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Greetings all from the tail end of a phenomenally busy month both in terms of IABC Victoria and more generally.

Victorian PR Students’ Conference

Since last writing, I had the opportunity to participate in the Victorian PR Students’ Forum organised by IABC Vic member Ross Monaghan. Whilst we do not currently have student members at IABC Victoria, we are very conscious of the need for succession planning and it was great to see so many students sacrificing their holiday time to invest in their future and hear from industry experts. Their response to IABC Vic’s presentation was overwhelmingly enthusiastic and we are very grateful to Ross for the opportunity to reach out to younger prospective members. For those of you who may be or may know students interested in membership, IABC offers an 80 per cent discount to student members making the membership fee a very affordable $48. To find out more, please visit the students section of the IABC website or contact our membership chair Rebecca Ketteringham.

Social media reforms

Social media have been all over the headlines over the past month with comment in the realms of trolling, contempt of court, and citizen activism all attracting considerable airtime. These have also caught the attention of those who set the legislative agenda with the various state attorneys general meeting in Brisbane on 5 October to discuss a uniform approach to potentially contemptuous comments posted online that risk prejudicing the ability to access a fair trial or the outcome of legal proceedings. Watch this space for developments in months to come.

October Be Heard – When social media become anti-social – SOLD OUT

Not to be outdone, we at IABC Victoria also explored social media at our final Be Heard event for the year, held on 17 October. Our “When social media become anti-social” was a sell-out. And judging from the buzz on the night and subsequent to the event nailed it in terms of some of the issues communicators are grappling with at the moment. For those who missed out, or would just like a recap of the lively and thought provoking discussion – be sure to read the event wrap up and take a look at the vox pop on you tube. Thanks again to Sally Scott of Hall & Wilcox and Danielle Clarke of Telstra for presenting this dynamic and highly interactive session for us.

Fresh guidance by the ASX on disclosure obligations of listed companies

For those who work in listed companies get ready for reforms of disclosure obligations as the ASX on 17 October released a consultation paper regarding proposed changes to Guidance Note 8 to listing rules 3.1-3.1B that deal with companies’ continuous disclosure obligations. A copy of the consultation paper, the proposed new version of Guidance Note 8, an abridged guide and the proposed Listing Rule changes can all be downloaded from the ASX website.

Member value – $5 increase in member dues

As a Board, we are ever conscious of the need to continually deliver local content and local value to you our local members. This was explored at our Board strategy day earlier this month and will continue to be a focus into the new year – especially as we have just been informed of an increase in membership dues as of 1 January 2013. Whilst at $5AUD the increase is a moderate one, aligned to CPI, it does highlight the need to stay on top of our game and continue to deliver events, workshops and meetings that tap into the needs and interests of you our members. Thanks to all who have suggested potential events for the new year. We are now developing a program which we hope to release early in 2013. The good news associated with the fee increase is that no matter when your membership is up for renewal, you can renew prior to year end and still only pay the old, “pre-increase” dues. More information about this will be hitting the IABC website and your mailboxes in coming weeks.

Events for remainder of 2012

Whilst we are rapidly approaching the end of the year, our program of events shows no sign of slowing with the World PR Forum and inaugural IABC Asia Pacific Leadership Institute both taking place here in Melbourne next month.

IABC will be hosting a stream of 4 sessions at the World PR Forum, which is taking place form 18 to 20 November, and a number of our members will be presenting or on panels at the forum. It is shaping up to be a great event. If you have not as yet registered, remember that as an IABC member, you are entitled to a discount and can register at the “member rate”.

The IABC Leadership Institute focuses on leadership and sharing of best practices in Chapter Management. Details of the program are now up on the IABC Asia Pacific regional website. The Leadership Institute is aimed at current and prospective IABC Chapter leaders/ Board members and prospective Board members. Registrations are now open and all your current Board members will be participating – together with a number of our regular volunteers. If you have been toying with the idea of becoming more involved at Chapter level either as a board member or volunteer, I encourage you to look into taking part with us. The Leadership Institute will run on the weekend of 17 and 18 November and at $150 USD – it’s a steal. We hope a number of you will join us to share ideas about how best to lead and manage your local chapter.  

Given there will be quite a few IABC members in town for the World PR Forum, we will this year be parting with tradition and holding our year end function a week or two earlier than usual and extending an invitation to our IABC visitors from across the region. The Christmas party will this year be at Honey Bar in South Melbourne on the evening of 19 November. Please save the date and invitations will be out soon.

IABC Vic newsletter moves to bi-monthly format

Finally – given the abundance of material that surfaces in peoples’ mailboxes each day, we have decided to move to a bi-monthly distribution of this newsletter. This should still provide ample notice of all events and if anyone is unsure, I encourage you to check the website/ linked in group or twitter feed for the latest.

That’s all from me. I was looking for some profound wisdom with which to leave you but on reflection I’ve decided to part with some grabs and insights from the tweet stream from last Wednesday’s When Social Media become anti-social event. Thanks to all our tweeps for keeping the discussion alive well into the night.

  • don't lose the personal touch when using social media
  • strict but simple guidelines help you control the posts on your site
  • remember the 3Rs responsibility respect and representation when you're online
  • keep social communities G rated. Active community curation essential to a happy social community
  • assume your post will end up on the front page of the paper – stop, think, type, send
  • crisis management, the sooner you can take it offline the better
  • watch this space – all things move swiftly in social media