Below is the schedule at a glance for the World Conference 2021, taking place 28-30 June. As an international association, please note that the times listed include:
The schedule is subject to change.
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Gift of Communication (Americas Audience)
FORMAT: Pre-Conference Session
Each year, the IABC Foundation holds a Gift of Communication event during the World Conference. During the Gift event, conference attendees will work with the non-profits to provide pro bono communication counsel and training to help address communication challenges. We are working to select non-profits from each of IABC’s eight regions, making this a truly global event and to provide an opportunity for attendees to work with international organizations. Registration will be open to all attendees in May, but will be limited so be sure to register fast!
The Vaccine Race: A Story of Collaboration & Communication
SPEAKERS: Sally Susman, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Pfizer Inc.
FORMAT: Keynote Presentation
This keynote session is sponsored by
When the high-stakes race to find an effective COVID-19 vaccine took hold in 2020, the biopharmaceutical industry quickly became the world’s greatest hope for beating a global pandemic. Sally Susman, Pfizer’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, and her team worked to rally colleagues, the industry and the world alike. As the pandemic turned everyone’s lives upside down, it also changed the pharmaceutical industry forever. The need for a compelling and smart communications strategy had never been more urgent.
Sally will share her insider’s perspective on Pfizer’s response to the pandemic, and how she and her team decided to throw out conventional tactics and industry standards, and embrace bold ideas. She will reflect on how more than 30 years in the communications industry prepared her for one of the most inspiring moments in her career. From Pfizer’s “Science Will Win” campaign to the decision to eschew mainstream media and publish an open letter from Pfizer’s CEO on LinkedIn – hear how Pfizer’s communications team rose to the unprecedented challenge.
As Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Sally Susman leads engagement with all of Pfizer’s external stakeholders overseeing global policy, communications, government relations, corporate responsibility, investor relations and the Chief Patient Office. She also serves as vice chair of The Pfizer Foundation.
Before joining Pfizer in 2007, Susman held several senior communications and government relations roles at Estée Lauder Companies and the American Express Company, including a posting in London with responsibility for all of Europe. Earlier in her career, she spent eight years on Capitol Hill focused on international trade issues and was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs in the Clinton Administration.
Currently, Susman serves as co-chair of The International Rescue Committee, one of the world's largest humanitarian aid organizations, and on the board of WPP, the U.K.-based global advertising and marketing company. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a frequent commentator in newspapers, magazines, podcasts and broadcast programs and was named a 2019 Top Voice on LinkedIn.
Susman graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in government and studied at the London School of Economics.
Speed Networking, Powered By Gatheround
FORMAT: Networking Activity
We know there is no replacing in-person networking receptions where you can mingle around the room, so we're bringing you the next best thing - speed networking! We'll match you with one of your peers in each round of this guided networking. Questions will be there to guide your conversation in each match you make. This will be a great chance to connect with old friends and make new connections in a different but fun way!
From Covid to Climate: Communicating the Social Transformation We Need Now
SESSION TRACK: Culture; Professional Development; Leadership
SPEAKERS: Susannah Raffe, Climate Communicator, Facilitator & Coach, Self-Employed
FORMAT: Interactive Workshop
It's about time... for change. The planet has put us on notice. We need to simultaneously recover from Covid, address growing inequality, division, racism and all forms of discrimination, AND avert a climate catastrophe. How do communications professionals, with their skills and expertise, fit in to this bigger picture of transforming our world? In this rapid taster session, Susannah will bring her insights from her work on how to talk more effectively about the climate crisis and the big, often divisive challenges of our time. We’ll explore emerging thinking on how we use communications, in it's various forms, to: bring more people (more voices) into the climate and social change conversation, build trust and heal divisions in our society that hold us back from creating a better world, empower audiences to be part of the transformation, and more. Transforming our shared story starts with communication!
Upon completion, participants will be able to:
Susannah is a facilitator, climate communicator, trainer, coach, calm-weaver, compassion advocate and self-confessed social change nerd. She has a background in environmental sociology and for the past six years her work has been focused around how we communicate better about the climate crisis, in a way that brings us together, that invites more people into the climate journey, and that empowers and emboldens us to feel like we can all be part of creating the world we want to see. This began in Australia working in a small team to set up a new organisation called Climate for Change, developing an approach to facilitating conversations about the climate crisis in people's homes with their friends and families. Now living in the UK Susannah seeks to bring her learnings and experience to a wider context, supporting individuals and groups to step into transforming the story we’re all a part of.
