Thought leadership and inspiration from the Southern Region of IABC.

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Jordan Nagel, Southern Region chair for 2022-23, was honored as international region leader of the year at the recent IABC World Conference in Toronto.

Nominees for the award are considered on four measurements: ethics, innovation, extraordinary contribution and inspiring leadership. In each category, Jordan went above and beyond during a demanding year.

“Jordan leads with integrity, staying true to her personal values and those...

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There's an innovative philosophy making waves in the world of corporate communication known as 'Positively Negative'. It holds the key to a profound shift in workplace communication by coaching individuals on how to rephrase challenging issues into positive terms, without sidestepping the problem at hand. What is the primary focus? Encouraging employees to evolve into problem solvers and solution providers that senior management truly...

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Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) concepts have gone beyond focusing on five key groups — age, ability, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQIA+ — to an essential concept to be applied across businesses. From equality and inclusion in the way we work to embracing previously taboo discussions on mental health and neurodiversity in the...

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There has been no shortage of crises in the business world in recent months. From the failure of FTX and Silicon Valley Bank to the Norfolk Southern train derailment and fans revolting against Ticketmaster, there is more than enough fodder for a robust discussion about how companies can prepare for crises while establishing their reputations and communicate effectively when a crisis strikes.

The recording of the 20 April 2023, live...

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Crisis leadership can make or break a crisis. It takes specific skills to lead in a crisis, and few of us have them naturally. In acute and volatile situations, effective crisis leadership is not about winning, losing or finding the perfect solution. It’s about recognizing that while it’s not always possible to control the events, crisis leaders can control how they respond and behave. So how can companies better prepare for what might lie...

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This article is sponsored by Simpplr.

Organizations are paying attention to employee experience (EX) trends and moving forward with emerging must-haves by degrees, but this will...


Blog 3 in a series of 3 on the IABC Career Assessment

Did you take the IABC Career Assessment? How did it go? What did you discover? As you scored your proficiency according to the IABC Proficiency Metric, did you find areas you want to discover or learn more about?

Many takers found their curiosity sparked as they worked through the list of statements and found hidden and untapped interests. Some takers...


Blog 2 in a series of 3 on the IABC Career Assessment

One of the characteristics of Thomas Friedman's creative and collaborative "flat world" is the necessity of lifelong learning. People need to find tools and resources to prepare for future work. He proposes that professionals make a social contract with themselves to embark on their lifelong learning journey. Friedman suggests learning with an open mind by...


Blog 1 in a series of 3 on the IABC Career Assessment

In 2005, Thomas Friedman’s provocative book, The World is Flat, hit the top of the New York Times Best Sellers in one week. He spoke to the rise of standards in business and professional practices so people could work together across companies and...

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It was a bold, bright April day in Lahore, Pakistan, in my earlier years, when my elderly father told me something valuable, broodingly narrating an insightful episode from his past. “When I left my father’s house in a small village to make a living in the big city of Lahore, I had only 20 rupees in my pocket and no impressive degree. But I had a passion that kept me awake every night until I graduated from a leading university of Lahore to...

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On 25 January, Shel Holtz’s Catalyst article, “Generative Artificial Intelligence for Communicators” served as a wake-up call of sorts. Widely respected in the IABC community and broader communication profession, Shel outlined compelling and ethically sound use cases for how generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology can fit...

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As we head into 2023, the post-pandemic landscape is coming into greater focus.

In addition to economic instability, over the past few years, companies have encountered a workforce reckoning. The resulting work revolution is driving change in how we work and the role of internal communications in the workplace.

So, what’s coming in 2023?

Although we don't have a crystal ball (at least one that works, anyway), we do have data...

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Communication professionals have a massive opportunity to grow as leaders — to help define agendas and shape trends, as opposed to being defined and shaped by them. That was the main conclusion of the 2022 Communication Leaders Survey, conducted by #WeLeadComms and sponsored by AB and Sparrow Connected....

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Every new year brings a fresh start, a new beginning with focused time to set goals and devise strategies to achieve them. It’s all balanced by a blend of gratitude for all the blessings in our lives, celebrating the holidays with friends and family, irresistible year-end sales and lots of college football.

Grateful for the journey

When I think of my communications career, I’m thankful for the people who have...

