Fostering Excellence in Business Communication

ABC Newsletter

Issue 7, December 2015

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Fostering Excellence in Business Communication
The Association for Business Communication (ABC) Newsletter
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From the editor

Sky Marsen, ABC News Editor

Welcome to the December 2015 Issue

It was great to see many of you in Seattle at another excellent ABC conference. Many thanks to the organizers for a job well done!

While celebrating this year's successful gathering, let's start planning for next year's 81st Annual International Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 12-22, 2016. 

During the holidays, consider also applying for one of the awards and grants sponsored by ABC:
The C. R. Anderson Research Fund deadline is January 1st.
Member Awards.
As usual, please send me any items that are relevant to our ABC colleagues. I hope you have relaxing and enjoyable holidays and a successful year ahead.

Sky Marsen
ABC News Editor

From the president

Bertha Du Babcock, ABC President

Seasonal Greetings from the President’s Desk

Dear ABC Members,

Let me first take this opportunity to wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday season as well as a productive new year. I also want to provide some news items and make some comments.

The Asia Pacific conference was held in Guangzhou on November 27 to 29.  Richard and I were able to take a short two- hour train ride rather than our usual 12 to 14- hour flights.  I want to thank Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and the organizing committee headed by Professor Chunyu HU  for organizing an outstanding conference.  The theme of the conference was “Business Communication in the Global Century.”   The Program featured five keynote speeches and 60 some refereed individual paper presentations.  Of special interest, the Program also included a visit to the Final of the 3rd National Business Practice Contest.  Chinese hospitality was on full display and I especially appreciated a guided tour of the campus by Professor HU after the conclusion of the conference.

Yunxia Zhu, Asia-Pacific Regional Vice President announced that the Asia Pacific conference will be held in India in 2016.  Stay tuned for the conference dates and other details. 

Thanks to those of you who responded to Past President, Peter Cardon’s initiative by posting your information on the ABC website.  Also a special thanks to Peter for putting forth the initiative in his presidential address.  It really is an important step in helping ABC members to continue and accelerate the development of a worldwide professional community of business communication scholars.  If you have not posted yet, it is not too late. 

An ad hoc committee initiated and headed by Haiying Feng has been established and is working hard on developing a certificate program on business and intercultural communication that will be piloted in Mainland China.   The plan is to select ABC members to design instructional material and act as instructors in the program. We will use the information posted on the ABC website to identify potential material designers and instructors.

Spurred by the leadership of Kathy Rentz, we are developing formal relationships with sister organizations that are interested in different aspects of business communication.  In this regard, I had the privilege of representing ABC at two signing ceremonies.  In October  a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the Japanese Business Communication Association.  Incidentally, Hiromitsu Hayashida  represented the Japanese Business Communication Association as he was the Executive Director of the Japanese Association.  In November an MOU was signed with China Communication and Negotiation Committee (CC&NC) in Xi’An, China. 
To close, I want to refer back to comments I made upon being initiated as your President.  It is my intention to work diligently to accelerate the internationalization of ABC and make us, as I stated above, a professional community of business communication scholars.  I greatly appreciate the encouragement I have received thus far and look forward to working with all of your during this and the coming year.


From the executive director

Jim Dubinsky, ABC Executive Director

Dear ABC Members,
As we approach the end of 2015, I am writing to share some thoughts about this past year and some news about the next few years to come, to give you a State of ABC letter—the first time I’ve done so.  The topics include ways to connect with and learn from ABC members and other communication professionals at conferences around the world; ways to showcase your work through new awards; the advantages of new affiliations; and the expanding reach of our organization as we make plans to hold events in Mexico and Ireland, while also adding sessions in other languages and virtual sessions.
2015 in Brief.  In 2015, ABC offered a wide range of opportunities for our members.  We had regional conferences in Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston, TX, USA; and Guangzhou, China.  Our international conference in Seattle had the largest attendance of any conference in over a decade, and the theme of innovation and creativity was fitting and generative. Many thanks to the conference organizers and officers who put on these events, especially Jolanta Aritz, Marilyn Dyrud, Debbie DuFrene, Katie O’Neill, Valerie Creelman, and Rebecca Pope-Ruark. 
Staying Active in ABC through Socious.  We also transitioned to Socious, a new association management software system (AMS).  As Pete Cardon explained in his presidential address in Seattle, Socious offers an opportunity for our members to be actively involved in building and staying active in our ABC community all year long.  As I mentioned in an earlier note, just after stepping into this role of Executive Director in late 2011, we took steps to provide members with a more integrated experience with MemberSuite, our first foray into AMS, one that protected member data (personal and financial), and one that upgraded the conference submission process. 