Confident Communication For The Communicators
SESSION TRACK: Skills; Professional Development; Communication Strategy
SPEAKERS: Judith Quin, Vocal Confidence Specialist, Your Whole Voice
FORMAT: Interactive Workshop
You work in communications, right? So when was the last time you avoided a challenging conversation? When was the last time you avoided delivering a presentation, speaking in a meeting or at conference, or had your video turned off because you hate being seen? It's about time that ALL company staff know how to verbally communicate with clarity because the stress of speaking up, sharing your voice/ideas/opinions/challenges is destructive to too many people. However, as someone who works in communications there is obviously more pressure for you to be good with your words, to deliver a point clearly, or speak in public with ease and confidence. This doesn't mean that you have those skills though. This session will destroy the myth that public speaking is scary, give you tools to manage nerves when speaking 'in public' and help you turn those challenging conversations from confronting to constructive.
Judith is an award winning vocal confidence specialist, international public speaker, author, and coach. She created Your Whole Voice and the Whole V.O.I.C.E Method™ through combining her skills as a classically trained professional actor, qualified life-coach and holistic practitioner. Judith works largely with 'right-brain' companies (logistic, tech, finance, legal) and individuals who want to enhance their confidence, communication and presentation skills. This improves productivity, engagement and wellbeing at work. With personal experience of working in a wide variety of business atmospheres her flexible, honest and supportive approach is effective with people from all spheres and at all levels. A company with a through-line culture of clear communication is one that retains staff and clients both. Working with Judith creates better communication and presentation skills, better working and client relationships and a lot less stress.
Brand Reimagined: The DNA of Purpose-Driven Content
SESSION TRACK: External Communications; Marketing; Culture
SPEAKERS: Maliha Aqeel, Director, Global Communications & Digital Channels, Fix Network World
Purpose-driven brands see more market share gains, grow their competitive advantage faster and achieve higher employee and customer satisfaction. A global study from Accenture found that consumers support companies whose brand purpose aligns with their beliefs and reject those that don’t. But how do consumers know what is the brand’s purpose? Content! Marketing and Communication own the brand story; it’s about time they placed Purpose in the center of their content strategy. Each piece of content should articulate why the organization exists, what problems it is here to solve and how it creates deeper connections with consumers and the community through the work it does. This session breaks down the DNA of purpose-driven brands with examples of how these brands use content to bring their Purpose to life.
Maliha Aqeel, PMP, SCMP, is Director of Global Communications & Digital Channels at Fix Network World, where she leads multi-channel, integrated communication programs and digital marketing. Previously, she was Assistant Director, Brand, Marketing and Communications at EY. She spent several years in agency before heading communications for the Institute of Corporate Directors. She serves on IABC’s international board of directors and is a past IABC/Toronto President. She has won several IABC Gold Quill and Silver Leaf awards for brand development, content marketing and internal communications, including the Gold Quill “Best of the Best” award in employee engagement for EY’s Tax Canada Bot-a-thon campaign.
Breaking Through Zoom Fatigue To Create Engaging and Meaningful Meetings and Events
SESSION TRACK: Skills; Communication Strategy; Events
SPEAKERS: Jenifer Bice, Senior Director - Event Solutions, Walmart
Do you have enough TIME? Do your audiences? Are you making your content relevant in these days of Zoom fatigue to capture that precious TIME? We’ve all made the shift to virtual over the past year +, and in this session you’ll learn from Walmart, the world’s largest company, about why it was named one of the 10 most innovative brands in events in 2020. You’ll get ideas, tips and real examples about planning virtual events, engaging audiences, infusing creativity and keeping their attention. Because it’s about time we learn from each other and deliver virtual events that engage, inspire, and feel real and meaningful – without creating fatigue. Together, we’ll look at how events are evolving and how we’ll take what we’re learning now into the future, when we can be in person once again.
Jenifer has been in the communications industry for nearly 25 years. Her experiences are vast, including managing communications and events for a national non-profit organization early in her career through her current role as head of creative for Walmart’s Event Solutions team, producing some of the most spectacular corporate events in the world. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to contribute to Camp Fire Boys and Girls, a national non-profit, as well as Sprint (now T-Mobile) and at today’s Fortune 1 company in Walmart. Jenifer has broad experience across communications disciplines, including internal communications, executive communications, strategy, public relations, marketing, film, photography, creative, event production, multimedia design, etc. Her undergraduate degree is in Communication Management from Missouri State University and graduate degree in Management from Webster University. She has been a proud IABC member since college, serving on local boards and as the World Conference chair in 2018.
