February 2017 – President’s Letter

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When communications professionals use the word engagement these days, more often than not the conversation touches on analytics. I’m going to go old school and talk about that term in a different context.

It’s become fashionable these days to avoid professional memberships. With so many choices and different events, the idea of committing to one organization just doesn’t make sense – or, so the argument goes. Better to “cherry pick” the ones that interest you most. Besides, we’re all too busy to be burdened with trying to fit all those commitments into our schedules, right?

Here’s the problem with that logic: It places the value proposition of membership in organizations like IABC too much around events. Even as a devoted networker, I can assure you that’s a questionable strategy.

Let’s set aside the obvious price penalty of attending events as a non-member. Or, the inability to access valuable IABC member-only content and continuing education resources that can advance your career faster.

The bigger loss is the missed relationship building and engagement that comes from serving on a committee – a privilege reserved exclusively for members. Whether you’re cultivating connections for your next career gig or a great consulting opportunity, the seeds of those relationships take root inside committees.

If you’re an IABC member serving on a standing committee – Programs, Communications, Membership, Finance or Sponsorship – you already know it. If you’re a member that hasn’t discovered this somewhat counter-intuitive benefit, I encourage you to engage.

And, finally, if you’re reading this and find yourself on the fence about whether or not to join, there’s not a better time than right now to dive in. The waters, like the people you’ll meet, are warm.

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd
President, IABC Orange County

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