by Bonnie Caver
IABC Austin President
Caver Public Relations
Labor Day officially marks the end of summer. It also seems to be a time when Austin gets back to business once again. School is back in session, football season has kicked off, and ACL and Formula 1 will be here before we know it.
For IABC Austin, it’s a time to kickoff our new year with a board transition and renewed programming. As a board, we are in the middle of a two-year strategic planning process, where we are evaluating our local organization and our role in the community.
As an organization our focus is on providing programming, resources and professional guidance for experienced communicators in Central Texas. No matter the role in communication, from corporate to public relations, social media to visual communication, marketing to CSR, reputation to brand, the role for communicators is changing significantly as well as increasing in scope. It is our goal to support communicators in the Central Texas region through this professional expansion. And it is also the path our international organization is taking as well.
We began the journey last year with strong programming, often highlighting SXSW speakers before they spoke at the conference. Mark Evans, from On the Point Communications, led the organization as President, providing a foundational platform for us to grow and better serve the communications community. This year, we will focus on the changing roles of communicators with sessions focused on measurement, large events coordination, CSR, mergers and acquisitions, reputation, internal communications, customer experience and social media to name a few. To mark your calendars, we have eight luncheons a year, falling on the second Tuesday of each month (except December, June, July and August). These lunches are currently held at Maggiano’s in the Domain.
To further support the direction we are taking as an organization, in this month’s IABC magazine CW, the article New Tools, New Directions, focuses on a Communication and Public Relations Generally Accepted Practice (GAP) study around the changing roles for communicators, putting data behind the stretch we are all feeling. The field of communications is expanding to include new functions according to the report, not only in social media but also in internal communication and customer relations, while marketing and product PR in its traditional form is declining. Meanwhile, corporate budgets for measurement and evaluation of communication functions have doubled.
In this new IABC year, we will also focus on supporting our corporate members and looking for opportunities for additional networking. This is a journey that we can not do alone, so we’d love to hear what you think, as well as, have your involvement. We’ll be conducting a survey this year to garner your input, I hope you will participate. But don’t wait for a survey if you have ideas of how IABC Austin could help you in your professional path.
It should be a great year; I’m excited to serve as your president.