IABC’s new Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) are a place for members to connect with their global community to develop their interests within a specific subject area. The IABC Education SIG presents an opportunity for academics to connect with colleagues who understand the impact of communications within an academic environment.
From navigating the topics of complex stakeholder engagement, enhancing the reputation of your organization and sharing compelling and vulnerable stories in a transparent, authentic way, Education SIG leader Matt Tidwell, Ph.D., APR, shares how this is a space for communicators in higher education to address industry challenges together. Learn more about this SIG and find out how you can get involved below.
IABC is thrilled to launch SIGs to allow our global community to connect about the topics that interest them most. What inspired you to become a SIG leader?
I have often thought that IABC should find a way to form communities of practice. We are all communicators, but we have different challenges based on the industries in which we work. The new SIGs are a perfect way to address that.
Based on your professional background, what expertise will you bring to your specific focus area as its leader?
I was a long-time corporate communicator but switched to full-time academia about eight years ago. I have worked both as a professor and as an assistant dean, so I understand some of the unique challenges of higher education.
Why is it important for communication professionals to join a SIG? How can the takeaways from these discussions enhance their day-to-day career?
Since each industry we represent is distinctive with its own challenges, joining a SIG allows members to interact with and learn from people that have the same concerns and are facing the same challenges. For the education segment, for instance, that could be things like negotiating the bureaucracy of higher education administration.
What is one goal you hope to achieve through the discussions and collaboration with your SIG?
I think we’ll be able to talk about and work on the development of some industry-specific content to address some of the challenges we face. I think our SIG members could really benefit from targeted content about our industry.
Get involved! Keep up with the IABC Education SIG and mark your calendars for upcoming events.
Matt Tidwell, Ph.D., APR
Matt Tidwell, Ph.D., APR, is on the faculty of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas (KU) and directs KU’s master’s degree in integrated marketing communications. Previously, Tidwell helped lead communications agencies and served as senior communications director for companies including Great Plains Energy and Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals. Education and professional development are now his passion, and he has been a frequent speaker locally and nationally. In addition to teaching, he conducts academic research in crisis communications and has been published in Journal of Professional Communications and IABC’s Communications World. He has a master’s in communications management from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. from KU.