Looking to the future

Looking to the future – Brief Article

Based on our recognition of the significant changes to the business environment and the role of communication in that environment, your association recognizes the need to evolve so that we are able to continue providing value to our members. To position IABC to meet the needs of our stakeholders in this new world, we are in the very early stages of a process to assess everything about the association: who we are, what we stand for, whom we serve, what we deliver, and how we deliver it.

These early explorations have led to the development of a clear identity for your association: IABC is a not-for-profit international network of professionals committed to improving the effectiveness of organizations through strategic interactive and integrated business communication management.

This identity incorporates some significant changes to IABC’s traditional approach to its activities. These include:

* A focus on communication rather than communicator — While we will always remain committed to helping professional communicators succeed, we must expand our scope to include professionals who are not communicators, yet whose job incorporates the communication role. This is particularly important for managers, who in this new era recognize that communication is integrated into their jobs. As a result, we must reach out to functional executives not only to serve their communication needs, but also to enhance their recognition of the value of communication as a central part of the management process.

* A focus on strategy in addition to tactics — Traditionally, IABC has been a place on which newcomers can count to learn their craft. Our demographics are changing; most of our members have been in the profession considerably beyond their entry-level years. Coupled with management recognition of the need for strategic communication, we need to elevate the importance of communication as a component of business strategy while continuing to offer fundamentals to those just entering the profession.

* A focus on interactivity — There is no denying the effect of the Internet, the World Wide Web, intranets, and other forms of interactive communication on our profession. To be true to our vision, we must expand our own application of these tools beyond the current publishing model. The web must become a core element in the delivery of products and services to IABC members and other stakeholder audiences. This will require a more sophisticated approach to our online presence.

We face a considerable challenge to breathe life into this identity. We know where we want to go as an association to remain vibrant, relevant, and to retain our status as the preeminent association for communication professionals. The path to get there, however, is not so clear. We know that this is a path we must take, but we must also remain fiscally responsible, delivering the programs, products and services our members expect. All of IABC’s leaders at every level will provide input about how to meet this challenge, and we will solicit the best thinking and ideas from our membership, as well as outside audiences we wish to bring into the IABC circle.

As a result, while I cannot promise what the year ahead will look like, I can promise that it will be exciting, challenging, and groundbreaking. I can also promise that we will keep you informed about our progress as each step on the path is charted.

Elizabeth Allan, ABC, CAE

President and CEO

COPYRIGHT 2000 International Association of Business Communicators

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group