Posted By Mark Kretschmar, Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Did you see what happened?

 Over the last 12 months, IABC Minnesota has had a remarkable run. Did you notice? I didn’t. Being lost in the now, one loses a larger perspective. As my year as president of the chapter draws to a close, I’ve been looking back. Wow, did we get a lot done and raised the bar for what is possible.

Of our current membership, 25% have joined for the first time in the last year. We must be doing something right.

 We changed our look with a new logo and color scheme.

 Remember “The Best Peer Mixer Ever”? It was like a baby Alphabet Bash at a brew pub. That was a first, and yes, we’re doing it again!

We made a trip to the bowels of the Mall of America to see how they handle social media for security and to help guests with… whatever. A great picture of what Social Media can be.

We tackled some tougher issues like “Gender Differences in PR Practice” and racial diversity with a conversation with Mark Addicks – the man behind the controversial Cheerios commercial with a mixed race couple and their daughter. That interview was brilliantly handled by Paul Maccabee of Maccabee PR.

We had our most successful professional development event in recent history – “Unlock the Power of Video,” a panel discussion of video experts facilitated by Tami Wendt and hosted at Periscope. Were you there? Seems like everyone was.

The Business Journals is now running periodic interviews that IABC Minnesota is doing with local business and communication leaders. Those are running nationally and building our credibility. Here’s our first if you missed it:

We’ve tasted wine, talked about media relations with an expert panel, and had some great conversations around topic tables to learn from each other.

 Then we had the Convergence Summit ( Nearly 100 people attended our cooperative event with the University of Minnesota. Coverage on the front page of the StarTribune business section ( and tons of positive feedback confirms that it was a great idea. Watch for Convergence Summit 2017!

We’re making inroads with local colleges and connecting with communication students and starting to build some reputation with that audience.

 Volunteer Appreciation (combined with a speed-networking event) is coming in June, FREE to volunteers, only $10 for members. If you’re a volunteer, of course you’ll be there. If you’re not a volunteer, come and have some great food and drink and thank those that put all of this together.

On that note, I can’t say enough about the volunteers in IABC-MN, especially the board members. ALL of this was accomplished by their hard work, dedication, and creativity. They’ve made my job really easy. It is a genuine honor and pleasure to have served with them. They are the best group as a whole I’ve ever seen assembled for IABC-MN. They have my deepest gratitude and appreciation.

Sometimes as members, we forget to take minute and appreciate what we’re a member of. This is a great organization, filled with great members and volunteers, which is in turn, part of a larger communication community with which it is a pleasure to be associated. Thanks to all of you for a spectacular year.