THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF IABC PHOENIX
Creative Corporate Communication?
No ... it’s not an oxymoron: in fact, it’s the future
By Steve Crescenzo, Seminar Leader, big oversized check to another white guy. And and shaking things up. They’re taking the
Blogger and Podcaster nobody reads their formulaic press release “corporate” out of corporate communications
with the empty, jargon-ﬁlled quote from some and replacing it with “creative.”
Organizations tend to stomp the creativity out
of you, don’t they? They are revamping and modernizing their
My favorite horror story about this comes from print publications; starting radio and video
Communicators typically come into our ﬁeld
a former client of mine. She was so tired of shows; using social media to foster two-way
brimming with creative ideas for how to
managers rewriting her quotes that she tried communication; using the new multimedia
communicate to their various audiences. They
an experiment. tools to reach new audiences; integrating their
have ideas! New ideas! Different ideas!
print and online efforts; improving how their
She was working on a press release and a VP
And then they run into the approval process. executives communicate . . . in short, they’re
in her sales department, when asked, gave
Then they meet the lawyers. Then they come doing the creative work they wanted to do
her a quote that read like this:
up against crushing deadlines. Then some before it was beaten out of them by the system.
faceless middle manager takes their content “We’re leveraging the synergies of traditional
I’ve got the case studies to prove it, and I’m
and mangles it beyond all recognition. and new-media marketing to penetrate both
coming down to Phoenix to share them with you.
the vertical and horizontal markets in our core
They learn, the hard way, that the mantra of
areas of business growth.”
so many organizations is: “That’s the way we
have always done it around here, so that’s She decided, just to see what would happen
the way we’re going to keep doing it. Even if it (she was ready to leave the company
sucks and it doesn’t work.” anyway!) to move his words around randomly,
and see if anyone would notice. So she just
After a couple of years of ﬁghting the good
sort of mixed them up, and wrote:
ﬁght, many communicators give up. They start
ﬁghting the wrong two battles. They ﬁght ... “We’re penetrating the core areas of our
traditional and new-media marketing
1. The battle to create something, anything
synergies to leverage the business growth in
that will make it safely through the
both our vertical and horizontal markets.”
approval process; and they ﬁght ...
And guess what? Nobody noticed! Not even
2. The battle to make the deadline. Steve Crescenzo and IABC Phoenix are
the guy who was quoted! Why? Because
hosting Crescenzo’s “Creative Communication:
nobody can stand to read that corporate
And of course they win those battles ...
Taking the Next Step”, a one-day seminar
but they lose the war for readership, or
on March 20 at the Scottsdale Cottonwoods
listenership, or viewership.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that Resort. Visit iabcphoenix.com for more
communicators are starting to make a stand.
Nobody pays attention to their story with the details and to register. Crescenzo is also our
They’re bucking the rules. They’re doing
gripping headline: “Synergy!” Nobody looks at guest speaker at our March 19 professional
things differently. They’re taking chances,
yet another photo of one white guy handing a development luncheon.
Five-time winner of the International Chapter of the Year Award IABCphoenix.com
Make the most of your IABC membership
As we enter 2009, I’m beaming with professionals from around the Valley as
excitement at the events on our calendar. we work with other local organizations
to put together our 2nd Annual Valley
Your board of directors has worked hard
to ensure our chapter’s ﬁnancial strength
and to invest back into our members. So,
• You’ll also be proud to know that IABC
what will you see?
Phoenix supports the local non-proﬁt
• You’ll have the opportunity to attend community and will be hosting our ﬁrst
Non-Proﬁt Communications Forum
a full-day seminar with renowned
communications expert Steve this spring.
Crescenzo, as well as hear from him
• Plus, don’t forget about the myriad of
at our March luncheon and attend a
opportunities to attend our monthly
networking event to talk with Crescenzo
luncheons and communication
dialogues, and to receive accreditation
• You’ll have the opportunity to submit your assistance offered by the chapter.
work for a local Copper Quill Award
If we haven’t met before, I hope to see
and earn recognition for your outstanding
you at one of these events soon. You
communication results, as well as attend
won’t regret it.
