Top Takeaways from the IABC Southern Region Conference


Last week, Pierponters had the privilege of presenting, attending and sponsoring during the IABC Southern Region Conference in Austin. As a member of the IABC Houston Board, I had the opportunity to attend and network with communicators from across Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, startups and agencies.

All of the sessions offered something unique and a few hit home when it came to the clients I work with each day. A session called Content Marketing: Driving Business in a Post-“Mad Men” World, presented by Rachel Parker, discussed how we’ve reached a point where people will pay to not see advertising, product placements and marketing messages. In today’s world, the consumer has the power; communicators have to earn trust and provide value before they will listen, creating a shift from being promotional to being informative.

We are often asked by clients how they can earn trust and provide value without giving away brand secrets. A good way to navigate this is to help your audiences understand the types of issues they should be thinking about, without sharing exactly how to solve those issues. You can tear down the barriers of their purchasing decisions by providing relevant, meaningful and insightful information that addresses a need.

Another great session from the conference focused on Cultivating Creative Intelligence. Panelist Erin Donley, Huffington Post contributor and independent consultant, discussed best practices for email communications in our email-obsessed world. Have you ever sent an email and then spent the next four days worried about how the tone came across? Erin outlined the five questions you should ask yourself before you hit send:

  1. What selfish need does this fill?
  2. How will it benefit others?
  3. What do I secretly hope will happen?
  4. What do I secretly fear will happen?
  5. Am I willing to face the consequences?

My favorite quote from Erin’s presentation was, “When we lose personal accountability for our words, then we lose the ability to be a leader.”

Throughout the conference, I was energized by the sessions and inspired by the talented communicators I met during the events. I was most encouraged by Wilma Matthews, the 2014 IABC Southern Region Hall of Fame Award Winner. She is a talented writer and communicator with many decades of experience in the industry and it was fascinating to hear her story. It was a pleasure to honor a living legend and seeing her genuine love for the profession was very moving.

Adding to the excitement for Pierpont, three clients including BP, The American Association of Professional Landmen and Denham Capital received awards during the Silver Quill Awards Luncheon. Congratulations to our clients and all of the award winners!

If you’d like to learn more about the conference or dive into one of the presentation topics, contact us here