Interviews

Meet Terry Cerisoles, SCMP

2018 IABC Atlanta Lifetime Achievement Awardee

We sat down with Terry Cerisoles, SCMP, winner of the 2018 IABC Atlanta Lifetime Achievement Award, to learn more about what IABC has meant to her throughout her impressive career. Here is what Terry had to say about her proudest professional accomplishments, women movingup in the profession and the people who helped shape her career.

IABC Atlanta: Wow! Congratulations Terry on your lifetime achievement award from IABC Atlanta. What advice do you have for women communicators in the profession?

Terry: The Communications profession has such diversity of disciplines, there’s something for every communicator. If you dig crises, that’s an area really in demand right now. If you love writing speeches or presentations, that’s a high value role in any company. For women specifically, NEVER say “I’m not good at math, that’s why I love words.” Math is the language of business and is critical to your success if you are ambitious.

IABC Atlanta: What does this award mean to you?

Terry: Frankly, I was stunned when told about it! I am so thrilled because it means that my contributions to IABC and IABC Atlanta are recognized and appreciated.

IABC Atlanta: As you look back on your career, what are your proudest accomplishments?

Terry: Winning my first IABC Atlanta Golden Flame award (way back when!). Winning my first Gold Quill (international award) and achieving my SCMP certification are definitely a couple more highlights. Though more recently, seeing my team win them was just as, if not more, satisfying.

IABC Atlanta: Was there a specific person or event that really shaped your career?

Terry: There are a whole lot of people but they are ALL IABC MEMBERS! They taught me good communication techniques, how to support one another and how to be a good leader. They gave me confidence and encouraged me to take risks. They also provided me with a lot of diverse opinions, so I gained new perspectives. I certainly would not have achieved the career successes I have without IABC!

IABC Atlanta: What has your membership and leadership role in IABC Atlanta meant to you throughout your career?

Terry: IABC has been – and continues to be – my extended family. I have turned to my IABC friends and colleagues for advice, for support, to share heavy loads and to challenge myself. I can still remember the day I was asked to consider a board position. I was absolutely thrilled, and that day led to years of different roles. I particularly loved leading Membership efforts. To me, it was so easy to share why I loved being a member.

IABC Atlanta: Who do you admire and why?

Terry: I’m a big Ruth Bader Ginsberg fan. Like me, she lost her mother at a young age and had a lot of challenges to overcome. She used her intellect and drive to take her rightful place in a very male-dominated field. She was a role model for me when I became the first female sports producer for Turner Broadcasting in my pre-communications career. My favorite quote about her from NPR is “She has a soft voice but says really devastating things in that quiet voice!” I admire her advocacy for gender equality and womens’ rights – and that she’s still doing that at 85!

New Year, New Face for IABC Atlanta

In January, IABC Atlanta launched our new and improved website. The clean design, slick integration with IABC Atlanta’s social media channels and easy user interface were the vision of incoming Co-VP of Communications, Cassidy Herrold. After the January luncheon, I sat down with Cassidy to learn more about her creative vision for the new face of IABC Atlanta.

What was your vision for the new IABC website?
Our website is a driving force in promoting our mission, which is to increase awareness that clear communications drive businesses. IABC Atlanta is the premier community for communications professionals, so our website needs to empower our site users to find event/networking information quickly and intuitively. The new site demonstrates our global impact by integrating the latest IABC brand guidelines to create a cohesive brand image. The new site provides robust communication resources and focuses on creating an engaging experience that connects individuals, organizations and influencers. We are really confident that the new IABC Atlanta website will position our chapter well as we work to extend our reach, support our community, and grow membership.

Tell us about some of the new features that you are most excited about on the new site?
Many of the changes were made with our end users in mind, to make the event registration process easier and more interactive. Below are some of the key new features:

  • EVENT CALENDAR – The new website features a detailed calendar with email integration for iCal and Google calendars. Each calendar event lists general information regarding date, location and time, as well as a map and social sharing icons to promote the event on all social channels.
  • LATEST NEWS/PRESS SECTION – The Latest News/Press section is an area to post photos/videos from past luncheons and highlight any notable press for IABC Atlanta.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS – With the increased focus on social media, the new site also streams IABC Atlanta’s tweets, posts and YouTube videos through a new social footer on the site. We also focused on integrating share icons on all blog posts, articles and event pages.