It's About Time to W.A.T.A! An Energizing Approach to Communication Projects
SESSION TRACK: Internal Communications; Professional Development; Communication Strategy
SPEAKERS: Roxy Tomacder, Corporate Communication & Aloha Experience Manager, King's Hawaiian
What's W.A.T.A!? As communications professionals, we are like "ninjas" behind the scenes defeating challenges and with no expectation for praise. In addition, we are constantly called upon to meet the needs of multiple (if not all) departments within our organizations that we lose sight of our purpose. W.A.T.A! is an acronym representing foundational elements to trigger a focused communications plan. In this session, you're invited to learn this method and apply it to any future communications projects!
Roxy Tomacder is a creative and collaborative leader with a passion for sparking energy and people-focused culture within organizations. She is a communications practitioner with ten years of experience in Internal Communications, Marketing, Social Media, Public Relations, Consumer Affairs, Crisis Management, and Employee Engagement. Roxy is most passionate about motivating underserved champions to believe that they have the power to influence and inspire others.
Roxy currently heads the Corporate Communications department for a food manufacturer and international distributor, King’s Hawaiian. Primarily, she is a strategic communications advisor to her organization’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief People Officer. To date and through the pandemic, her efforts resulted in higher employee connectivity, increased organizational-wide presence of executive leadership, and continuous growth in employer brand reputation.
Water Coolers and Weak Ties: Keeping Informal Networks Alive in a Virtual World
SESSION TRACK: Internal Communications
SPEAKERS: Diana Hong, Managing Director, CRA, Inc.
FORMAT: Interactive Workshop
What the research and our experiences show is that during virtual work, our networks narrow down – our strong ties get stronger and our weak ties get weaker. Even within a team, we find that our day to day fills from more meetings with those whom we closely collaborate with and little to no interaction with others we used to see in hallways, break rooms, cafeterias, near the printer, or coffee machine. But research also shows creativity and career opportunities come from casual collisions – from the expanded network beyond immediate connections or people you know in passing. So how do we reconcile this? We're in an era of work that means it's about time to better leverage hybrid or fully remote work environments. In this session, we'll cover pointers from academia, real-life examples, and suggestions for organizational communications leaders through presentation, exercises, breakout sessions, and live polling.
Upon completion, participants will gain a better understanding of:
Diana advises organizations on effective leadership and change communication, with emphasis on engaging employees virtually and changing behaviors across the organization. Her recent clients include Morgan Stanley, Fannie Mae, American Water, the World Bank Group, KPMG, the American Psychological Association, the Town of Cary (North Carolina), and the Los Angeles Superior Court. Diana has presented about leadership and communication to global audiences and conferences, including IABC. Prior to CRA, she worked in treasury operations, corporate finance, and economic research at the Vanguard Group of Mutual Funds and the US Department of State in Washington, DC, Buenos Aires, and Argentina. Diana holds a Master of Science in Information Science from Pennsylvania State University, as well as a B.A. in International Studies and a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School. She is fluent in Spanish and Korean.
Inclusive Virtual Experiences in a Post-COVID World
SESSION TRACK: External Communications; Professional Development; DE&I
SPEAKERS: Anthony DeVergillo, Internal Digital Communications Associate, Amicus Therapeutics
In 2020, the world was forced to transition from in-person events to fully virtual experiences. This transition started off slow with many unknowns, but over time we adapted and learned what worked best in order for engagement and participation to flourish. In this session, you will learn why the virtual side of events should continue even after the pandemic ends, along with virtual best practices and techniques to be as inclusive as possible. You will have the opportunity to hear stories and personal experiences that highlight the importance of inclusive events and be provided with real-life examples of the beneficial impact it has on participants. I guarantee there are people who want to share their unique perspective at your events, but they cannot physically attend due to medical or transportation issues. So isn’t it about time you bring the world to your events AND bring your events to the world?
Anthony DeVergillo is a motivated communication professional with a focus in the rare disease space. He lives with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a muscle-weakening disease, but he never lets it stop him from advocating for people with disabilities to be fully included in society. Anthony is currently concentrating his energy on the social barriers that the pandemic has brought into the public view, such as the need for a virtual option for every in-person event. After graduating from Rutgers University, Anthony struggled to find a career due to the discrimination behind closed doors against people with disabilities. Amicus Therapeutics was the first to provide him an opportunity to use his abilities as the Internal Digital Communications Associate partnering with employees to unify brand, people, and message. He is also a board member of Our Odyssey, a nonprofit focusing on empowering young adults living with a rare disease with social connection.
