In this 21st episode of CultivatED Marketer, hosts Brent Bowen and Matt Tidwell, PhD, continue their discussion with Brad Whitworth, SCMP and IABC Fellow, at the IABC Conference. Brad Whitworth is a thought leader, lecturer and author in organizational communication. Throughout this episode, we discuss different certifications that can help you excel in your career. 

Brent and Matt talk with Brad Whitworth, communications thought leader.

Brent continues their discussion from the previous episode by mentioning the importance of continued education.
  • Brent talks about how even in the classes he teaches, he is learning new things from his students as they ask about new potential venues.
  • Brad notes this is what is great about IABC is how it can offer help to people at all points within their career, through making connections and finding mentors as you’re just getting started, to listening to the industry experts, awards programs, to the certification program.
  • He adds that his active participation in IABC was what allowed him to get a job in a different and larger market.

The Intent of Certification and Professional Development

  • Brent asks Brad about the intent of certification and what it is meant to showcase.
  • Brad talks about IABC’s certification and the process to get involved. He says certification shows a commitment to lifelong learning, and the motivation for people to get certified can vary based on the reasoning for getting certified.
  • Matt talks about the competitive in marketing, and the (S)CMP certification allows you to stand out from applicants.
  • Brent adds to Matt’s point by saying the foundational element about commitment to professional development, and craving for knowledge will help grow your career.
  • Brad talks about the ‘IABC Package’, which includes everything from getting into the industry and getting local connections to help mentor you, to professional development with local chapters, conferences, award programs, and certification programs. He adds the experiences he has had in his career abroad would not have come without committing to professional growth.
  • Brent mentions a conversation with Cultivated Marketer guest, Jessica Best, about high achievers seeking leadership opportunities should pursue nonprofit or membership organizations to get that experience.
  • Brad adds that getting the leadership experience by working with other people who are volunteering for their roles, will help set you apart from other applicants at jobs.

How to Prepare for Certification Exams

  • Brent asks Brad about knowing how to prepare and identify whether someone is ready for certifications.
  • Brad says the only way to know whether you are ready is to just do it. He says everyone learns differently, but there are guides on the GCCC website to help you study and prepare. Additionally, there are workshops, classes, and other study materials to help prepare you for getting certified.
  • Brad highlights an IABC exam launching that allows for participants to get certified right at home with a remote proctored exams, rather than traveling to take these exams. This initial exam is meant for senior level professionals.
  • After remote proctoring, the goal is to get an entry level exam based on principles learned in school, or experienced in an entry level job to use this credential to set you apart from other candidates.
  • Brad talks about is moderating work with IABC, and how it has helped him go back to his broadcasting roots. It has helped him learn the stream yard program. He advises others to tackle new technologies because you may need that knowledge in the future. It could be a useful tool in shaping communications program for employees or customers.
  • Brent mentions the Metaverse and how it can converge into business applications.
  • Brad says students or young professionals have a leg up since they grew up in a world with technology.
  • Brad invites others to add him on LinkedIn at to start growing their network and help build your career.

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