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The countdown to 2023 is on! With the new year comes new opportunities and new stories to tell. As you look ahead to all you’ll accomplish in the coming year, reflect on the Catalyst articles, PodCatalyst episodes and webinars that grabbed communication professionals’ attention the most in 2022.


  1. 3 Influential Story Types Leaders Should Tell, by Nancy Duarte |...
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When shelter-in-place orders came through, seemingly overnight, the world as I’d known it — my team had known it — was in lockdown. The following Monday would be our first all-company meeting since the mandatory shut down.

My team was facing our fiercest monster together. Sure, during our 34 years in business, we’ve endured other significant challenges, which tested our resolve. During that Monday meeting, we did what we’ve always done...

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Executing a winning digital strategy that supports your company's — and your audience's — needs requires that communication professionals thoroughly hone their digital knowledge and skills. If you had to reimagine a successful digital strategy for your organization, what would it look like? How would you share it to gain leadership buy-in?

In a recent IABC master class series,...

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This year, IABC’s Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC) launched remote proctoring for the Strategic Communication Management Professional® (SCMP) and Communication Management Professional® (CMP) certification programs. Remote proctoring allows certification candidates to take their exam remotely and proctored virtually....


Learning, collaborating and networking were in full force during the 2022 IABC Southern Region connect2comms Conference in Greenville, October 19-21. Attendees from the U.S., Canada and Caribbean participated in events from the Welcome Reception on Wednesday evening to the closing session on Friday.

Designed to provide valuable professional development for marketing communication professionals, connect2comms included...

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Communication and technology go hand in hand. Are you registered for “Digital Acumen for Business Communicators,” the three-part webinar series hosted by Dr. Lilian Ajayi-Ore, Ed.D. that kicks off on Tuesday, 25 October? As you prepare to enhance your digital acumen, take a look at this excerpt from “The IABC Guide for Practical Business...

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At UCB, patients are at the heart of everything we do – from discovery to development to delivery. And behind every solution delivered to the patients we serve is a dedicated employee who applies their unique talents and expertise in their daily work. As we adapted to the pandemic's changes, challenges, and opportunities, we aimed to foster a working environment where our employees were happy, healthy, and thriving even in a virtual...

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At UCB, patients are at the heart of everything we do, and from the very beginning of the pandemic, we were committed to helping those impacted by COVID-19 through impactful, unified, and strategic communications.

2020 and the global pandemic brought many lessons about our industry, our people, the patients we serve, and the communicator’s role in responding. It drove reflection on how we are evolving and must continue to change in a...

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How is your leadership known and how do you want it to be known? What is your Leadership Brand?

Simply put, your Leadership Brand is how you lead as the unique human being you are. It comprises your authenticity, clarity of expectations, vision, consistency, and value as a leader - and serves as a source of dependability and inspiration for others.

In his March 2010 Harvard Business Review article, introducing this concept, Norm...

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Right now things are tense. Many people are operating in fight/flight mode. It’s easy to think, “I have to do this NOW! I should answer RIGHT AWAY!”

No, you don’t! Take a deep breath. Take another deep breath. Take a third deep breath.

When cornered or rushed, do the opposite of what you feel. Slow down. Pause. Evaluate.

Why, because emotional decisions are expensive. At the beginning of the pandemic just before lockdown,...

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Marketing communications has evolved dramatically since the advent of fax machines, email and static websites (aka Web 1.0). Over the past decade, Web 2.0, led by popular social media platforms, has changed the way we create and consume content across online communities. With Web 3.0 upon us, communicators have additional opportunities and challenges to navigate, ranging from decentralization, blockchain technologies, and token-based...

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As a mid-level leader, you may only have few opportunities to meet and impress senior management in any given year. To become more visible to them, you must be able to recognize and activate the right mindset for the following three philosophies. Using these three philosophies will allow you to be more visible in their eyes.

The 95/5 rule

First, you need to understand the difference between these...

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I don’t know about you, but we’ve entered the Back-to-School season at my house, and I’ve recently received a ton of classroom schedules, expectations and goals from my kids’ teachers. It’s an energetic time and reminds me of the excitement, fear and opportunity that came with building an internal agency within Univar Solutions.

When my boss hired me in January 2021, he, too shared a calendar of events, financial expectations and growth...

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You’ve signed up for the 2022 IABC Southern Region Conference, but now you’re wondering, “What the heck is there to do in Greenville, SC?”

