Speed networking: the elevator pitch

Elevator pitch

Whether you are a job seeker, a consultant, a student, or a professional in career transition, the elevator pitch is your personal 60-second storytelling commercial. Join us in practicing and perfecting your elevator pitch in different situations in a fun and dynamic speed networking session led by Bernadette Martin, Brand Strategist and founder of Visibility Branding.
Billetterie Weezevent“>Sign up now!

Speednetworking elevator pitch evening: February 12


Whether you are a job seeker, a consultant, a student, or a professional in career transition, the elevator pitch is your personal 60-second storytelling commercial. Join us in practicing and perfecting your elevator pitch in different situations in a fun and dynamic speed networking session led by Bernadette Martin, Brand Strategist and founder of Visibility Branding.

You’ll learn, listen and laugh.

Time 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Place Room C-152 Combes Building 6 rue du Colonel Combes, AUP 75007 Paris
M° Invalides, Alma Marceau
RER Invalides, Pont de l’Alma

Billetterie Weezevent“>Register now!

New Year’s Message From the Chapter Leadership

Eileen Lavergne IABC France President

Eileen Lavergne
IABC France President

Dear Friends of IABC France,

Recent tragic events in Paris have undoubtedly touched us all deeply and dampen the start of the New Year. In sparing a thought and prayer for the families of the victims, let’s strive to make 2015 indomitable in celebrating freedom and justice. As we take up pens and keyboards as professional business communicators, may we do so untarnished and without fear of harm and repercussions. “Nous sommes tous Charlie!”

On that note and on behalf of IABC France leadership, I wish you a hearty, healthy, safe and flourishing 2015!

Our new website is now LIVE and below, I highlight some major activities you can be expecting in this quarter, for your learning and development. I urge you to save the dates and join us to invest in your professional growth as business communicators.

A. Win a Conference Scholarship to EuroComm 2015, 12-14 April, London

Coincidentally, freedom and justice were the tenets of the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter” 800 years ago. To celebrate this anniversary, Europe’s largest bi-annual conference of communication practitioners, themed “Power to the People” will take place in London.

IABC France is offering three (3) scholarship tickets to members who are keen to participate at the conference. To be eligible, please apply to our vice president,Sean Ryan, ryan_sean@hotmail.com, by Wednesday, 28 January, stating:

Your full name, email and contact number, and if you have volunteered in any capacity with IABC France, including a short write-up or video clip, providing
1) Your top 3 learning objectives for attending EuroComm
2) How you will know if you’ve met your objectives (your measure of learning)
3) How you hope to apply and share the lessons gained with IABC France upon your return

B. Learn to Make Communications Strategically Relevant to Business

Are you managing communications for the sake of communicating, or are you managing communication priorities by considering your larger organizational and business agenda?

This quarter, we’ve invited subject matter experts from IABC’s rich global network to share pertinent practices in placing “business” at the centre of managing strategic communications. If you are generalists or strategic advisors of communications, you’ll want to sign up for these upcoming seminars to hone communications into a business-critical strategy.

January 28: #11 Ways Strategic Communications Impact Organizational Performance by Stephen Welch, communication consultant and Michael Ambjorn, entrepreneur and global IABC Vice-Chair, co-hosted by Revolution 9. Sign up now.

March 26: Building a World-Class Communication Operation – a Case Study of the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills by Russell Grossman, group communications director and global IABC Chair. Stay tuned for details.

Both Russell and Michael will also be visiting some of our members at their companies during their respective visits to Paris as IABC’s global chair and vice-chair. Save the dates and let us know if you’d like them to meet with your team.

18 February-25 March: a 6-session online course on going from Tactical to Strategic Communication kicks off with Barbara Gibson, a researcher, lecturer and consultant with 25 years of experience as a business communicator.

C. Gain New Connections with New Networking Opportunities

February 12: Professional Networking Soiree mini-workshop with Bernadette Martin, a prolific networker, speaker, author and consultant of personal branding. Save the date and registration will be open soon.

March 3: International Women’s Day Telepresence Seminar by SWiT (Scottish Women in Technology) and Cisco. As an invited speaker, I will be securing a number of limited seats for IABC members to experience this multi-site virtual conference and networking event. Stay tuned for details.

D. Take Advantage of Global IABC Professional Development Assets

New global website. It’s a new look and new format to make your search for relevant courses, information assets and participation easier.
Gold Quill Award 2015 submission deadline has been extended to 31 January by popular demand.
• The VMA-IABC European market survey of communication jobs has also been extended to capture a larger representation. Please take the survey.

Engage, Ignite, Transform.

Positioning yourself as an expert: presenting, blogging and sharing knowledge!

