It's time, keepers

Jackie Sargent | February 20, 2017

It’s time to pull out the tools that will help unravel the greatness trapped within. It’s time to pour out all your thoughts, your wisdom, your strategy, your genius. It’s time to be tellers and share the story of how your communications strategy saved the day. How your research is advancing the field of communications. How you trained and mentored others in the profession to help them achieve greatness. How your genius turned strategy into creative brilliance.

In other words, it’s time to start completing your IABC Capital Awards application forms.

A colleague once said to me she was too busy to submit an award application, that completing the entry form would take too much of her time. This surprised me a little — actually it surprised me quite a bit. As senior communications professionals, it shouldn’t be much effort to tweak your awesome communications strategy into an award submission. In fact, IABC has created a webinar to help you complete your entry form. While the webinar is focused for Gold Quill, the same tips and tricks apply to the IABC Capital Awards. Don’t let fear of the unknown intimidate you. Submissions open on Feb. 28, so visit the IABC Capital Awards site, download the application forms, and find out for yourself how easy it is.

To my colleague’s credit, it may not have been the intimidation of the awards application. I think the bigger challenge is that communications professionals often find themselves “doing” rather than “planning,” putting out the fires and being reactive rather than proactive. A plan may be sketched out, but maybe not as thoroughly as you may like, and filling in those gaps may take a little more time and effort than you may have with your already-full plate.

I plead to all of you, the keepers and the tellers, the holders of experience and wisdom, all of you with untold stories of success that have the potential to inspire others. Take the time and do it. Pull out your notebook, with all the multi-coloured sticky notes with seemingly incoherent ramblings, take a photo of the whiteboard where you sketched out the basic framework of your plan, dig out the emails and drafts, and mash it all together and build out your plan in the form of an IABC Capital Award application.

Even if you never submit the application, the awards application is your opportunity to unlock the mystery of what really happened with that community engagement project that had remarkable success. It helps you tell the story of what you, as a communications professional, bring to the table and how your actions directly support your organization’s goals. Save it in your folder for performance review time and show your value.

All that said — push to get it done. You have until March 31 to submit your applications. And, who knows — maybe you will end up with a trophy to put on your desk and show your boss that you really are awesome.

Procrastinate no longer — it’s time to stop being keepers and become the tellers.

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