“If Not Us, Then Who?”| A communicator’s experience of COP-21”

Life is short — join IABC France at Point Ephémère on Wednesday, 9 December 2015 | 19.00-21.00

You will only pay whatever you eat or drink at the venue, but please register on Weezevent so we know how many people to expect.

IABC France is offering an exclusive opportunity to visit the “If Not Us Then Who” exhibit and hear an insider’s account of the road to the Paris climate change talks.

Featured speaker: Sophia Cheng, member of IABC UK, will talk about her work on “If Not Us Then Who”, which asks the question “Who is protecting our forests?” A series of stories filmed over the past two years in preparation for COP-21 help us to better understand how the lives of indigenous people around the world are interwoven with the forests they inhabit. The communities are guardians of the forests and dependent on these fragile natural resources for survival and well-being.

Recognised by the Institute of Internal Communications as one of the top ’30 under 30′ in the Internal Communications industry in 2012, Sophia has been the Director of With Many Roots, an agency helping groups and organizations to communicate more effectively since 2014. She is also Communications Manage of Handcrafted Films. Both organizations are supporting the “If Not Us Then Who” project.

Special Networking Soirée to Close 2014-2015

Join us on Wednesday, July 1st at AUP for our closing event of the 2014-2015 IABC year, a professional networking soirée around cultural exchange.

Our featured speaker, Angela Sinickas will explain how to help executives adapt their large-group presentations through cultural intelligence. But first, we’ll start with a quick review of the year and the outcome of the virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) — members would have received instructions on how to participate in the virtual AGM online at their convenience.

The evening will close with networking and mingling over refreshments. We look forward to seeing you one more time before the summer break.

Prior online registration is required (for building security and catering).
IABC Members & AUP students – 10 euros
Non-members – 20 euros

Develop Your Leader’s Cultural Intelligence

Senior executives often communicate with employees and others through large-group meetings. However, communication effectiveness is perceived differently from culture to culture. This poses a challenge to executives leading in multi-national environments. Angela’s talk will introduce a Cross-Cultural Communication Guide for conducting large meetings to provide practical tips for how to adapt the way executives communicate when facing different cultures to help them become more effective leaders.

A copy of the Guide will be provided to all those attending the meeting. It includes a self-assessment tool to identify presenters’ own norms on seven characteristics of culture, and then includes detailed advice on how to adapt their approach for meetings in terms of content, format and timing when in countries that are very different from their own. Some of the seven cultural scales affecting meeting design include egalitarianism vs. hierarchy, individual vs. group focus, and low-context vs. high-context communication.

Angela Sinickas is CEO of Sinickas Communications, Inc., an international consulting firm specializing in measuring the effectiveness of corporate communication. She has written over 150 articles about communication (available on her website www.sinicom.com) and has spoken with groups in 32 countries. She is a highly sought after speaker and has always been highly appreciated by IABC France audiences when in Paris.

She has a master’s degree in leadership and is an accredited business communicator through the International Association of Business Communicators.

Billetterie Weezevent

On AGM Voting and the year that was …


Dear IABC friends,

How time has flown! 2014-2015 board term is coming to an end to make way for new thinking and new ideas.

As outgoing chapter president, I wanted to thank our active members and non-members who constantly challenge us to make IABC France better. It’s been a busy year, with the chapter receiving some solid support from regional and global IABC, with visits from IABC global chair and vice chair.

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Despite some unavoidable lows in recent months that affected chapter momentum, IABC France had a stellar outing all round, largely due to the collaborative efforts of our leadership team and volunteers and continued partnership with AUP. Read about it in the IABC France 2014-2015 AGM report

The time has come now for members to vote in a new board of officers and leadership team – by 30 June. It’s also time to think about how you’d like to invest in your development as leaders in business communication.

If shaping IABC to advance your leadership skills and career speaks to you, how about leading the chapter as president? We are looking for attitude and drive rather than expertise and experience – someone who appreciates valuable pro bono work and rises to the challenge. Learn about our IABCFr Leadership Charter & Values 2014-2015. Email me if interested: eleelavergne@gmail.com

Be sure to check if your membership lapsed. As long as you renew immediately, you still get to vote and be eligible to serve as a chapter leader for 2015-2016, starting in July.

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Finally, I invite you to join us for a last toast before summer holidays on 1 July, and meet Angela Sinickas who will be in town to talk about “Developing your leader’s cultural intelligence”.

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Eileen Lee Lavergne

Revolutionize communications to meet new demands

A case study from UK Government Communications
Russell Grossman ABC, IABC International Chair & Group Communications Director UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.
26th March 2015/ IABC France/American University of Paris

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Budget cuts. Sizing down. Doing more with less. Does this sound familiar? This was exactly where UK Government Communications found themselves in 2010 with the arrival of the coalition government.
Before you stop reading because you don’t work for a government, you’ll be interested to discover that much of what UK Government communications has implemented can be easily transposed to businesses and associations of any nature. “This is fundamentally because audiences all react the same, apart from a few specificities”, informs Russell Grossman, IABC Global Chair.
The Government has increasingly decided to move towards an audience-based communication instead of policy-based campaigns. In the same way, companies now create conversations with their customers instead of running product advertising.

