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 ‘Strategic Engagement: Engaging Leaders to Engage Others’ is your ticket to the solution of one of the most critical issues facing business today—namely, how to raise the employee engagement levels in our organizations from a paltry 33% to more like a majority of the workforce. Current engagement levels, according to the Gallup Organization, are costing American businesses anywhere from three to five billion dollars a year in lost productivity, absenteeism, talent retention and accidents. Gallup asserts from their long-standing research that the leading culprit in this scenario is ‘lousy managers.’ This course examines the necessity to engage employees strategically through more effective leadership at all levels of the organization and highlights the challenges and opportunities you will face in assisting your own leadership in this vital task. Strategic engagement, like strategic communication, raises engagement from a mere wish to a deliberate organizational strategy that enlists all of the interested parties from the CEO to the team leader in a concerted effort to address the engagement deficit. Anything less than an integrated strategy with engaged leaders deliberately working to engage others is unlikely to succeed.   This expert instructor provided all of the content and learning activities you will encounter in this course.  As this is an asynchronous course, it is designed to be a self-paced, independent-study program.  If you require guidance or assistance, the Academy team will be happy to help.  Use the "Questions" tab to post a new question. Instructor Bio:   Roger D’Aprix is internationally known for his influence on the evolution of organizational communication. He is a long-time pioneer in shaping the strategic internal- communication practices that we now accept as commonplace in all kinds of organizations. In his 1996 best-selling book ‘Communicating for Change: Connecting the Workplace with the Marketplace,’ he offered the view that effective organizational communication must be proactive rather than reactive and focused on the marketplace as the first cause. In brief, he argued that it must be strategic. In this self-paced course he brings to bear the same strategic mindset to the complex process of increasing employee engagement.   IABC Academy Category: Communication Strategy and Engagement Category Description: A communication professional identifies and communicates with employees, customers, shareholders, regulators, government agencies and other groups with an interest in the organization’s activities. These groups have the potential to affect the organization’s results. The communication professional fosters and nourishes relationships with them that will support the organization’s mission and execute the organization's business strategy.   Read More

  Presented by Heath Applebaum, ABC, BA, MCM, OCGC Strategic Reputation Management: Learning the keys to protecting your organization’s most valuable and vulnerable asset Whether you work for a multinational company, a government agency or a non-profit organization, nothing is more important than your reputation. Your success depends upon earning the trust of a plethora of stakeholders and online influencers who can become your biggest ambassadors or most vocal adversaries.  One thing is for certain, if you don’t measure your reputation, you cannot effectively manage it. With the proliferation of online threats to reputation, your next crisis may be only a click away, so new strategies and tools are required to ensure lightning fast responses to digitally-empowered consumers, sensationalist media, and disengaged employees.  This is a crucial course every professional communicator, both the young, and young at heart, can learn from.  Heath Applebaum is an international-award-winning communicator, reputation management consultant and university professor with 20 years of diverse agency, corporate, consulting and non-profit experience. Heath is the President of Echo Communications Inc., a reputation management consulting firm he founded in 2000.  Heath has led hundreds of successful campaigns for organizations of all sizes, from innovative start-ups to Fortune 100 companies.  He has spearheaded corporate communications strategies and programs for companies such as PepsiCo, Cadillac Fairview, Deloitte, RBC Financial Group and MasterCard.  Heath is a sought-after industry expert that has spoken at more than 60 communications conferences around the world to train thousands of executives, including two IABC World conferences. He is also a respected public relations Professor that has taught 25 courses and nearly 800 students at several top universities and colleges.   Heath is an Accredited Business Communicator and Gold Quill Award winner that holds a Master of Communications Management (MCM) from McMaster University, in Toronto Canada. He has also judged international, national and local award programs for IABC and several other industry associations.  Read More

Rhonda J. Rathje, APR  “Suit up and show up.” Once called a “rock,” Rhonda Rathje is known for moving forward and making things happen. If you want something done, ask her.  When it comes to dotting I’s and crossing T’s, Ms. Rathje is the master of details. Her legacy is to leave things better than when she found them.   Ms. Rathje is a seasoned veteran of public relations at Verizon, American Airlines and Walmart including employee communications, executive communications, media relations, storytelling and community relations. Her understanding of how communications positively impacts a business, her top-notch writing skills, and her enthusiasm for effective communications are strong assets of Ms. Rathje. She brings a holistic approach to every communications issue, along with strong project management skills.   With her go-get- ‘em attitude, she is an accomplished project manager and planner – always intent on delivering results. As a seasoned pro, Ms. Rathje has developed numerous employee communications programs; she has directed employee engagement initiatives; and she has built and led teams to solve business problems.   Welcome to “Succeeding in Internal Communications – Behind the Scenes with Effective Project Management.”  As an Internal Communicator for your company, you not only need to know the ABCs of communications, but you must deliver and demonstrate results. Yet, many well-intended initiatives fail to deliver, despite the time and resources invested in them. As the world becomes more complex, your business becomes more challenging. That means people need special tools, techniques and knowledge to handle their project management assignments, such as justifying your project, developing objectives and schedules, obtaining commitment from your team (stakeholders) for a project, delegating, holding people accountable and assessing the overall situation. In fact, project management is noted as a top five competency considered most important for a successful Internal Communication (IC) practitioner. To further this point, project management skills are increasingly in demand. Achieving excellence in project management will also help you: Improve your overall management skills, which will enhance your overall marketability Demonstrate that you mean business and you can get things done Deliver – results and outcomes – for your business Focus on the real work that needs to be done, thus helping you be more effective and value-added That’s why you can also consider project management as an investment in yourself. For some who have experience in project management, this course may serve as a refresher and provide you with new approaches to project managing. For those new to project management – as well as leading a project – you’ll learn valuable tips and tools to apply to your everyday work project.  For others, it will provide you with the essentials of basic project management skills so you can demonstrate your value to your organization. As you progress through the course, you will be asked to apply what you have learned to a case study, develop a project plan and test your recall of the material presented.   This expert instructor provided all of the content and learning activities you will encounter in this course.  As this is an asynchronous course, it is designed to be a self-paced, independent-study program.  If you require guidance or assistance, the Academy team will be happy to help.  Use the "Questions" tab to post a new question. Read More

Presented by Barbara Gibson, Ph.D. You’ve mastered the various tools of communication. You can produce newsletters, intranets, emails, employee meetings, press releases, and events with one hand tied behind your back. But no matter how good the tactical work, if you’re not working from a well-built strategic communication plan, you’re not as effective as you should or could be. It’s time to take your communication to the next level. This practical, hands-on course will take you through the step-by-step process for creating a strategic communication plan that will make a real difference to your organization and prepare you for a more senior professional role. Presenter / Barbara Gibson, Ph.D., is a consultant, researcher and lecturer focused on intercultural communication and global business. With more than 25 years’ experience as a business communication professional, she has worked with companies worldwide, and is a past international chair of IABC. She is a lecturer in intercultural business communication for Birkbeck College, University of London, and serves as director for the master’s degree program in Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions. Read More

    Presented by Rhonda Rathje Big trends affect all areas of our businesses – and as communication professionals, we must be at the top of our game to help our organizations or businesses succeed in today’s ever-changing environment. This workshop will help communicators demonstrate how effective internal communication can be a viable strategic business tool. Participants will learn to develop a holistic communication strategy to motive employees to engage in the behaviors which will help drive business results.  Best practices will equip participants with strategic guidance and tactical tools; thus serving as your roadmap to achieving aligned, purposeful internal communication. Rhonda Rathje is a seasoned communication professional with 35+ years of proven, practical experience. Rathje’s professional history includes her work at Verizon, American Airlines and Walmart where she led numerous high-profile communication initiatives form corporate reorganizations to community events. Her capabilities include strategic communication planning, employee engagement, community relations and strategic counsel. Rathje has designed and implemented award-winning employee communication programs that generated bottom line results. She has led teams to solve business problems – helping organizations connect and engage employees to the business with communication. Both a strategist and tactician, Rathje earned a B.A. in Journalism from Iowa State University and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. Read More

The Communication Audit course is part of the Communications Measurement category of IABC Academy learning modules. These courses foster communicators’ understanding and skill development in the use of clear qualitative and quantitative measures to measure the impact of communication strategies and activities against business needs, goals and objectives. A communication audit it is a highly useful – and necessary – tool for understanding gaps in understanding within an organization. This course will provide you with the knowledge to develop and execute a comprehensive, strategic communication audit to help you manage change and achieve results that tie directly to organizational strategy. This expert instructor provided all of the content and learning activities you will encounter in this course.  As this is an asynchronous course, it is designed to be a self-paced, independent-study program.  If you require guidance or assistance, the Academy team will be happy to help.  Use the "Questions" tab to post a new question. About the Instructor Gayle Goodman, MBA, ABC is president and CEO of Pro-Activation, a Dallas, Texas-based brand activation firm comprised of a network of independent, senior-level consultants with a shared passion: to help clients deliver a clear message in a noisy world. Gayle is a communications strategist and visionary who has made her passion for solving puzzles the cornerstone of her work. Her 20 years of experience cross multiple disciplines, from corporate communications and investor relations to marketing and PR. With a blend of communications savvy and a master’s degree in business, Gayle is armed to help clients with the toughest messaging and business challenges. She has worked with organizations ranging from small and startup businesses to large enterprises to help build and refine communications strategies and implement programs to achieve significant growth. Prior to moving into consulting in 2008, Gayle was recruited to join residential services firm Efficient Attic Systems to serve as vice president of marketing. Her charge was to establish a formal marketing department and help grow the company organically into new markets nationwide. During her tenure, she streamlined the marketing function, thereby increasing lead generation and driving down cost-per-acquisition by improving the performance of off-line/traditional advertising mediums. She also introduced new lead generation channels, with a focus on online channels. Previously, Gayle served in a number of marketing and communications roles for Centex Corporation over an 11-year career. In addition to leading Pro-Activation, Gayle serves as an executive advisor to its sister firm – ExperiPro – which is an insights-driven marketing and brand strategy firm. Gayle earned her MBA in marketing from the University of Dallas where she now teaches for the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business as an adjunct instructor. She holds a B.S. in journalism from Texas Christian University and is IABC Accredited (ABC). Read More

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