Making the transition to Socious was the next logical step to help our growing organization.  We encourage you to logon, update your profile, and take time to explore.  We think you’ll find something to love, whether it is the ability to link your social media sites to your My Page section or follow your friends and colleagues.  Special thanks to our Web Editor, Alfredo Deambrosi, and our Office Manager, Marilyn Buerkens, for making the transition happen with the least disruption to our members.
Awards.  In addition to adding new capabilities online, we have added two new awards: the Ambassador Travel Award and the Award for Excellence in Communication Consulting (thanks to Melinda Kramer, Barbara Shwom, and Debby Roebuck).  Our list of awards continues to grow, offering more opportunities for you to showcase and be recognized for your scholarship, teaching, and outreach or, in the case of the Ambassador Travel Award, to work on behalf of ABC to help spread the word about our organization at other conferences. 

In the past five years, we’ve added Graduate Student Travel Scholarships (we’ve given 31 $400 awards in the past two years!), the Rising Star Award, the Pearson Award for Teaching with Technology, and the Business Communication Impact Award.  We’ve increased the amounts awarded for both the Kitty O. Locker Outstanding Researcher Award and the Meada Gibbs Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award (from $500 to $1500).  If you are not familiar with these awards or the grants we offer, please visit the website and review the criteria. 
Affiliations and Parterships. Finally, through much hard work, we have several new affiliations and partnerships.  We formalized a relationship with our long-time friends, the Japanese Business Communication Association (JBCA)—thanks, too, to Hiro Hayashida, another past president.  We also just concluded the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Communication and Negotiation Committee of China’s Industrial Technology Association of Economic Management Colleges (CC&NC).  These could not have happened without the efforts of Kathy Rentz, past president, and Bertha Du-Babcock, our current president. 

These affiliations and partnerships, along with long-time affiliations with the National Communication Association (NCA), the Modern Language Association (MLA), and a very recent one with the Society for Technical Communication (STC), offer additional benefits and opportunities for our members and help us strengthen our presence in global academic and professional communication communities.
Looking ahead to 2016.  Finally, as we look ahead to the coming years, some long-term goals are being realized.  In 2016, in addition to our SW/FBD event in Oklahoma City (a great place by the way), ABC will hold its first-ever conference in Africa in Cape Town, South Africa in January.  Many thanks to Terri Grant and Geert Jacobs (and a host of others) for their vision and effort. 
We will also have several joint events.  The first will be a Midwestern and Southeastern Regional conference in St. Louis in April; the second one will be a Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America (CMCSA) and Global Advances in Business and Communication (GABC) event in Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Campus San Luis Potosí.  At that event in Mexico, we will have at least one track in Spanish.  Roger Conaway (another past president) and Sandra Sepulveda, our CMCSA regional vice president, are working with the GABC team, especially David Victor (yet another past president!), to make this happen. 

Sandra and her team’s proposal to the Board to have a track in Spanish was so persuasive that we decided to offer tracks in Spanish at the international event in Albuquerque as well.  Stay tuned for notes from conference co-chairs, Barbara D’Angelo and Virginia Hemby-Grubb.  In Albuquerque, we will also have some virtual sessions, expanding our array of presentation options and offering ways to reach those who might not be able to attend.  
Into the Future.  If you look beyond 2016, I hope you will mark your calendars for our first-ever international conference outside of the North American continent.  In 2017, we will travel to Dublin, Ireland, staying at the beautiful Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire, which is right on the Dublin Bay!  The cost will be very reasonable. We’re still in the contract stages, but we know that the hotel rooms, which include a full breakfast, will be less than we’ve paid at any hotel in the past 10 years.
Conclusion. To conclude, I believe ABC is healthy and rich with opportunities.  Our organization is attracting young scholars and giving reasons for communication faculty, scholars, and practitioners from regions across the world to join.  Our financial situation is stable.  Even with all of the investment in ABC--the title of my proposal that I presented to the Board in Hawaii in 2012, designed to help our organization achieve our strategic plan’s goals and which resulted in, for instance, offering travel scholarships and free registration for graduate students, increasing award money, and increasing grant opportunities—we still have financial reserves that equal those we had in 2012. 
I hope you will see that your ABC offers many avenues for you to share what you are learning in the classroom and workplaces.  You can find colleagues with similar interests to help you brainstorm new ideas, and you can have fun as you learn new things and meet new people.  Equally important, you can give back to the field and to the world as a whole by participating in events such our silent auctions, which have helped organizations that provide literacy training to inner city children in Philadelphia and which use writing as a way to help children who have experienced tremendous trauma due to wars, particularly in Africa.  ABC is a community where you can flourish.  We hope you’ll spread the word!
All of us who serve you wish you a joyous holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you at one or more of the upcoming ABC events. 
Jim Dubinsky
Executive Director
Past President