Those of us who have done website redesigns in our professional jobs know how much work is involved in a project like this. Was there any part of the design and build that was really challenging? Really fun?
The website redesign, development, and launch went very smoothly! When I started as a committee member, the website redesign was one of the first projects I wanted to tackle and it proved to be the best way to dive into IABC. We are the premiere communications association in Atlanta, and we wanted a website that really reflected the excellence we strive for as a chapter. From redefining the user flow to editing site content, the redesign was a great way to get to know the organization, our mission and our capabilities.

What has your involvement with IABC Atlanta as a committee member meant to you?
I joined because IABC’s mission really resonates with me. IABC empowers a global network of communicators working in diverse disciplines to identify, share, and apply the best communication practices. As a committee member, I value learning from experienced communicators and the vast professional growth opportunities that IABC Atlanta provides.

When you aren’t designing amazing websites, tell us what you do in your day job?
I’m an award-winning, multidisciplinary art director & designer at Mountain View Group with a love of smart ideas and an eye for pixel perfection. I have worked with a variety of clients (from Fortune 100 companies to small startups) with my core strengths in brand identity, interaction design, UI/UX, environmental design, film/photography, content creation and digital analytics. I design brand logos and identities for nationally recognized clients, and I have extensive experience creating brand guidelines/visual identity systems to ensure a consistent corporate identity. I develop, design, and launch interactive experiences, including multiple websites and mobile apps. Certified in both Google AdWords and Analytics, I also create strategic social media campaigns that exceed online traffic goals.

At IABC Atlanta, we know many of our members and volunteers have the support of their employers for their participation in our chapter’s work. Smart employers know that good communication drives business in the Atlanta community. Can you tell us more about Mountain View Group?
Mountain View Group is a creative agency specializing in corporate marketing, strategic communications, and culture transformation through storytelling, digital content, and design. For 30 years, Mountain View has worked with a diverse set of clients including GE, Raytheon, The Coca-Cola Company, Alcon, UPS, and CSM Bakery Solutions, among others. They help to build exceptional brand experiences and to bring clarity to communications that are crisp, compelling and authentic.

Special Thanks! IABC Atlanta would like to thank Whitney Parks of Parks Evolution Marketing, for her critical role in this project and and the members of the IABC Board who helped review and create content for the new website.

Written by: JoEllen Saeli-Lane, Co-VP of Communications, IABC Atlanta

Meet Our Members: Uli Dendy

What’s your name, job, Twitter handle, etc.?
Ulrike Dendy, Uli for short, CEO of TrueLanguage LLC. @ulidendy

How long have you been an IABC Atlanta member?
TrueLanguage was invited to join IABC in 2012. I’ve gotten much more closely involved with the association in the last couple of years.

Why did you join and what has kept you with the association?
I joined because IABC’s vision and the vision of my company are in total alignment. IABC enables a global network of communicators working in diverse industries and disciplines to identify, share, and apply the world’s best communication practices. We facilitate communication across borders. As an active member, I value listening and learning from other communicators, and sharing our cultural and linguistic knowledge. We like to think we help emphasize the “I” in “IABC”!

What do you love most about communications?
Communication is never the same. The message is always different and every audience has different needs. How can we ensure that the message is understood? Should we use an eLearning environment, an infographic, a video component? What should it be for different cultures? Is it enough to offer the content in the local language or do we need to support the trainer with an interpreter? Every project is a dialogue – we communicate with the creator of the message, the linguist and the audience. Each new project that helps a client grow also lets us deepen our knowledge of various industries, and of how different cultures handle tricky language situations.

