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Be ready for the expanding marketplace: Career paths for the professional communicator IABC International Conference New York, NY USA 22 – 25 June 08


Presenters Anna M. Willey, ABC Chair, IABC Accreditation Council

Ned Lundquist, ABC Vice Chair, IABC Accreditation Council

Meryl David, ABC Director of Asia/Pacific, IABC Accreditation Council

Mary M. Hills, ABC Director of Marketing, IABC Accreditation Council

Š 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Do not fall into the error of the artisan who boasts of twenty years of experience in their craft when in fact they have had only ONE year of experience, twenty times. Coined from the novel, Shibumi, by Trevanian

Š 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Session Objectives • Conduct the communicator’s competency audit • Identify steps to enhance your competencies • Build your skills with accreditation • Q&A

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Communicator’s Competency Model The model • Is directed to post-baccalaureate practitioners • Assumes mastering of basic skills in – Personal effectiveness – Academic learning – Workplace protocols

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Communicator’s Competency Model Professional Development Guide • Communication skills • Management skills • Knowledge area skills

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Communicator’s Competency Model Four Levels of Professional Development • Level 1 – Entry coordinator – 1 – 4 years

• Level 2 – Entry/management – 5 – 9 years

• Level 3 – Mid Manager/specialist – 10 – 15 years

• Level 4 – Senior Communicator – 16 + years

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Build Your Skills Learning Opportunities • Continuing education • Accreditation, certificates • Workshops, seminars, conferences • Volunteering • Networking • Reading

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Build Your Skills Everyday activities • Workplace • Personal / home • Extra curricular, volunteering

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Build Your Skills with Accreditation • Accreditation is IABC’s professional credential program. • Measures a practitioner’s ability to think and plan strategically and manage a communication function. • Successful candidates are designated an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC).

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Build Your Skills With Accreditation The Global Standard. A Personal Statement.

• Covers all communication disciplines • Across multiple and diverse cultures • In small to large organizations • Profit and not-for-profit organizations

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Build Your Skills With Accreditation • Value of Accreditation Study conducted in 2007. • The study is international with responses from 7 countries. • ABCs and their employers/clients were surveyed on the value of accreditation and strategic communication to the individual, the organization and the profession. • Findings provide a benchmark in which the value of accreditation and strategic communication is recognized by ABCs and their employers/clients.

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Build Your Skills With Accreditation • Methodology – Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted in the fall of 2007. – In November and December of 2007, quantitative web-based surveys were conducted with ABCs and their supervisors and clients. – LCWA Research Group completed their report in mid-January 2008.

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Value/benefit of Accreditation to the Individual

Enhanced resume Increased my confidence Raised my credibility Gained peer recognition 0%

Š 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Value/benefit of Accreditation to a Supervisor 1. Increases credibility to department and organization 2. Increases understanding of effective communication practices 3. Increases effectiveness of internal and external communication 4. Communicates strategically 5. Brings new knowledge and skills to the job 6. Receives more respect within the industry

Š 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Value/benefit of Accreditation to Clients 1. Increases understanding of effective communication practices 2. Gives more credibility to my organization 3. Communicates strategically 4. Bring new knowledge and skills 5. Receives more respect within the industry

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What work activities do supervisors value? 1. Knows the standards/best practices 2. Applies new knowledge and skills 3. Understands the business needs 4. Ensures, evaluation measurement and monitoring are part of communication plans

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What work activities do clients value? 1. Uses the strategic communication process 2. Ensures evaluation, measurement and monitoring are part of communication plan 3. Shows positive outcomes/strategic value of activities 4. Understands the business needs

Š 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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ABCs’ Changes in Work Approaches

Ensure evaluation, measurement and monitoring are part of the plan Use the strategic communication process Measures output, outake and outcome more effectively Show positive outcome/strategic value of activities 0%

Š 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Value to the Communication Profession Providing a professional global standard Increasing the credibility of the profession Setting an ethical standard Reinforcing the role of strategic communicaiton Increasing respect for the profession 0%

Š 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Value of Accreditation • ABCs increase credibility and respect to themselves, their departments and organizations, their industries and to the communication profession. • Accredited Business Communicators add strategic value to their organizations and clients by practicing strategic communication management • IABC’s accreditation program is gateway to learning and advancing the practice of strategic communication management

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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ABC Preferred

ABC Preferred

Š 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Next Steps • Be the artisan who is an informed, growing practitioner. • Develop your career plan. Ask an ABC for input. • Is accreditation part of your professional development? • Visit www.iabc.com/abc to learn about accreditation. • Review your competency audit. Do you have the skills and experience to offer your employer or client what they value most in communication activities?

