Bridges are an iconic symbol of connection. This year, IABC/Calgary put the spotlight on the role of communicators as bridges who connect their employers and clients with the people that impact their missions, visions and reputations.

“We wanted to personalize the brand in a way that would would be meaningful to our Calgary chapter leaders and members,” says Laurie Griffin, IABC/Calgary Marketing Director for winter/spring 2016. Laurie started the process of conceptualizing the new chapter-level brand in the Fall of 2015 through consultations with the board and feedback from member focus groups. “Once we landed on the concept of bridges, it was a no-brainer. Visually, Calgary boasts several iconic and captivating bridge landmarks, both classic and modern. Many of them connect outlying communities to Calgary’s downtown – our epicenter of economic activity.”

“Symbolically, of course, the bridge offers multilayered significance both to the role of IABC as a professional association and to the business function of strategic communications and its many sub-disciplines,” Laurie adds.

It all began with the launch of the new international IABC brand, which provided a foundation of visual standards, top level messaging, tone and values on which local chapters could build their own identities. The new international guidelines were flexible enough to allow individual IABC chapters to “localize” the brand through more definitive messages, visual motifs or symbols that reflect their local business scenes and culture.

IABC/Calgary members may have noticed the soft roll-out of new brand elements through event banners, chapter content, contests, promotional materials, marketing collateral, presentations, videos and more. “We’ve had a lot of fun with it and have been able to see first-hand how the new bridge brand resonates with our members,” says Laurie.

“The bridge is an apt metaphor of the role we play as a professional association in linking our members to the people, knowledge, resources and best practices that advance their careers,” says Sheila Carruthers, IABC/Calgary Past President for the 2016/17 year. “It’s a real point of pride. As one of the longest running chapters, and the second largest in the world, IABC/Calgary has connected members through decades of communications industry growth and transformation.

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