Rachel Pearson the Copper Quills banquet where you’ll
hear from Peter Shankman, owner
IABC Phoenix President
Rachel Pearson is director of corporate
of Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and
communications at the Scottsdale
Return on investment. Bang for your recognized nationally for radically new
Convention & Visitors Bureau. She can be
buck. Added value. No matter how ways of thinking about social media, PR
reached at 480-429-2259 or rpearson@
you put it, it’s about engagement and and marketing.
making the most of your membership in
• You’ll have the opportunity to
IABC. As I see it, you have two options.
network with other communications
Option 1, you or your company pays
a few hundred dollars a year so you
can say you are a member in some
international organization. Or option
2, you and your company reap the Programs for You!
rewards by learning from thousands of
communications experts from around As a member of IABC Phoenix, you have access to other local communications
the world. The choice is yours. professionals who can share their experience to help you enhance your own, plus
access local and international resources for your professional development. Check
The possibilities with IABC Phoenix out all the opportunities at iabcphoenix.com.
are abundant and will help you in your
• Develop your communications and leadership skills by volunteering.
career now and in the future. How
can I be so sure? Because I’m just • Show value to your organization by learning the latest trends and tools in the
one of thousands of communications communications ﬁeld at monthly luncheons and other seminars.
professionals who have experienced ﬁrst
2 • Tap into our special interest groups, such as Knowledge Network for
hand the rewards of full participation.
communicators with 10+ years of experience, or the student blog “Take Three.”
• Find a new job with our free online job bank and by networking at events.
• Read IABC’s Communication World magazine and access the international
resources at your ﬁngertips to see how communications is changing.
Intro on Networking
The seven key points for networking
3. Leverage every opportunity. Bring your
By Susan de Queljoe
Director of Community Relations, business cards. Work the room. Don’t
Society of St. Vincent de Paul just sit with people you already know.
4. Show appreciation. Afﬁrm the other
If you’re ever asked to plan a conference,
consider starting it off with a session on person. We practiced saying, “I’m very,
networking. That’s how the September very glad to meet you,” as we shook
IABC Regional Conference in Denver hands with those around us. It felt silly to
began. It really helped to pull the group say, but put a smile on everyone’s face.
together for the next two days of meetings.
5. Find and conﬁrm your commonality.
“Networking,” you say, “I already know Open ended questions like, “How did
all that stuff.” you end up in Phoenix?” and “Where did
you grow up?” are good conversation
Yes, you probably do. However, do you catalysts.
Susan de Queljoe attended the IABC
really practice what you know?
Regional Conference last fall on a grant
6. Elevate. Uplift. Help those around you
from IABC Phoenix. She is the director of
Karen Susman, of Remarkable feel good and they’ll feel good about you.
community relations for the Society of St.
Associations, advised, “Network all the
7. Follow-up. Write a note. Call. E-mail. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix. de Queljoe
time, everywhere.” Then she reminded us
has worked in marketing communications
of seven key points for networking: Send an article. Give referrals.
in Chicago, New York and Jakarta,
1. Play the host. Make others feel The monthly IABC luncheons are a great Indonesia. She can be reached at
comfortable in whatever setting you place to work on your networking skills. firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-261-6805.
ﬁnd yourself in, and you will feel more Just arrive a few minutes earlier than you
at ease. normally do and ﬁnd some new faces to
meet. Like most things in life, the more you
2. Be visible. Speak. Write. Introduce practice, the easier it becomes to start new
others. Volunteer. conversations and ﬁnd new friends. And
really, that’s what networking is all about.
Volunteer of the Quarter
Help Us Recognize Our Volunteers
With dedicated members, we are able to offer all of our members
more services, opportunities and resources to grow socially and
IABC Phoenix would not be the great chapter it is without the
professionally. It was only through our members’ help that the IABC
help of all our wonderful volunteers including board members,
Phoenix chapter attained the title of World’s Best Chapter in 1990,
directors and committee members. We want all IABC
1994, 1999, 2002 and 2004.
members to have the opportunity to thank one of their fellow
3rd Quarter 2008 Winner: Carrie Severson members for the work they have done to make our chapter so
strong. To nominate someone you feel deserves this honor,
Congratulations to Carrie Severson! She has been named Volunteer contact a member of the IABC Phoenix Board of Directors via
of the Quarter for her sustained effort to ensure the success of the their contact information listed on iabcphoenix.com.
2008 Copper Quill Awards banquet. Severson attended planning
committee meetings and assisted with decision-making and event
coordination. In addition to securing a giveaway item for all
attendees (IMAX tickets), Severson welcomed attendees and
helped direct them to registration and the pre-awards reception.