What do you see on the horizon for your line of work?
Technological solutions for collaboration and machine-assisted translation are enabling us to handle more content with faster turn-around times. However, the challenge of understanding the message and ensuring that it is localized without loss of meaning will remain the same. We’ll be able to think less about the logistics of translation, and give complete attention to perfecting the message in every language.

What is the strangest communication request you have ever received?
Atlanta’s growing status as a media/entertainment center has given us some cool projects with the video game and television fields. Our translators were really excited to work on material for tours of shooting locations for The Walking Dead! But the strangest? Once we were asked to verify that a certain word meant absolutely nothing… in every language. There are over 6000 living languages, so we had to scale it down quite a bit.

Tell us something your IABC colleagues might be surprised to learn about you?
They might be surprised to know that I was a dog obedience and agility trainer for 10 years and was very active in dog rescue. I don’t train dogs anymore, but I’m still supporting Georgia Jack Russell Rescue.

Books on your nightstand?
Right now, I’m re-reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I’ve got a cool personal connection with this book: it’s based on real people, and the doctor in the story is based on the brother of someone I know.

Favorite Atlanta spot?
Sope Creek Park in Marietta is one of my favorite places to go, for hiking and biking. I also love going to Actors Express whenever I can. My daughter is a professional actress, it’s a fun way to support the arts!

Meet Our Members

60 SECONDS…with Margaret Perry Daniel

What’s your name, job, Twitter handle, etc.?
Margaret Daniel, Independent Writing and Editing Professional, MPD Communications

How long have you been an IABC Atlanta member?
Since 1988!

Why did you join and what has kept you with the association?
I joined when I was Publications Manager at Scottish Rite (now Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite) because IABC offers excellent professional development for internal communications. Through IABC I’ve made contacts for great freelance projects; learned, by preparing and judging award entries, a tremendous amount about measuring results and documenting them, which is invaluable in the grant writing I do now for nonprofits; and made terrific friends. I am proud of IABC for recently circulating a petition stressing, in this age of “alternative facts,” the importance of truthful and ethical communications.

What do you love most about communications?
In grant writing, the best thing, of course, is when you get the grant, especially when it’s from a new funder. For my more creative work, like profiles, I love it when I’m told I really captured the essence of a person, or demonstrated why a program is so critical.

What do you see on the horizon for your line of work?
Most, although not all, of my clients are nonprofit, and I see more mergers on the horizon. Literacy Action, where I worked part-time for six years (a job I got through an IABC connection!) merged with Literacy Volunteers after I left, and Genesis, whose Board I served on for seven years, merged with Our House.

What is the strangest communication request you have ever received?
This was actually something I offered, but I helped a friend prepare an ad for Atlanta Singles magazine when she and I were both single.

Tell us something your IABC colleagues might be surprised to learn about you?
Most people who know me realize I’m not athletic and would be surprised to know I raised about $3,500 by participating in the 2016 Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer (10-miles on Sunday morning portion). Because I’m a soon-to-be three-year breast cancer survivor, this was a particularly happy and gratifying experience.

Books on your nightstand?
Franklin and Winston:- a “warts and all” portrait of these two men and their friendship, arguably the most important among 20th century world leaders. I love revisiting their words, which brought courage and hope to their citizens in the darkest days of World War II.

Favorite Atlanta spot?
I’d have to say our home, which has woods, a creek and 2 dogs that my husband and I have enjoyed for many years.

Meet Our Members

60 SECONDS…with Bill Nicholson


What’s your name, job, Twitter handle, etc.?
I’m Bill Nicholson and I have the privilege of leading the Atlanta office of PRM, a consultancy with broad and deep experience in human resources and internal communication. I avoid social media like the plague but am considering updating my LinkedIn profile during 2017.

How long have you been an IABC Atlanta member?
Since 1993, and before that I was involved in IABC chapters in Dallas and Denver.

Why did you join and what has kept you with the association?
I joined to network but great programming provides the ‘stickiness’ that keeps me renewing.

What do you love most about communications?
We never experience the same day twice.

What do you see on the horizon for your line of work?
Change. The topics we communicate – especially healthcare benefits – are constantly changing and of course the channels we use are very dynamic as well.

