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  • Help map the future of news coverage in Greater Kalamazoo

    Breaking the News Part Two:

    This August 25, InterCom continues our community conversation about the changing local news landscape. Breaking the News, Part Two is a solutions-focused, Kalamazoo-centered follow-up to our May panel discussion.

    Mapping local coverage

    At Part Two, participants will join Kalamazoo-area editors, publishers and broadcasters in conversations about what topics and trends are being covered, what’s not, and how to address the gaps.

    Critical discussion, real impact

    This will be a fully interactive, facilitated session where all participants will have the opportunity to share what’s working and where there are opportunities for improvement.

    Join us!

    Our event begins at 6 p.m. with hot appetizers a cash bar. Cost is $20 for InterCom members, $25 non-members and $15 for students (ID required). Seats are limited, so register now to save your spot.

     

     

  • Top 5 InterCom-only membership benefits for pros in-the-know Join or renew today!

    If you could design a program to facilitate your professional development, what would it look like? In college, there were department chairs and program advisors who gave us guidance or a bit of insider intel. Resident assistants helped with roommate challenges or an awkward social situation. But how do you navigate your career?

    We hope one answer is InterCom. If you’ve been a member, it’s time to renew for 2016-2017. If you’re new to InterCom, it’s time to join the region’s only local association for communication professionals! Here are a few things you’ll find when you do.

    Networking is baked into every event

    We actually prefer the term community-building. We hope our members will develop professional friendships that last throughout their careers. Most of us are on our own at work. Few companies today have the luxury of employing a marketing or communications team. Who do you ask about the unique challenges of a particular software program or a hard-to-handle client? Or if you’re one of those lucky pros with a full-time, on-site job, where do you go to bounce ideas off others in the same boat? InterCom membership offers access to a community of professionals who may have just the answers and advice you need.

    Signature lunchtime events typify best practices in communication

    From launching a product to planning an event and talking like TED, our signature lunchtime speakers offer best practices and case studies in communication. Each 2nd Friday from September to November and January to April, local leaders share a behind-the-scenes perspective on the how-tos of effective communication. Always free to members, this layered approach also puts you in front of the people behind the events and organizations driving our region.

    NEW! Members-only private intel on local resources

    Starting this year, we’ve planned two behind-the-scenes tours for members. We’ll learn how to access and use local resources specific to communicators. Doing research? Want access to little-known databases or printing equipment? Join us for our members-only Private Access events.

    Talent directory and job postings

    Post your profile in the region’s only online directory of communication professionals. Learn about the latest job openings and gain access to available work through our network.

    Professional development

    InterCom membership offers a host of professional development opportunities. The sky’s the limit. If you’d like to build your leadership skills, our board of directors is a great way to get hands on experience. Don’t have too much time to spare? Consider helping with an event or program planning. And if you’re really limited on time but want to stay connected to your local colleagues, our social media and informal gatherings let you do just that.

    Only membership will make you a part of the InterCom community. Join or renew today!

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  • Encore Lunchtime Event: World’s Best Commercials from Cannes

    As we wrap up our 2015-2016 season, we’ve got one more treat in store. Don’t miss our bonus June lunchtime event featuring the world’s best commercials from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, hosted by Azon and its director of marketing, InterCom member Nancy Peterson.

    Sit back, relax and enjoy funny and dramatic commercials from the world’s top creative talent. You’ll be inspired by these award-winning campaigns that always spark lively discussion and sometimes friendly debate. Our host is providing lunch. We’ll bring the popcorn!

    This event is FREE to InterCom members ($10/non-members).  Register today at our Eventbrite page.

    When & Where: 11:30 to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 10 at Azon’s iconic mid-century international style headquarters, 643 W. Crosstown Parkway, Kalamazoo, MI 49008.

    intercom-logo

    Current members: It’s time to renewNew to InterCom? Join for our 2016-2017 season and attend this event free.  Here’s a chance to start enjoying the benefits of membership and learn about next season’s programming. Check-out our line-up for 2016-2017 here.

