By Gail Conway, Director of Membership, IABC/Calgary
At the heart of IABC is the goal to improve the quality of a member’s professional life, and in a broader sense, improve the economic and social wellbeing of the communications industry. IABC is one of the most active global networks in the communications profession with 100 chapters in over 70 countries and IABC/Calgary holds the distinction of being the second largest local chapter in the world.
There’s no doubt, for 50 years, investing in an IABC/Calgary membership has been a valuable investment in yourself and your career. Why else would people continue to belong to the organization and see it grow? Let’s dive a little deeper though. During the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2017, we pose the question: What is the value of an IABC/Calgary membership and how can members get the most value from their investment?
Looking back, in 1967, IABC/Calgary, like most associations, was originally created to provide value by establishing strength and unity to work towards common goals. It had purpose, contribution and fostered relationships. Today, the IABC vision still focuses on helping members with personal growth, career development and advancement, networking opportunities, and supporting the advancement of the communications field. Fundamentally, the goals are the same; it’s the way member value is delivered that has changed. Here’s a sample of some of the most important benefits of membership and how that value is created today.
- Professional standards that are recognized industry-wide internationally, nationally and locally.
- A code of ethics that provides a framework for professionalism members can rely on to guide and support them.
- The ability to attract, retain and connect communicators globally and locally.
- GCCC certification giving members the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and expertise with an internationally recognized standard of communications excellence.
- Publications, tools and resources to stay up-to-date on current trends including CW (Communication World), IABC exchange, and the Research Resource Centre.
- Members have access to career opportunities internationally and locally through IABC’s online Job Centre and Careerline.
- Professional Development events internationally and locally including conferences, workshops and events that bring together communicators for learning and networking.
- Free Special Interest Groups that meet monthly in Calgary for consultants, new communicators, employee communications, and intermediate and senior communicators.
- The IABC Academy that offers webinars; online workshops and face-to-face training to help communicators stay current.
- Volunteering opportunities that help members gain valuable experience develop new skills and network with other IABC members.
- Awards programs like the Gold Quill and Silver Leaf awards that showcase and recognize excellence in communications.
- The Gift of Communications allows IABC members to contribute their valuable skills and give back to community partners requiring communications support and expertise.
- The biennial IABC/Calgary survey confirms that most of the value of investing in IABC lies in the important, key relationships you are able to build in a community of professionals who share your goals and understand your challenges.
- Networking opportunities abound with IABC/Calgary in the form of meetings, volunteer and professional development opportunities, holiday parties, courses and conferences.
- The Mentorship Program offers mentors and their mentee pairs an opportunity to share professional insights, expand their networks, act as a sounding board, and set developmental goals.
Creating value in your IABC membership is about finding what’s right for you in the multitude of benefits offered. Getting your membership is only the first step, taking advantage of your membership and deciding how you will participate with IABC is entirely up to you. Connect, explore and celebrate; 2017 is a great year to dive in to IABC!