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Questions?

Š 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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June, 2008

Career Paths for the Professional Communicator Charting a path for a professional communication career is different for every individual, but like having a map for a long journey, it is important for everyone to understand what their destination is, to enable best results. This year, the IABC Accreditation Council is pleased to participate in the International Conference by conducting a session on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. to help communicators define their career paths to meet the needs of an expanding marketplace. This session will focus on: Ø Competencies expected of communication professionals globally Ø Gaining skills through the workplace, volunteer efforts, education and accreditation Ø The value of accreditation to the individual, organization and global marketplace. The recent Value of Accreditation Study, a study of ABCs, their supervisors and their clients (sponsored by IABC/Chicago and the L.C. Williams and Associates Research Group) noted there was significant value in the accreditation process including: ü ABCs increase credibility and respect for themselves, their departments and organizations, their industries and for the communication profession. ü Accredited Business Communicators add strategic value to their organizations and clients by practicing strategic communication management. ü IABC’s accreditation program is gateway to learning and advancing the practice of strategic communication management.

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In addition, the Accreditation Council has developed two documents to help communication professionals conduct their own competency audit and identify steps to review opportunities to advance careers: Part One – Communicator’s Competency Model: A guide with brief descriptions of the communication, management and knowledge area competencies expected of communication professionals as their careers progress in four levels (level 1 – 1 to 4 years; level 2 – 5 to 9 years; level 3 – 10 to 15 years; and level 4 – 16+ years) or from entry to senior positions. This model is directed to the post-baccalaureate communication professional and assumes an individual is mastering the basic skills necessary in all occupations – those pertaining to personal effectiveness, academic and workplace. Part Two – Professional Development Skills Index: A guide which outlines opportunities to learn including: continuing education, IABC accreditation, certificates, workshops, seminars, conferences, reading, networking and volunteering. It gives communication professionals examples of everyday activities that will enhance skills and build confidence in their communication practice. Our Council recommends professionals mastering competencies in Level 2, 5 – 9 years, as strong candidates for entering the accreditation learning experience. My sincerest appreciation to the 2007-08 Accreditation Council, in particular Mary Hills, ABC, Marketing Director, Ned Lundquist, ABC, Vice Chair and Meryl David, ABC, Director, International Accreditation Asia/Pacific for assisting with this presentation. Special appreciation to former Council Chair, Mary Ann McCauley, ABC, who has been instrumental with the development of the competency documentation and Gail Pickard, ABC, Director, who was key with her work in launching the Accreditation Completion Program and providing the competency model that served as our foundation. Best wishes as you consider ways to manage your professional career to reach all your personal goals.

Anna M. Willey, ABC Chair, IABC Accreditation Council


PART ONE: Communicator’s Competency Model This guide provides brief descriptions of the communication, management and knowledge area competencies expected of communication professionals as their careers progress. The model is directed to the post-baccalaureate communication professional and assumes an individual is mastering the basic skills necessary in all occupations – those pertaining to personal effectiveness, academic and workplace.*

© May, 2008 IABC Accreditation Council


Working from left to right on the grid gives the competencies expected for a communicator from entry to senior level positions. Skill competency should be viewed as cumulative across levels. COMMUNICATION SKILLS

LEVEL 1 Entry Coordinator 1 - 4 Years

LEVEL 2 Entry Manager/specialist 5 - 9 Years

LEVEL 3 Mid Manager/specialist 10 - 15 Years

Writing/editing • News releases • Features • Reports • Correspondence • AV, video Web content/writing

·

Clear, concise writing style · appropriate to audience and genre; secure grasp of spelling/ grammar/ punctuation fundamentals

Clear, concise writing style · appropriate to audience and genre; secure grasp of spelling/ grammar/ punctuation fundamentals

·

Knowledgeable about web writing best practices and user-centered web design

·

Able to assist with planning · and developing, and coordinate the effective implementation of web content that meets business goals and user needs

Writing proposals (Request For Proposal (RFP))

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Assists in gathering and maintaining data files, doing research

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Monitors appropriateness of responses

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Manages development

Research

·

Manages production

·

Understands research function · and role in planning. Assists in gathering data, doing research

·

© May, 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

Directs research, conducts and analyzes as appropriate

LEVEL 4 Senior communicator 16 + Years

Able to present complex issues · appropriately for target audiences

Able to plan, develop and coordinate the effective implementation of web content that meets business goals and user needs

Set and monitor writing standards

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Determines role of the web in strategic planning

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Develops and sets strategic direction of RFP process in alignment with business goals.

