President’s Column – February 2017

by Megan Patterson, IABC/Tulsa President

MeganLewisWhen a crisis occurs, who do you call? For me, even now, my go-to is still my mother. Now granted, that’s in my personal life. If I called mom with a work-related crisis situation, we’d have an issue. But whether personal or work-related, we know all too well that “stuff” happens.

The silver lining is that through crisis situations, leaders often emerge – sometimes likely candidates, sometimes unexpected. These people help guide the situation, lend stability and steer an organization in the right direction.

In last month’s professional development meeting, Joe Williams talked a lot about leadership – what it means to him and what it takes to enact change. Many of the stories he shared resonated with me, but two leadership-related quotes in particular have stuck (full disclosure here that I’m paraphrasing these).

On leadership, Joe’s definition gets to the point. He says, “A leader is someone who can move people’s feet.” How true is that? You don’t have to be the CEO of an organization or even a manager of people to be a change-maker. All a leader really needs is the ability to influence.

In a different story, Joe described another man’s thoughts on sailing. The man said the reason he sails is because he “loves being surrounded by water and having complete control of a boat, moving it forward, in an environment that he has no control over.” I keep going back to this and can’t help thinking how closely this resembles our lives as communicators. I have to admit though; I don’t always feel like I have complete control of the ship. The point is, no matter the external factors, we can still control the message, control our delivery and lead others to do the same.

Join us next week, as we learn more about crisis communication planning from Deb Hileman, president and CEO of the Institute for Crisis Management. We’ll learn how to plan and prepare for potential crisis situations and how to lead an organization during and after a crisis. And if all else fails, just call my mom.

January Free Event: Cup of Joe with Joe, an informal session with Joe Williams

Join us for an informal session with our chapter’s own Joe Williams, where he will share what he has found to be true in his 40-plus year career.

Joe will share snippets, stories and truisms from his varied career and life experiences in a sit-down, intimate and up-close setting with chapter members and guests. Over a cup of coffee.

This isn’t a boring, historical recount of events in his life, but rather sage advice and thoughtful perspectives for anyone seeking greater clarity and application to their own professional and personal growth.

RSVP now to fill your cup on Jan. 25.

  • When: Wednesday, Jan. 25 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Where: Foolish Things, 1001 S. Main St., Tulsa, OK 74119
  • Fee:  Free to attend

About Joe
Joe Williams is a communications consultant to leading firms around the world. He began Joe Williams Communications in 1985 in Bartlesville, providing research, training and consulting services to world-wide clients ranging from General Dynamics to SaskPower (Canada), from Butterfield Bank (Bermuda) to Wake Forest University, from McGraw Hill to Cirque du Soleil.

He holds more than 125 national communication awards, including 12 Gold Quills from the International Association of Business Communicators, scores of Bronze Quills, several ADDY’s, and numerous awards for his writing and design work from organizations such as the Art Director’s Club of Tulsa, the New York Art Directors Club, Chicago Communication Collaborative, PRSA and others. In 2009, IABC named him a Fellow, the highest honor that organization bestows.

He is the recipient of the Allied Arts and Humanities Council award for civic and humanitarian service and was awarded the Mayor’s Award as the outstanding citizen of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He has been an adjunct lecturer at OSU Tulsa and has served on the Director’s Advisory Board of the School of Media & Strategic Communications at Oklahoma State University and the Dean’s Board of Advice for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and advertising management and a master’s in mass communications from Oklahoma State, where he was a Paul Miller Scholar and named the outstanding graduate student in the School of Journalism and Broadcasting.

February Luncheon – Prepare and Prevent, or Repair and Repent: Crisis Communication Planning for Today’s Professional

Join us Feb. 15 as veteran crisis communication expert Deb Hileman, CMP, shares the latest trends in crisis communication planning and preparedness. In this fast-paced presentation, Deb will talk about how to identify issues and address them before they go public and best practices to mitigate and manage crises when they do go public. Learn about the most common crises faced by companies today and how to develop strategies to protect the brand when (not if) they occur. She also will share insights from the most recent crisis management research conducted by her firm, the Institute for Crisis Management, where she serves as president and CEO.

  • When: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Tulsa Country Club, 701 N. Union Ave., Tulsa, OK 74127
  • Fee:
    • IABC Member fee $25
    • IABC Non-Member/Guest fee $35
    • Student fee $15

About Deb
A business leader and certified communication management professional (CMP) with 30 years’ experience in public and private companies and non-profit organizations, Deb has led high-performing communications teams in health care, manufacturing, insurance and financial services and higher education, among others. She is a FEMA-trained Incident Commander with experience as a national EMS public information officer during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005), Dean (2007), Ike and Gustav (2008).