     

  • InterCom presents BREAKING the NEWS, Part 1: Local story missing! Community seeks answers

    As the media industry continues to transition through technology, is Michigan at risk of losing local news coverage? While publishers change their focus to survive financially, how can we best support efficient access to current, accurate community news in Michigan? Can a community thrive without a robust source of local news? What does the future hold as we “break” the historical news model in our state? And when local publications downsize, how are communities handling the effects, from the loss of good jobs to the absence of a local watchdog and decreased coverage of public affairs — especially in a state ranked last in government transparency?

    InterCom is proud to present BREAKING the News, Part 1, a panel discussion and community conversation exploring these questions, on Thursday, May 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at WMU’s Fetzer Center. Register here.

    BREAKING the NEWS, Part 1, offers a forum to talk about local journalism statewide in a swiftly changing industry. Our hope is not to focus on the past, but to identity opportunities and solutions as we move forward together. We’ll continue the discussion in Part 2, set for Aug. 25, when we’ll take a more focused look at the Kalamazoo area, and how new and old media outlets are working to keep our local story alive. (Stay tuned for more information on Part 2.)

    Our moderator on May 19 is Anna Clark, Columbia Journalism Review correspondent for Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania and a 2011 Fulbright fellow.

    Panelists confirmed to date include:

    • Phil Power, Founder & Chairman, Center for Michigan/Bridge Magazine: The Center is a Ížthink-and-doÍŸ tank formed to encourage greater citizen understanding and involvement in Michigan policy issues.
    • Sarah Hulett, Assistant News Director, Michigan Radio: NPR news station serving 500,000 listeners across the Lower Peninsula.
    • Issue Media Group, Detroit: Publisher of online magazines in 21 regions across the U.S. and Canada, including Kalamazoo-based Second Wave Southwest Michigan.
    • Michael McCullough, General Manager & Executive Editor, Battle Creek Enquirer: A Gannett publication serving Calhoun County.

    DETAILS: Free parking at Fetzer Center. Appetizers served; cash bar available. Admission: $20 InterCom members; $25 non-members; $15 students. Sponsorships are available for $100, which includes one free admission, your logo prominently displayed on all materials and the opportunity to showcase your signage and handouts at the event. For more information, contact Curtis Cunningham.

    Register for BREAKING the News at https://breakingthenews.eventbrite.com/

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND?  Everyone who values an informed community; anyone with an interest in Michigan media; those with messages that need to be heard locally: educators, non-profits, artists, event managers, small businesses, associations, public service providers, local government, etc. “ as well as media and communications professionals exploring new models for getting local news out.

     

  • 2nd Friday Speaker Series, April 8th ” LKF Marketing’s new President Heather Isch, Talks Industry Change, Talent Recruiting and More

    LKF Marketing president Heather Isch, who acquired LKF and stepped into its top leadership role in December of last year, will share her vision for the future of this work-hard, play-hard company.

    I’ve been fortunate to work with a team of outstanding creative professionals at LKF for the past 20 years, says Isch. I’m excited about the possibilities ahead, and I’m honored to be in a position to lead us forward.

    One of Kalamazoo’s oldest full-service marketing and advertising agencies, LKF Marketing opened its doors in 1989. Since then, dramatic advances in technology have transformed the way consumers and businesses interact. Isch will provide background and context in an introductory presentation, with Q&A from the audience.

    Among topics Isch will address are the challenges of leading a full-service agency in a time of constant industry change; hiring top talent in a competitive market; transitioning from employee to owner; running a woman-owned business in a traditionally male-dominated field, and more.

    LKF Marketing is the agency that developed and launched KzooConnect for Welsh & Associates‘ executive search & professional recruiting services in 2013. Welsh & Associates president Sheri Welsh spoke to InterCom in March about that magazine-style blog and its positive impact on the community. Isch says KzooConnect is a great example of changes in message delivery over the decades. She’ll share other examples of the company’s award-winning creative at the InterCom event.

