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December 18, 2012

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Gonzo, Thank you for keeping on top of this and providing these updates. Susan

When Roger D'Aprix says you've screwed up, then you've really screwed up. What an embarrassment. Makes me feel like I did the right thing by letting my membership lapse.

David,
Thanks for your thoughtful and candid post. You have always been one of the writers who best understands the IABC culture (which, as you say, has always been very distinctive). I'm not close enough to the current leadership to make any judgments about what's going on. I am, however, appreciative of your efforts to keep people accurately informed.

Dave Seifert, ABC

How disappointing. While I believe it is only fair to allow the new leadership an opportunity to implement their changes and see how they work.

However, it remains extremely concerning to me that a business organization whose key purpose is to educate and support communications people in how to deliver communications successfully so woefully mishandled the communications surrounding a major organizational change announcement, AND THEN in the face of a substantive backlash declines to responsively and authoritatively address the misstep appropriately to resolve members concerns.

The irony here is blinding.

And over on Ragan.com, a former executive board member is telling folks that if they don't like what IABC is doing, they can leave. How far IABC has fallen from the association I knew and loved and to which I gladly gave years of volunteer service. Thanks for the honest assessment, David.

That dude is and always has been a bully. There are still lots of good eggs at IABC, most of whom probably think they've done their bit at IABC. They may need to roll up their sleeves again.

Change is hard. The human brain sees it as danger. That's why change needs brilliant communication.

I'm disappointed that IABC, an organization devoted to professional communication (and to which I have devoted many, many volunteer hours) could do such a weirdly bad job of communicating where it's going, what it's doing, why it's doing it and what that means for people.

It will be interesting to watch how they go about recovering. They sure wouldn't win a Gold Quill for the way they handled this communication opportunity.

Thanks for your fast, candid and thorough summary of the first call. Based on your post, I was curious to listen to the afternoon call, especially since I'm a 500 club member (lifetime). OMG! Even though you warned me, the business jargon was overwhelming, especially in an organization that handles its business (and communications) so poorly! And what tin ears! The CEO and board chair basically dissed a Fellow who asked questions about communication measurement around the CW decision (from print to digital). Then the CEO and board chair next explained IABC needs to involve its Fellows more. Is this organization still relevant and worth pulling out of the tar pits?

This is what happens when an organization that supposedly exists to serve its members forgets its purpose. Sadly, I believe this has been happening for a long time. IABC's strength lies in its local chapters, not in HQ, not in its executive board, and not in how many products it can crank out. IABC lost sight of this years ago and has left many formerly strong chapters (including my home chapter, which once was a leader in many ways) to die a slow, painful death. What it needs at this point is a leader who will refocus it on providing proper support to its heart -- members at the local level and the chapters that serve them.

@Liz. To your last question, see ...

@ Robert, I agree that, especially at this moment when INFORMATION can be attained so easily and international NETWORKING is also easy, that IABC's main value proposition is being a credible umbrella organization to local clubs of flesh-and-blood communicators exchanging resources, helping each other find work and creating real communication communities.

Of course, being that organization means putting on a big international conference every year, helping organize and provide resources and speakers for regional and local events, and even offering some intellectual and research guidance in the form of a good Communication World product, as well as credible, rigorous salary surveys and the kind of benchmarking stuff Ragan won't bother with ... as well as accreditation and an awards program.

It actually doesn't seem all that difficult to figure out what IABC's role is in the modern communication landscape.

Does it?

No, it's not difficult to figure out at all. Which is why this is so baffling and so frustrating for those of us who used to get so much benefit out of membership in IABC.

I also found it interesting that the only way to listen to the recorded conference call requires you to download a proprietary WebEx player, because the audio file isn't in the global standard MP3 format. Who do these people think they are?

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