ABC News

Mingling at the 2015 Annual Conference in Seattle


ABC Southwestern/FBD Conference, March 9-12, 2016 in Oklahoma City
Deadline for Proceedings: January 1

Oklahoma City will host the Southwestern/ Federation of Business Disciplines conference next year. Papers include topics in different areas of Business Communication, Teaching Research and Service.

ABC Midwestern/Southeastern Conference, April 21-23, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri
Deadline for proposals: January 20

Proposals are invited for all areas of business communication, including Communication and Technology, Executive/Managerial Communication, Global Communication Strategies, Innovative Pedagogy, Intercultural Communication, and Interpersonal Communication.

ABC Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America/GABC Conference, May 26-28, 2016 in Mexico
Deadline for proposals: February 15

The joint 8th Tricontinental Conference on Global Advances in Business and Communication (GABC) and Association for Business Communication, CMCSA, will bring together academics and practitioners to consider ongoing scholarly activities and business practices which shape and are shaped by the intersection of cultural factors and global business. The conference and its affiliate journal are co-sponsored by the University of Antwerp, the Technological University of Malaysia, Eastern Michigan University and Tecnológico de Monterrey, along with ABC.

Dinner at the presidential table at the 2015 Annual Conference in Seattle

Special Issue of the IJBC

Inter-textual dynamics and linguistic strategies
Paper proposals will consider one or more case studies that explore and contextualize the complex communicative interplay between financial market participants – companies, banks, analysts, specialized press, regulators, and professional investors. As the title of the SI suggests, all contributions are expected to adopt a pragmatic perspective to financial communication, focusing on:
  1. the intertextual dynamics, comparing different but related sub-genres (e.g. from earnings announcement to earnings calls); and/or
  2. the linguistic strategies and text production practices (including argumentative and narrative techniques, framing, polyphony, multimodality) by which market actors pursue their rhetorical aims.
Possible topics for the special issue include (but are not limited to) the following:
  •  Linguistic strategies of security analysts in their dialogue with executives
  • The use of hedging and modality in forward-looking speeches (e.g. central banks)
  • Rhetorical strategies for image restoration and trust recovery in crisis communication
  • Adaptation of rhetorical strategies to specific genres (e.g., earnings release, annual report, conference call, blogs, tweets) in financial markets
  • Polyphony in financial journalism
  • Framing strategies in corporate financial communication
  • Relationship between communication quality, market bubble and fraud
  • Impacts of social media on communication to investors
Submission deadline for proposals (1000 words) is April 2016; submission deadline for manuscripts is August 2016; deadline for revised manuscripts is December 2016; online publication is scheduled for April 2017; print publication is expected in December 2017.

The guest editors will be Rudi Palmieri (University of Liverpool), Daniel Perrin (Zurich University of Applied Sciences), and Marlies Whitehouse (Zurich University of Applied Sciences). Manuscripts will be double-blind reviewed, following IJBC's normal review process.
For inquiries:,,

ABC's Free Year Membership

At the annual conference in Seattle, and again via email to members, Peter Cardon encouraged members to connect with each other all year long.  As an incentive, a one-year membership renewal was offered as a prize to a lucky person who took a moment to update their personal profile on ABC's membership system. Kathy Fletcher was the lucky person who won a year's free membership. Congratulations to Kathy!

