By Anne Sonnee, IABC-MN Vice President – Membership

We’ve all been members of something, of at least the human race if nothing else. And as members of a club, a faith community, a school, or a professional organization, we often realize that the value of our membership is relative to the energy we put into it. If you’re a dues-paying member to the local country club but never hit the links, you’re not getting the most out of your membership. If you are a member of a faith community but don’t connect (online or in person), you’re not realizing the full benefits of relationship building, with your higher power or with other members.

I have been a member of IABC for more than 25 years. (I joined when I was 10!) And truth be told, I did not always embrace the full opportunities of my membership. I attended the occasional workshop or read expert advice from communications legends. But I neglected to invest in the relationship building which I have found to be the true highlight of membership.

In the last eight years, I have made five career changes. I could not have done it without the support and encouragement of my IABC colleagues. I have finally fully realized the value of professional networks and the opportunity to connect with people who do what I do.

Who have I met along the way? Colleagues – and now I’m proud to call them friends – who raise the bar among communications professionals. People who are committed to demonstrating the strategic relevance of the communications function in organizations large and small. People who are brilliant at what they do and more than happy to share their best practices to allow others to succeed as well.

My involvement with IABC Minnesota has ebbed and flowed as I raised two daughters and supported aging parents. And that’s OK. I am grateful that my membership in IABC has continued and provided a constant source of support and resources. Especially in these last few years, I have leaned on my IABC colleagues and gratefully returned the favor to others. It is indeed a privilege to be a member of IABC.

March is Membership Month at IABC. Join or renew during March through April 18 to save 20 percent on your International dues. Individual Professional dues are normally $334; the discount reduces the International portion of the dues from $254 to $203.20; Region dues remain $25 and Minnesota dues remain $70. The total dues payable during the discounted time is $298.20. Use code IABC20 to apply the 20 percent discount.