Strengthen Your Development Portfolio
IABC’s local, regional and international programs can help your career
By Bill Hiniker, President & Founder, MessagePoint Communications Check the Phoenix Chapter Web site at iabcphoenix.com
regularly for local programming, including monthly professional
Built over time, a well-balanced portfolio can see you through
development luncheons, communications dialogues and other
tough times. It’s true for your savings and investments (horriﬁc
year-end statements notwithstanding). But it’s just as true for
the portfolio of knowledge, skills and experiences that you will Both the IABC World Conference and IABC Southern Region
bank on as you grow as a communicator and businessperson. Conference are in our neck of the woods this year, reducing
transportation costs and increasing convenience for Arizona
The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to set your
members. The World Conference is set for June 7-10 in
short- and long-term career objectives, assess your needs
San Francisco; the Southern Region Conference will be in
and shortcomings, and put together a realistic plan to help
Houston in the fall.
you learn, grow and advance in your career.
I attended my ﬁrst international conference almost 30 years
IABC offers a ﬁrst-class range of professional development
ago (with a parental chaperone, of course) and have been to
opportunities at the chapter, regional and international level –
about a half-dozen international and regional conferences in
for every need, interest and budget.
recent years. Obviously I’m a fan; for the following reasons:
• General sessions at which I’ve heard an eclectic
IABC Phoenix Upcoming Events group of speakers including Salman Rushdie, Malcolm
Gladwell, and James Carville and Mary Matalin.
• Tracks and sessions designed to meet my needs —
and yours, regardless of your interests, experience level
• Opportunities to pick the brains of speakers and
participants — it’s hard to imagine a communications
issue that someone at the conference hasn’t already
There are many upcoming IABC Phoenix events over the next
faced and solved.
several months. For more details and to register, please check
the calendar of events on iabcphoenix.com. • Networking — formal and informal. I’ve learned as
much in the hallways, lobbies and lounges as in the
• February 19 — Monthly luncheon featuring Robert Colbert
of ON Semiconductor to speak on change communications
• March 19 — Monthly luncheon featuring Steve Crescenzo, • Connections with members, potential clients and partners,
popular seminar leader, blogger, and podcaster resources and contacts, from throughout the world.
• March 20 — Full-day creative corporate communications
Consider using IABC’s local, regional and international
seminar featuring Steve Crescenzo – the #1 rated speaker
programs to strengthen your development portfolio in 2009.
at IABC’s 2008 International Conference (IABC Phoenix
members receive a $100 discount) Bill Hiniker is president and
founder of MessagePoint
• March 20 — Networking event with Steve Crescenzo
• April 7 — Communication dialogue with IABC Chair communications consulting
4 Barbara Gibson, ABC, speaking on “Where’s the Beef? Is and writing practice based in
Research Missing from your Communication Plan?” Phoenix. Hiniker attended the
Southern Region Conference
• April 23 — Non-Proﬁt Communications Forum
last fall on a grant from
• May 21 — Copper Quills Award Banquet with guest IABC Phoenix.
speaker Peter Shankman of HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
Intro Online Press Releases Make a Good First Impression?
Make your content stand out from the crowd
Account Executive, Business Wire
Thousands of press releases make
the rounds on computer screens every
day - milling around in editorial systems,
e-mails, RSS feeds, and online news
portals like a literary Times Square.
Whether you post releases to your Web
site or utilize a wire service, the challenge
is this: How can you make your content
stand out from the crowd?
In my opinion, the headline is the most
important aspect of a press release and
falls under the “you never get a second
chance to make a ﬁrst impression”
category. After all, if you can’t persuade
someone to open your release they can’t
really read it, can they?
Google only displays the ﬁrst 63 Malcolm Atherton represents Business
A headline should be compelling, it
characters of a headline. Wire’s full-service Phoenix news
should succinctly state the theme of your
I use Google as an example, as they bureau. As a part of Business Wire’s
release, and it should make someone
own a majority of search market share. new media specialist team, he is
want to know more. That’s it. The sub
I’m not saying that you should make available as a resource to Arizona
headline and body of text should have
all headlines 63 characters - just try to communicators for questions on press
the honor of going into detail.
front-load your headline with the most release optimization, social media, and
valuable part of your headline so the more. Contact him at 480-990-9942,
So what can you keep in mind when
important stuff is visible in search engine email@example.com,
crafting your releases for a company
results pages (SERPs). Yahoo! shows or “Tweet” at @malcolmatherton.
newsroom or for online distribution?
120 characters, in case you’re curious.
Write a headline that is keyword rich.
