What we learned at connect17

What we learned at connect17

10:52 16 November in featured-event, KC IABC Blog, News and events, Professional Development

By Stacey Dickson – KC IABC President
& Marjie Goodman – KC IABC Board member

We had the privilege of attending IABC’s Southern Region conference in Houston last month. The conference covered several topics including client experience, social media and video, and it featured several speakers from across the country.

Here are our top takeaways from connect17.


Jim Pendergast of AARP giving the connect17 conference keynote presentation.

A common theme focused on branding, both your individual and corporate brand.

Our Keynote presenter, Jim Pendergast, said the client experience happens at the intersection of intention and brand.

Kelly Gerwig and Gail Johnson shared the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach to demonstrating your value to strengthen your personal brand. The build your brand on purpose presenters discussed the importance of knowing what lights you up and standing behind it.

Executive board members Sharon Hunter and Ginger Homan talked about knowing what your CEO wants as a surefire way to build influence in the workplace.

Tim Earnhart shared the five essential elements of brand storytelling:

  1. Be authentic and real
  2. Show your personality
  3. Clients must see themselves (relatable stories)
  4. Be different
  5. Keep them wanting more



In addition to using storytelling to build your brand, speakers also focused on its importance in professional bios, social media and video. Kevin Floyd outlined how to tell a story in a bio to make a personal connection.

Gemma Holmes shared examples of storytelling in social media campaigns to embrace diversity.

Our own Marjie Goodman highlighted five storytelling themes to use in video:

  1. Start with determining your audience
  2. What is a problem your audience has that you want to solve
  3. Discover what your audience wants
  4. Leverage universal truths – i.e., everyone loves an underdog
  5. Find a theme – i.e., day in the life



As with any professional development, the most valuable aspect is always the connections made. Meeting other communicators who face similar communications challenges and can serve as a sounding board for ideas and solutions is priceless.

We both left energized with new ideas to implement in our daily work.


By Stacey Dickson – KC IABC President
& Marjie Goodman – KC IABC Board member


Marjie Goodman

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