The Communicator's Playbook to Support Non-Traditional Leadership
SESSION TRACK: Internal Communications; Culture; Communication Strategy
SPEAKERS: Laurence Simard, Communication advisor, PCN Physio
Are you hoping your organization was a little less hierarchical? Is your organization in the process of flatening its structure? Have you joined a self-organized team? If so, you may be wondering how to maximize your impact as a communication leader in this less traditional business model. Get inspired to reinvent your role as leadership structures shift in your organization. A 200 employees healthcare business lets you in on strategies and tactics that brought efficient communications into its new leadership structure. Get insights on how to: understand how your internal clients will evolve and how to adapt to their changing needs; help colleagues navigate the high information flow by ensuring cohesiveness of the messages, timing and relevance; and coach and provide the right tools to colleagues so they can communicate efficiently. It's about time traditional leadership models evolve, and when they do, communicators will be ready!
Specializing in internal communication, Laurence Simard is devoted to creative strategies that bring results, enhance employee experience and shape corporate culture. In her career, she has supported leaders in private, non-profit and parapublic organizations of more than a thousand employees on different worksites. Laurence Simard is currently the communication leader at healthcare company PCN Physio where she advises on internal communication throughout the company's transition to a more horizontal culture. In her previous roles, she developed and redesigned several internal communication tools for both connected and remote audiences.
Taking the High Road: Creating Injury-Prevention Awareness for Cannabis Users
SESSION TRACK: Marketing; Public Relations (PR); Communication Strategy
SPEAKERS: Kelley Teahen, Vice President, Communications and Marketing, Parachute
Leading up to cannabis legalization in Canada in 2018, there was a concerted public relations effort to show the relative harmlessness of cannabis. As an injury prevention charity, however, Parachute could see from the evidence the harms that increased with more open cannabis use: unintentional childhood exposure in the home and increase in impairment-caused injury on our roads. We received funding from our federal government to address these two issues in national public relations campaigns, but how to reach cannabis users who are dismissive of any kind of fear mongering about their now-legal recreational drug of choice? Parachute VP Kelley Teahen will walk you through the research, campaign development, and execution of campaigns "Know What Impaired Means and "High and Locked," where we used humour and a peer-to-peer approach to reach our audiences. The presentation will use participant polls and chat Q&A to engage with the campaign process and creative asset review.
Kelley Teahen is Vice President, Communications and Marketing at Parachute, Canada's national charity dedicated to injury prevention. She is responsible for all communications at the charity, including national public awareness campaigns created on topics such as concussion management, impaired driving, and safe storage of household poisonings. In 2020, she led two major campaigns addressing injury risk related to now-legal cannabis use in Canada. She previously held senior communications roles at OCAD University (Toronto, Canada), University of Waterloo (Canada), and the Stratford Festival. Prior to that, Kelley worked as a reporter, columnist and editor at the London Free Press, where she won five Ontario Newspaper Awards. Kelley is a graduate of St. Jerome’s University at Waterloo (BA), Dalhousie University (MA, English), and University of King’s College Halifax (Bachelor of Journalism). She is an active member of IABC and holds a certificate in Communications and Public Relations from Western University.
Disinformation: How We Got Here, and What to Do About It
SESSION TRACK: Internal Communications; External Communications; DE&I
SPEAKERS: Deanna Troust, Founder and President, 3 Stories Communications
FORMAT: Interactive Workshop
Disinformation campaigns are threatening lives and democracies around the world. The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building in January showed how easily falsehoods can influence perspectives and behavior, yet we ask: how can people believe things that are so clearly untrue? Falsehoods can seep into the workplace as well – via casual conversation, formal remarks, or digital channels. As communicators, we're uniquely positioned to address this phenomenon, and we need to prepare to do so. How does disinformation take hold, and what role do business communicators play in addressing it? This interactive session will explore the difference between mis- and disinformation, the powerful influence campaigns behind them, implications for the workplace, and steps communicators can take to reinforce truth while minimizing conflict.
Deanna Troust is founder of 3 Stories Communications, a consultancy that specializes in inclusive strategies that improve organizational culture and social impact. As both a communicator and inclusion & diversity (I&D) practitioner, Deanna views disinformation as an equity issue and our most pressing social ill. She works to tackle it in partnership with NYU’s Cybersecurity for Democracy project and Mission Partners and is launching a community conversation series on disinformation. Deanna spent three years at I&D firm Cook Ross, where she developed I&D strategies, communications and trainings for clients ranging from Mars, Inc. to Rise Against Hunger. She spent the previous 17 years at Vanguard Communications, where she developed award-winning campaigns that addressed health and environmental issues affecting Tribal nations, communities of color, individuals with behavioral health needs and more for nonprofit and Federal agencies. Deanna is a resident of Washington, DC's eclectic Adams Morgan neighborhood and parent of two bicultural daughters.