This new approach was driven by four catalysts: Why People are so important“>People & Government Communication Service, where all campaigns, leaflets, guidance and even the Government Communication plan can be downloaded. This would be a surprisingly transparent and modern approach for any institution, notes Russell. The success of this initiative supports the IABC Chair’s advice that communicators should focus on, “building digital services, not websites”.


The teams have defined clear priorities for government communications. Campaign design principles and techniques, mnemonicised as OASIS and EAST, are available to ensure that all campaigns are effective in engaging with audiences. “But how do you ensure that you reach all of the population when many are not connected to the Internet?,” asks an IABC attendee. Telephone numbers are visible on all collateral and outdoor & press advertising are still an important part of each campaign.

What skills will communicators need in the future?

With the digital era fundamentally changing the way we communicate, what will the future communicator look like? The Press Office has already died, the media handler is just being born, but it’s really integrated communicators who will win the race. The fundamentals still remain the same, it’s all about understanding how people tick.

Kasha Dougall/ Member Outreach/ IABC France

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Using Digital to Promote Your Freelance Business

By Andrew Hennigan

Freelance communication professionals can benefit from using digital PR to promote their business, but the real problem is to manage these channels without spending so much time there is none left to do the actual work.

An online presence can be useful in several different ways. Most important of all it makes your business more visible in search results. Simply by having profiles on a few social sites greatly increases your online footprint. If you also post from time to time on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites this visibility increases even more.

But what is important to recognize is that there is no need to post continually. Big brand accounts, celebrities and the internet famous keep up a constant stream of tweets, posts, photos and videos because they have the time and resources to do so. Freelancers whose job isn’t to be famous need to focus much more on fewer channels and fewer posts. So which channels are most important for a communications freelancer? In part this depends on the work you do but there are some everyone should have:

LANDING PAGE. Everyone should have either a personal website or a landing page on a site like about.me, which makes it trivially simple to create a basic home page with contact information and a brief description of what you do. A complicated website isn’t so important today when most people access web pages from their phone. In fact a mobile friendly website is much more effective because it is more readable and given more priority by Google.

BLOG. Personal blogs are perhaps not so fashionable in 2015 but they are still very useful. Don’t be worried if your blog does not have many subscribers; its real value comes when people are searching. Post thought leadership articles in your field and people searching for those will find you. This also makes it more likely that you will be asked to provide an expert comment by media.

TWITTER. The most powerful social site, Twitter helps in building a larger footprint in search – tweets are now searchable in real time – and also in bringing other pages to a wider audience. Tweeting links to your blog posts, articles published elsewhere, invitations to events and other pages increases the number of people likely to see them.

FACEBOOK. Once purely for personal things, Facebook is growing in importance for business use simply because more people are there than on LinkedIn. A business page allows you to separate business content from your personal Facebook activity and simplifies sharing within the Facebook community. Don’t expect big-brand level engagement on your page but its presence still helps you.

LINKEDIN. Practically everyone in business has a LinkedIn profile today and in my experience updates posted on this site tend to generate more traffic for business posts than other sites. Even if nobody reads your updates they are still important because they are a continual reminder to your network that you exist, and make people think about you again. These nudges can lead to business.

There are many other useful sites, like Pinterest and Instagram for photos, YouTube and Vimeo for videos, SoundCloud and iTunes for audio and so on. Whether you use these or not depends on your business. Some people post speaking event videos on YouTube, audio podcasts on iTunes and photos of events on Instagram. Writers might not need any of these but would possibly look at blogging platforms like Medium.

But how can one person with other work to do possibly keep up with all of these sites? The answer is twofold. First of all, the best way to use these sites is to post some content at reasonably frequent intervals but without overdoing it. You will find that tweeting every five minutes and posting 20 updates to LinkedIn can actually be counterproductive because you swamp peoples’ feeds. It is much better to post the occasional update.

The second secret is that there are free productivity tools to help manage accounts. Full automation is generally considered unadvisable – it mostly annoys people – but there are ways to reduce the workload. There are many tools for doing this but my favorite free tool is a website called Hootsuite. In the free version it is possible to monitor several social channels on a single screen. It is also possible to schedule posts in advance. The best practice for using these tools is to schedule posts that can be predicted in advance but to have alerts when someone mentions you so that you can send a personal reply quickly from your phone. All of the social sites have convenient mobile apps. There is also a mobile version of Hootsuite that is useful when you are out of the office, though for the daily or weekly scheduling of posts a laptop is much easier.

Digital communication is at the same time more important than most people realize, but less time consuming than they imagine. Done well it can generate useful results with surprisingly little effort. Just don’t expect to get thousands of replies and retweets like Lady Gaga or Kanye West. You don’t need them anyway.