IABC Victoria Past President: 2013-2015
1. Tell us about your journey with IABC Victoria and why you nominated to become a president?
In 2011, I walked out of a senior role in a full-service ad agency to pursue more diverse challenges. I started my own strategic consultancy and worked on developing my director credentials. In my first year I trialled a number of associations and networking groups as I knew that broadening my connections and knowledge across disciplines was essential to grow. IABC was the one where I felt welcomed immediately so joining was a no-brainer. Soon after I chatted with Monika Lancucki then the Chapter Vice-President, about my director focus and my concern for the lack of diversity at executive and board levels. She suggested I nominate for the local chapter board when the open call came up. Six months later I did and still recall receiving the call from Kate Ware (O’Donnell) offering me the Vice-President role and a three-year commitment. That was the beginning of what has now been seven years in leadership at IABC, starting with the local chapter, then the International Executive Board and now the Asia Pacific region board.
2. This year IABC Victoria is commemorating its 20th anniversary. What have been some of the major changes within IABC and our local chapter that you’ve observed?
We’re now into our last year of the execution of #IABC1720 strategy focused upon advancing the profession, creating connection and developing strategic communicators. We’ve shored up our financial position, partnered to deliver thought leadership and fresh content online and in print via the new Catalyst; delivered a new website and association management system, and introduced The Hub a member-only online community; grown certification for communication professionals across the globe and introduced the IABC Business Acumen Certificate via the IABC Academy; and finally, our corporate members now have more choice in membership packages available. I’ve been proud of the stance IABC has taken on ethics, freedom of the press, and on diversity and inclusion, and the work we’ve done via the IABC Foundation to show the good we can create as communication professionals.
In Victoria, I’ve watched the chapter strengthen its base and broaden the professional community year-on-year to be the largest chapter outside North America. It was the first chapter to host the GCCC certification exam, where six members gained their Strategic Communication Management (SCMP) certification. IABC Victoria has established one of the few locally-based celebrations of global excellence by leveraging the IABC Gold Quill winners at the chapter level. This standard of work that is produced at the local level and is recognised globally has flourished. Australian, and Victorian communication professionals are truly world class and should be justifiably proud.
3. Reflecting on your personal experience, why do you feel it’s important for communication professionals to be involved in associations like IABC?
People join for different reasons and this can also change subject to where one is at in their career. For me it’s been about the network, learning from the best, challenge through leadership and the Gold Quill process, and validation through certification. I genuinely believe the value lies in what you’re prepared to invest yourself. IABC has been described as “a tribe.” On many levels that’s true. It’s a community of givers who are happy to share their knowledge and expertise, to help others grow and develop, and advance the profession. I know that via IABC I can find a communication professional anywhere in the world who will give me their time and help whether I know them or not – this is not what I find on LinkedIn or other networks.
4. On Monday 29 July we’re celebrating our Bronze Quill Awards and commemorating our 20th anniversary. Looking back at your attendance in previous years, what do you look forward to most at this event? Can you share some of your favourite experiences?
I have not missed an IABC Victoria Bronze Quill gala since I joined eight years ago. The event is a highlight for those individuals and corporate teams who are recognised for the excellence in their work across many diverse categories. To reach the standard of excellence and be recognised with a Bronze Quill award or the Gold Quill award is no easy task. It takes rigour and those who win should be very proud. I was incredibly proud (and loud) when all of the Victorian (and APAC) winners were recognised at the IABC Gold Quill gala in Vancouver last month, so being able to congratulate them in person in Melbourne will be a highlight. As will sharing the moment with my former clients at the Department of Health and Human Services as well as Hepatitis Victoria, when we receive our awards. Most special of all will be seeing many of the past IABC Victoria Chapter presidents and board members – all volunteer leaders who’ve made the chapter what it is today.
About Zora Artis:
Zora is the CEO and founder of Artis Advisory in Melbourne. Artis Advisory is a strategic advisory practice focused on helping clients succeed whether it’s solving a business problem or leveraging opportunities through better organisational alignment, engagement and communication. Zora has almost three decades of experience in business, marketing, communication, advertising and branding. She is the Chair of the IABC Asia Pacific region and recently completed her three-year term with the IABC International Executive Board and IABC Foundation trustee, as well as numerous international committees and task forces. At the local chapter level, Zora was the President of IABC Victoria from 2013 to 2015, and was honoured to receive the IABC 2015 Chair’s Award. She’s the recipient of three IABC Gold Quill Awards, and is also a Gold Quill Awards Blue Ribbon Panel evaluator.