Your Mandate Matters
SESSION TRACK: Internal Communications; Communication Strategy; Leadership
SPEAKERS: Karen Johnston, Director of Communications, IC Thrive
While one might assume that the presence of a designated internal communicator implies a mandate, the harsh truth is that without an explicit mandate, internal communications professionals can have a hard time taking a strategic seat. There’s no rule for what a mandate looks like – different organizations can have wildly different expectations and goals, thus wildly divergent mandates. Regardless of the structure, setting out a mandate for the get-go will inform your function and relationship with the leadership team. Instead of getting caught in the crosshairs of countless side projects, you will be able to move forward towards the bigger picture. When we talking about it being our time, we are referring to not only having the confidence to step up in the role and deliver on what is expected, but actively, creatively, and strategically help set the agenda. It's about time we shine!
Karen Johnston is an accomplished communications professional with 15+ years of experience in corporate, non-profit, project and agency environments in Canada and abroad. Karen is particularly excited about the changing business landscape and the role of internal communicators within this new environment. As the Director of Communications, she currently heads up product at a tech firm in Vancouver, and has dedicated her latest efforts to finding solutions to make the lives of those tasked with internal communications infinitely easier. Central to this is being part of the team responsible for delivering an internal communication best practice series to new and upcoming internal communicators. Karen also identifies with the journey of professional communicators and brings empathy and encouragement to her role as Director of Career Development for IABC BC chapter.
Quick Hit Showcase
SESSION TRACK: Professional Development; Wellness; Self Care; Marketing; Communication Strategy; DE&I; Leadership; Public Relations (PR)
SPEAKERS: Shaniek Parks, Business Communications Consultant, Cable & Wireless Communications
Vip Sitaraman, Digital Consultant / Founder
Mubashira Farooqi, Communications Fellow, FleishmanHillard Highroad
Kylie Taylor, Group Managing Director, Baldwin Boyle Group
FORMAT: Quick Hit Showcase
Get ready for rapid-fire sessions on the most pressing challenges and innovative opportunities in the communications industry. Sessions include: "Identifying Burnout Among Communicators," "Lessons Learnt" and "Steps To Overcome," presented by Shaniek Parks. IT'S ABOUT TIME we had a conversation about taking care of ourselves as communication professionals. The PR industry has been labeled as one of the most stressful careers. According to the 2020 Gould + Partners Industry Turnover Report, the average PR agency turnover is 24.5%. Our heavy workloads coupled with the need to be the voice of calm in a crisis have left many stressed to the point of burnout. This reality has become more prevalent during the pandemic because as we support teams internally and lead external company responses, at times we may deprioritize our own wellness. This session will encourage communicators to reflect on times when they have deprioritized their needs, become present to those actions, and gain actionable strategies to improve their ways of work.
The next session is "From Communication To Interaction," presented by Vip Sitaraman. 2020 marked a dramatic shift in how organizations and brands communicate. Once upon a time, PR / Business Communications was a one-way street: from HQ, to your audience — not the case in today's online & social world. This past year opened unprecedented conversations between brands and their audiences — and nearly 100% were online, due to Covid-19. Just one example: breakout apps of last year like Community and Clubhouse by enabling celebrities & local influencers to connect directly with their online audiences. The key to staying ahead is not AI, IoT, or AR/VR—though that may help. Future-proof strategy starts with principles, not technology: authentic brands, human connection, interactive content; in short, the shift from publishing content to building experiences. This talk will discuss trends and insights re: interactive digital experiences derived from my own companies' data (ie. from millions of readers at Explica) and that of many household name-brands.
The next session is titled "Game-changers: How junior communicators are ready to change the world," presented by Mubashira Farooqi. Young people are changing the world and junior communicators are leading the charge. As a woman of colour and a visible minority, I have spent my educational and professional career bringing awareness to the value of diverse perspectives. It's about time our industry started taking people like me seriously. In this short presentation, I would aim to share examples of exceptional junior communicators who are changing the world, one city at a time. I would amplify the key tools and strategies that they are using to share their messages in the hopes of inspiring other junior communicators to do the same. As the future of our industry, these communicators hold a deep understanding of the direction we need to create positive and meaningful change – internally within our organizations and across client work. This presentation aims to inspire young communicators while informing senior communicators of the value of our perspectives.
