IABC Ottawa is a non-profit organization, made up of communications, marketing, public relations, and creative professionals at various stages in their career. Our mission is to develop strategic communications professionals, create connections, and advance the profession.
With the launch of IABC’s “Stronger Together, IABC2025” strategic plan and in conversation with our Board of Directors, volunteers, members and the broader community in Ottawa through the annual membership survey – the local chapter was in a prime position for a new strategic plan.
Our new three year strategy is focused on how IABC Ottawa can deliver the best value to our members and foster a community where everyone belongs and thrives. The work we do is guided by the chapter’s leaders core values: leadership, growth, teamwork, and connection. Our goal is to achieve the commitments identified in this plan by the end of the 2023-2024 season.
When we think about our members and where they are in the communications profession, we can understand their expectations, concerns, and motivations. We used the following descriptions to base our strategic objectives off of.
|Foundation||Generalist/Specialist||Strategic Advisor||Business Leader|
|Someone who is launching their career. They are developing initial knowledge, skills, and behaviours to become a communications professional.
They benefit from close supervision, exercising initiative and creativity within a well-defined area.
|Someone who is branching into a specific focus or broad multi-disciplinary focus of their career. They lead projects or client engagements independently, developing credibility with stakeholders while building relationships related to areas of interest.||Someone who has assumed increased stakeholder responsibilities, project and business management roles, and financial administration. They provide strategic communication advice to an organization’s leadership team and help develop other leaders with communication responsibilities.||Someone who plays a crucial role in shaping the organization’s future by advocating for promising people, programs, and ideas that align with an organization’s direction. They have developed competence in several areas and are well-regarded in the profession, often operating on a global, national, or regional role.|
Our Strategic Objectives
1. Deliver value to our members at every stage of the career roadmap and use our unique value proposition to attract prospective members.
- We will continue to offer programming to members that helps them stay up to date with current trends and emerging best practices that advances the communications profession. This may include: Member Meet Ups, Networking 9s, the Members Connect Program, and The Voice podcast.
- We will continue to promote the resources offered by IABC international to local members and advocate for free or discounted resources for our members to access in Ottawa. This could include: discounted or free pricing for conferences or events, collaborative events or activities with organizations who deliver a similar mandate.
- We will continue to engage with students in Ottawa studying communications, marketing, public relations or a related-field. This includes: promoting the value of student membership, speaking engagements at their school, dedicated events, and digital programming.
- We will create new content that provides tangible resources and tools for our members around current trends and emerging best practices that advances the communications profession. This could include: one-pagers, worksheets, emerging data, and case studies.
- We will collect frequent feedback from our members around topics and speakers that they would like to hear about and from.
2. Address barriers of access to our programming through diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion commitments.
- Our leadership team (Board of Directors and volunteers) and speaker lineup (events and podcast guests) will consist of a balanced representation of professionals with diverse and intersecting identities (race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and financial status).
- We will address obstacles that prevent individuals from accessing IABC Ottawa programming. This includes: attitudinal, organizational, physical, financial, information, and technology.
- We will continue to collect frequent diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion data from the community, asking how IABC Ottawa is delivering on its commitments and offering space to address how the organization can continue to do better.
- We will amend our bylaws to include leading diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion language and principles.
- A diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion Board of Director position will be created and backed by dedicated volunteers and financial resources.
3. Execute a digital strategy that provides our current members and prospective members with a rich user experience.
- We will assess how we deliver our programming to our members and use leading platforms, tools, and methodologies to provide a rich user experience.
- We will engage with our members across digital media channels by providing them relevant content and fostering space for them to share with one another.
- We will collect frequent feedback from our members around how to improve the user experience across our digital media channels.
- We will dedicate financial resources to a digital marketing strategy, aimed at increasing awareness of IABC Ottawa and supporting the conversion of prospective members.
4. Leverage IABC Ottawa’s leadership team and provide excellent chapter management.
- We will deliver good finance practices and ensure IABC Ottawa is on a financially sustainable path.
- We will focus on providing individuals in leadership positions (Board of Directors and volunteers) with leadership development opportunities to enhance their chapter management abilities.
- We will develop a volunteer recruitment and retention plan to ensure our leadership team continues to grow our expertise and ability to provide value to our members.
- We will build good governance by implementing a transition plan and knowledge map to support a seamless transfer of Board and volunteer roles and responsibilities from season to season.