Katherine George, ABC, CAE, president of Fredericksburg, Virginia-based Catalina Communications, is one of the most intelligent writers I know. Her editorial services include writing and editing for a wide variety of applications, organizations, and industries. She is especially knowledgeable about nonprofit organizations and associations in particular.
I mentioned her professional designations because they represent a career milestone I hope students will consider as they progress in their careers. The designations illustrate an avenue of professional development many pursue in order to gain the knowledge and experience they need to be successful.
The “ABC” stands for Accredited Business Communicator, the International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) designation for those who have achieved excellence in organizational communication management. The “CAE” stands for Certified Association Executive, a designation earned from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) for association management expertise. This dual accreditation is a competitive advantage for Katherine’s consulting practice. She worked very hard to prepare herself to provide client services.
That said, I want to make a point about the mechanics of writing. I fervantly believe that good writers must first know how to use the language properly. That is fundamental. Just as Katherine prepared herself by pursuing dual accreditation, I am impressed with Katherine’s use of an extensive collection of stylebooks in order to use the language correctly. In my PR Writing classes, students use the ubiquitous Associated Press Stylebook. Katherine uses it and many more in her role as a writer and consultant on publishing. I think this is highly instructive.
The message to students who wish to become good writers is that there are many tools and resources, plus many professional development opportunities, out there for you. Use them. Real professionals do, no matter how much experience they have.