2014 Initiatives

By Cindy Pao, President

Chapters and SIGs in STC are encouraged to develop initiatives each year. Since the Society runs on a calendar year (as opposed to a program year of July to June), the Admin Council wrote up the chapter’s initiatives at its meeting last week.

They might look familiar if you remember our 2013 initiatives, and that’s because they are directly from those initiatives.

When we prepared our Community Achievement Award packet, we realized that we had really accomplished only two of the five initiatives defined for 2013. So the other three are back, but this time with a couple of planned activities for each initiative.

Initiative #1

Outreach to the Houston-Area Technical Communication Community – All of Us

It would not surprise me to learn that a large percentage of technical communicators in the Greater Houston area are not members of STC. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that some technical communicators don’t even know they are technical communicators!

Consider these examples:

  • an admin assistant who maintains network diagrams for his company’s wide area network
  • a program manager who writes user documentation for an internalapp
  • an accounts payable clerk who writes training materials for her department’s system rollout

We need to reach out and try to connect with these people.As a chapter volunteer and leader, this is important to me.

I feel that the chapter provides a lot of high-quality learning opportunities. I want the technical communicators in our area to turn to us to meet their educational needs, help them find jobs, and answer their questions.

One way we want to do that this year is to advertise by way of social media. We’ll start some discussions on LinkedIn, invite our members to bring not-yet members to our meetings through newsletter posts and messages to the email list, and put the spotlight on our members through Twitter.

Initiative #2

Increase Membership Through Outreach to Companies that Hire Technical Communicators

Let us consider companies that hire people to write documentation and training materials or produce network diagrams. Do these companies always call a technical communicator a technical communicator? Probably not.

We need to reach out and try to connect with the Human Resources departments, managers, and technical communicators at these companies.Again, as before, this is important to me as a chapter volunteer and leader.

To accomplish this initiative, we’re going to start a letter-writing campaign to reach out to companies that hire. We can explain the benefits of membership in STC both for the technical communicator  and their companies.

Initiative #3

Streamline Operations by Reviewing and Updating Documentation and Writing Processes

Our chapter is a recognized leader in STC. Our leaders steer the chapter into uncharted waters, where our volunteers put forth programs of value. Sadly, some day we will all be gone, replaced by new technical communicators.

How will they know what we did? Where will they find the information to again steer the chapter into uncharted waters, but this time with even better results? Who will lead them?

The answer is in our documentation. This year, the chapter historian will put our history online, editors will update our job descriptions, and writers will record our processes. Then our webmaster will make all of this information available on our website.

Feedback

If you have an activity suggestion for our initiatives, share it!

Send me (president@stc-houston.org)or any of the chapter leaders an email. All of our email addresses are listed on the Leaders & Committees page (http://www.stc-houston.org/leadersandcommittees/).