Industry Engagement Resources
IEEE Industry Engagement Guidelines
This document serves as a resource to our IEEE Members and Volunteers who engage with industry at any level, and for any reason. This is not an exhaustive list of protocols you should follow, nor is it prescriptive. These are guidelines of best practices for engaging industry. If you have any questions or comments, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-Engagement Work: When engaging with industry (either a corporation, government entity or other commercial organization), consider the following best practices to derive better outcomes for IEEE and for industry!
- Determine the objective of your engagement (What are you looking for? What are you aiming to achieve? mentorship, sponsorship, etc.)
- Understand the geographic context of your engagement. Industry engagement formalities and local customs are vital.
- Ensure that you understand the level of authority you have to make decisions on behalf of IEEE (whether your involvement is in a student branch, chapter, society, section, council etc). You should never make commitments or decisions that extend beyond your level of authority. Always take notes, discuss proposals with your committee, and seek advice.
- Identify the corporation, government body, or organization (hereafter referred to as entity) that aligns with your objective.
- Create a short-list of potential engagements and contacts that relate to your objectives.
- Find the appropriate local contact in the entity by reaching out to local Section/Chapter Industry Ambassadors (if applicable), as well as Societies, IEEE Members, or Volunteers, to identify any past engagements with the entity (names and contact information, type of engagement, outcomes, pain points and best practices, etc.) and cross-check against your objectives. (For example: You want to engage with Vodafone in your city/country, you will need to find someone in your section or your personal network who can put you in touch with the appropriate individual/department for the engagement to occur).
- Once you have identified the local contact, ensure you explain the objective of the engagement, and inquire if there is a decision-maker within the entity with whom you should connect. NOTE: It is not good practice to send unsolicited emails to individuals or entity email addresses. You will have more success through local contacts. If you do not have local, referred contacts, search via LinkedIn for other people and positions.
- Contact email@example.com to better understand the IEEE-wide engagements with the entity (Do they have any subscriptions to IEEE Electronic Library (IEL), or other products/services? Are they an SA (Standards Association) Corporate Member? Have they sponsored an IEEE Award or Conference in the past?). It is vitally important that our engagement is not perceived to be unorganized and uncoordinated.
- Check the entity’s website to educate yourself on their mission and vision; programs and initiatives; and if they offer services relevant to your engagement.
- Before making contact, ensure that your IEEE credentials (website etc.) and your personal social media platforms (in particular your LinkedIn profile) contain your IEEE role and they are consistent with the IEEE Social Media Policy and brand guidelines, and ensure your local Section/Chapter web pages are up-to-date with relevant information.
- If you are seeking an appointment with a CTO, CIO or CEO of an organization. It will be ideal to nominate a volunteer with appropriate credentials to meet with the industry.
- Once you have completed the above steps, initiate contact with the relevant decision-maker, indicating your name and position with IEEE, your local IEEE Section, and that you wish to meet in-person at a day and time of their choosing to discuss your objective. Include in your message the benefits that the entity will gain by engagement, such as access to the world’s largest global network for engineers and technologists, opportunities for recruitment and brand recognition, advantages over competitors, among many others. As an example, please see how the IEEE Industry Engagement Committee communicates with a high level industry executive to get their involvement in becoming an advisor to the IEEE.
- Use your IEEE email in all communications, avoid using your personal email (ex. Toto_Love_1990@hotmail.com)
Preparing for the Meeting
- Review the IEEE Overview slides (PPTX, 4 MB)and update them to include your contact information, the objective of the engagement (i.e., What do you need?), benefits of the engagement for IEEE and the entity. Ensure that your presentation doesn't exceed 15 minutes. Keep the text clear, brief, and direct.
- Avoid using any IEEE acronyms with which the entity will be unfamiliar with. For example, IEEE Student Branch acronyms (i.e. IEEE CUSB - Cairo University Student Branch). Another example is introducing IEEE programs (i.e. TISP - Teacher in Service Program) and so on.
- Prepare a business card showing your contact information and IEEE position, and download/print copies of the IEEE at a Glance Flyer to bring to your meeting.
- Review the entity’s website to educate yourself on their mission and vision, programs and initiatives. Rehearse your planned meeting dialogue with a friend or colleague.
Attending the Meeting
- Arrive 15-20 minutes early to your meeting, to allow for travel issues and timing constraints.
- Present yourself in professional attire.
- Shake hands with whomever you are meeting, look the person in the eyes, thank them for the opportunity to meet and hand them your business card. Add local customs to this greeting as appropriate for the environment.
- Present the objective in your presentation slides, keeping it short and to the point, taking up no more than 15 minutes, including time for Q/A.
- If there are other entities with whom you are scheduled to meet, make sure you include that in your presentation, especially competitors provided that it does not create a breach of confidentiality. Offer to send them a copy of your presentation after the meeting.
- If there is an opportunity for dialogue, expand on the objective and event, allowing for brief comment about why this is personally important to you, and how it will be important for the local IEEE volunteers and members. Ensure that you reinforce the benefits for the entity. If you are discussing an event, offer a free invitation/registration.
- Ask open ended questions that lead to better dialog, such as:
- Do you think better engagement with IEEE can help you / your co.? Versus: How do you think enhanced engagement with IEEE can assist you / your company?
- Before leaving the meeting, agree on next steps and when you will be in contact next.
- Shake hands and thank them again for the opportunity.
After the Meeting
- Send a thank you/follow-up message (DOCX, 65 KB) to the person(s) you met with, and include a short summary of the meeting outcome with any action items. Also include any additional and supporting documentation regarding the original objective as well as anything that came up during the engagement discussion. Attach your slides if the contact requested them.
- If you receive no response within 7 days of the meeting and the original follow up email then courteously make contact again (email or phone). Be patient and do not come across as desperate.
- Add the contact’s name and contact information, as well as any notes from this meeting, to your local IEEE Section database with some notes for future reference.
- Inform the appropriate local Section/Chapter Industry Ambassadors of the meeting and results. (For example: If you are a student then report this activity to your Section.)