Upcoming Events

Sep 24

Without Communications, Did It Really Happen? Why Telling the Sustainability Story Is Crucial

This month's TED speaker joins us all the way from Sydney, Australia. Register today!

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Oct 8

ESIG: Reboot Your Business with Back-to-Basics Tips

Phil Morabito, founder and CEO of Pierpont Communications, Houston's largest full-service PR firm, will return to his solo entrepreneur roots to help us navigate through this turbulence.

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The Business Communicators Podcast

IABC Houston has launched a podcast! The Business Communicators takes professionals on a journey that explores the key issues and trends that impact our industry. Focusing on professional development, each episode features a compelling conversation with c-suite executives, strategists, nationally-acclaimed journalists, and digital influencers. The show is hosted and produced by Austin StatonNew episodes of the podcast will be released on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave us a five-star review. You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Google Play, and Simplecast. Questions or comments? Send us an email to [email protected].


Season Two

Episode 16: Disruption: Data Analytics, Influencers and Making 2020 Work for You

Innovation and finding your discomfort zone can make or break your business. So, how can you make 2020 work for you? Mike Berland, the founder and CEO of Decode M, an insights and strategy firm based in New York, joins The Business Communicators to discuss maintaining momentum in a chaos-driven world, data analytics, digital innovation by the professional sports leagues and brands that have pivoted successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Episode 15: Championing Effective Work Environments w/ WoodMac’s Nicole Braley

Navigating today's business environment isn't easy, but it's not the first time we've been forced to rethink our strategies for success. Wood Mackenzie's Nicole Braley, VP of Marketing for the Americas, joins The Business Communicators podcast for an engaging discussion on rethinking the workplace in the “new normal.”

Episode 14: The Fight for Privacy and Taking Ownership of your Personal Data

Shiv Malik, Head of Growth at Streamr, makes his second appearance on The Business Communicators podcast. Has progress been made on the data privacy front in the last 10 months? Shiv brings listeners up to speed on data unions (and what they are) and how consumers are inching closer to owning their personal data.

Shiv, a former investigative journalist at The Guardian, then offers insights on Silicon Valley’s monopolization of user data, how legislation in the EU and U.S. could benefit communicators and consumers alike, and why Chinese-owned apps like TikTok are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to data privacy. 

Episode 13: Gone phishing: Hackers aren’t taking a break — and neither should you

The personal information of millions of Americans were exposed due to data breaches in 2019, and Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) reported over 40,000 nation-state hacking attacks in the last year alone. In recent weeks U.S. government agencies and medical institutions leading the COVID-19 pandemic response experienced cyberattack spikes. Clearly businesses and public institutions are in the crosshairs of opportunistic and professional hackers. What can you, as your organization’s professional communicator, do to help protect your organization?

Episode 12: 2020 Vision: Effectively Engaging Virtual Audiences

Tracey Shappro does it all. As the president and CEO of Vision Production Group in Houston, Texas, she brings her experience working with major global brands to the latest episode of The Business Communicators podcast to share her insights on the importance of effectively engaging audiences during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and so much more.

Episode 11: Creating a Culture of Care: Mental Health + Communications

Courtney Phillips is a mental health warrior and spends her time advocating in the community and sharing stories of hope and healing through her outreach initiative, Hope for Invisible Wounds, which provides resources and tools for those suffering from mental anguish. 

Courtney brings her more than 14 years of strategic communications and public relations experience across the federal government, healthcare and corporate sectors, to The Business Communicators podcast to share insights into her personal story, her advocacy efforts, the role of corporate communications plays in creating a culture of care, and so much more.

Episode 10Building Connections and Managing Your Message

Jim Karrh, a professional speaker, consultant, host of the Manage Your Message Podcast, and the author of The Science of Customer Connections, joins The Business Communicators podcast to discuss the importance of building lasting connections, managing your message as a communicator, and tips on helping professionals talk about their businesses more effectively.

In this episode, Jim brings his decades of expertise into the conversation by leveraging his experience from serving on the faculty of three universities and contributing his research in top peer-reviewed journals. He offers his analysis on COVID-19 creating a shift in the way businesses are valuing the marketing and communicating field, pivoting our message from one of self-interest to one that places our clients and customers at the forefront, and so much more.

Episode 9Facing the Issues with Sam Chen

Sam Chen, host and anchor of the "Face the Issues" talk-show, political strategist, college professor and author joins The Business Communicators to discuss trending topics in the world in 2020 – the media environment, Election 2020, COVID-19 and an evolving communications landscape.

