Make the Most of Your IABC Experience

Let’s face it. There’s no shortage of worthy volunteer causes out there. And there are only so many hours in the day. So how can you possibly find time to volunteer for IABC, right? 

The answer is easier than you think.

First, your career is obviously important to you or you wouldn’t be involved with IABC. Since you are involved, why not make the most of the experience? Simply plan on attending one of the monthly IABC professional development events and, while you’re at it, volunteer to help with some basic meeting duties – greeting and escorting attendees, for example. Call it professional development with a dash of networking. 

Second, volunteering with IABC is so easy! Not only can you volunteer to assist at a professional development event, but you can also get involved in the Volunteer Services Committee. The Volunteer Services team is getting ready to plan the second annual IABC event for nonprofits. Last year, individuals from nonprofits were invited to a half-day session where they could learn about communications, marketing and public relations from the pros – IABC members. To get the ball rolling, a series of conference calls will take place in the coming months.

Let’s see…minimal time commitment, opportunities to network and enhance professional development, and a worthy cause.  

Why wouldn’t you volunteer?  Contact us!  We have many opportunities for you.

Changing the Landscape: Informing the Future

The IABC World Conference is coming to San Francisco, 14-17 June 2015. We will explore new ways of approaching communication with some of the most innovative and visionary leaders of our time.

The 2015 World Conference is providing participants with a once and a lifetime experience. “Changing the Landscape: Informing the Future” is not just the theme for the conference, it is also an experience that attendees will receive. Participants will learn from keynote speakers, who will stimulate the thinking of attendees with engaging sessions that showcase the best practices and problem-solving ideas that can be placed to work now.

By attending the conference you will:
  • Increase your network with over 1,200 participants in attendance.
  • Experience outstanding keynote speeches and informative panel discussions.
  • Choose from more than 60 exceptional sessions in a variety of formats.
  • Select from five tracks:
  • Communication skills: Skill-based knowledge, such as technical and social media skills, measurement techniques, planning, writing and presenting
  • Leadership and strategy: Guidance on facilitating and building strategic leadership skills and using strategy to support business goals
  • Marketing and brand: Insights and expertise on marketing to support sales and branding as an expression of organizational  value
  • Reputation: Strategies for improving stakeholder connections and perceptions — including crisis management and CSR.
  • Employee engagement: Ideas, analysis and best practices on supporting employees to commit to organizational goals, values and success, while enhancing their own sense of well-being.



In case you missed it….

IABC has the tools you need at your fingertip!

Get the most out of your IABC membership my accessing these resources to provide information on a variety of topics and information.  Don’t miss out!


Volunteer opportunities to hone your craft

Volunteer opportunities to hone your craft

Maybe our most exciting benefit of membership, we offer volunteer opportunities to serve on the IABC/Iowa board that will help you grow in leaps and bounds.

Hone your craft as you learn about elements of the communication world you might not see in your day job for years:

  • Plan professional development events
  • Manage a budget
  • Foster a vibrant community of communicators

You’ll build relationships and share ideas with colleagues at other companies and stay in tune with the best practices that will make your work life easier, no matter your focus area.

Through IABC/Iowa, connect with fellow communication professionals, and advance your career

Contact us today for more information!

Make the most of IABC/Iowa

Big or small, there are plenty of opportunities to give back and help IABC/Iowa.

Without volunteers, our nonprofit organization wouldn’t be able to provide the great professional development programming, networking opportunities and recognition that we do each year. How you can help:

  • Join the IABC/Iowa board (Members only)
  • Contribute to an event planning committee (Members only)
  • Introduce a speaker
  • Greet and escort guests to and from meeting rooms
  • Work at the registration table
  • Sponsor an event, meeting, etc.

Getting involved is by far the best way to connect with fellow communicators and advance your career. Expand your professional network. Learn some new skills you wouldn’t get exposed to in your day job. Build a stronger resume. In other words, make friends, try new things and benefit professionally in the process.

It’s fun and well worth your time. We promise.

To learn more or get started today contact us – we would love to hear from you!

