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.