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President's Message

I am eager to hear our September featured speaker, Megan Spreer, from the Topeka Red Cross, speak on crisis communications.  I encourage as many of you that can to attend this session.  Even though you may not work with crisis communications, I guarantee you that you will learn something that you will be able to use.  I recall several years back when fellow IABC member Gina Penzig gave a presentation on dealing with crisis communications for Westar Energy.  I almost didn’t go, as I worked for a statewide non-profit that really had no controversies with the public, and I couldn’t imagine that this presentation would pertain to me.  I was wrong.  I DID attend Gina’s presentation, and I was not disappointed. She kept me on the edge of my seat hearing her story of dealing with customers who were left without power during an ice/snow storm and how to deal with questions from the media, complaints from customers, in addition to working with people within her own organization.  Fast forward and I am now working in a job that may have an unhappy person or two in the public to deal with every so often, and knowing the right way to handle the communications in a positive and constructive way is certainly beneficial. 

By the time we have our September monthly luncheon, I will have gone through my first time dealing with a statewide conference that will be overseen by me annually.  I am hoping that I have no stories of any real “crises” per se, but I am sure that there will be a few people who will have had issues that I will have to address.  I have learned in my years as a communicator, that when things go wrong, there are typically two culprits at hand:  1) being in a hurry; 2) there was a gap in communication either on the sender or the receiver’s end—or both! 

Please join me along with your fellow communications colleagues at the September 3rd meeting. I look forward to seeing you there.      

With anticipation,
Keri
IABC/Topeka President