May 2018 IABC Harrisburg Newsletter Print

Next Professional Development Event

Developing an Effective Strategy in Today’s Social Media Climate 
Presented by Rachel Strella, Owner of Strella Social Media

Thursday, May 17   •   11:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Marzoni's Brick Oven & Brewing Co.
4925 Ritter Road
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

The online world has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. Has your business kept pace? How about your marketing tactics? In this presentation, Rachel will show you how to develop a strategy to meet the demands of today’s social media climate.

Topics to be covered:

  • The sales funnel: before and after social media.
  • Key principals for social media success
  • How to determine the best social media channels for your business or organization
  • Developing a content strategy in a world of content shock
  • The #1 thing you need to be successful long-term

About Rachel Strella

Rachel Strella is the founder and owner of Strella Social Media, a social media management company. Since the inception of the business in 2010, she’s turned a part-time venture into a successful company that serves dozens of clients worldwide. 

Rachel knows first-hand the impact of social media on the bottom line. She’s an avid blogger, writing about topics important to her readers and finding ways to transmit her message through social media and syndication. To-date, her blog has won five awards. Over 75 posts have been syndicated internationally.

In 2015, she was featured exclusively in Small Business Trends on ‘how to start your own social media business.’

She’s also developed three products and delivered over 50 presentations to organizations, educational institutions and business groups.

Click here to register!

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IABC Member Spotlight

Sheri Thompson
Sheri L. Thompson has been the director of communications/public relations for the Pennsylvania Principals Association in Summerdale, Pa., since 2000. She first joined IABC in 1995, while she was employed by the Pennsylvania Builders Association as the assistant director of public relations/public affairs. Prior to working in the nonprofit industry, she worked in publishing as a reporter for a local newspaper and then did a brief stint in advertising.
At the Pennsylvania Principals Association, Sheri manages all aspects of public relations and marketing for the association; produces its publications, including The Pennsylvania Administrator magazine and bimonthly newsletter, as well as materials and promotional items for the state conference and other special events; handles media relations and advertising requests; manages content and information on the association website and on social media; and works with the association’s corporate partners. Under her direction, the association’s magazine has received numerous state and national awards.
Sheri served on the IABC Harrisburg Chapter’s board of directors in the mid-to-late ‘90s as vice president of membership for several years and later as the vice president of communications.
In 2005, Sheri was honored by the Pennsylvania Principals Association with the Frank S. Manchester Award for Journalistic Excellence for her significant written and editorial contributions to the association’s magazine and other publications. She is a 1989 graduate of Millersville University of Pennsylvania, majoring in communications/public relations.
Sheri resides in Dauphin, Pa., with her chocolate Lab, Reese. In her downtime, she enjoys taking long walks with Reese, tending her flower garden, reading and, most of all, spending time with family and friends.
Sheri has been a member of IABC for 23 years. “I value the networking opportunities that IABC has to offer above all else. I have made professional contacts over the years through IABC, some more than 20 years ago, whom I can still contact today with a question, help with finding an intern or just for professional advice or support. IABC offers the highest level of professional development and training in our industry. I have gotten away from attending the monthly meetings but would like to start attending them again. There is always something new to learn.”

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Save the Date

What It Means to Be a Strategic Communications Advisor
presented by Crystal Hull and Rob Rutz

Tuesday, June 19
5:30-7:30 p.m.

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Last Month's Recap

Shippensburg University professor Dr. Michael Drager joined IABC Harrisburg members and guests on April 25 to discuss how to use in-house photography for business during his presentation, Turning Snapshots into Great Shots, at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel.

A good image is comprised of multiple elements, Dr. Drager said, including composition, exposure, effective use of light, creativity and careful editing. He added that while both DSLR cameras and smartphones are capable of capturing quality images, a DSLR camera is preferred for print shots, while a smartphone is good for social media images. The DSRL offers more flexibility and higher quality, however, there are several free and paid smartphone apps available to help achieve quality images with Android or iPhone devices. Platforms such as SnapSeed, Camera FV-5 and Hipstmatic allow users to capture and edit RAW images right on their phones, while other apps like Prisma, Instagram and Enlight offer more simple image editing and filtering tools.

Regardless of the device used, good photos don’t just happen. Images must be interesting, compelling, enticing to the audience and must attract an audience, all of which are created through composition. Composition is a complex combination of subject, subject placement, balance, framing, leading lines and viewpoint. Missing one or more of these pieces could spell trouble, according to Dr. Drager. He offered multiple examples of problem images, including an isolated subject floating in too much negative space, bad cropping, poor placement, and mergers and intrusions. The latter was seen in images where background elements appeared to merge with the subject or that intruded upon the space and distracted or directed the eye from the subject.

Good photos can also result from effective use of light, including intensity and direction, which can be controlled through subject placement in relation to light sources and shutter speed. Absent of natural or ambient light, using a flash can be tricky depending on the camera’s distance from the subject and unwanted reflections, Dr. Drager noted. Taking a flash photo too close to a subject can create “flash burn,” while glass and metals can create unwanted glare or bright spots in an image.

For in-house photography, quality images don’t need to come from high-cost equipment. As the cost of smartphones remains competitive, the cost of a DSLR camera has dropped, with entry-level kits available for $400 to $500. With DSLR, the real cost of the camera comes in its lenses, which are the “heart and soul” of a good photo, according to Dr. Drager. If your budget allows, photographers are encouraged to get the best lenses possible. Additional accessories to consider include an external flash, UV filters to protect the life of the lens, a tripod or monopod, and above all else, a cleaning kit to maintain the life of the equipment.

Image editing has also evolved since the days of the darkroom. Everything that was historically done with film images can now be done digitally, including cropping and exposure. In addition to the editing tools previously mentioned, Dr. Drager noted a variety of additional programs, including GIMP, Photoscape,, and web-based options Pixlr, Sumopaint and PicMonkey for quality image production.

Dr. Drager’s session was packed full of useful information, from best practices and tips to accessories and applications. Yet one underlying message remained constant: the value of visual messaging. “In today’s communication environment, if you’re not putting out visual media, you’re not communicating,” Dr. Drager stated. “The key to success in visual media lies in an image’s composition.”

Stay tuned to IABC Harrisburg’s website and social media channels for future professional development programs on photography and using images for communication.

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Membership News


Hans-Erik Wennberg
Emeritus, Elizabethtown College - 32 Years

Cathy Hart
Copywriter, PSECU - 2 Years

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Member Month

Get ready for another great opportunity to join or reinstate your IABC Harrisburg membership because June is Member Month! 

Why should you join IABC in June?

  • Connect. Make new friends with communication professionals throughout Central Pennsylvania and across the globe.
  • Exclusive members-only resources. Stay abreast of the latest innovations and trends in the field.
  • Job Centre. Find hundreds of communication jobs at all levels of experience.

New members who join IABC Harrisburg between June 1 and June 30 will have the $40 application fee waived, and new and renewing members will receive a coupon for a free professional development program in 2018!

To become an IABC member go to you have any questions about becoming a member, please contact us at [email protected]

Join or renew your membership in June to take the next step in your career, and make IABC Harrisburg the chapter you want it to be!

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