Headline creation should take you a long
You know your audience. What terms or
time. Between picking key terms that will
phrases will catch their attention and make
attract your audience, coming up with
them want more info? Think “hot buttons.”
a succinct way to describe what your
It is your release vs. everyone else’s.
readers can expect from your release,
For online releases, the headline and considering what your readers will
becomes the page title. see should they stumble across your
The headline becomes the press release in SERPs, you have a project on
release’s page title in the HTML source your hands. In the end, it will be worth it.
code. This is one of the pieces of
Your headline is the ﬁrst thing people
content that search engines use to
will see, and it is the key to having a
index your press release. According to
release that’s read vs. one that isn’t. It
SEOmoz’s most recent Search Engine
also is someone’s ﬁrst impression of
Ranking Factors, keyword usage in the
page title is the #1 positive factor in
search engine rankings. Make it a good one.
A look at the millennium generation
By Lisa Urias, President, Urias Communications
Whatever your political afﬁliations, one thing is certain: the Barack
Obama campaign was impressive. More dollars raised through
small Internet campaign donations than any other candidate in
history. Tens of thousands attended rallies, not just nationally but
internationally. Young people engaged at unprecedented levels.
How did the Obama campaign do it? What underlying strategies did
they employ to attract the attention of this new wave of American
voters and engage them with the Barack Obama “brand.”
Just two weeks before the election, AdAge named Barack Obama
four years ago, very few were looking at new markets in a strategic
“Marketer of the Year,” and numerous others have written about
fashion or as a way of generating new customers.
“The Brilliance of Obama Marketing.” Much of the discussion
centers around viral marketing, which no doubt was a magniﬁcent However, what we’re learning from the Obama campaign is that to
display of the very best practices today. grow market share for your campaign, business or organization, you
must ﬁnd ways to reach the burgeoning new multicultural markets
However, in addition to viral strategies, the Obama campaign also did
– the millennium markets – to ensure more than brand recognition,
what others did not. They focused on developing a strategy, not just for
but true embracement of the brand.
their “high efﬁcacy voters,” or “existing target markets,” they focused
on the new wave of the next generation: the millennium market. The Obama campaign tapped into a huge wave of new voters that
others didn’t know existed, or didn’t target. And they did so in a way
Targeting mainstream mass customers with traditional marketing
that inspired those voters to embrace the Barack Obama brand.
strategies remains the foundational strategy for most campaigns
and companies. I know. When I started our multicultural agency Visit barackobama.com and click on “People.” There you will ﬁnd
23 different identity groups of people listed, from Asian-American to
Latino, from Students to Environmentalists. Click on any of those
categories and you ﬁnd speciﬁc messages from the candidate to
that group with video clips and blogs from individuals within that
group stating why they are supporting Barack Obama. From there,
you can go to a speciﬁc MySpace or Facebook page with people
like you – like the “Obama-Pride” group for LGBT members that
speaks speciﬁcally to the issues that inspire those communities.
Suddenly, you are personally connected to this brand.
In a study comparing the Hillary Clinton and Obama campaigns,
David Leonard, Fortune writer, reports that, “the digital world is all
about grassroots. Traditional media is about authority. Digital is
about authenticity. You can see it in the language they use. Obama
uses the language of ‘we and you,’ which is inclusive and nods to
Lisa Urias is the president and owner of Urias Communications, an
the wisdom of the crowds. [Hillary] uses ‘I and me.’ His stuff is about
advertising and public relations agency located in Scottsdale, Arizona,
that speciﬁcally targets the burgeoning millennium, multicultural ‘yes you can,’ which is about the buyer. She talks about ‘experience
markets of the U.S. from day one,’ which is about the seller. That doesn’t resonate
6 anymore. One key thing you recognize from everything from
Urias was the guest speaker at IABC Phoenix’s monthly luncheon
MySpace to the blogosphere is that people want to have a voice.”
on Jan. 15 and spoke to our members about “Millennium Marketing
– The New Markets of the 21st Century.” IABC Phoenix offers
The commercials on MTV focused on the next generation with
professional development luncheons the third Thursday every month.
messages and images of the environment, ending the war and
Visit iabcphoenix.com for more details.
unity – a completely different approach to those he targeted in his
30-minute televised address. When younger males downloaded
This article has been adapted from one that originally appeared in the
January/February 2009 issue of Latino Future Magazine. Visit Latino
Continued on page 7
Future online at latinofuture.com.