Learn about "A New Kind of Social Capital Ecosystem Is the Antidote to a COVID World" in the final segment. The complexities of the world exceed our ability to maintain balance and order and ensure safety and security for all. It's about time we came up with a better way. We are beyond sponsorships, corporate giving, and social responsibility. Too often they become mere lip service. Just not good enough anymore. Organsiations are called upon to re-evaluate their role in society and to deliver benefits for all. How do organisations get to grips with what they need to do? How do they stay ahead of all stakeholder expectations and stay relevant? It is time for communications leaders to stand up, speak up and be listened to as the people in the room making sense. The session will give alarmingly simple and practical steps on how to build a communications ecosystem for our times. It's the basics done well. Understanding social context. A clear purpose. Smart leadership. Strategic clarity. Authentic engagement.
Shaniek Parks is a communications expert who possesses over a decade of experience in Government, Non- Government Organizations, and Corporate organisations in Jamaica, the United Kingdom, St. Vincent and Grenadines. She is passionate about wellness and the need to prioritise personal mental health in order to increase productivity. Ms. Parks holds Communications degrees from the University of the West Indies and the University of Leeds.
As seen in Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and more. Creative and communications consultant, Vip Sitaraman works with 100+ organizations ever year, ranging from high-growth startups (i.e. YC, Thiel, 30u30) and private investment firms to Fortune/Inc. 500 name brands.
Mubashira Farooqi is a highly dedicated communications professional with a background in diversity, equity and inclusion and a passion for purpose-driven work. She is currently a Communications Fellow at FleishmanHillard Highroad and the founder and host.
Kylie Taylor helps clients build and maintain supportive relationships with their key stakeholders through critical times of change, uncertainty and disruption and through times of growth, expansion and opportunity. Her particular strength is in identifying the emerging reputation issues for the sector and the business; helping clients to understand the expectations of their stakeholders; and then finding ways that organisations can authentically connect with their stakeholders to achieve a better outcome for all. She has helped clients articulate their purpose, values and future-focused narrative, share their ESG commitments and explain strategy. She has worked on major financialtransactions, mergers, acquisitions and divestments; worked on listings, capital raisings and trade sales; and built shareholder and stakeholder support for business strategy and ESG commitments. She has 28 years experience working with boards, chief executives and senior leadership teams in Australia, New Zealand and across Asia – in particular in Singapore, Thailand and China.
Exhibit Hall Break
FORMAT: Exhibit Hall
Head to the virtual Exhibit Hall to engage with vendors. Don't forget to scan your badge!
Leading with our Values AI and Internet of Behavior
SESSION TRACK: Skills
SPEAKERS: Joanne B. Henry, President, PR for Good
Donna Itzoe, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Global Medical Response
FORMAT: Interactive Workshop
Learn about new opportunities and also what might go wrong when we don’t lead with values and let decisions be made for us.
We’ll examine scenarios in marketing, internal communications and PR to see how ethics and opportunity need to be bedfellows.
Joanne B. Henry, SCMP, is president at PR for Good, a boutique firm that provides communications counsel, media relations, advocacy and social impact work. She has a 30-year track record of success in public relations, reputation management, and branding and advocacy work for organizations from start-ups through Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. She is a founder of three agencies and the Common Good Breakfast series, a private-nonprofit partnership. Active in a number of community roles, Joanne is currently on the board of the Cable Natural History Museum in Wisconsin and an Ambassador member of the Empire Builders, a group engaged in direct support of entrepreneurs at all stages. Joanne’s early career included investor relations and financial research where she learned that a mistake in the financial pages of an annual report or filing really can be a crisis; she is also an expert and frequent speaker on crisis communications.
Joanne is a long-time IABC member and was active as a local and regional chapter leader before being appointed to chair the IABC Trend Watch Task Force in 2020/2021. She received her certification as a Strategic Communications Management Professional (SCMP) in 2018. Joanne has won two Gold Quill awards and has judged Silver, Bronze and Gold Quill awards for a number of years. She received her B.A. in English with a journalism concentration from the University of St.Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota in the U.S. She also studied economics and finance at the University of Minnesota.
Donna Itzoe, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing at Global Medical Response, is an award-winning communications leader known for her innovative and collaborative approach to developing integrated communication solutions. In her role at the world’s largest medical transportation company, she is responsible for internal and external communications, brand marketing, media relations, proposal development, employee engagement, digital and social media strategies, crisis communications, public relations and M&A communication strategies.
Before joining GMR, Donna led the Interactive Media and Design team at Raytheon’s Intelligence and Information Systems division, where she was responsible for the business unit’s digital and social media presence and oversaw the interactive and creative design teams that supported marketing communication and proposals. Prior to joining Raytheon, Donna was Director of Corporate Communications at Verizon where she developed internal and external communication strategies. Under her leadership, the company’s Intranet redesign resulted in recognition as one of the Top Ten Intranets in the World by the acclaimed Nielsen Norman Group.