Grants and Awards

Bertha Du Babcock taking on the role of President from Peter Cardon

ABC gave the following awards during the Annual International Conference in Seattle:

Marty Baker Graham Research Grant
Ashley Hall, Stephen F. Austin State University

Fellow of the Association
Peter Cardon, University of Southern California

Bernadine P. Branchaw Spirit of ABC Award
Geert Jacobs, Ghent University

Meada Gibbs Outstanding Teacher Award
Amy Newman, Cornell University

Distinguished Member Award
Roger Conaway, TEC de Monterrey

Kitty O. Locker Outstanding Researcher Award
Jeanine Warisse Turner, Georgetown University

Francis W. Weeks Award of Merit
Jolanta Aritz, University of Southern California


ABC Awards

Award for Excellence in Communication Consulting
Sana Reynolds, Baruch College, City University of New York

Ambassador Award
Rudi Palmieri, University of Liverpool

Honorary Member
Skip Walter, The TAI Group

Distinguished Publication on Business Communication
Sushil Oswal, University of Washington, Tacoma/Seattle
Lisa Meloncon, University of Cincinnati

Outstanding Article of the Year BPCQ
Melvin Washington, Howard University
Ephraim Okoro, Howard University
Peter Cardon, University of Southern California 

Outstanding Article of the Year IJBC
Maria Vernuccio, Sapienza University of Rome

Outstanding Dissertation Award
Minna Logemann, Aalto University

Student Writer award sponsors and student sponsors at the 2015 Annual Conference in Seattle

Pearson Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology
Alisa Agozzino, Ohio Northern University

Business Communication Impact Award
Deanna Geddes, Temple University
Susan M. Kruml, Millikin University

Outstanding Student Writer
1st place: Audrey Wilson, Northern Kentucky University
2nd place: Katherine Shaw, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
3rd place: Taylor York, Stephen F. Austin State University

Student Case Writer
Susan L. Luck, Pfeiffer University


Graduate Student Travel Awards
Ashley Hall, University of Texas at Tyler
Ashley McNatt, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Becky Morrison, Virginia Tech
Carlos Osuna, University of Southern California
Danica Schieber, Iowa State University
Danielle Ka Lai Lee, City University of Hong Kong
Matt Baker, Iowa State University
Prabin Lama, Virginia Tech
Stephen Carradini, North Carolina State University
Vincent Robles, Iowa State University

Student awardees at the 2015 Annual Conference in Seattle

Member News

Call for Volume Proposals: Language at Work
Editor: Jo Angouri, University of Warwick, UK
Language at Work is a new series designed to bring together scholars interested in language and workplace research. The series aims to create space for exchange of ideas and dialogue and seeks to explore issues related to power, leadership, politics, teamwork, culture, ideology, identity, decision making and motivation across a diverse range of contexts, including corporate, health care and institutional settings.

Language at Work welcomes mixed methods research and it will be of interest to researchers in linguistics, international management, organisation studies, sociology, medical sociology and decision sciences.
Proposals should be sent to Kim Eggleton More information here

International Meeting on Foreign Language Teaching in Quebec

James Archibald, the former Vice President for Canada, was one of the keynote speakers at the International Meeting on Foreign Language Teaching held on November 13th and 14th at the University of Montreal. The meeting’s goal was to open up avenues by coming up with concrete solutions that deal head on with intercultural challenges inherent to all language teaching and learning. In his talk, Archibald highlighted the relationship between translation and sociocultural competence and the ways in which this competence can be acquired through a constructivist approach to translator education.

Members' Books

The ins and outs of business and professional discourse research: Reflections on interacting with the workplace. Eds. Glen Michael Alessi and Geert Jacobs, Palgrave

This anthology presents a collection of original essays derived from a highly successful international symposium in Modena, Italy, in March 2014 sponsored in part by the ABC.

Revising Professional Writing, 4th Edition, Kim Sydow Campbell, Parlay Press.

Writing Online: A guide for Effective Digital Communication at Work, Erika Darics, Business Expert Press.

Review copies of Sandra Lamb's Writing Well for Business Success, are available by writing to Sarah Schoof at St. Martin's Press (  
The author would appreciate it if ABC members would post their reviews and comments on the book's page at Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble. 
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