Giallian DENAVIT


To be perfectly honest, I had let my IABC membership lapse in 2014. My freelance market research business had been slow since June, and I wanted a few more contracts before paying the annual IABC membership fee.
Then came an email from IABC membership chair, Kasha Dougall, inviting me to meet up to discuss how IABC France could better meet my needs. I told her I’d be happy to share my thoughts.
Well, chalk it up to Kasha’s boundless enthusiasm, within 24 hours of our lunch I had signed up again for the IABC and several days later became a member of the IABC steering committee. I had also agreed to attend, and blog about, the November Networking Soirée: “How to develop your network and position yourself as an expert.”
To my delight, the evening was incredibly useful to me (and from the look of it, to everyone else in the room). What’s more, the proposed ideas for network development and positioning yourself as an expert, were actions I actually felt I could take.

Our sponsor for the evening , Lise Bissonnette Janody, founder of content strategy consultancy Dot-Connection, opened the session, “ Share your knowledge, grow your business.” She was joined by two other panelists; Patricia Lane, Cross-cultural corporate communications expert at Franco-American Quill; and Julie Vetter, inbound marketing expert, founder of Hoi Moon Marketing .

Key Learnings

Make presentations at conferences: these talks are a highly effective means of positioning oneself as an expert. They also allow you to develop meaningful relationships with your peers.
Janody explained that when she started out in content strategy she wanted to go to a lot of conferences in this burgeoning field. “I saw it as an opportunity to present information on my unique contribution to content strategy, on what I was doing differently than my peers,” she said. “Having worked with multinationals, I had knowledge that many others were interested in.”

While it took Janody a month to put together her first presentation, it was worth it. “I formalized my knowledge, got my confidence up, and was able to build a framework for finding new clients,” she explained. “I asked my network if they’d like to hear the presentation, and I got two new clients that way. A presentation is a good calling card.”

In closing, Janody added, “I knew a lot about my subject but I didn’t consider myself an ‘expert.’ I shared what I knew and it allowed me to reach peers. Peers are a great source of support and potential partnerships. I learned to speak, as I went along.”

Blog. Then blog again.
Patricia Lane, Cross-cultural corporate communications expert at Franco-American Quill, told us that she has been blogging for eight years. “I started blogging just because I felt like it,” said Lane. “It was a new platform that appealed to my geeky side.

Lane admitted she was apprehensive when she started blogging. “I thought ‘Who will listen to you? Why do you think you are good enough to blog? What if I make a typo? What if no one is listening?’” However, as time went on, Lane realized, “We are all the same. We all put our pants on the same way, one leg at a time.”

It was in 2006 that Lane took the plunge and blogged for the first time. “It has brought me a lot: forcing me to focus on what I want to say, and to whom,” she said. “It has given me the courage to go out on a limb and say publicly what I think. And people are listening. Some of my posts have attracted a lot of debate in the comments, sometimes years after the first publication date. It makes me accountable, and I am talking to a niche audience.”

Lane said that she realized that when you blog you are not playing to everyone. “My advice is to write about what you are interested in,” she said. “You can’t respond to everyone’s needs. Blogging is actually a very intimate experience. If you want to blog, just do it. Think of it as one conversation at a time. And if you have second thoughts or made a mistake, you have full editorial control – and even the delete button.”

Half of the time Lane blogs in English, and the other half of the time she blogs in French. “That’s not what we are told we are supposed to do. But choosing one language and culture would have cut me in half, so I made my own rules,” Lane added. “I feel the measure of success when I look at Google search results on key words that matter for me despite not having done anything to boost referring stats. The blog has fed my websites and kept them active in Google’s eyes. They end up of on the first page of key word searches relevant to my business.”

Share your knowledge to grow your business

Julie Vetter, digital marketing expert, founder of Hoi Moon Marketing, said she originally got involved with social networks because she owned a restaurant with over 500 (very active) Facebook followers. “Certain industries are easier than others, when it comes to marketing on Facebook,” noted Vetter. “An example: author Dan Brown is very successful on Facebook, while technical subjects are often less popular, because you go to Facebook to relax and engage with the author. On the other hand, doing a search in real time, “Dan Brown”, the author, didn’t appear in search results on LinkedIn. This is because, one audience member observed in this interactive evening, “he isn’t looking for a job.”
“When you have a community, you need members who want to discuss things.” I run a user group on LinkedIn for businesses that use marketing software called HubSpot. The group has people who need these tools for their business, so they are highly motivated to participate.
She noted a startup social network intended for women that is being developed by one person and has over $40,000 invested in funds and hours prior to launching. “It’s not one network or another that guarantees success, the network must also be appropriate for your goal,” she added. “One person might feel comfortable using Facebook to connect with people, while another doesn’t like being online. That individual would rather meet someone in person than in social networks.”

For Vetter, offline and online presence is becoming seamless. “LinkedIn is great for alumni networks and staying connected after an in-person event,” she said. “Twitter is great for sharing events.”
Vetter’s final words of advice: “Authenticity is the most important thing on social media, more important than being perfect is being real,” she said.

Season’s Greetings


Wishing you all very happy holidays. Looking forward to seeing you on January 28th at our Galettes des Rois and 1st seminar workshop of the year at Revolution 9, Paris 7th.