Why You Should Go To IABC’s Southern Region Conference

On the fence about attending the IABC Southern Region Conference? IABC Tulsa’s Sara Reynolds attended the Southern Region Conference in 2011 and shares her experience with us.

Picture this: New Orleans, 2011, Southern Region Conference.  As a four year IABC member and three time conference veteran, I had this! My sessions were picked and my top restaurant choices for the dine-around selected before I even left Little Rock.  It was time to rock this conference!

I arrived at the welcome reception and all of my preparation and nerve disappeared as quickly as the bananas foster was served to conference goers. I didn’t know anyone there. I was the only IABC/Arkansas delegate there. I was alone in a room full of people reconnecting with old friends, introducing each other to new friends and just having fun mingling.

Here is where I admit my big secret; I am actually quite shy unless forced to be otherwise and no one was forcing me to participate. So I went up to my room (after eating, of course) and got some rest. The next morning would be my morning. Seriously, it would.

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MEET A MEMBER

IABC Tulsa features one of its members in the “Meet a Member” section of the newsletter. This month, we learn more about Natasha Mitchell, senior analyst, internal communications and HR services at ConocoPhillips.

Why do you love your job? I enjoy collaborating with clients on a global platform and the opportunity to showcase what a communicator actually does to those who aren’t familiar with the profession.

How long have you been a member of IABC? Since Sept. 2012.

What is the best IABC meeting/seminar/conference that you have ever attended? Why? “Crisis Communications: When “IT” hits the Fan” with Gerald Braud (Sept. 2012). A lot of the information he was referring to in regards to the media is accurate. Timing is key before and during a crisis. It is especially important, particularly with the addition of social media and public watchdog groups. It’s interesting to view how a company or an individual’s reputation can quickly go sour in a matter of one tweet.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? I have networked with other communicators locally; however, I would like expand to meeting others on a national and an international scale.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work? Travel with my husband, reading, and writing.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? Jamaica, Mexico – any place with a beach.

Who is your favorite musical artist? Brian Culbertson.

What’s your favorite movie? James Bond franchise.

What’s your favorite restaurant? Hard to pinpoint one – love seafood/Louisiana cuisine (New Orleans style).

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is ever evolving. As with all innovation, the direction we innovate is a combination of what is technically possible and what is socially desirable. Technological developments determine the possibilities, but our needs determine which technology will actually break through and remain a facet of our life.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Take advantage of every opportunity possible. Take some time away from the office and attend a conference or participate in a fellowship with other professionals. When collaborating with others, you learn that you aren’t the only one encountering the same problems. What you learn is how to come to a reasonable solution, and in the process, you add another cheerleader to your personal circle of friends.

Meet A Member

Each month, IABC Tulsa features one of its members in this section of the newsletter. This month, we learn more about Ward Mankin, who is an EMMY award winning video production manager for T.D. Williamson.

Why do you love your job?  I get to travel the world videotaping our global company, so the days are never the same. I get to learn many different ways of life and work. Not everyone works 8 to 5.

How long have you been a member? I once was a member in the late 90’s working for Williams, 3 years. I recently re-joined in May of this year – 2012.

What is the best IABC meeting/seminar/conference that you have ever attended? Why?  I have the old guy syndrome and only know that every meeting is the best.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development?  Besides it being the best networking tool! I enjoy IABC for how it shows me others communicate in the business, how local companies utilize different forms of communication to benefit their customers and employees and how those that don’t try to keep up.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work? Workout, Ride Bicycles, and eat.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? Destin Florida, Maui Hawaii and the couch at home.

Who is your favorite musical artist?  Dave Matthews Band

What’s your favorite movie?  August Rush, because music is the base for all things.

What’s your favorite restaurant?  Pei Wei

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is: short, simple and visual.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals?  Listen, listen, listen then be proactive and less reactive.

I would like to note that I have a Bronze Quill Award, A Best of Show, and my most favorite is my two EMMY nominations I received while working at KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City during the Oklahoma City Bombing. I do hold an EMMY for editing a half-hour show called “The Photojournalists of KOCO-TV” It was a behind the scenes look at what video photographers endure during the course of any given day.