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The following write-up was kindly contributed by George Stratigis, IABC Vic member and participant in the Brand Strategy Workshop – Be Together held on 23 April 2012.


What do George Clooney, Dawn Fraser and Malcolm Gladwell have in common? According to participants in IABC Victoria’s Brand Strategy Workshop, facilitated by Rhod Ellis Jones of Ellis Jones, in some shape or form, they all personify what IABC Victoria is to members.


It is not unusual for a group of communications professionals to gather and discuss trends in communications and the state of the industry in a social setting. However, it’s not every day Hollywood celebrities feature so prominently in the discussion.

Seated in a circle, members reflected on the reasons that they joined the IABC and what they had gained from membership. The key objective of the gathering was to identify relevant brand archetypes and ways that the brand could reflect the chapter’s strategic direction.


Interestingly, although the brand archetype of the “connector” and “intellectual”, featured prominently, others also identified with the “entertainer”, “motivator” and “ruler” archetypes.


The question of who might best represent the characteristics of IABC Victoria drew some interesting responses – George Clooney was popular, as were Malcolm Gladwell, “Parky”, Andrew Denton, and Barack Obama. It was not an all male cast, Wonder Woman and Dawn Fraser also featured. No one person was settled on, but rather aspects of each were thought to be relevant.

Members also explored ways that IABC Victoria could increase its profile among communications professionals and the importance of expertise. Specifically, they discussed whether the adoption of a public position on industry trends could add value to branding efforts and the extent to which such an approach would be worthwhile in a Victorian context.

Accreditation was also on the agenda. Members participated in a quick “straw poll” on whether they intended to pursue accreditation as an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) and the perceived benefits of accreditation, from their professional perspective and its importance within the IABC.

Rhod played an important role in guiding the discussion and encouraging members to share their knowledge and experiences about when they first joined the association.

IABC Victoria appreciates the assistance of Ellis Jones in facilitating the brand workshop and looks forward to continuing to work with Ellis Jones on developing the IABC Victoria brand strategy.

Many thanks to the Honey Bar in Clarendon St, South Melbourne for the great space to meet in.