What is the strangest communication request you have ever received?
When I worked in the Dallas bureau of CBS News, people would call asking for directions to J.R. Ewing’s ranch (a setting in the fictional but very dramatic Dallas television series on CBS).

Tell us something your IABC colleagues might be surprised to learn about you?
This might be a record: I’ve won Gold Quills more than 30 years apart. In 2016, we had a great team on a medical plan enrollment that earned a Gold Quill, and my first one was in something like 1982. I think that was shortly after Guttenberg invented movable type. Communication has come a long way and it’s remarkable how IABC has been there to support and advance our profession at every turn.

Books on your nightstand?
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. It’s about coming to terms with what really matters. Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School by Mark Teague. It’s a children’s book. Or is it?

Favorite Atlanta spot?
Hartsfield-Jackson before a morning flight – just like Grand Central Station at rush hour is my favorite spot in New York City – because the vitality is palpable.

How Effective Social Media Strategy Helps Shape the City of Atlanta’s Online Brand

An interview with Elizabeth Baskin, Founder of Tribe, an internal communications consultancy in advance of her presentation to IABC Atlanta’s monthly luncheon chapter.

Silos occur in every organization, from the small start-up to large, global corporations.

“You read a lot about vertical silos in companies, meaning the disconnect between employees in different departments, business units or geographic locations,” explained Elizabeth Baskin, CEO and executive creative director for Tribe, Inc., an internal communications and branding agency focused entirely on developing internal brands.

“In Tribe’s national research on functional silos, employees often talked about what we call the horizontal silo, the chasm between the top company management and everybody else.”

According to Baskin, these silos are very common in companies with a large number of non-desk employees, and “manufacturing and retail, have a harder time with this because it’s more difficult to create communication channels between corporate and those employees without dedicated computers,” she said.

Atlanta_withStateCapitolHowever, it can be just as big of a divide within companies with “deskbound” employees, too. “The culture of the company also is a factor, as well as the communication style of the leadership,” Baskin added.

And if bridging the gap between the C-suite and the rest of the company were an easy task, communications professionals would not be having this conversation.

“It is a daunting task, but that doesn’t make a very good excuse for not doing it,” Baskin added. “Tribe recommends spending some time in the actual work environment of those front-line employees to identify possible touch points, like where are they physically when they’re working? Is it noisy? Are they sitting or standing? Are they outside? Driving a truck? Where do they go when they take their breaks?”

“You have to be creative in thinking of communication channels for this group,” she said.

 


 

ABOUT OUR SPEAKER

ElizabethBaskinMore about Elizabeth and Tribe

Elizabeth Baskin founded Tribe in 2002, an internal communications agency focused in developing strategic plans to build employee engagement and the internal brand. She founded Tribe in 2002 as a branding boutique and quickly grew the business to a $5 million company. In 2009, she launched Starter Cards LLC, a division of Tribe, to create content such as the Start Your Own Company iPhone application and the Social Media for Old Folks webinars.

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Bridging the Horizontal Divide between Leadership and Your Frontline

An interview with Elizabeth Baskin, Founder of Tribe, an internal communications consultancy in advance of her presentation to IABC Atlanta’s monthly luncheon chapter.

Silos occur in every organization, from the small start-up to large, global corporations.

“You read a lot about vertical silos in companies, meaning the disconnect between employees in different departments, business units or geographic locations,” explained Elizabeth Baskin, CEO and executive creative director for Tribe, Inc., an internal communications and branding agency focused entirely on developing internal brands.

“In Tribe’s national research on functional silos, employees often talked about what we call the horizontal silo, the chasm between the top company management and everybody else.”

According to Baskin, these silos are very common in companies with a large number of non-desk employees, and “manufacturing and retail, have a harder time with this because it’s more difficult to create communication channels between corporate and those employees without dedicated computers,” she said.

Horizontal-SiloHowever, it can be just as big of a divide within companies with “deskbound” employees, too. “The culture of the company also is a factor, as well as the communication style of the leadership,” Baskin added.