·

Participates in management's assessment of the appropriateness of responding or not responding to RFPs, in alignment with business goals

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Uses research to set strategic direction and appropriate measurement tactics

·

Uses research to set strategic direction and appropriate measurement tactics


COMMUNICATION SKILLS

LEVEL 1 Entry Coordinator 1 - 4 Years

Counsel others and prepare presentation materials for others; Confident contributing in meetings

LEVEL 3 Mid Manager/specialist 10 - 15 Years

·

Knowledgeable about the principles, methods and techniques of graphic design, and its role in communications

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Ensures design considerations · are part of strategic communications planning

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Oversees the work of designers

·

·

Ability to plan and edit content.

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Directs editorial planning and policy development.

·

·

Supervise layout and design ·

Manage multiple publications

Presentations • Speech writing • Visuals

Graphic design

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·

© May, 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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LEVEL 4 Senior communicator 15 + Years ·

Prepare presentation materials for others; Confident contributing in meetings

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Newsletter/journal editing/layout

LEVEL 2 Entry Manager/specialist 5 - 9 Years

· ·

Able to prepare effective package of presentation materials Able to present to large groups

Guides the strategic development of design projects and ensures integration with the communications plan. Oversees the work of designers

· ·

Provides strategic direction in use · of newsletters to achieve business goals

Prepares presentations aligned with the strategic goals of the business Confident presenting to senior management Ensures that graphic design works with other elements to support strategic communication objectives

Provides strategic direction in use of newsletters to achieve business goals


MANAGEMENT SKILLS

LEVEL 1 Entry Coordinator 1 - 4 Years

Ethics (IABC Code of Ethics; sense · of ethical responsibility)

Communication Planning • Conduct audience research • Identify issues/risks • Set objectives • Include change management • Develop strategic approach • Develop key messages • Develop budget • Develop implementation/ tactical plan • Develop measurement / evaluation

· ·

Crisis Communication

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Sense of ethical responsibility

LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 Entry Manager/specialist Mid Manager/specialist 5 - 9 Years 10 - 15 Years ·

Develops basic, tactical plan · Executes tactics, with · direction · · ·

Provides support as directed ·

© May, 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

Applies ethical guidelines when making decisions — is an organizational values manager

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Develops complete plan Ensures alignment to corporate goals, priorities Anticipates business needs Identifies and champions best practices Provides hands-on execution as needed and appropriate

· ·

Provides planning and implementation. Offers direction as needed

·

·

· ·

LEVEL 4 Senior communicator 15 + Years

Applies ethical guidelines when making decisions — is an organizational values manager

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Provides strategic direction Identifies and sets standards for best practices Ensures communication function aligns with other corporate business areas and initiatives for maximum strategic effectiveness Evaluates effectiveness of communication and recommends changes in implementation as needed

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Leads planning and execution Advises management

·

·

· ·

·

·

Is willing to act as an ethics advocate in organizational decision-making. Takes a stand on ethical issues Establishes strategic approach Identifies and sets standards for best practices Ensures communication function aligns with other corporate business areas and initiatives for maximum strategic effectiveness Evaluates effectiveness of communication and recommends changes in implementation as needed Leads planning and execution Advises management


MANAGEMENT SKILLS

LEVEL 1 Entry Coordinator 1 - 4 Years

Publication management • Brochures • Newsletters • Magazines • Annual Reports • Special publications

·

Database/distribution systems

LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 Entry Manager/specialist Mid Manager/specialist 5 - 9 Years 10 - 15 Years

LEVEL 4 Senior communicator 15 + Years

Assists in gathering data, · doing research · Writes content as directed · Manages design, production, distribution as directed

Sets editorial policies Develops action plans Provides strategic direction

·

Provides strategic direction

· · ·

Maintains systems Updates as needed Researches new data

· · ·

Determines systems Monitors effectiveness Recommends changes/additions

· ·

Provides strategic direction · Provides strategic direction Assesses data, provides analysis

Project tracking/measurement

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Ability to manage tracking system

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Establishes measurements. · Plan and manage tracking system

Provides strategic direction

Time management

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Meets deadlines

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Develops timeline based on · project priorities