    Event Details

    The event begins at noon at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Anna Whitten Hall, 202 N Rose St, Kalamazoo, 49007. It is free to InterCom members. Guests are asked to pay $10. Register at Eventbrite. Learn more at www.InterComKalamazoo.com, “events.”

    About LKF Marketing

    LKF Marketing is a full-service advertising, marketing, website design and development, and public relations agency located in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a 25+ year history. The company prides itself on its outstanding creative and a results-oriented culture. Clients are an integral part of the LKF team, which seeks to thoroughly understand business goals and objectives before developing customized tactics. lkf-marketingThe LKF staff includes seasoned account managers, gifted writers and designers, and technology development experts who work as one cohesive unit. This work-hard, play-hard company is passionate about marketing and deeply committed to the Kalamazoo region.

    About InterCom

    Established in 1989, InterCom provides Kalamazoo-area communicators with opportunities for professional growth, networking and advancement. While promoting the highest ethical and technical standards of practice, InterCom offers educational events and social gatherings to encourage career development. Members include some of the most accomplished communications professionals in the region: Marketers, writers, designers, journalists, corporate communicators and more.

    2nd Friday Speaker’s Series: Our Signature Event

    From September through April (except for a holiday evening event in December), InterCom hosts monthly bring-your-lunch meetings for members and guests. With a focus on case studies and best practices, these sessions offer direct access to industry leaders and local experts who address a range of topics essential to communication success. Each event features networking opportunities as well.

  • Sheri Welsh

    Join us March 11th for a presentation on corporate branding and storytelling

    Sheri Welsh, president of Welsh & Associates executive search & professional recruiting services will share The KzooConnect Story, a case study of corporate branding and talent recruitment through storytelling.

     

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  • Feb. 12: Travel the Beer Trail and Discover Kalamazoo

    Renée Newman, Discover Kalamazoo’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, will discuss the successful Give a Craftâ„¢ Beer Trail passport program with InterCom members and guests at the association of professional communicators’ 2nd Friday Speakers Event on February 12.

    The Give a Craftâ„¢ beer trail was launched in 2015 to attract craft beer lovers to the Kalamazoo region. Promoted as a fun way to experience Kalamazoo’s beer scene, the trail featured destinations at each of the 12 craft breweries located throughout the county. Kalamazooans soon found themselves raising beer glasses alongside visitors from throughout the Midwest and across the country.

    Newman will discuss the Give a Craftâ„¢ beer trail as a case study in collaboration, communication and promotion. Designed primarily as an effort to promote tourism, it also served to raise the visibility of the region’s craft brewing industry and Kalamazoo County as a travel destination.

    InterCom will use the case study to begin local conversations of its own. Calling it the Lift All Boats initiative, the region’s association of communication professionals will explore other creative programs to cross-promote their members’ shared professional goals and the goals of the organizations they represent. The group is reaching out to other local organizations such as Startup Grind Kalamazoo, Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo and ONEplace to start similar conversations across the community.

    About Renée Newman

    Renee Newman is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Discover Kalamazoo “ the destination marketing organization for Kalamazoo County. Renee manages all aspects of marketing, advertising and communications for Discover Kalamazoo and is the Program Manager for the Kalamazoo Tourism Ambassador Program. She’s spent her entire professional career in hospitality, beginning in the hotel business. Prior to coming to Discover Kalamazoo in 2008, Renee was the director of marketing for the Air Zoo.

    Register at Eventbrite here.

  • A Peek Behind Green Door Distilling Co.’s New Venture

    InterCom 2nd Friday Speakers’ Series Jan 8th, 2016 held at KVCC’s Anna Whitten Hall.

    Entrepreneur Josh Cook, co-founder of Green Door Distilling, will share his company’s marketing and business vision at the InterCom 2nd Friday Speakers’ series Jan. 8.

