Guest Post by Shanan Sorochynski
February came and went and I didn’t write a valentine for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
I should have.
While I have no plans to get an IABC logo tattooed on my bicep, I am scrawling its name all over my date book.
It’s getting obnoxious.
In my home town you can always tell when a new batch of kids have started training at the Taekwondo academy, since a wave of them will be kicking signs and mailboxes down main street.
In a sense, I’ve been kicking figurative mailboxes since I became an IABC member five years ago.
I want to measure everything.
I want tactics to make sense.
I want to see the needle move.
All good things. But, it also means having to struggle with chatter in my head.
“You have a great tactic but no objectives? You just know the odds are good that something kinda sorta in the ballpark of your goal will happen because of it? Eeeep.”
“Your measure of success is not having people complain about your project.” *smacks forehead*
“Your company gave you budget to what?”
I don’t say these things, of course. But I think them and that’s just as bad.
I want to grab these people and tell them about a wonderful place where goals and strategy hold hands and make sweet, sweet ROI together.
Denting those “mailboxes,” I am.
I recently went to a workshop (a pilot program) that trains members how to evaluate IABC award entries consistently.
It was eye-opening.
The organizers really should have started it off Matrix-style:
“You take the blue pill and the workshop ends. You wake in your office and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in this hotel conference room and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”
To make a long story short, IABC schooled me once again.
I marked the test cases too high. Every communications project looked outstanding to me.
When we went through each section the line between competent and excellent became clearer, more fixed … and so did the line between competent and inadequate.
It’s good information to have.
But, it means no “mailbox” in my office is safe.
Shanan Sorochynski manages the University of Regina’s first official blog: YOURblog. Previous to this she was the managing editor of U of R Report, the University’s faculty and staff internal publication, and a print journalist in Manitoba.