A long-time IABC member, Donna has held many local and regional chapter leader positions, including president of the IABC Dallas chapter. Donna holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Journalism from Mercer University and a master’s degree in Public Communication from Georgia State University.
Agile for Communicators
SESSION TRACK: Skills; Communication Strategy; Leadership
SPEAKERS: Caroline Kealey, Principal & Founder, Results Map
FORMAT: Interactive Workshop
This active learning workshop is a deep dive exploring how communicators can adapt agile methodologies to help elevate their performance. Refreshingly practical in its approach, this session will provide an overview of agile mindsets, capabilities and practices specifically designed to apply to communications teams. Participants will gain insights and proven resources on how to incorporate agile into their day-to-day work, including tools such as Kanban boards, sprints and design thinking. It will also address head-on what winning conditions are required for agile to succeed, such as governance and culture. The centrepiece of the session will be a reverse workshop - an immersive experience driven by participants’ priorities and interests. It's a unique opportunity to learn about agile through an agile experience. Everyone’s talking agile these days - it’s about time communicators understand what it means for our community, and explore how these methodologies can help us raise our game.
Caroline is a leading communications strategist, change facilitator, trainer and author with over 20 years in the field. She is known as a “communicator’s communicator” for her unique insights and first-hand experience into the challenges and potential of the role. As Principal and Founder of Results Map, Caroline’s passion is in helping communications teams reach new levels of performance through innovative tools, practical knowledge products and game-changing workshops. A pioneer in working at the intersection between strategic communications and change, Caroline is the director of the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Strategic Communications and Change. Caroline is designated as an IABC All Star presenter. She has been recognized with IABC Gold Quill, Best of the Best and Distinguished Service awards. A graduate of the Wharton executive program in Leading Organizational Change, Caroline holds a B.A. with Highest Honours in Communications and an M.A. in Political Science.
What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Miserable - Shift Stress to Advantage for Your Teams and Your Clients
SESSION TRACK: Culture; Professional Development; Leadership
SPEAKERS: Deborah Gilboa, Family Physician & Resilience Expert, Ask Doctor G
FORMAT: Interactive Workshop
The developed world is terrified of stress. For decades we've accepted this narrative – struggle magically makes organizations, teams and individuals stronger, while simultaneously fearing the negative effects of every situation that makes us uncomfortable. Leaders do what they can to reduce and avoid stress for their teams, and teams work to prove to others that their service or product will eliminate stress in order to prove their worth. It's about time to look at the science of strength and success, and confront the fallacies behind the belief that stress is the enemy. Deborah Gilboa, MD (Dr. G), a board certified Family Physician and Resilience Expert, will demonstrate the usefulness of stress to build mental health, the value of addressing change with openness rather than fear, and the strategies to get teams and customers on board. Struggle doesn't make us stronger, but our mental fitness in the face of change can.
Resilience expert, Deborah Gilboa, MD, aka “Dr. G” works with families, organizations, and businesses to identify the mindset and strategies to turn stress to an advantage. Renowned for her contagious humor, Dr. G works with groups across multiple generations, to rewire their attitudes and beliefs, and create resilience through personal accountability and a completely different approach to adversity. She is a leading media personality seen regularly on TODAY, Good Morning America and The Doctors. She is also featured frequently in the Washington Post, The New York Times, Huffington Post, and countless other digital and print outlets. Dr. G is board certified attending family physician and is fluent in American Sign Language. She lives in Pittsburgh with her four boys.
What the History of Livestream Opera Can Teach Us About Zoom Calls (and Other Lessons About Virtual Connection)
SESSION TRACK: Culture; Professional Development; Leadership
SPEAKERS: Chris Graham, Principal, TellPeople
FORMAT: Interactive Workshop
Drawing upon the history of livestream opera (popularized by New York’s Metropolitan Opera), the history of the cubicle, and best practices from successful remote work environments, the session teaches participants how to make optimum use of virtual communication tools in the short term, and how to effectively integrate these tools into their work in the long term (after COVID subsides). Specific lessons include how to: make meaningful connections over virtual platforms, hold attention from a virtual audience that is easily distracted, create a remote work environment where people can connect and thrive, and recreate “informal” or “spontaneous” office connections while working remotely. The session will conclude with specific exercises and a customized summary of key points to support post-session learning and development.
