Apply Today for the IABC Pacific Plains Region Silver Quill Award

2015 Silver Quill Awards


What will you enter this year?
Get your work the recognition it deserves. Consider entering the 2015 Silver Quill Awards Program.

Hosted by the Pacific Plains Region of IABC, the Silver Quill Awards:

  • Are open to professional communicators across all industries
  • Offer dozens of categories to ensure the right fit for your campaign
  • Are scored by trained evaluators against established “best practice” criteria
  • Provide feedback that benefits your entry, your career and your workplace
  • Represent the year’s best campaigns in digital, social and print communication
  • Are aligned with Gold Quill criteria so you can re-enter at the higher level with minimal time and effort

Raise visibility for your work, your expertise and your employer by entering the 2015 Silver Quill Awards. Watch for details and materials. 

Early Deadline: September 8 

Final Deadline: September 15 

August 4 – Join us at MALO for a Free Networking Event #MeetTheBoard

WhatCurious to know the people working behind-the-scenes to bring you amazing professional development events, outstanding learning opportunities and the best networking in Iowa? Well, here’s your chance to meet the 2015-16 IABC Iowa Board! This evening is a unique opportunity for you to network with your peers and experts in the communication industry. The board will share ideas for the upcoming year, while you tell them how IABC can support your communication goals and professional development.  

WhenTuesday, August 4 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

WhereMALO Restaurant, 900 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309

More DetailsTHIS EVENT IS FREE TO ATTEND. Appetizers are on us. You are responsible for your drinks. Bring your business cards and a friend and get ready to talk shop! On behalf of the Iowa IABC board members, we look forward to welcoming you at this special venue for what promises to be an enjoyable evening. 

RegisterLet us know that you are coming – Click here to register today! #MeetTheBoard

IABC Iowa Board

  • President: Beth Schlotfeldt
  • President-Elect: Ashley Jared
  • Vice President, Membership: Wendy Bellus
  • Vice President, Communications: Mitch Fastenau
  • Vice President, Treasury: Jared Johanningmeier
  • Vice President, Career Services and Administration: David Krause
  • Vice President, Leadership Development: Amanda Olerich
  • Vice President, Professional Development: Kevin Shoesmith

The story behind the new Communication Management Professional certification

As the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC) launches the new Communication Management Professional (CMP) designation, Council chair Janet McCormick shares her thoughts on the mission of the GCCC, its accomplishments and the considerable research and thought that went into shaping this first and much anticipated certification offering.

Natasha Nicholson: In 2014 you were appointed the chair of the GCCC. Can you tell us about the Council’s mission, purpose and how it came to be?

Janet McCormick: The GCCC was created by IABC as a standard setting and assessment Council for communication professionals.  After our introductory Council meeting hosted by IABC in New York, New York (April 2014), we crafted the following Mission Statement:

  • The Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC) comprises a strong slate of officers representing the communication industry worldwide and serves as an autonomous governing body for the Global Communication Certification Program.
  • The Council’s purpose is to create and maintain an internationally recognized standard of communication excellence based on a global understanding of key principles and job competencies worldwide.
  • The Council aims to serve the communication profession worldwide by encouraging and executing a process of credentialing of communicators who achieve a global standard at different points of their career path.

NN: The Council is aiming to offer a series of certifications in the coming years, including the recently launched CMP, Communication Management Professional, for professionals with 6 to 10 years of experience. What was the thinking behind offering this certification first and what other certifications will be pursued?

JM: The certifications will be based on the “Global Standard” of the communication profession, which was developed by IABC through extensive research and consultation with the wider profession. Four broad career paths were identified through this process (Foundation, Generalist/Specialist, Strategic Advisor, Business Leader). The generalist/specialist [6-10 years of experience] level was chosen to be developed first as it applies to the largest potential applicant pool.  The Council is currently discussing which level to develop next, the Foundation or Strategic Advisor.

NN: The Council will be seeking ISO accreditation. Can you please explain what this is, why it’s so important and what’s involved in getting this accreditation?

JM: ISO (17024) is an international standard for professional certifications.  It is important that we pursue this designation in order to gain and maintain respect on the global stage.  It is my understanding that we can apply for this accreditation after 2 years of successful operation.  To that end, we are working closely with consultants during program development and data collection/analysis.

NN: A key part of this certification is the Job Task Analysis. Can you explain what this is, how it was developed and how it will be used?

JM: The Job Task Analysis was created as a survey tool to assess the landscape of the profession for this certification program.  It was used to collect demographic information of those working in the field of Communication as well as descriptions of particular knowledge requirements and performance expectations.  The survey results have provided a solid foundation for decision making regarding the focus and direction of the certifications we are developing.

NN: This certification program aspires to serve a global audience. How does the program and the exam take into account cultural differences?

JM: As IABC serves an international population, so will the certification program.  To the extent possible, those individuals surveyed for the JTA, members of the GCCC, and the item writers/scorers for the exams reflect the broad diversity of the profession, notably with regard to the types of organizations (academia, agency, corporate, government/public authority, independent practitioners, and not-for-profits), geographical distribution, cultural considerations, types of communication expertise, gender balance and existing professional credentials.

NN: Your term is coming to an end.  What is your “take away” from this experience?  Where would you like to see the program a year from now?

JM: I have thoroughly enjoyed my time serving as the inaugural chair of such a worthy endeavor!  The dedication of those involved in seeing this program to fruition is admirable in every way.   We have worked tirelessly to create and soon implement what I am confident will be a successful launch in June 2015.  As we all agree that quality credentials are essential in designating expertise in a way that can be understood globally, my vision for the future is that this program is the program that gets it done for Communication Professionals around the world.

Learn about how to become a certified Communication Management Professional.

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


Brian Steffen
Brian Steffen
Department Chair of Communication and Media Studies, Professor of Communication and Media Studies| Twitter | Facebook


B.A., Iowa State University, 1981.

M.S., Iowa State University, 1987.

Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1995.

I’m the chair of Communication & Media Studies at Simpson College, and I’ve been a member of the faculty  since 1989. I’m a teacher first and foremost and have won several campus, regional and national teaching awards. Before coming to Simpson, I was a government and politics reporter with the Ames Daily Tribune and the Associated Press. I’m a passionate believer in the values of the First Amendment and the potential for journalism to nourish a democratic culture. When I’m not working with students at Simpson, you’ll usually find me on my bicycle, on the golf course or traveling around the world. During Fall 2013, I led Simpson’s Semester in London program at Roehampton University. Starting in January 2014, I’ll serve as editor of the national research journal Teaching Journalism & Mass Communication.



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