If you’ve never been to Greenville – or if has been a while since you have – you are in for a real treat.

First, a disclosure

As a long-time Greenville resident, I will tell you that Greenville is special. But don’t just take my word for it; many travel industry...

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Game-based, business simulation training is a great way to practice your strategic skills

It seems a never-ending story, perhaps part of our ethos as professional communicators…

Why do we struggle to get a seat at the table? How do we prove our worth? What does it take to demonstrate our impact on the business? Why don’t we get the recognition we deserve in our organizations?


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I want you to take a moment and think about someone who's had a big impact on your life.

When and how did you meet them? What did you learn from them? Why is your life different today because of them?

We are all individuals with our own lifetime of experiences; however, I believe that we are also derivatives of everyone we meet along the way. I believe that every human interaction, no matter how brief, has the potential to change...

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It’s such an exciting time to be in IABC!

I just came back from World Conference and am convinced that now more than ever, communication plays a truly critical role in our world today. We’ve seen its power to connect people, to drive change and to get results.

Setting a standard of excellence

IABC has set the standard of excellence and provided a vibrant community for professional communicators since 1970. I...

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The Silver Quill Award is the Goldilocks Zone of professional communication awards programs.

You know the story: Goldilocks is caught breaking and entering into a very nice middle-class bear family household, eats their food, sits on their furniture, and sleeps in their beds. It’s a reprehensible act, unconscionable by any societal standard, no matter how cute the perp’s blonde curls may be. But I...

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When I returned to the workforce in 2014 after an eight-year hiatus to look after my two young boys, I realized that in the years in between, developments in technology had swept my profession into uncharted waters (at least for me).

Social media platforms, which had previously been a space for cute family pictures and informal news commentary, had blossomed into the go-to spot for many interactions. There was a wide gamut of...

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A silver whaaaat?

A quill is an old-fashioned pen made from a bird's feather which is used by dipping the tip in ink and writing on paper. Significant documents including parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the Magna Carta and the American Declaration of Independence were written and signed with quills.*

Now, it’s your turn.

You've already delivered communications that moved mountains....

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Please join me in congratulating our Southern Region award recipients at World Conference Leadership Reception.

John Harris, of IABC Austin and then Chair of IABC Southern Region who earned Region Leader of the Year,

Rebecca Witte of IABC Topeka who received the Rising Star of IABC Award accepting it over the phone and

Robin McCasland, SCMP of IABC Dallas...

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As parades, fireworks and barbeques take center stage this Fourth of July, we celebrate you.

Your commitment to integrity, honesty and accuracy in communications preserves the ideals of free speech here in America and around the world. Your high standards are the spirit behind the IABC Code of Ethics. For that, we salute you....

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This year’s Southern Region annual general meeting was somewhat of an eye-opener.

We finished the routine end-of-year talk in about 25 minutes. Then we opened up the session for discussion about most anything. That’s when it got real.

Chapter leaders across the region asked questions and shared ideas – about ways to engage volunteers, program topics and you name it. Everyone got into it.

To me, it hit home how IABC people...

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Here we share the experiences of two members who have taken advantage of the volunteer opportunities IABC offers to enhance professional and personal lives. Catalyst Subcommittee member Joe Bobbey interviewed Michael Blackburn and Sebastian Warren to learn more about the value of their IABC volunteer positions.

Michael Blackburn (He/Him) is the manager of election communications and community engagement for...


Tech is tech right? Well, sort of. It can allow us as communicators to be more efficient, effective and engaging in our digital and physical worlds.

For the IABC World Conference 2022 Listening Lounge, I spoke with Steffen Henke, global head of internal communication at Deutsche Post DHL, and Andreas Ringsted, chief solutions officer at Open Communication Group. We discussed the dance between internal communication and technology, which...

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When it comes to organizational transformation, it’s easy to dive in and tackle the changes that need to be made.

It’s true that 70% of change programs fail to achieve their goals. This is often linked to employee resistance, poor management and ineffective communication. When it comes to understanding change and how to really...

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For 50 years, communication professionals have turned to IABC to make connections and drive business results. In recent IABC Bulletin newsletters, the Catalyst editors sent out a call to members to share an example of a time IABC helped advance their career. What follows are not just testimonials, but snapshots of unique professional journeys — moments of success, do-overs, connections forged and challenges overcome — that,...