Known as a voice of calm in the midst of chaos, Deb has earned a reputation as a trusted strategist and advisor to C-suite executives, operations and other organizational stakeholders. She has successfully managed strategic communications for business issues including natural disasters, labor strikes, criminal prosecutions and federal civil investigations, social media attacks, workplace violence, executive malfeasance, investor litigation, wrongful death and patient abuse investigations, mergers, acquisitions and corporate bankruptcies, among others.

Deb is a longtime member of IABC, where she served as a chapter president and regional director-at-large. She is Vice Chair of the Global Communication Certification Council and a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

To learn more about Deb and the Institute for Crisis Management, visit

President’s Column – January 2017

by Megan Patterson, IABC/Tulsa President

MeganLewisHappy New Year friends! I hope your 2017 is off to a great start and is full of all the excitement and promise that new beginnings bring. Keeping with the New Year’s spirit – I’m kicking the clutter from this letter and keeping it short and sweet. Please take a few minutes to read the remainder of our newsletter; it is jam-packed with information about upcoming IABC/Tulsa events, international conferences and ways to make the most of your IABC membership in 2017.

To kick off our programing this year, we’re offering a fantastic free event on Jan. 25 with IABC/Tulsa’s very own Joe Williams, founder of Joe Williams Communications, recipient of more than 125 national communications awards and an IABC Fellow (the highest honor given by IABC). Grab “A Cup of Joe with Joe” and gain valuable advice and perspectives learned from his diverse 40-plus year communications career.

Don’t forget to turn in your Bronze Quill Award entries by Jan. 16 to get recognized for your hard work in 2016, and join us in February to learn more about crisis communication planning and management.

We have great events lined up this year and hope you will join us as we all work to improve our communications skills and expand our professional networks in 2017.

Meet a Member featuring Ashley Cleveland

Title: Communications Consultant

Company: ONE Gas

Why do you love your job? I work with amazing people who I learn from every day.

How long have you been a member of IABC? I joined when I started with ONEOK in 2011.

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? Yes, I’m on the board now as the VP of Special Projects.

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? The Bronze Quill awards are always a great time to celebrate and meet new people. I also really loved the writing workshop with Ann Wylie – I still keep her suggestions in mind when crafting messages.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? IABC has been incredibly valuable for me professionally. The monthly events always have a lot of great information I can use at work, and I’ve met many wonderful people through my involvement with the organization.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? I love to travel and go to concerts.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? For me, it doesn’t get much better than Hawaii.

Who is your favorite musical artist? I’m not sure this is my favorite artist, but I’m on an American Aquarium kick at the moment.

Which website do you visit daily? Does Instagram count? I’m amazed at people who are able to make a career out of their social media presence.

What is your favorite restaurant? I’m from California, so I love In-N-Out and this little Mexican restaurant called Miguel’s. They are mandatory stops every time I go back.

How will we recognize you at the next IABC function? I’ll be the short girl with my hair in a giant bun who is likely cracking a joke about something.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is…increasingly strategic. People want to feel like they’re part of the conversation, so communicators have to find a way to speak to and with their audiences rather than at them. And sometimes that means getting creative and finding new ways to reach them.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Keep looking for opportunities to learn. Whether that means taking the lead on a new project, finding a mentor at your place of work or attending one of the monthly IABC events, arming yourself with information will pay off in the end.

Meet a Member featuring Aliya Hargrave

Title: Senior Learning and Development Specialist

Company: Direct Energy

Why do you love your job? The people! The culture here at DE is amazing. The leadership team is passionate about personal and professional growth and providing the necessary tools to do so. The unlimited vacation is also a major bonus!

How long have you been a member of IABC? I’m a newbie. I joined in 2015.

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? I just recently joined the board and serve as VP of Awards.

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? I have to say, the Spelling Bee(r) held at Fassler Hall was a blast! But, I’m generally impressed by anyone who can spell “definitely” on the first try and without autocorrect.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? The articles in the resources page on by itself are a goldmine. They are endless and have helped out tremendously in a pinch. Don’t know a lot about crisis communication? No sweat. Type it into the search and off you go!

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? Travel and eat.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? It’s a tossup between Ireland and Thailand. I can eat my way through both.