Chris Graham has worked at one the world’s top banking law firms and one of Canada’s top Aboriginal rights law firms. He’s founded a performing arts series, a music festival, and a stand-up comedy fundraiser (for Camp Ooch, a camp for kids with cancer, where Chris is also a volunteer counsellor). In 2016, Chris founded TellPeople, a vehicle for teaching storytelling and communication to professionals. He now spends his time traveling around Canada, and increasingly North America, helping top-flight professionals talk about their ideas in ways that clients can understand and find compelling. Chris consults with a lot of law firms because that’s what he knows best. He also works with financial services firms, consulting firms, pharmaceutical firms, government departments, and a range of non-profits. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford (history), University of Toronto (law), and Acadia University (business).
Live Streaming: Communicating in Real Time Across Multiple Channels
SESSION TRACK: Skills
SPEAKERS: Shel Holtz, Director, Internal Communications, Webcor
FORMAT: Digital Bootcamp
The hottest communication technology trend is live streaming. It is easier than ever to broadcast live simultaneously to multiple channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. While the World Wide Web introduced the ability to make on-demand content available to a vast audience, there are huge benefits to live streaming. While most web content is passive, live streams are two-way and interactive. It also delivers a sense of excitement recorded video cannot. And, of course, live streams can be recorded and archived for those who were not able to watch in real-time. The tools for live streaming are getting easier to use, whether you want to install software or use a Software as a Service (SaaS) utility like the one IABC uses for its monthly Circle of Fellows broadcast. As a bonus, the session will also cover live-streaming audio, like the red-hot app, Clubhouse.
Shel Holtz is Director of Internal Communications at Webcor, a commercial builder in California. He brings to the job more than 40 years of experience in multiple communication disciplines. Before joining Webcor, he had consulted independently for more than 20 years. Earlier in his career, Shel was director of corporate communications for two Fortune 400 companies and spent time at two global human resources consulting firms. He has written six communication-themed books and is co-host of the first and longest-running communication-focused podcast, “For Immediate Release." Shel is a certified Strategic Communication Management Professional, an Accredited Business Communicator, an IABC Fellow, a Senior Fellow of the Conference Board’s Marketing and Communication Center, and a Platinum Fellow of The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. He is a regular speaker globally on topics surrounding the application of online technology to strategic communication. He has a journalism degree from California State University Northridge.
It's About Design: The New Approach for a New Normal
SESSION TRACK: Skills; Communication Strategy; Design Thinking
SPEAKERS: Brie Thorsteinson-Ogle, Principal, Skipti Strategic Consulting
FORMAT: Interactive Workshop
Communicators are at the forefront of disruption as sense-makers, bridge-builders and early-adopters, so isn’t it about time we tested a new, future-forward approach to strategic problem solving? Our ability to transform effectively to the “new normal” may depend on it. Design Thinking (DT) is a relatively new framework that bridges the divide between creativity and logic-giving teams a clear path to shift from today’s problem solvers to tomorrow’s problem finders in even the most disruptive environment. This session introduces a communications-focused DT approach before breaking out into small, moderated groups for a DT problem-solving simulation using real-world challenges of participants. Engagement activities like polling, chats, individual callouts, and the use of platform features will happen every 2-3 minutes. Participants leave with a digital toolkit featuring a step-by-step guide to DT for communications, DT resources, and the confidence and knowledge that comes from creating quick but effective solutions the DT way.
PR, corporate communication, stakeholder engagement, and all the spaces in between. Brie Thorsteinson-Ogle has had an incredible ride, working with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking brands in North America as an employee and entrepreneur. From the high skies of WestJet to the high tech of Electronic Arts, she's been living the dream by helping organizations and individuals connect with stakeholders and audiences authentically and clearly.
Rock & Roll Game Show
FORMAT: Group Activity
Part trivia, part talent show, this energetic and music-inspired competition gives teams the opportunity to blow off some steam while uniting. The charismatic MC will guide you on an energetic trivia ride covering topics such as “Rock Trivia,” “Sing Me Something,” and “Bang Your Head Contest,” to name a few. With a lively band keeping the atmosphere fun and providing the perfect soundtrack to each segment, this highly entertaining experience is sure to engage all participants and create lasting memories.
Topic Driven Roundtables & Boardrooms
Meet face to face with other attendees on industry topics by joining these Roundtables and Boardrooms within the Social27 platform. Roundtables can hold up to 6 people and Boardrooms can hold up to 30. Take a seat at the table and discuss with your peers! You can also create your own roundtables or boardrooms and invite specific attendees who you'd like to connect with outside of the ones set up by IABC.
Gift of Communication (Asia Pacific Audience)
FORMAT: Post-Conference Session