We’re also looking for Proctors to invigilate on the day so if you’re interested please get in touch and you can register for the exam here.  

The exam will take place prior to the start of our sixth annual Future Fit event, which is shaping up to be another great afternoon or learning and networking; and then in the evening we will hold our AGM, and hope the sun shines so we can enjoy a drink on a terrace overlooking many City landmarks. 

We obviously closely monitor the situation and will let you know should plans need to change.

Congratulations to new IABC Fellows

IABC has recently announced five new Fellows. A fellowship is the highest honour bestowed upon an IABC member and recognises significant contribution to the profession. I was delighted to see former UK President, Barbara Gibson on the list and I’m sure you’ll join me in sending her our congratulations.

Finally, with us all likely to be spending most of our time at home in the coming weeks (possibly months), it is more important than ever that we take time to look out for each other.  At IABC UK & Ireland we pride ourselves on being a supportive network and so please get in touch with me or any of the Board if there is anything we can do to help during this time of uncertainty. You can also talk to us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Stay safe everyone and hope to see you virtually very soon.

Howard Krais, President 

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