And if bridging the gap between the C-suite and the rest of the company were an easy task, communications professionals would not be having this conversation.

“It is a daunting task, but that doesn’t make a very good excuse for not doing it,” Baskin added. “Tribe recommends spending some time in the actual work environment of those front-line employees to identify possible touch points, like where are they physically when they’re working? Is it noisy? Are they sitting or standing? Are they outside? Driving a truck? Where do they go when they take their breaks?”

“You have to be creative in thinking of communication channels for this group,” she said.

 


ABOUT OUR SPEAKER

ElizabethBaskinMore about Elizabeth and Tribe

Elizabeth Baskin founded Tribe in 2002, an internal communications agency focused in developing strategic plans to build employee engagement and the internal brand. She founded Tribe in 2002 as a branding boutique and quickly grew the business to a $5 million company. In 2009, she launched Starter Cards LLC, a division of Tribe, to create content such as the Start Your Own Company iPhone application and the Social Media for Old Folks webinars.

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What Do You Know about the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta?

An interview with Robin Ratliff and Susan Berthelot from the Public Affairs department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the presenters at the April 2016 IABC Atlanta speaker series.

By Uzo Amajor, Special to IABC Atlanta

Be honest. What do you actually know about the Federal Reserve (the Fed)? What do you know about what it is, what it isn’t, and how it works? What have you heard about it? How do you feel about it? It’s interesting how little people know about this complex yet important institution—the nation’s central bank.

At the April 26th IABC Atlanta luncheon, Robin Ratliff and Susan Berthelot from the Public Affairs department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta will help bring clarity to the work of the Fed and share their experiences as its key external and internal communicators.

Fed-Image1One aspect of communications that Robin and Susan manage is telling the story of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, by regularly clarifying “Fed vs. Fiction.” So, as you anticipate tomorrow’s luncheon, here are their top five (nonfiction) clarifications about the Fed:

  1. The Federal Reserve is audited. The Fed is transparent, and is audited routinely. The Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. and the 12 regional Reserve Banks are subject to both internal and external audits, including audits by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The Fed also reports regularly to Congress through hearings, reports and reviews. Audits are one way the Fed fosters safe and responsible banking practices.
  2. The Fed is accountable to the American people, not Wall Street. Reserve Banks are independently governed by regional boards of directors who are selected by banks within their communities and the Fed’s Board of Governors. Our directors provide a Main Street perspective, represent the economic diversity in their communities, and help inform economic policy. This structure underscores the political independence of the Fed, and its commitment to public interest.
  3. The Fed is an independent, nonpartisan organization. The Fed is an independent entity within government – subject to oversight through congressional hearings, reports, reviews and audits. Its structure enables the Fed’s monetary policy decisions to be free of short-term political pressures.
  4. Our nation’s currency and coin is issued, stored, distributed, and inspected by the Fed. The Federal Reserve distributes currency and coin to banks and ensures U.S. currency is genuine and fit for recirculation. But it does not print or mint money – that’s the work of the U.S. Treasury.
  5. The Fed works to ensure a stable and sound economy. The Fed manages the nation’s money supply to keep inflation low and help the economy grow, but it does not manage the nation’s fiscal policy. The fed also supervises financial institutions to help protect our nation’s financial system, and safeguards the integrity and efficiency of our payments systems.

 


 

ABOUT OUR PRESENTERS:

RobinRatliff_smallRobin Ratliff is assistant vice president and public information officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She is responsible for the Bank’s external communications, including media and government relations, executive speeches, social media, and the external website. She also oversees the writing, editing, and communication consulting functions within Public Affairs and plays a leadership role in the Bank’s internal, executive and crisis communications.

Prior to joining the Atlanta Fed in 2012, Robin was assistant vice president and strategic communications officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. There, she administered business advisory councils and served as assistant corporate secretary. Robin has additional experience with the Federal Reserve System’s Retail Payments Office and also managed employee communications for National City Bank (now part of PNC).

In 2009, Robin was named Communicator of the Year by the Cleveland Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.