Communicating in a Virtual World
Translating geek-speak for fun and proﬁt
By Mark E. Nageotte, Director of Marketing First, stop thinking of IT pros as aliens. vocabulary that IT pros use everyday. This
and Communications, QCM Technologies We are all familiar with the stereotype of really is not as difﬁcult as learning a second
the classic computer nerd, but in reality, IT language; however, it will require you to ask
Things sure have changed. Remember
pros are usually very smart and generally some questions and possibly spend some
how you felt the ﬁrst time someone asked
very secure individuals. (They don’t even time on the Internet and doing some outside
you, “What the heck is a ‘typewriter’?” Just
mind being called “geeks” – they think reading. For starters, ﬁnd a one-paragraph
a few years ago, most of us were getting
it’s a title of merit.) They like to talk about explanation of each of the following:
used to “word processors,” and now we’ve
technology and to discuss the impact a. Virtualization
surrendered ourselves to the world of
that new solutions will have on business. b. Real-time
“Information Technology” (IT); and those
However, they generally see themselves c. Storage
“techies” who run the machines now rule
as being “techies” ﬁrst and business d. Data security
people second (or third or fourth ….).
Well, OK, maybe they don’t actually “rule
The problem lies in their communication f. Thin clients
the world,” but they do have A LOT of
skills – they don’t have any! Seriously, g. High availability
inﬂuence on our ability to get our work
the social skills of a lot of IT pros (but Whether you are a budding software
done everyday. In most mid-sized and
deﬁnitely not all of them) bear the scars of developer or a borderline techno-phobe,
large businesses, IT is now one of the
having spent too much time relating to a as a business communicator your career
largest annual capital investments. The
digital enterprise that actually has an “off” will likely be dramatically affected by your
geeks may not run our businesses (yet) –
button. At the same time, most techies are ability to interact with and communicate for
the lawyers still do that – but the role they
happy to help the rest of us understand IT professionals. To do this successfully,
play is becoming more and more critical to
what it is that they are doing. you must ﬁrst take the time to understand
the success and survival of organizations
their world and their issues.
of all shapes and sizes. In short, while techies are excited by their
jobs, they also want to be understood and Mark Nageotte is a
Fortunately (for business communicators),
appreciated. Making that happen is your job! freelance business
as IT becomes more critical to every
aspect of our economy, the communication Second, seek out a few IT pros who will and the Director
needs of our IT departments have take the time to explain basic concepts to of Marketing and
increased dramatically. So, if you plan to you. While you’re at it, you might consider Communications for
stay in business, it’s best to learn how to taking a couple of IT classes. (If you’re really
in Scottsdale. He
communicate with the IT professionals and ambitious, you could even get “A+ Certiﬁed.”
can be contacted at
become familiar with the challenges and If you’re interested, do a Google search.)
opportunities they deal with everyday. To or 602-809-0987.
Third, over the short term, familiarize
get started, try these three steps.
yourself with some of the latest concepts and
Obama Style Marketing continued...
upgrades to video games, they were suddenly racing by billboards into the new markets of America – not just existing markets – and
with the Change We Can Believe In slogan. this proved to be successful.
These marketing strategies are not more complex or expensive What we learned for marketing campaigns – whether selling
than traditional strategies. In fact, many can be much more efﬁcient. candidates or products – is that now is the time to transcend the
But they do require an area of expertise that is focused on these boundaries of old marketing strategies that are focused on an
markets and a commitment to reaching them. increasingly shrinking market and take the time and energy to invest
in the burgeoning new markets of America.
Indeed, the Obama campaign demonstrated a wholly new and
different approach to marketing. It invoked aspirational feelings, Any product or service can transcend the boundaries of its current,
which is what great brands do. But those feelings penetrated deep narrow category. In fact, not to do so may render it obsolete.
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THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF IABC PHOENIX
IN THIS ISSUE
TH IS ISSUE
Creative Corporate Communication?
2008 CopperCopper Quill Recap
2008 Quill Award Award
Communications inin fact, it’sMillennium
Communications in the Next Millennium
No...it’s not an oxymoron: the Next the future
Notes on Networking
A new The seven key points for networking
A new book by Jamie and Maren Showkeir
book by Jamie and Maren Showkeir
Strengthen YourArticle phase of Article 1
et-based webisodes kick off ﬁrst 1 Article 1 rollouts
IABC’sCarolina Guana, Account Executive, Urias Communications
By local, regional and international programs can help your career
roli by XXXX XXXX
Do Your Online Press Article 1 Article 1 Article 1 Article 1 A
Releases Make a Good First Impression?
Longtime IBAC Phoenix Memeber HArticle 1 onored
Jerry Porter namedby outPOA of the Year
wing from the XXXX
Make your content stand XXXX XXXX crowd
Article 1 Article 1 Obama-Style Marketing
Article 1 Article 1 Article 1
by XXXX XXXX XXXX
A look at theby XXXX XXXX XXXX
IABCphoenix.com WINTER ′09