Sets priorities, develops timeline · Sets priorities, develops for projects timeline for diverse projects

Vendor Management

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Works with approved vendors

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Manages approved vendor relationships

Conducts vendor selection and review

· ·

© May, 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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· Counsels on strategic direction

· Provides strategic direction

· Conducts vendor selection and review


MANAGEMENT SKILLS

LEVEL 1 Entry Coordinator 1 - 4 Years

LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 Entry Manager/specialist Mid Manager/specialist 5 - 9 Years 10 - 15 Years

Budgeting

· Works within set budget

Professional Development

· Explores diverse interests and · experiences to focus career goals. · Stays abreast of industry changes

© May, 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

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Sets project budgets

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Identifies career interests, · options & strengths and takes steps to pursue career goals

LEVEL 4 Senior communicator 16 + Years

Prioritize projects by Return-oninvestment (ROI)

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Sets overall strategy by ROI

Seeks out additional development to further career goals

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Seeks out additional development opportunities, often contributing to industry’s body of knowledge


KNOWLEDGE AREA SKILLS MARKETING COMMUNICATION Marketing communication § Advertising § Sales promotion § Public relations § Direct Marketing § Events/experiences § Personal selling CORPORATE REPUTATION Brand management

LEVEL 1 Entry Coordinator 1 - 4 Years

· · ·

·

·

LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 Entry Manager/specialist Mid Manager/specialist 5 - 9 Years 10 - 15 Years

Assists in gathering data, doing research Writes copy, supports planning and execution Works with designers/ agencies to manages production. Supports sales efforts

· ·

Understands business’s brand elements, positioning and key relationships. Ensures standards are met

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Provides writing, editing and production support

· ·

· ·

LEVEL 4 Senior communicator 16 + Years

Develops plans for execution · Manages projects. · Delegates and supervises projects Conducts research Provides input to sales efforts

Sets strategic direction Assumes hands-on implementation as needed

· Counsels on strategic direction · Assumes hands-on implementation as needed

Manages brand standards · and ensures brand positioning is integrated into · all plans and implementation

Provides input on brand direction Manages brand standards and ensures brand positioning is integrated into all plans and implementation

· Sets brand direction

Provides strategic direction Provides analysis of effectiveness

· Ensures strategic direction integrates will overall organizational direction

· Manages brand standards and ensures brand positioning is integrated into all plans and implementation

INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS Employee communications

·

© May, 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

Develops plans Manages implementation

· ·


KNOWLEDGE AREA SKILLS PUBLIC RELATIONS Media relations

LEVEL 1 Entry Coordinator 1 - 4 Years · Writes news releases, advisories, etc. · Develops and maintains media lists · Manages distribution

LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 Entry Manager/specialist Mid Manager/specialist 5 - 9 Years 10 - 15 Years Develops plans Develops and maintains relationships with key media Provides strategic direction

· ·

Provides strategic direction Provides analysis of effectiveness

· Ensures strategic direction integrates will overall organizational direction

Provides planning and implementation Offers direction as needed

· ·

Leads planning and execution Advises management

· Leads planning and execution · Advises management

· ·

Leads planning and execution Advises management

·

Provides planning and implementation. Offers direction as needed

· Leads planning and execution · Advises management

· ·

· Issues Management

· Provides support as directed

Crisis Communication Planning

· Provides support as directed

LEVEL 4 Senior communicator 16 + Years

· · ·

Community Relations

· Provides support as directed · Writes content · Assists in event planning and implementation

· ·

Develops plans Manages implementation

· ·

Provides strategic direction Provides analysis of effectiveness

· Ensures strategic direction integrates will overall organizational direction

Investor Relations

· Provides support as directed

·

Provides planning and implementation Offers direction as needed

· ·

Leads planning and execution Advises management

· Leads planning and execution · Advises management

·

© May, 2008 IABC Accreditation Council


KNOWLEDGE AREA SKILLS Government Relations

LEVEL 1 Entry Coordinator 1 - 4 Years ·

Provides support as directed

LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 Entry Manager/specialist Mid Manager/specialist 5 - 9 Years 10 - 15 Years · ·

Labour Relations

·

Provides support as directed

· ·

CONSULTING/ MANAGEMENT Consulting skills/ problem solving

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Participates as directed in implementation of solutions

·

Provides planning and implementation. Offers direction as needed

· ·

Provides planning and implementation. Offers direction as needed

· ·

Consults with clients (internal or external) to determine business objectives for project or initiative and advises on strategic communications approach

·

Leads planning and execution Advises management

LEVEL 4 Senior communicator 16 + Years · ·

Leads planning and execution Advises management

· ·

Consults with senior management and advises on overall strategic approach to communications aligned with corporate-wide business objectives

· ·

Leads planning and execution Advises management Leads planning and execution Advises management

Consulting skills/ problem solving Consults with senior management and advises on overall strategic approach to communications aligned with corporate-wide business objectives

*Personal effectiveness – interpersonal skills, integrity, professionalism, initiative, dependability/reliability, and willingness to learn. Academic – reading, writing, mathematics, science/technology, listening/speaking, critical/analytic thinking, active learning and basic computer skills. Workplace – teamwork, adaptability/flexibility, customer focus, planning/organizing, creative thinking, problem solving/decision making, working with tools/technology, workplace computer applications, scheduling/coordination, checking, examining and recording and business fundamentals. Sources Competency Model Clearinghouse, http://www.careeronestop.org/COMPETENCYMODEL ; Focus Groups – IABC members

© May, 2008 IABC Accreditation Council


PART TWO: Professional Development Building Your Skills Engage professional development by building your skills and discovering your talents. Opportunities to learn include: § Continuing education § IABC Accreditation, certificates § Workshops, seminars, conferences § Reading § Networking, and § Volunteering. In addition, there are many opportunities in your everyday activities that can enhance your skills and build your confidence in your communication practice. For example: Level 1 – Entry Coordinator ( 1-4 years)

Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø

Ask your manager to give you projects with S.M.A.R.T. (Specific/Measurable/Action-oriented/Realistic/Timely) objectives; design S.M.A.R.T. objectives if the project has none. Ask to be involved in a hiring interview process. Master a time management system. Capture meetings notes for a group and develop summary points, next steps and action items. Discuss work ideas/techniques with peers. Find ways to assist with communication work load in your company or department. Set personal goals and planning to practice project planning. Assist colleague/manager with planning a project. Ask for low risk event/project to develop skills. Ask to work a news conference. Develop critical thinking skills by taking past projects and evaluating outcomes. Do simulation training via tutorials or planning software. Join a brainstorming activity at work or in an organization. Observe outstanding communicators in action. Immerse yourself: ask to read communication competition entries from colleagues and others in the profession; learn about the other communication functions. Volunteer to participate on committees.

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council


Level 2 – Entry Manager/ Specialist (5-9 years)

Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø

Level 3 – Mid Management/ Specialist ( 10-15 years)

Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø

Begin to pursue IABC accreditation. Develop routine or standard operating procedures (SOP) for a communication function. Ask supervisor to assign you specific projects in your area of interest. Observe a vendor review meeting. Ask to manage communication support staff or intern. Capture routine communication activities and develop templates for them. For instance, develop an activity report or event checklist. Find opportunities to do presentations and/or public speaking. Serve in a financial function in extra-curricular, non-profit or professional association such as IABC. Write an article about an organizations vision, mission, goals and values. Ask to be on a crisis team. Offer to develop a new media channel or help develop a communication measurement tool for an organization or group. Gather and organize relevant info for a meeting. Prioritize activities and delegate lower value tactical activities. Assist in developing, managing and measuring projects. Assist in engaging cross-divisional teams. Develop working relationships within your communication group and throughout your organization. Coach others to pursue IABC accreditation. Ask to be part of a task force that investigates, recommends or implements new procedures. Write a white paper on industry trends. Ask to be responsible for an audit of your communication area. Confirm your specialty skills and develop as a subject-matter expert (SME). Recommend ideas to improve efficiency and effectiveness within your department or company and manage change. Ask to work on a research project that involves integration of processes or departments. Serve as a mentor to Level 1 and 2 practitioners. Write communication case studies, Volunteer to judge communication competitions. Determine a need and offer to develop a communication training program for non-communicators or another communication program that benefits the company.

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council


Level 4 – Senior Communicator (16+ years)

Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø

Develop a network of subject-matter experts (SMEs) in cross knowledge areas to enhance innovation and creativity. Contribute thought leadership through articles, seminars, workshops and conferences. Serve on boards of an organization or professional association such as IABC. Write a book. Volunteer to lead a group within your company or an outside organization. Manage communication projects, lead committees or supervise work of others. Speak at local colleges or universities. Coach younger practitioners.

© 2008 IABC Accreditation Council

IABC Career Path  

Description of where a communicators career should be based on the number of years working.

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