PRESIDENT’S COLUMN – MAY 2013

By Shannon Frederick, ABC, IABC/Tulsa President

IABC/Tulsa’s Membership Co-Chair, Summer Austin, called a few weeks ago with some good news: our local chapter has reached a milestone with a roster that currently boasts 75 members.

Let me put that into perspective for you. Assuming we retain all of our current members and we add one more person, we’ll no longer qualify as a small chapter; we’ll be a medium-sized chapter.

This is great news, yes, and it forced me to do some deep thinking. In order for our chapter to add that one more golden member, we’re going to have to get out and recruit. What would make someone join IABC? Why did I join 13 years ago? Why do I stay a member? Here’s what I came up with:

  • Networking – Expanding my social network, as well as fostering the strong relationships I’ve already built, is the No. 1 reason that I joined IABC and choose to keep my membership current. There’s always someone in the IABC family who can offer advice on a work situation, job search, chapter business or just about life in general. It’s nice to know so many people who share my passion for this industry!
  • Accreditation – This won’t apply to all members (though I wish that it did), but those of us who have earned the distinction of Accredited Business Communicators must retain our membership. It’s simply part of the deal with nearly any professional organization that offers accreditation. No complaints here, though. Being an ABC has opened my eyes to a whole new crop of talented professionals within the profession – and you’ve already heard how much I like networking.
  • Professional development – When you’re at your desk all day, it’s hard to stay current on trends in the industry and find time to learn new skills. IABC/Tulsa offers some of the best professional development opportunities in the world. It’s true – remember we received an award for our PD efforts. And let’s not forget the conferences, distance learning opportunities and published materials that IABC affords to its members.
  • Mentoring – When I was first getting my toes wet as a professional communicator, it was through involvement in IABC that allowed me to build relationships with some amazing mentors. These seasoned professionals helped me to build my skills for work; fostered my passion for IABC and encouraged me to take on leadership roles at the chapter level; and one very important mentor (you know who you are) pushed me to prepare for the ABC exam. Wouldn’t you like someone to take an interest in your career and help you to be the best you can be?!

Do these thoughts resonate for you? If they don’t, and even if they do, please visit our Facebook page and tell us why you choose to be a member of IABC.

Then let’s all get to work recruiting member No. 76 and pushing our Small Chapter of the Year* to medium-sized!

*P.S. We were also the 2013 International Chapter of the Year…just in case you haven’t heard.