    Green Door, which officially launched in Nov. 2014, cites the success of the region’s craft brewing industry and their love for whiskey as inspiration for its own ambitions. Cook says the area’s abundance of natural resources and its legacy of entrepreneurialism also bode well for startups like his, which capitalize on local resources. Green Door uses local grain to ensure fresh, local flavors and notes in its distinctive spirits. The distillery promises to Make Whiskey Approachable for All.

    The distillery’s location in the City of Kalamazoo’s Rivers Edge district is also central to Green Door’s plans for growth, which include manufacturing, a Tasting Room, a Whiskey Garden and food trucks. The Rivers Edge is northeast of downtown and is undergoing unprecedented urban renewal of what once featured warehouses, commercial, and industrial businesses. Today it boasts an eclectic mix of businesses, shops, restaurants and affordable apartments, all within walking distance of Green Door, at 429 East North Street, Kalamazoo.

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    About Green Door Distilling

    Green Door Distilling Co specializes in handcrafted Artisan Spirits. We use only locally grown grains from Michigan to produce our spirits. This means our spirits share the same purity and character associated with our great state. You won’t find any dyes, synthetic flavors, or colorings in our products. If it says Green Door Distilling Co., It’s made by us, bottled by us, at our distillery, no question! Join us in the Rivers Edge district in downtown Kalamazoo to enjoy a cocktail and relax. Our honey whiskey is made with pure Michigan honey and is sure to impress. Come hang out, have a drink, and Join the Adventureâ„¢.

    Join us for a spirited discussion with Jon and Josh, plus networking and catching up with colleagues in the new year!

    Register at Eventbrite here.

     

  • InterCom’s Annual Holiday Gathering — Join us!

    Meet. Greet. Eat. Celebrate.

    InterCom’s annual holiday celebration is Dec. 10 at the Union Cabaret and Grille. Join us for festivities with old friends and new. Enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the season. We’ll toast the passing year as we look toward new opportunities ahead for our group and its members.

    Current members, past members and anyone interested in learning about our group are invited to enjoy: free food, a cash bar, networking and door prizes.

    December 10, 5 “ 7 p.m., Union Cabaret and Grille, 125 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

  • Customer Experience 101: Event Planning to Build Relationships

    InterCom 2nd Friday Speakers’ Series for Nov. 13, 2015

    Event planning for the ideal customer experience will be the topic on tap as InterCom hosts Chris Praedel of Western Michigan University’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations on Nov. 13.

    Praedel will share tips for creating events that foster lasting relationships. Whether you’re planning an alumni event for thousands or a sales presentation for one, successful interactions with key stakeholders come down to planning, he says. Your guest ” be it a buying decision-maker, an alum, a volunteer or a prospective donor ” should be treated to a unique, personal and memorable experience.

    Praedel believes it’s these emotional connections that lead to repeat business, garner advocacy and build lasting relationships, turning friends of an organization into raving fans.

    wmu alum

    About Chris Praedel

    At WMU, Praedel manages alumni and donor events and a selection of stewardship programs. He recently concluded his second stint as board chair of the Kalamazoo Literacy Council and remains 2015 Annual Campaign Chair. Praedel also led fundraising efforts for the Kalamazoo Promise’s 10th Anniversary activities and currently serves as a member of the City of Kalamazoo’s Blue Ribbon Revenue Panel.

    When time allows, Praedel provides Internet marketing and strategic planning consulting services to a number of area companies and non-profits. He serves on the Kalamazoo Abraham Lincoln Project Steering Committee and the Friends of WMU Advisory Board. Praedel also mentors a teenager through Big Brothers Big Sisters. He and his wife Erin have a 10-month-old son, Lincoln.

    Event Details

    Networking begins at 11:30 and the presentation at noon. The event is held at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Anna Whitten Hall, 202 N Rose St, Kalamazoo, 49007. It’s free to InterCom members. Guests are asked to pay $10 at the door. Register at Eventbrite.