Ten Ways to Engage Your Audiences with Communications (April 28)

Ten Ways to Engage Your Audiences with Communications

Join us on April 28th at Nationwide for an engagement conversation with Simpson College’s Chair and Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Brian Steffen. Steffen will share his top 10 ways to engage your internal and external audiences, and offer ROI tips for many of the social media tools you may be using.

When Tuesday, April 28, 2015 11:30 AM  – 1:00 PM

Where Nationwide Auditorium 1100 Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Dress Code Business Casual

Event Summary

Registration Deadline

Tuesday, April 28, 2015



Get Involved with IABC/Iowa

Your membership becomes more valuable when you get involved. There’s no better way to get to know fellow members, enhance your professional skills and contribute.

We need you! IABC/Iowa could use your talents and skills.
  • Are you a good writer or editor? We’d love to have you as a contributor or to lend your expertise in making this a great newsletter.
  • Want to get to know a few members you could look forward to seeing at IABC/Iowa events?
  • Do you have ideas on events you would like to see from IABC/Iowa?
  • Could you provide insight on what’s working with IABC/Iowa or how we could strengthen our impact?
  • Would you like to be a part of our board?

Contact us!  We have many opportunities for you.

Wellmark of Des Moines is seeking a Senior Communications Manager

Job Summary:

Are you an insightful, creative marketing communications professional with strong consulting skills and a passion for crafting communications strategies that move the needle? Does motivating the employees of some of Iowa’s and South Dakota’s largest employers get you excited? Are you a self-starter who likes the challenge of setting up a new process and business approach? If you’ve answered yes to all three — we’ve been looking for you!

As Sr. Communication Manager, you’ll partner with Wellmark’s senior sales associates to work directly with key clients in Iowa and South Dakota to understand their challenges, recommend and deliver custom communications solutions. This will be accomplished through direct, in-person consultation with each client and the development and management of integrated communication programs for employee health benefit engagement. Partnering closely with your leader, you will help build the process for this emerging offering. In addition to writing persuasive copy and knowledge of a broad range of communication tactics, you will oversee financials related to each account, time management of projects, and may be called on during the RFP process. You’ll also proactively consult across various divisions within Wellmark and facilitate the creative delivery of assigned projects among the broader marketing and communications teams.

Successful candidates are proactive, independent, results-driven, and are quick to absorb large amounts of technical information. If consulting across various divisions to determine appropriate communication strategies and to facilitate creative delivery of custom communications for select accounts sounds exciting to you, consider applying today! 

Wellmark’s Core Competencies:

  • Accountability: Owning and taking responsibility for one’s actions.
  • Business Acumen: Understanding industry, market, financial and company specific operations
  • Collaboration and Communication: Working together; listen to other’s ideas; communicate accurately and concisely
  • Decision Making: Consider all facts and impacts when making decisions
  • Focus on the Customer: Consistently doing what is in the best interest of our customer. Leaving a positive impression on the customer by elevating their experience; making it simpler and educating to helping them understand.

Hiring Specifications Required:

Bachelor’s Degree (preferred) in Journalism, Advertising, English, Marketing, or related field, or equivalent work experience.

  • Minimum 4+ years of related experience:
    • Communications, marketing or related area with focus on copywriting and editing.
    • Project Management experience with the ability to achieve business objectives of multiple cross functional projects.
    • Demonstrated success working with senior level leadership and external decision makers.
  • Advanced verbal and written communications skills, including the ability to write reports, business correspondence, and presentations. Effective, engaging presentation skills with the ability to clearly articulate information and respond to questions from clients, managers, and the general public.
  • Advanced consulting and relationship management skills with the ability to leverage subject matter expertise in order to successfully share insights or recommendations to multi-disciplinary teams. Professional, diplomatic, and approachable.
  • Strategic planning skills, with demonstrated ability to create and execute strategic vision.
  • Effective planning, time management, prioritization, and organization skills. Ability to lead and inspire in a team environment, as well as measure, evaluate, and refine work processes and project elements in order to achieve organizational goals while maintaining customer and stakeholder satisfaction.
  • Willingness to approach problems from different, creative perspectives and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.
  • Flexible and adaptable with changing priorities.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, such as Word, PowerPoint, or Excel, and other software applications.
  • Ability to travel approximately 20%.