Robin earned a bachelor’s degree in English and German from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, and has completed executive development courses at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and the Darden School, University of Virginia. She is the proud mom of two grown children, Geoffrey and Julia Byrne.

 

SusanBerthelot_smallSusan Bradbury Berthelot joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in 2013 as director of internal communications on the Public Affairs team. She and her team oversee internal, executive, and digital communications for the Federal Reserve’s Sixth District.

Susan’s career before the Fed included 25 years in Atlanta in a variety of public affairs and communication management roles at organizations including AT&T/BellSouth, Cox Enterprises, and Aon Hewitt. She began her career as a photojournalist for daily newspapers, where she enjoyed covering sports events such as the Atlanta Hawks, Braves, and Falcons. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia.

Susan proudly served on the Board of IABC/Atlanta from 2003-2005 and participated as an IABC member for many years in various capacities. She and her communications teams have received more than 40 IABC/Atlanta Golden, Silver and Bronze Flame Awards and one IABC International Gold Quill Award. Her favorite accomplishment in life is being the mom of Caitlin and James Bradbury.

Social Media Strategies That Work for Business

An interview with IABC Atlanta speakers, Jessie Ford and Christina Edwards, of Birds of a Feather Creative, to hear their thoughts on what makes a great social media strategy.

Q: Have you found any differences among types of companies or industries in people’s understanding of social media for business purposes? If so, what do you attribute the discrepancies to?

 

Every industry and business can benefit from social media marketing. There isn’t one type of industry that we have come across that seems to be more averse to understanding the benefit of social media. However, some industries, primarily in the B2B space, are more hesitant when it comes to any sort of change. Opening up your business to social media can really change the entire dynamic of your marketing strategy.
 

Q: Have you seen the concept of ROI for social media really catch on yet? How do you measure ROI for something like social media and PR??
 
Absolutely. Measuring the ROI of your social networks is completely necessary to ensure that your audience is engaging with the content that you’re creating. There are many sophisticated listening tools that social media industry pros use to audit ROI. However, most businesses can use the tools that the social networks inherently provide such as reach, views, and engagement.

Social_CitiesQ: What advice do you have to B2B marketers who have to convince their more conservative colleagues to embrace social media for the B2B arena?

 
We believe that businesses should utilize their social platforms like they do magazines or newspapers. If you aren’t using social platforms to communicate about your new products, systems, awards, and happenings, then you’re missing an opportunity to think outside of the B2B box. Social media is where sales begin and end.


Q
: What do you envision as the next stage of social media (social media 3.0)?

 
We think Social Media 3.0 is already here! People around the world make their living solely by creating content on their personal social media networks. YouTube, Vine, Periscope and Instagram make it completely possible to have a lucrative career in social media.

Q: Any other thoughts or advice for aspiring social media mavens?
 
Identify your goals and commit to a realistic plan. Consistency is so important to grow and retain a captive audience. Take a look at what posts perform best on what networks and incorporate that into your strategy as you grow. Have fun, take risks, and use emojis… just not too many at one time! We’re looking forward to talking more specifically about engaging social media communities at the upcoming IABC luncheon.

 


ABOUT OUR PRESENTERS:

Christina-EdwardsHSChristina Edwards maintains relationships with some of the country’s most influential brands, organizations, and thought leaders. As one of Atlanta’s top social media strategists, Christina helps give her clients an edge by integrating social media platforms into multi-dimensional campaigns. With a strong belief in entrepreneurship, Christina excels at consulting business owners on increasing financial growth through creative strategies, team building, and branding development.

 

 

 

 

Jessi-FordHSJessi-Ford is passionate about content creation and the power of a perfectly written post, blog, press release, or caption, Jessi Ford is one of Atlanta’s most experienced public relations and social media strategists. With a knack for communication, Jessi works well with business owners across a spectrum of industries, creating branding, marketing, and social campaigns tailored to fit a variety of demographics. Jessi believes that every business has a compelling story and she strives to successfully find a unique way to use today’s modern social media and marketing platforms to tell it