Engage Your Audience with Real-Life Stories: Vibrant Examples from Civic Storytelling

Your organization may already include storytelling as part of a strong communication strategy. Perhaps you’ve brought that strategy to life. But how often are those stories striking a chord that engages and motivates your audience? What channels are you using to get the word out? How can you be sure you’re making a difference?

A.%20Foley-29302.jpgYou are invited to join us June 18 for a complimentary webinar focused on a new model for civic engagement—innovative ways in which a major city is redefining city communication. And you’ll discover applications that can infuse new life in storytelling for corporations and non-profits as well.

This live webinar will feature the City of Detroit’s Aaron Foley, the first person in the United States appointed as the chief storyteller for a local government. IABC Detroit President Heather Guenther will interview Foley about lessons learned in his groundbreaking attempts to engage a diverse group of voices and discuss events that don’t get covered by the city’s traditional media. They will also talk about principles and potential applications for any organization.

After the interview, webinar attendees can join Heather and Aaron for live questions and answers.

Register here to attend.

cropped%20enh%20wsi-imageoptim-VJP6353_RiverfrontAerial_Vito_Palmisano_high.jpgAbout civic storytelling: The role of government communications is rapidly changing. In an era when fewer journalists cover local neighborhoods, municipalities are using unique approaches to illuminate the stories that make their communities vibrant places to live, work and play.

Event PR and Planning: How Ford Reinvented Michigan Central Station

How can communication professionals make a marked difference in launching the revitalization of a significant public landmark? IABC Heritage Region webinar attendees recently heard an inspiring experience and gained practical take-aways. View the recording. Download the slides. Download a Ford newsletter focused on the ongoing project.

Last year Ford Motor Company acquired the iconic Michigan Central Station and announced plans to transform it into an urban ecosystem built around the future of mobility. Ford plans to create a 1.2-million-square-foot innovation campus for work on autonomous and electric vehicle businesses, as well as design of urban mobility services and solutions.

Stuart Ruderfer and Marisa Bradley at IABC Detroit / Detroit PRSA event focused on the launch of the Michigan Central Station transformation.
Discover the business communication, public relations and event planning creativity and strategy that brought the ground-breaking event to life and continues to help the project gain momentum.

On April 17, we'll take in a recorded professional development event presented in March by IABC Detroit and PRSA Detroit. Afterward, webinar attendees will join panelists for a brief, live discussion on how to apply the inspiration and insight from this initiative.

About the Presenters

Christina Twelftree

Christina TwelftreeChristina Twelftree leads the communication effort involving Ford’s new Corktown campus and the redevelopment of Michigan Central Station. She joined the U.S. team in September 2018 from Ford’s Asia Pacific regional headquarters in Shanghai, where she was manager of Ford brand communications for several years. 

Before joining Ford, Christina gained over a decade of international communication experience working for big global brands, fast-growing start-ups, and consulting firms. She began her communications career at Ogilvy PR in Beijing, as part of its China-based financial communications team. From 2006 to 2009, she was the head of international public affairs at the Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba.com, where she spearheaded the planning and implementation of the company’s communications strategy outside of Mainland China, including all PR activities around its landmark 2007 IPO in Hong Kong.

Christina has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Adelaide and studied intensive Mandarin at the Chinese Language and Cultural University in Beijing. An Australian citizen, she currently lives in Detroit with her husband and three children.

Stuart Ruderfer

Stuart RuderferStuart Ruderfer is the Co-founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Civic, an award-winning creative agency devoted to building bridges between companies and the communities they serve. He has overseen Civic's emergence as one of the industry’s most innovative strategic marketing companies, serving such iconic brands as Ford, Airbnb, HBO, Snap, HISTORY, Verizon, NBC, CNN, the NFL Network and eBay. Civic is part of Ryan Seacrest's Seacrest Global Group.

Ruderfer has led Civic's creative, strategic and client development work since its launch in 1999.  In addition to overseeing the company's overall growth, he has devoted special time and attention to projects that address Civic's strong commitment to innovative pro-social efforts focused on education, community development and social justice.   Ruderfer has been deeply involved in the development of Ford Motor Company’s community engagement strategy, NBC's Education Nation initiatives, as well as its work with Think It Up! and The Gates Foundation.   He was an executive producer of Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America, serves on the board of Pencil and is an Advisory Board Member at 2U, Inc.

Prior to founding Civic, Ruderfer launched the Marketing & Events Division for the City of New York under Mayor Rudy Giuliani where he produced the HBO Garth Brooks Live Concert in Central Park.  Ruderfer graduated magna cum laude from George Washington University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. from George Washington University Law School and lives in New York City with his wife and three sons.

Marisa Bradley

Marisa BradleyMarisa Bradley is the director of CEO and Internal Communications at Ford Motor Company. She’s responsible for leading executive communications for President and CEO Jim Hackett, as well as Ford’s global internal and workplace communications. 

Previously Marisa led the digital, broadcast, lifestyle and marketing communications for the Ford brand in North America.  Marisa joined Ford in 2005 after graduation from the University of Michigan. During her more than ten years with Ford, she has held various positions including managing product, auto show and dealer communications.

