As most of you are aware, your communicator has been attending classes at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center(W3) at Placid Harbor, Maryland. Some of you may know what the W3 is and IAM Communicators do. But, it’s very likely many of you do not. Hopefully some of these questions can be answered n the next few paragraphs.
What is the William W. Winpisinger Center? The W3 is a unique center for the IAM to educate, train and prepare members for various aspects of union positions within locals and districts. It provides an atmosphere for members to learn material without the daily interruptions of the workplace. Its somewhat rural location and beautiful setting allows for this and gives a tranquil backdrop for members to unwind and relax after a long day in the classroom.
The center offers a variety of educational opportunities and training as it relates to unions ranging from leadership to communication to contract negotiation prep and many others. Communications has been the main focus for our lodge recently, but our local regularly sends its members to leadership training as well. No other union in the U.S. has such a resource like this one. It’s a true treasure we all should be very proud of.
What is the IAM Communications Department? Communicators are the news reporters of the union. It’s their job to get information to members in as many ways possible to keep them informed on issues affecting our union, stories about our members and their families, and providing platforms for members to have easy access to all types of information related to the IAM.
What are the responsibilities of the lodge communicator? The communicator is responsible for creating and/or maintaining all forms of communication for members to access important information regarding the IAM and the labor movement in general. This may include social media, web pages and newsletters. Some lodges have a communication committee in which different members of the committee take on different roles and responsibilities for each of the different platforms of communication.
What Communication Classes has your communicator been involved in? The courses the local has sent the communicator to have been Basic Communications, Advanced Communications and Basic Web Development. The basic and advanced communications classes focus on a wide range of methods of communication including social media posts, newsletter writing overview, how to take high quality photographs and videos and other methods of communication. Web development is a course on how to develop and maintain a web page on the internet.
What should you, as members, expect to get from this training? As little as a year ago, our lodge lacked almost all basic methods of communication needed to adequately supply members with information. Since then, our Facebook page has been active and regularly updated, an Instagram page has been started, a quarterly newsletter has been designed and printed and a web page has been started. Expect all these platforms to be regularly maintained and updated to give all of you the tools you need to make our lodge successful.
What can you do? Participate! Utilize these different informative platforms to stay current on events, meeting dates and locations, important negotiation updates and to stay connected with our local. Give feedback on the content and formats of the different pages and web site. Ask your executive board how you can get involved as a contributor to any of these platforms. If you’re a good writer, photographer, sovial media whiz or have experience with web pages, we would love to have you on board to help.