Episode 8Getting Vocal: #CommsChat with Chris Griesemer

On this episode of The Business Communicators, we welcome Chris Griesemer, principal at Voice for Any Choice, an accomplished voiceover actor and podcast host. With nearly 20 years in the business and hundreds of projects from commercials to video games under his belt – along with hosting his podcast on the side – Griesemer has established a successful career with his unique talent, powered by his passion for what he does. While some might assume it was an easily built profession for someone with a natural ‘ear’ for imitating voices from different cultures to celebrities, it was from humble beginnings and hard work that he was able to create his niche in the market of voiceover talent.

Episode 7Communicating in a #PostCorona World; Think Different with Madam Confection

In this timely episode of The Business Communicators, Mike Klein, Founder and Principal at the internal and change communication consultancy, Changing the Terms, joins the podcast to tackle a serious topic dominating our world in early 2020.

As this ‘new world’ of communicating during a pandemic is unprecedented and like nothing else we’ve seen in our lifetimes, it has presented an opportunity for increasing connectedness with others via mobile and digital communications platforms. But how do we best apply these technological resources to serve our audiences as communicators? How do we navigate conducting ‘business as usual’ without being tone-deaf to the personal impacts that many continue to face as a result of this disease?

Then, Allysun Theuhmayzing joins the show to share insights into her California-based bakery, Madam Confection, and how she is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic as a small business owner. Allysun shares great tips on how your kids can learn the practical skills of cooking in an educational way, how social media has helped her business, and why this pandemic is allowing her to think differently and creative moving forward.

Episode 6: Crisis Management and COVID-19 featuring Judge Ed Emmett

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has disrupted the global markets and the pandemic is now impacting many within our own community. Schools have closed, local businesses have shuttered, and many are unsure of the long-term implications to their careers and personal health.

In this time of uncertainty, how can we navigate the COVID-19 crisis as communicators? Join The Business Communicators and our panel of experts for an informative discussion on crisis management during the COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring former Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Pierpont COO Clint Woods, and Dr. Chris Yandle, our panel will share insights into government and corporate response, working remotely, and the importance of maintaining a focus on mental health for you and your family.

Episode 5Laughs and Life Advice with America’s Got Talent Alum + Comedian, Preacher Lawson

Preacher Lawson, a comedian and alum from America’s Got Talent and the star of Get To Know Me on BET Plus, joins The Business Communicators ahead of his national tour stop in Houston.

With more than 1 million followers across his digital media platforms, Lawson has gained a loyal following and now hosts his own stand-up comedy tour across the U.S. However, despite his swift rise to comedic fame in just a few years, Lawson’s road to success was not without struggles and obstacles to overcome along the way. In this episode, Lawson shares his story of perseverance and drive to achieve his goals, and how these life lessons can be applied to the professional world.

Episode 4CNBC’s Brian Sullivan on the Global Economy, COVID-19 and Comms in 2020

Brian Sullivan, a Senior National Correspondent at CNBC, joins The Business Communicators to cover all things ‘media’ in 2020. Drawing from his 20 years of financial journalism and television experience, Brian shares his insights from the field in facing today’s media affairs challenges, ever-changing communications platforms, and the continuously evolving landscape of the industry in which today’s business communicators work.

Episode 3Political Campaigns Turned Communications Gain

Politics. The word alone is enough to make many cringe or quickly seek to change the subject. But with mixed feelings aside, there is a diamond in the rough when it comes to political campaigns and the strategic marketing examples that communicators can extract from them for their own practice.

Michael Moore, a seasoned communications professional and candidate running for Houston’s Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner, joins The Business Communicators to share his experiences in a variety of industries – from political campaigns to public transportation, to entrepreneurship and energy.

Episode 2A Dream Realized: Progressing Your Passion Into a Successful & Fulfilling Career

Passion and purpose – these are essentially what drive us in life, regardless of our pursuits, talents, field of work or career paths. But how do we realize our professional goals and dreams to enjoy the results of our hard work – and ultimately, the reward of a personally fulfilling career? What if we’re starting from the beginning, faced with challenging odds, or taking a risk in a new environment? There’s no ‘one size fits all’ path to success, but we can strategically plan to make the journey more effective as we progress.

Jennifer Cannon, Global Marketing Manager at Gyrodata, joins The Business Communicators to provide insight on how to successfully build a communications career and navigate the unknowns of an unfamiliar industry. Sharing her experiences in the engineering and oil and gas fields, Jennifer enlightens listeners with practical advice on transitioning from a novice to a well-equipped brand ambassador in a new organization – especially in a technical industry.

Episode 1: University Lessons: Communications in the Niche Market of Higher Education

Over the last 10-15 years, external communications in the higher education field has experienced a drastic shift in effective methods and mediums. What was once an industry largely focused on direct mail outreach to prospective students in the early 2000s, university marketing communications has now migrated to a primarily digital world, utilizing social media and other e-marketing platforms as key sources for attracting prospects and engaging with current students and alums.  

