By Amanda LeNeve, Director of Membership, Canada West Region Board
In Canada, IABC has a big, lively and committed membership base. With several of the largest chapters in the world up here in the Great White North, we have a lot to be proud of… and a lot to give to new members who take the opportunity to join us.
And while our Canadian membership is a big and powerful network, what makes an IABC membership even better is the global community you get to be part of and glean from.
But what does an IABC membership ACTUALLY mean for you, your career, personal development and even your employer? Let tell you!
I have been an IABC member for over six years. Since joining, I have made connections from my local chapter to across Canada and even the world!. You get what you put in to your membership and I have seen immense personal and professional growth because of the doors my membership has opened for me.
-Heidi Abramyk, CMP, member since 2015
Meaningful connections with communicators in your neighbourhood and around the world
IABC offers many opportunities to connect and work with communications professionals from all over the world, with a wide range of experiences and expertise. By taking advantage of some of the opportunities I’m listing here, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll boost your career, skills and overall feelings of being supported in this industry.
- Volunteer opportunities with local, regional and international boards and committees: this means working very closely with some of the best communication professionals around. Generally speaking, IABC volunteers like to have a good time too, so if you like having fun with fun people, what are you waiting for?
- More people to sit and chat with at conferences and other gatherings: Let’s face it, going to conferences on your own can be awkward. Involvement in IABC means that you will know lots of people at the next conference or event you attend. Not only that, but they’ll probably introduce you to even more!
Enhancing your communication skills
Some of my most powerful professional opportunities have come from my IABC membership, enhancing work in the jobs I’ve held and advancing my career beyond them. Here are a few of the most significant opportunities:
- Access to a large network of certified and accredited professionals: CMPs, SCMPs, ABCs — we’ve got them all. Not only are they great resources and mentors, but they’ll probably inspire and support you to pursue certification too.
- Access to Master Communicators and Fellows: those folks are at the top of their game, with decades of wisdom to share. They’ve ‘been there, done that’ and are happy to share their experience.
- Award entries and judging opportunities: Entering any of IABC’s awards programs is an incredible learning experience, both in the application process and also when you receive feedback on your entries. As you advance in your career, you can also become an awards judge, which allows you to work with other seasoned communication professionals to assess some of the best work from around the world.
- Case studies, tools, webinars, professional development sessions: Your IABC membership gives you special access to a range of learning opportunities that can meet your needs regardless of where you’re at in your career.
- Conferences! Being a Canadian IABC member has never been better. Two of the best conferences will be happening on home turf in 2023 — the Canada West Conference (location to be announced soon) in the fall of 2023 and IABC’s signature World Conference will take place in Toronto in June 2023. Whether you attend one or both, you’ll have access to world-class learning opportunities, networking and social events.
As a member of IABC for the past 38 years, I received my ABC in 1995 and it was a turning point in my career. I’ve been fortunate to have had wonderful mentors and role models to show me the way, I am always happy to help IABC members as they pursue their career goals.
– Sue Heuman, ABC, MC, IABC Fellow, member since 1984
Advancing the communications profession
As a communication professional, you know the high degree of thought, expertise and skill it takes to do the job, but not everyone else you work with always does.
By joining our incredible community of successful, accomplished professionals, you can help us raise the bar for how communication professionals are perceived in the organizations we work in. You can also tap into this network for advice on raising your and your team’s profile within your organization.
Did I mention certification yet? If you’re looking to show just how experienced a communication professional you are, CMP and SCMP certifications are a great way to do that — they’re also the only communication certification programs in the world that conform to ISO standard 17024. You don’t have to be a member to get your certification, but it certainly helps with fee reductions, access to learning opportunities and maintaining your credits once you’re certified.
Achieving my certification — first as a CMP and then as an SCMP — demonstrates to me, my clients and my colleagues that I’m a capable, strategic communicator that brings value to the work I’m involved in. It’s helped me stand out against the competition and given me the confidence to strive for more senior positions and work.
– Amanda LeNeve, SCMP, member since 2003
There are a variety of membership options to suit your needs with a range of rates and perks. Check out the IABC website to learn more about membership types.
Want to learn more about IABC’s Canadian network and offerings? Check out iabccanada.com or reach out to your local chapter. We’d love to hear from you — whether you’re a member yet or not.