Hiring Specifications Preferred:

  • Prior experience managing marketing communications in a B2B and B2C environment.
  • Agency experience in an account, client-facing role.
  • Insurance, Investment, Health and Wellness, or similar experience.

Job Accountabilities:

  1. Plan, develop and facilitate execution of communication strategies and programs in support of Wellmark business goals. Consult and collaborate with various stakeholders up to the vice president level on a variety of company initiatives. Co-lead development of annual segment communication plans and budgeting as needed. b. Serve as MarCom business partner with cross-functional teams and lead the development of comprehensive integrated communications plans based on corporate strategies and business goals. Vet suggested communication strategy through appropriate internal or external stakeholders. Consult across divisions to scope, review and approve content in support of the defined communication strategies. c. Write clear, concise, results-oriented copy for a variety of communication mediums. Demonstrate mastery of diverse writing styles, including promotional, educational, direct response and advertising. Proofread all copy/content thoroughly and edit material in accordance with Wellmark and AP style manuals. Mentor junior team members to hone their copywriting craft. d. Manage the execution and timely delivery of assigned work tasks, following documented workflow, production cycles and approval processes. Maintain detailed project and tracking documentation. Ensure timely delivery of tactics by junior team members as needed. e. Identify appropriate indicators that measure success of established communication strategies. Collect, analyze and report metrics to identify best practices to guide future strategies. Present findings to VP and lower level stakeholders as needed. f. Drive overarching creative delivery of assigned projects, ensuring collaboration and alignment among copy, design and digital experience components. Manage content development with junior team members and/or external resources. g. Collaborate to provide oversight for identified targeted campaigns, including concept development, testing, goals, and results for continued program refinement. h. Consult with communication peers to ensure that consistent messaging is integrated into other segment-specific communication mediums. i. Provide guidance to managing editor of segment-specific publications as assigned. j. Demonstrate mastery of Wellmark business processes and apply that knowledge to communication strategies and tactics. Ability to quickly comprehend, synthesize and provide guidance about Wellmark business processes as they relate to the customer experience and communications. k. Must comply with Iowa and South Dakota insurance Regulations, NCQA regulations and any other applicable regulatory authority. l. Mentor strategy development and execution for junior team members. Manage team members through tactical execution to ensure alignment with business strategies and customer experience as needed. m. Other duties as assigned.

Please submit your application by April 17. The job ID number is 211270. Apply at:

All-Star Communications Workshop (April 27-28: Minneapolis)

2015 All Star Communications Workshop
Ann Wylie and Shel Holtz



April 27-28:  Spring Training for Communications, PR, and Marketing Pros, Topped Off with a Minnesota Twins Baseball Game!




Monday, April 27

  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Become an All-Star Storyteller with Ann Wylie
  • 11 a.m. to noon – Lunch Keynote “Major League Communications Strategy” with Kevin Smith, the Minnesota Twins’ Sr. Director for Corporate Communications and Broadcasting
  • 7 p.m. – Optional Networking Event: Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers at Target Field

Tuesday, April 28

  • 9 a.m. to Noon – Home Run Digital Communications with Shel Holtz
Thrivent Financial Auditorium, 625 Fourth Ave. S. Minneapolis, Minnesota




9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, April 27

Become an All-Star Storyteller with Ann Wylie

Ann Wylie

(Featuring Lunch Keynote with Kevin Smith of the Minnesota Twins)

Storytelling is “the most powerful form of human communication,” according to Peg Neuhauser, author of Corporate Legends and Lore. Indeed, stories can help you get attention, boost credibility, make your messages more memorable—even communicate better. In this workshop focused on most valuable communications, you will learn how to write copy that grabs attention, keeps it longer, communicates more clearly, enhances credibility and is more likely to go viral. You’ll walk away with techniques—not just what to do, but how—for painting pictures in your audience members’ minds so they understand your points faster, enjoy your information more and remember it longer. Specifically, you’ll learn to how to:

  • Grab Attention With a Feature Story: Craft creative leads and kickers
  • Make Your Copy More Colorful: Engage readers with fun facts, juicy details
  • Play With Your Words: Spice up your headlines, leads and sound bites with wordplay
  • Master the Art of the Storyteller: Tap ‘the most powerful form of human communication’
  • Add Meaning With Metaphor: Clarify complex concepts with analogy

About Ann

Ann’s popular writing workshops take her from Atlanta to Amsterdam, from Boston to Brussels, from Hollywood to Helsinki, and from Portland to Paris. There, she helps communicators at NASA, Humana, SC Johnson, Motorola, Nokia, AT&T, America Online, H&R Block and other organizations polish their skills and find new inspiration for their work. Ann has been designated an “IABC Recommended Speaker” for her top ratings at IABC International Conferences. She serves as the Public Relations Society of America’s national writing coach. Ann holds an M.A. in journalism from the University of Kansas. In addition to her full-time work, she taught graduate communication courses at Webster University for more than a decade.


Lunch Keynote Case Study and Q & A – 11 a.m. to noon

Major League Communications Strategy for the 2014 All-Star Game, with Minnesota Twins’ Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith, Senior Director, Corporate Communications & Broadcasting for the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club, will share key internal and external strategic and tactical lessons in preparing for the global media event that was the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Target Field. A Q&A will follow.

 7 p.m., Monday, April 27 – Optional Networking Event: Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers  at Target Field

Tickets are $32, which includes a $10 stadium concession credit. Join fellow IABC conference attendees in right field seats geared toward informal networking while watching a professional baseball game. (An email with details on how to purchase tickets will be sent to all registrants).



9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, April 28

Home Run Digital Communications with Shel Holtz

Shel Holtz

Content that gets shared and amplified is a lot like baseball’s very best players: Many take the field with their teams, but only a select few make it to the All-Star Game. Millions of pieces of content are posted to the web every hour, but it takes something special to avoid the fate of most posts, which languish, seen by few and shared by fewer, producing virtually no results.  Consider this session your own special Spring Training, where you can tune up your existing skills and learn new ones to employ in the contest to win the web. After attending the training, you’ll be prepared to hit home runs in three key areas of digital communication:

Mobile: The most significant shift in communication since the web itself, mobile is changing not only how people find and use information, but the way we craft messages in order to drive specific action as routinely as a .300 hitter gets on base.

Digital Storytelling: The story is key, and as ballplayers drill the fundamentals of the game, we’ll address the building blocks of great online stories.

Visual Communication: Images—from charts and graphs to online memes to short-form video to photos and illustrations—have become the bread and butter of online content. Few communicators are skilled at crafting images as the primary component of content, but just as some outfielders are converted to infielders, we’ll prepare you to communicate in an increasingly visual world.

About Shel

Shel Holtz, ABC (Accredited Business Communicator), is principal of Holtz Communication + Technology. Shel has nearly 35 years of organizational communications experience in both corporate and consulting environments. He is experienced in employee communications, corporate public relations, crisis communications, media relations, financial communications, investor relations, marketing communications and compensation and benefits communications. In addition to integrating technology into communications strategies, his expertise includes strategic communications planning, change management, organizational culture, business initiatives and communications research.


*Register 4 or more from the same company, and pay $199 per person for the full conference. 

  • Full Workshop $199 IABC Members / $299 Non-Members / $449 Join IABC and Go
  • Monday Full-Day and Lunch Keynote Only: $149 IABC Members / $199 Non-Members
  • Monday Keynote Lunch Only: $24 IABC Members / $39 Non Members
  • $32 Optional Monday Night Minnesota Twins Baseball Game Ticket
  • Tuesday Half-Day Only $79 IABC Members / $129 Non-Members



Hyatt Place Minneapolis Downtown, 425 7th St South Minneapolis, MN 55415
1-800-492-8847 (Convenient access to workshop venue via skyway system)

$118 per night

Reserve your stay under IABC Pacific Plains by March 25, 2015 to guarantee workshop rate and availability. Reserve Now




“Minneapolis skyline 51″ by AlexiusHoratius – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons