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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 Art of Project Management for the Internal Communicator Project management skills are increasingly in demand as business becomes more challenging and complex. And nothing is more key to the success of a project than effective communication. Project management is noted as a top-five competency considered most important for a successful Internal Communication (IC) practitioner.  Every project goes through specific phases of development in its project life cycle. Project management allows you to break the project down into separate phases, and the project manager must guide the project through these phases, watching for roadblocks and adapting when necessary. This course details those phases and what a project manager can expect to accomplish in each. As you progress through this two-hour course, you will be asked to apply what you have learned to a case study, develop a project status report, and test your recall of the material presented. In the course materials, you will receive tailored templates, checklists, and advice specific to internal communication. For some who have experience in project management, this course may serve as a refresher and provide you with new approaches to project management. 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 projects.  For others, it will provide you with the essentials of basic project management skills so you can demonstrate your value to your organization.   Instructor: Rhonda Rathje, APR Rhonda Rathje, APR, is a seasoned veteran with over 35 years of communication experience in the telecommunications, airline, retail and automotive industries. She is a passionate communicator and storyteller who helps companies discover compelling and original ways to speak about themselves and their work. Rhonda’s expertise is in strategic planning and leadership development initiatives, as well as developing internal/external communications/engagement programs and building marketing and social media plans for various companies and clients. She is known for moving forward and making things happen. She’s a master at project management. If you want something done, ask her. And, when it comes to dotting I’s and crossing T’s, she is the master of details. Rhonda’s legacy is to leave things better than when she found them.  Rhonda holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Iowa State University, Ames, and a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson. 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

   Presented by: Nicole Matejic, Author of ‘Social Media Rules of Engagement’ Do you know how to research your target audiences online using social media big data? In this series of webinars Nicole Matejic takes you from big data to applying smart data as we take a deep dive into the Facebook, Twitter and Google analytics environment. You will learn how to read and apply smart data for strategic communications effect; and how to craft meaningful reports on your results for your organization or client/s. Nicole is an internationally recognized military information operations and social media adviser who is a regular instructor and speaker for NATO. Nicole is also well regarded for her crisis communication acumen in the social media environment, and is an adjunct lecturer at RMIT in the School of Media and Communications. During her time working within the Australian Federal Government’s Department of Defence, Nicole successfully implemented communication strategies for some of Australia’s biggest military acquisition projects in a complex, crisis and issues rich environment. Read More

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