Who is your favorite musical artist? This question is too difficult. There are too many amazing artists to choose just one.

Which website do you visit daily? Right now, ESPN. I am getting KILLED in my fantasy league!

What is your favorite restaurant? Stonehorse in Utica Square.

How will we recognize you at the next IABC function? I’m short but loud. If you can’t see me, you can certainly hear me.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is…evolving. It wasn’t too long ago when the mindset was that communicators were simply informers (or event planners). Today’s leaders now view us for who were are — strategic partners who are vital to the success of the organization.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Seneca, a Roman philosopher, once said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” This is also one of Oprah’s favorite quotes. My advice is to really chew on this quote. Consider what “luck” means to you and what you can start doing today to influence your own success as a communicator.

Our gift to you – Save on membership in December!

Join IABC/Tulsa during the month of December and we will waive your $40 application fee. You can apply online or call toll-free (800) 776-4222. Corporate memberships are also available.

IABC/Tulsa offers benefits such as:

  • Local professional development events
  • Unique networking opportunities
  • Community involvement (example: Gift of Communication)
  • Special recognition through the Bronze Quill Awards
  • Access to IABC member-only items such as Communication World and free e-book Give Voice to What Unites Us, by Sheri Rosen, ABC, IABC Fellow

For more information, contact Natasha Mitchell, VP of Membership at

President’s Column – December 2016

by Megan Patterson, IABC/Tulsa President

MeganLewisHoliday cards are ordered, gifts are purchased and my stretchy pants are easily accessible. Christmas prep is nearly complete. But Christmas is one thing…preparing for a new year is quite another.

Most people love the start of a new year. I’m typically one of them. But what if the current year was really great? Do we always have to be so ready to move on? Personally, I need a little more time to step back, reflect and thank the people who helped make 2016 a year to remember.

It’s been a year of firsts for IABC/Tulsa, and a year that our board and membership should be proud of. Our professional development schedule was jam packed with high-caliber events such as February’s inbound marketing luncheon with Jesse Boudiette of Propeller Communications; September’s meeting with Rhett Laubach on presentation secrets; and the November Communicators Summit focused on reputation management. In March, we held our annual Bronze Quill Awards ceremony where we received the highest number of award entries and had the highest attendance in IABC/Tulsa history. August brought IABC/Tulsa’s first Adult Spelling Bee(r) with more than 50 participants and a packed house. So F-U-N!

IABC/Tulsa also was internationally recognized for its outstanding work in communications and professional development at the annual IABC Leadership Institute in February. More recently, we held our annual Gift of Communication event and we joined forces with Tulsa’s top professional organizations at the Acronym Mixer networking event.

I could keep going, but I’ll stop here. See why it’s difficult to say goodbye to 2016? These successes wouldn’t have been possible without our IABC/Tulsa board of directors. These dedicated volunteers choose to give their time to IABC/Tulsa in addition to their already busy work, family and life schedules – and for that, I’m so very thankful.

Happy holidays from all of us at IABC/Tulsa, and cheers to many new adventures in 2017!

2016 Acronym Mixer – Mix & Mingle on Dec. 8


Bring your holiday cheer, your association friends and your business cards!

Join us for a fun night of networking with members from Tulsa’s top professional associations. Meet new friends and catch up with old ones while you enjoy tasty hors d’oeuvres and drinks. You’ll have a chance to win one of five great door prizes that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit (or spirits)!

This event is open to all participating association members and a guest.

Time: Thursday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m.
Location: Living Arts of Tulsa, 307 E. Brady St., Tulsa, OK 74120
Tickets: $20 in advance; $25 at the door (Includes food and one drink ticket.)

Click Here for Tickets

Join IABC Tulsa for Gift of Communication


Date: Thursday, Dec. 1 from 1:30 to 5 p.m.
Location: 58 @ main (next to Foolish Things Coffee), 1001 S. Main St., Tulsa, OK 74119

As a way to give back to the community, IABC/Tulsa is hosting its annual Gift of Communication. This event allows IABC members and others to share their expertise with representatives from nonprofit organizations to help them achieve excellence in corporate communications, public relations, employee communication, marketing communication, public affairs and other forms of business communication.

This event will include consultation and networking with some of the top communications professionals in the Oklahoma/Arkansas areas. Volunteer your time to help local nonprofits reach their communications goals, while learning from other communications professionals in the area.

If you would like to nominate an organization to be included, please contact Ashley Cleveland at 918-770-1060 or by Friday, Nov. 18. We will announce the participating agencies late November.