That’s a Wrap on the 2020 Music City Gold Pen Awards!

Thank you for joining us in recognizing business communicators from across Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky for their professional achievements and brand campaigns.

About the Event

IABC Nashville broadcasted the 2020 Music City Gold Pen Awards on November 2 on Facebook Live. Danielle Breezy, Chief Meteorologist from WKRN-TV Nashville News 2, served as emcee, and singer-songwriter and American Idol semi-finalist Sarah Lake was the musical guest. A total of 36 awards were presented in categories ranging from change communications to nonprofit campaigns. Photos from the awards celebration are posted here.

From Our President 

“It is an honor for our chapter to recognize these communications professionals for their outstanding work and campaigns,” said Mollye Dietrich, IABC Nashville president. “From internal communications teams to public relations agencies, this year’s group of winners displayed the very best in business communications throughout Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky and are paving the way for our region to be recognized as one of the nation’s top locations to be a communications professional.” 

Congratulations To Our Award Winners! 

The award winners represented a range of industries, including strategic communications, public relations, non-profit, marketing, media relations, healthcare, and more. The teams at GSH Media and Keycom both took home numerous awards for their work in media relations, nonprofit campaigns, publications, audio/visual, social media programs, and special events. Words By Joe Diorio received the Best of Show award for the writing entry “A Few Words About Words” receiving the highest score out of all submissions. This year’s award winners and categories include:

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Call for Nominations: 2021 IABC Nashville Executive Board

Interested in getting more involved with IABC Nashville, or do you know a current member who is? Call for nominations, including self-nominations, are now open for the 2021 IABC Nashville Executive Board of Directors between now and Thursday, November 5. Questions on the nomination process? Contact nominating chair/past president Birdie Loeffler at All applicants/nominees must be active IABC members in good standing to be eligible.

2021 IABC Nashville Available Board Positions

President-Elect: This role is responsible for supporting the President and to act in the absence of the President as needed at Board meetings and chapter events. The President-Elect serves on the Executive Board for three years, automatically assuming the Presidency in year two and the role of Past-President in year three.

Secretary: This role is to keep a record of all the proceedings of the Chapter; sign all certified copies of acts of the Chapter; maintain official Chapter record books, Bylaws, policies, procedures, and other documents; prepare Board meeting notices and orders of business; and perform other duties necessary to the office or as prescribed by the President, the Executive Board.

Vice President of Finance/Treasurer: This role is to serve as treasurer and chief financial officer of the Chapter; chair the Finance Committee; be responsible for deposit, safekeeping, and disbursement of the funds of the Chapter; maintain records concerning receipts, expenditures, and assets of the Chapter; prepare an annual budget and dues recommendations for the Chapter; prepare full and interim financial reports as directed by the Executive Board and the IABC Chapter/Region Finance Guide.

Vice President of Membership: This role is to promote membership benefits, establish objectives to oversee initiatives to increase and retain members and provide measurement of results. Build meaningful relationships with prospective and current members, and resolve membership-related issues.

Vice President of Professional Development: This role is responsible for all aspects of the professional development events, securing presenters, presenter relations, communications, pre-event/onsite logistics, measurement, other opportunities related to learning, and continuing education for members.

Vice President of Communications: This role works in tandem with the Vice President of Social Media to develop, execute, and monitor an all-encompassing communications plan for the Chapter. Responsible for regularly updating the Chapter website and handling all aspects of email communications to promote events, membership, sponsorship, and networking opportunities.

Vice President of Social Media: This role works in tandem with the Vice President of Communications to develop, execute, and monitor an all-encompassing communications plan for the Chapter. Responsible for regularly updating various Chapter social media accounts and handling all aspects of public relations to promote events, membership, sponsorship, and networking opportunities.

Vice President of Awards: The Vice President of Awards is responsible for managing/developing the annual Music City Gold Pen Awards program. This includes fostering reciprocal chapter judging relationships, call for entries communications and submissions, promotion, and measurement. They also coordinate and communicate with award submitters and manage the Chapter judging platform.

Vice Presidents at Large: Up to three (3) Vice Presidents at Large may be added to the Executive Board at the discretion and for a duration, as determined by the Executive Board in order to manage specific timely projects and issues of the Chapter. For 2021, possible projects to be assigned to Vice Presidents at Large include event planning, sponsorship management, and diversity and inclusion efforts.

Apply/Nominate Today!

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October Professional Development Event: “Stepping Out of the Box: Working Together to Communicate Effectively Across Cultures”

Join IABC Nashville on Wednesday, October 21, at 12:00 PM CDT on Zoom for an insightful conversation on communications and culture with Diana Sanchez-Vega, owner of Sanchez-Vega Communications. Diana will discuss acculturation’s reciprocal process – where host communities and newcomers often find themselves engaged in planned and serendipitous interactions- and how cultural humility can propel effective communication in any multicultural setting. Diana will also address the benefits of stepping out of the box when communicating with limited English proficient speakers to engage in mutually productive dialogue.

