#CreateConnection: IABC wins with high touch over high tech

I have been an IABC member since 2001. And, for much of the last 15 years, I have been both a member and a critic.

I am a critic no longer. #CreateConnection is the reason why.

A number of years ago, IABC was in a bit of turmoil. As an internal communicator, I naturally found the turmoil interesting and used my membership as an entrance ticket to participate in it. Much of the turmoil was around personality issues at play at the time, but a thread of it was around IABC’s alternatives for future growth.

A few of us supported a virtual and digital approach, seeing IABC’s traditional focus on face to face events and local chapters to be too high-maintenance and difficult to sustain. But IABC instead doubled down on high-touch over high-tech, and embarked on an approach (hashtagged #createconnection) that emphasized the strengthening of its core offering with secondary emphasis on the virtual and digital side.

I was skeptical. But following my recent flight of blog postings and all of the sharing and retweeting I’ve seen in the last few weeks, I came to realize that IABC has nailed it with #createconnection.

There may be 100,000 or more business communications pros in the world. Most of us are already connected digitally on Twitter and LinkedIn and other online forums. Indeed, there are more than twice as many members of IABC’s LinkedIn group as there are members of IABC. But in large part, the people who’ve actually been connecting with me have been IABC members around the world—sharing, retweeting and asking questions.

More remarkable was that most of these members are not people I’ve met at conferences or other events. Even with a seemingly analog strategy focusing on local face-to-face activity, IABC members are rapidly connecting globally into a potent digital force. As for those I have met, the involvement has been particularly strong—ranging from challenging but respectful input from Jim Shaffer, one of IABC’s (and the world’s) most respected authorities on business communication, and an article encouraging members of IABC Montreal to read one of my recent blog posts.

Indeed, even if you can’t commit to attending IABC’s many excellent global and regional events, the global community that is IABC is increasingly relevant and accessible, wherever you are. If you want to learn from your peers, or if you have some thoughts about the future of our profession and want to move them forward, there has never been a better time to join IABC.

It’s time to #createconnection. It’s time for IABC.