In this episode, The Business Communicators welcomes Josh McDaniel, Director of Marketing and Branding at Northwestern State University. Known by his social media monikers as ‘@TheRealJMac,’ McDaniel shares his unique experience in business marketing communications for the higher education industry.

Season One

Episode 19The Comms Journey From the White House to Hollywood

Every communications journey has its own story. For some, it’s internal comms. For others, it’s digital media. For John Phillippe, it’s a path from the Clinton White House to Hollywood — and ultimately owning his own business ventures.

John, who currently resides in Houston, Texas, joins The Business Communicators to share his story of how an entrepreneurial mindset, a few breaks along the way, and the power of networking have powered his career.

Episode 18Streamr’s Shiv Malik on Investigative Journalism, Data Unions, and Piracy in Silicon Valley

Are businesses from Silicon Valley holding you hostage? Can a free press exist in a democracy when data rights AREN’T owned by its citizens? 

Shiv Malik, Head of Communications at Streamr, and a former investigative journalist for The Guardian — breaking exclusive front page stories on everything from the UK ​government to ISIS — joins The Business Communicators to discuss the state of journalism in democratic states, his transition to corporate communications, and the innovative approach his company Streamr is taking to give individuals ownership of their personal data.

Episode 17: Entrepreneurship, Magic and Mayhem with the internationally acclaimed Ben Jackson 

Ben Jackson, who is an international award-winning magician featured on NBC’s TODAY show, and has consulted for the Hollywood film Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, joins The Business Communicators to share insights into building a brand and a viable business — and most importantly, following your passion and identifying you why.

Episode 16That One Blond Kid: Jeremiah Davis on DM’s, Drones, and Digital Collabs 

Today’s consumer brands are beginning to tap into lucrative marketing opportunities presented through high-quality photography and videography on digital and social media platforms. What was once an environment reliant on static visuals and scripted television advertising methods alone has progressed into a world of connecting with target audiences via breathtaking photography and captivating videography – visual communication focused simply on brand awareness.

Jeremiah Davis, known by his personal brand as ‘That One Blond Kid’ (or ‘TOBK’), joins The Business Communicators to share his personal experience in entrepreneurship – from the beginning of his career in cold-contacting wildly successful creators, to now producing major projects for retail and music brands such as Adidas, MVMT, MTV and The Chainsmokers. In addition, TOBK discusses the latest technology elevating brand marketing, including drone photography and videography, as well as how it’s changing traditional creative processes.

Episode 15Netflix’s The Great Hack: The dark truth about data privacy w/ Professor David Carroll

Every day, masked behind seemingly harmless mobile applications and modern technology, there lies a darker force watching your every move – your routines, personal preferences, commonly visited locations, retail purchases and more. We’re surrounded by this force and more often than not, have unknowingly ‘opted in’ to providing this personal data. Technology has arguably progressed our world into a more informed, connected and efficient society. But at what cost? David Carroll, associate professor at Parsons School of Design and a key subject on the original Netflix documentary, The Great Hack, joins The Business Communicators to look behind the curtain at the mass amounts of data collected by today’s corporations, governments, and media sectors around the world.

Episode 14Changing the Game: Social Media Secrets with Kami Huyse

Social media has transformed our world since the launch of Twitter and Facebook. These platforms, along with Linkedin and others, have shaped the landscape of two-way communication for businesses in the digital age. For entrepreneurs and small businesses getting started, building a sustainable online community can seem like a giant hill to climb, complicated by pay-to-play opportunities thwarting organic engagement with loyal brand supporters. Joining The Business Communicators to examine these social media topics in depth is Kami Huyse, APR, and CEO of Zoetica, a digital marketing and public relations agency in Katy, Texas.

Episode 13Think Forward: How to Write Your Own Story Every Day

Professional development efforts, including sharpening interpersonal communication skills and seeking out a mentor, are oftentimes an afterthought in contrast with the daily demands in our professions. But despite what cynics may claim, ROI isn’t always quantitative. Research proves that ‘soft’ skills are just as important as ‘hard’ skills in today’s competitive business environment. Harnessing these skills enables communications professionals to be better equipped to ‘Think Forward,’ which was the 2019 theme of the annual IABC World Conference. Marketing + Communications Manager and IABC Houston President-Elect, Hayley Ross, joins The Business Communicators to discuss this topic and key takeaways from the event, sharing how we can apply these best practices in our day-to-day routines.

Episode 12Damage Control: Recovering When You Make a Mistake

Mistakes are part of being new to any profession, but how you recover from them can change the trajectory of your career. Mandi Kane, a senior managing advisor based in Nashville, Tennessee, joins The Business Communicators to share her insights on overcoming mistakes as a professional, and how communicators can learn and grow from these experiences.