In her spare time Marisa is also a dance instructor, teaching ballet weekly at a local studio. Marisa lives in Ann Arbor, MI with her husband Alan and new daughter.

Webinar: What is a Digital Workplace and Why Should You Care?

You know what an intranet is ... but what’s a digital workplace, and how can it affect your business? Play the recording and view slides from a thought leadership webinar presented Oct. 24, 2018, by Dennis Pearce, Sr. Solution Strategy Consultant, Igloo Software. This webinar is free to IABC members.

  • Help your organization become more agile, responsive and networked.
  • Chart your journey from intranet to digital workplace. 
  • Track progress in your digital workplace journey through changes in information created and shared, as well as employee behavior, business processes and measurement methods.  

Webinar: Thinking About IABC Certification?

IABC certification provides a great opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. And  it could help you land your next big opportunity or perform at a higher level in your current role.

Download these resources, download the slides and play the recording from this special certification prep webinar, presented on October 16, 2018, by Deb Hileman, CMP, SCMP, member of the IABC International Executive Board and past chair of the Global Communication Certification Council. 

During the webinar, Deb discussed the importance of certain pillars of the test, as well as areas in which test takers most frequently struggle. She also answered a variety of questions from webinar participants. 

Please also keep in mind that next month’s IABC Heritage Region Conference offers the last opportunity in 2018 for communication professionals to take the Communication Management Professional (CMP) or Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) exam. The exams will be given from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Omni Richmond, 100 South 12th Street Richmond, Virginia. 

If you have questions about the exam or the conference, contact Pat Frey, IABC Heritage Region certification chair, at certification@iabcheritage.com.

Communication Competency Webinars

2018 Communication Professional Competency Series

Don’t miss this series of webinars organized in response to IABC member research. The presenter is Jim Shaffer, an internationally recognized business advisor, leadership coach, author, speaker and leader of the Jim Shaffer Group, a team of advisers devoted to improving strategy execution through strong leaders and engaged people. Jim is also a member in the IABC Heritage Region and an IABC Fellow.


Be sure to register in advance! You can also play the recordings of past webinars on demand.

Strategic Adviser Skills: Wednesday, May 23, 1 p.m. Eastern Time


Communication professionals need to add more value by shifting from tactical doers to strategic advisers. This shift increases work directed at improving business results and decreases work that doesn’t. Download slides. Download recording or click the image below to play.

title screen for web replay.png

Webinar participants expressed an interest in metrics. Here's a slide from Jim Shaffer communicating the importance of shifting from metrics that don’t reflect the health of an organization to metrics that do.

Change Management: Wednesday, June 20, 1 p.m. Eastern Time


A director of internal communication helped reduce damage in a distribution center by 65% while increasing productivity by 16 %. That’s an example of a communication professional managing a change process with leaders and front-line employees. Download slides. Download recording or click the image below to play.

title screen for web replay.png 

Business and Financial Acumen: Wednesday, July 18, 1 p.m. Eastern Time

If you want to build trust and take performance to new heights, organizations need to open the books. Share information that matters to improving operating and financial results. Then celebrate people when they score big successes. Download slides. Download recording here or click the image below to play.


Leadership Development: Wednesday, August 15, 1 p.m. Eastern Time


Companies such as IBM, P&G, Toyota, FedEx and 3M have benefited from strong leadership engines that create clear expectations, assess performance, develop leadership and reward people for their leadership success. Find out how you can build leadership success. Download slides, download recording here or click the image below to play.


Measurement for Communication Professionals: Wednesday, September 26, 1 p.m. Eastern Time

What gets measured gets done. Measurement provides focus and lets us know how we’re performing.  But, which measurements really matter to our success? Which ones distract us and send energy in the wrong direction? Download slides, download recording here or click the image below to play.


2019 Webinar Calendar

August 7 - "IABC Certification Tips, Benefits and Prep for September," free webinar. Becoming a Communication Management Professional (CMP) or Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) can help you advance. Deb Hileman, SCMP, a member of the IABC International Executive Board, will share tips, benefits and ways to prepare. Registration open now for this free webinar.

July 17 - "Communicating Across Generations," free webinar. Curt Dudley, director of broadcast services at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, will share insights and experiences to help business communication professionals drive results in communicating with multiple audiences. Registration open now for this free webinar.

June 18 - "Engage Your Audience with Real-Life Stories: Vibrant Examples from Civic Storytelling," complimentary session. IABC Detroit President Heather Guenther will interview Aaron Foley, the first person in the United States appointed as the chief storyteller for a local government. After the interview attendees can participate in a live Q&A. (Registration open now for this free webinar.)

May 22 - “What are You Waiting For? Renew Your Skills/Mindset/Career Today,” Jennifer Wah, Chief Storyteller, Forwords Communications, Inc., special Heritage Region conference keynote replay with live commentary.

April 17 - "Event PR and Planning: How Ford Reinvented Michigan Central Station," Christina Twelftree, Stuart Ruderfer and Marisa Bradley, IABC Detroit/PRSA Detroit March session replay with live commentary.

March 21 - "Living the Experience and Protecting Your Brand: How to Manage Fake News in the Real World," John Deveney, special Heritage Region conference keynote replay with live commentary.

Viewed 998 times