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Hello to all,

I feel like the past five weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for us here in Victoria. As you know our Board has undergone substantial change with the transition of seven new members into their respective portfolios. At the same time, the IABC global website and databases are undergoing transformation and a global search for the new IABC Executive Director is now underway. We also ran two events focused upon internal communications (IC) and participated in the annual Victorian PR Students Forum.

Change is a certainty for all of us in business, and particularly in communications. We have just seen a change in our nation’s government that will impact business and consumer confidence and the viability or direction of some major projects. Aside from this, many of our businesses are undergoing transformation programs and restructures, reducing budgets and trying to stay abreast of trends and new technologies. As I’m sure you all feel, this constant change is creating both opportunities and challenges for business communicators.

The recent comprehensive Coral Communications/IABC Victoria survey of the internal communications (IC) industry highlighted that change communications is the responsibility for most IC professionals and, for many, their main focus. Despite this, many felt that training and resources were inadequate to help them do their job effectively. This is just one finding that I thought was noteworthy. More details of the survey results will be available later in the year.

Continuing on with the IC and change theme, two of Australia’s most experienced communicators, Melissa Dark and Angela Scaffidi, were our guest facilitators at our IC masterclass earlier this month. Both actively engaged with the participants to help them gain a better appreciation of the trends defining IC and the Four Rooms of Change model by Claes Janssen. Melissa summarised the session in her blog.


PR Students Forum

This year IABC Victoria was pleased to show its support for the 2013 PR Student Forum hosted at Victoria University. I had the opportunity to talk with over 100 students and academics from six leading universities. I spoke about the IABC and the benefits of involvement in the global IABC community, membership, and professional development.

Late last year, the Board recognised the need to develop stronger ties with communications academics and students and introduced a portfolio VP with this focus. Since then we have seen both join our member community. Thanks go out to Ross Monaghan and Justin Rogers for their good work in this portfolio.


Global excellence

Recently I’ve noticed a few initiatives or campaigns that have stood out from the norm. I’m thinking in particular of Jennifer Frahm’s recent work utilising gamification in a change management initiative with NAB and Tourism Victoria’s amazing Melbourne Remote Control Tourist campaign designed to engage in real time via social media ( Both are certainly impressive.

IABC is putting the call out across the globe looking for the best-in-class work that exemplifies top-drawer strategic planning and outstanding execution. In the past 12 months, have you and/or your team worked on an initiative or campaign that has not only achieved its objectives but you are proud of? If so perhaps you should consider entering IABC’s Gold Quill Awards. There is a broad spectrum of categories to consider entering.

Although the deadline is early March, past experience has shown that it’s now time to start preparing your entry. This Thursday, 24 October, we are running a roundtable Q&A on how best to prepare your entry to increase your chances of success. It’s free to members, but you do need to register.

There are changes to the Gold Quills program for 2014. 

  • A new online provider for entrants and evaluators.
  • The addition of a change communication category to the Communication Management division.
  • A new score sheet for Communication Skills.
  • An interactive, online guide for entering the awards (“The Midas Touch”).
  • A refreshed logo and a printed call for entries.
  • A new early-bird deadline of 31 December, offering reduced pricing on entry fees for those who enter by the deadline.
  • Marketing of the program outside the Association.


Visit by IABC IEB Chair, Robin McCasland

On the 18th and 19th of November we are very pleased to advise that our International Executive Board Chair, Robin McCasland, is taking some time in her hectic schedule to come to Melbourne to meet our IABC member community.

Robin has a wealth of expertise in communications and she has received numerous accolades for her work and in her ‘day job’ as the Head of Employee Engagement and Internal Communications at Dell. She will be joining us at our end of year Christmas drinks on 18 November, where she’ll also be sharing her knowledge on global communications trends.


In the year ahead

Our board has been busy planning the upcoming year and we’re excited to continue to bring you great events, professional development sessions and content about what matters in our profession. We have an energetic team with some fresh ideas but we can’t do it alone!

There are two ways that you can help us – volunteering and feedback. We are on the look out for members who would like to give back to the profession and develop their skills, but may not be able to commit as much time as a Board member. So if volunteering is something that you might like to do then we would love to hear from for you.

In addition, we would like to know what you would like to see in 2014 in terms of content and events. So please do drop a line to either Damien Batey or myself at

Before I wrap, IABC is running a special membership promotion in November. It’s a great offer, so if you’ve let your membership lapse, forgot to renew it, or just have not joined up yet, please check out the this exciting offer.

There is so much more reading in this edition, so please spend a few minutes having a read. I look forward to catching up with you at one of the events coming up over the next few weeks.


Cheers … Zora