Attendees will learn more about the following:

  • How to effectively communicate across cultures in both professional and personal settings
  • How to confidently manage cultural barriers to achieve common goals
  • How to think more broadly in a multicultural scenario to ensure everyone feels included and respected

About the Speaker:

Diana Sanchez-Vega is a bilingual employee trainer, speaker, and Spanish interpreter/translator. She also coaches bilingual individuals to find work. Since 2003, Diana’s business, Sanchez-Vega Communications, facilitates interactions and learning processes to empower others to have more profitable and effective communications.

A twice nationally certified Spanish medical interpreter, Diana holds a Master of Arts in Psychological Studies and a Bachelor’s of Science in International Business. She also speaks intermediate Portuguese and is versed in French.

Raised in the duality of the Anglo-Argentine environment, Diana learned at an early age how to navigate between two cultures, two belief systems, and two social classes. Once in the US, Diana immersed herself in a true process of acculturation by engaging with the communities where she lived. She has served as an advisor for multiple local nonprofit and government organizations, and in 2007, Diana received Nashville Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award for nonprofit leadership.

Free for IABC Members and $15 for Non-Members

Reserve your spot today!

Guest Blog: How to Record a Podcast Remotely And Get It Right The First Time

By Chris Zaldúa, Courtesy of Descript

Remote interviews are a fact of life for every podcaster, and in today’s era of social distancing, more so than ever. Since you rarely get the chance at an interview do-over, nailing down your remote recording workflow is essential. We’ll show you how to prepare for and record a remote interview, so you get it right the first time — with some additional tips along the way to make sure all your bases are covered. 

Choose the right remote recording setup for your podcast

The first step is to determine the remote recording setup that best suits the format and content of your podcast and your production and editing workflow.

In most cases, your best solution will involve recording remote interviews on Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or a similar online conferencing service. This low-friction setup makes it easy for guests or co-hosts to contribute, but you’ll need to make sure you have the right software to record these interviews.

It’s also wise to make sure you can record phone calls. Phone interviews don’t offer great audio fidelity, but they make a great backup option in case of technical problems or schedule changes. Phone interviews probably won’t be your first choice, but it’s a good idea to be able to record a phone call just in case you need to. 

If you’re recording with the same remote co-host on each episode of your podcast, consider a double-ender setup, in which you and your co-host record your own audio tracks locally and combine them in post-production. For most podcasters, this isn’t the most convenient solution, but it does translate into the highest audio fidelity for you and your co-host.

The best way to record an interview is to prepare for it

When it comes to interviewing — especially remote interviewing — a little preparation goes a long way.

Do some research into your guest’s background, expertise, and projects. Who are they? Why is their work notable? What do you (and in turn, your audience) hope to learn from them?

Putting together a rough outline of the questions you’d like to ask will come in very handy. Write down a handful of specific questions and key points, but keep your outline broad and high-level. That’ll allow you to more easily adapt to the flow of conversation.

Maintaining that conversational flow remotely can be substantially trickier than doing so person-to-person. Prime yourself to listen more than you speak — in particular, try not to interrupt your guest. Editing out awkward silences between speakers is much easier than dealing with too much crosstalk!

When it’s time to record the interview, take a couple final preparatory steps to ensure a clean recording. Close all unnecessary software and set your computer to “Do Not Disturb” mode to make sure unwanted distractions don’t pop up (or worse: end up in the recording).

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A September to Remember: When Communicating a Crisis Gets Personal

By Genma Holmes

My son, Cornelius, days after his accident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

On September 17, 2019, around 3:30 a.m., I was catapulted into another world when I received a frantic call to come to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s adult emergency room. Without knowing any details, I knew the situation was bad because it involved my middle child and youngest son, Cornelius. As I raced to the hospital, the prior few weeks I had spent with him flashed through my mind. He was employed full-time and had re-upped to continue his military service and was on the shortlist for a possible deployment that he seemed somewhat excited about. I had attended his swearing-in ceremony, which was very meaningful to me. He was looking forward to becoming a new homeowner and was scheduled to close on a home in a few weeks. He was also elated over the prospect of becoming a realtor. He was a busy young man making his mark at the age of 28. His future was as bright as the stars above. I was one proud mama!

The road to recovery was long, with doctors telling us that Cornelius might never be able to walk again.

That “mama pride” kept me from collapsing after I walked into the emergency trauma unit. There was no sign of a young man with a bright future on the trauma table. I saw a mangled body with limbs dangling from sockets, wounds with gaping holes oozing with blood, pink flesh where it should have been brown skin, and a face that I only recognized my son’s eyes. I asked the attending nurse, “He was not in Iraq, what happened to him?” I said in utter shock as I was looking at him on the table. Iraq and Afghanistan came to mind because that was the only thing I could relate to that could produce so much damage to the body at once. It was not in Iraq, but down the street, where my son suffered catastrophic injuries from a workplace accident when a 2,500-pound sulfur bag blew up in his face. He received 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his upper body, multiple injuries, and deep lacerations to his lower body, especially his knees and legs. At the time I was staring at him on the table, I had not received the news that he probably would not walk. When I grabbed his hands to let him know we were going to get through this, he moaned through barely-there lips, “Mom, I have no face. It is gone! Look at me Mom. I have no face.”

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