Episode 11Silence Isn’t Golden for Crisis Communicators

Planning in advance for the unthinkable and unimaginable circumstances that will inevitably come our way is key to success for crisis communicators. Remaining silent during a crisis impacting your company – in an age of 24/7, instant news coverage – is guaranteed for public relations doom. Bill Salvin, Founder and President at Signal Bridge, joins The Business Communicators to recount his lessons learned and to share nuances of communicating in a crisis, bringing his vast PR insight from the U.S. Navy Reserves to the oil and gas industry.

Episode 10Riding the Digital Wave: The Fast, The Furious and The Unpredictable

Adapting to change in an age of constant technology advances is critical in the communications profession. If we don’t shift our thinking to embrace the fast, furious and unpredictable nature of today’s digital strides, we risk falling behind the curve of new standards for success set by our industry peers. The Business Communicators welcomes Saxum Founder and CEO, Renzi Stone, to share his perspective on this subject and take a closer look at the implications of how ‘staying on top of our game’ impacts our success as a team.

Episode 09: Measurement is Not a Four-Letter Word for Marketing and Communications

Data measurement and analytics are tools that every communicator should have in their bag. But, how can we use these tools effectively to encourage buy-in from senior executives and key stakeholders? Marketing Data Scientist and IABC Houston board member, Thomas Baen, joins The Business Communicators to discuss how businesses can leverage key data insights to create a profit center that enhances their corporate narrative, campaigns, and brand awareness.

Episode 08Identifying Influencers to Elevate Organizational Success

Some say that being able to identify the influencers inside your organization is the 'ultimate strategy.' Why? Because it reduces friction and increases impact. But how do you accomplish this with a globally-dispersed employee base, challenging a communicator to reach teams in the face of diverse cultural nuances? The Fifth Business' Client Partnership Director and IABC Executive Board Member, Michael Nord, joins The Business Communicators to discuss this topic in depth.

Episode 07Geoff Morrell’s Communications Journey from the Pentagon War Room to the BP Executive Suite

Former ABC News White House Correspondent and Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell joins The Business Communicators to discuss his unique career path that landed him in London as the Group Head of Communications and External Affairs at BP, overseeing the strategic communications efforts for a company with operations in 70 countries. Morrell shares insights into crisis communications, rebuilding a corporate reputation, working with former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and why the ability to write is the most crucial tool for any communicator.

Episode 06: The Evolution of the Media and the Rise of Fake News

How has communications evolved over the past 25 years? From print communications in the mid-90s to radio and television broadcasting – fast-forwarding to today’s self-publishing model via numerous social media and 24/7 news platforms available – communicators must adopt these new technologies to optimize business communications success. The Business Communicators welcomes public affairs veteran and Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Managing Director, Joe Householder, to weigh in on this topic, the evolution of the media, the current political landscape, and the rise of fake news.

Episode 05: Taylor Bisciotti on the NFL Network’s shift to digital content; personal branding

Taylor Bisciotti is a reporter for the NFL Network — and the youngest female on-air personality ever hired by the network. She joins The Business Communicators to share her insight on breaking into a male-dominated industry, and the NFL’s shift to embracing digital content to enhance their reach with a new audience of fans.

Episode 04: The PR and Digital Influencer Machine behind SXSW

Held annually in Austin, Texas, since 1987, South By Southwest (SXSW) brings together experts from the tech, film, and music industries, to help creative people achieve their goals. SXSW senior publicist Brett Cannon and Giant Noise Vice President Jennifer Sinski join The Business Communicators to break down the PR machine behind the festival, and how leveraging digital influencers has crafted power messaging to enhance the annual event on a global scale.

Episode 03: Storytelling in a Digital World – The Art of Audio Tales

Why is the art of audio storytelling – essentially born with the introduction of Apple’s podcast platform in 2004 – just now on the rise? Milieu Media Group's Luke Brawner joins The Business Communicators in this insightful conversation on the importance of sharpening your edge on the art of audio storytelling and podcasting for your organization.

Episode 02: Pierpont CEO Phil Morabito on the Convergence of Marketing + Communications

Over the last decade, the marketing and communications disciplines have seen a significant convergence. The days of perfecting a specific craft in a niche role of either focus within an organization are long gone, replaced by the demand for well-rounded and multi-faceted marketing communications professionals. Pierpont Communications’ Founder & CEO, Phil Morabito, joins The Business Communicators to explore this industry shift impacting our individual competitive edge – and more importantly, to address how to conduct a SWOT analysis to ‘up the ante’ on your personal brand.

Episode 01: Axios’ Sara Fischer on the Weaponization of Social Media; Digital Media Trends

Technology has and always will be a reflection of human will and society, leveraged for both positive and negative outcomes. Can consumers and businesses remain confident in their use of digital media platforms, despite the efforts of bad actors? Axios Media Reporter and author of Axios Media Trends, Sara Fischer, joins The Business Communicators to unwrap the keys to success for today’s communicators in cultivating digital media.