Vol 45, Issue 1

September/October 2005


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STC Houston - Dateline Houston - September/October 2005

Chapter News Articles

Articles: [Kelli Newman: The Power of Emotion] [New Membership Drive] [Call for Technical Competitions Entries] [Administrative Council Meeting]

September Program Meeting

Kelli Newman: The Power of Emotion

by Dean Liscum, Information Developer, BMC Software, Inc.

Do you speak in a monotone, using clipped, short sentences? Do you tell your significant other to log on when you have something momentous to say but then get so excited that you forget the key combination for the heart emoticon? If you've answered yes to either of these questions, you've been either a victim or a perpetrator of emotion. Like it or not, emotions influence everything you do, including communicate, even at work.

Technical communicators tend to concentrate on communicating "just the facts," eschewing subjective aspects of information such as perspective and emotion in an attempt to purify the data. In doing so, they miss opportunities to harness the power of emotion by providing indicators of the significance and meaning of the information. This tendency interferes with communication by suppressing important information. Kelli Newman can help you control and capitalize on emotions when doing what you do best-communicating information.

Why Now? Why Kelli?

It's the internet, silly. The internet may not have improved your social life, but it's done wonders for information. Data seems to increase daily, and you know that all information is not created equal. Knowing the interdependencies between emotion and information gives you one more set of criteria with which to evaluate the importance of one datum versus another. Kelli knows those interdependencies.

Kelli is the vice president of Newman & Newman, Inc., which provides for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations with public relations services. These services include communications of all sorts from marketing and training to internal communications to fundraising and televised programming. Accredited in 1989 by the Public Relations Society of America, she's spent a number of years working as P.R. Counsel for Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital. She's earned numerous awards and accolades. The most compelling factoid in her bio, co-ownership of the company with her husband, indicates that she practices what she preaches and can judiciously employ her emotions from 9 to 5.

What You'll Get

Of course, you'll leave the program full of feelings of well-being and harmony (you've gotta expect her to work her magic on you), but you'll also leave with some practical knowledge, such as:

  • an understanding of the tangible value of emotions
  • a grasp of how ignoring emotions can inhibit your ability to communicate
  • a set of guiding principles that will help you effectively and appropriately use emotion on the job

Location
Hilton Houston Westchase
9999 Westheimer

Date
Tuesday, September 13
5:30 p.m. networking (hors d'oeuvres)
6:20 p.m. announcements
6:30 p.m. program

Cost
$10 (members)
$15 (nonmembers)
$5 (student and unemployed members)

New Membership Drive

To encourage new membership, STC Houston will waive the September program meeting fee for each nonmember who signs up as a new member before or during the meeting. Membership applications will be provided at the door, so you can register and pay during the meeting or you can register and pay online before the meeting. If you register online, bring proof of payment to the meeting. If you register at the door, bring a check or money order for the full membership fee.

If you're not sure yet, attend September's meeting with an STC member and get in free!

Location
Hilton Houston Westchase
9999 Westheimer

Date
Tuesday, September 13
5:30 p.m. networking (hors d'oeuvres)
6:20 p.m. announcements
6:30 p.m. program

Cost
$10 (members)
$15 (nonmembers)
$5 (student and unemployed members)
$10 (student nonmembers)

Drawing
A drawing for various prizes is held at the end of each general meeting. Proceeds benefit the Marx Isaacs Student Scholarship Fund.

STC Houston meets on the second Tuesday of each month, September through June. For more information, see http://www.stc-houston.org/. STC is the world's largest professional association for technical communicators and provides unparalleled opportunities of continuing education, peer networking, and access to its job openings database. For more information about the international organization, visit http://www.stc.org/.

Call For Technical Competitions Entries

Promote Your Career and Show Your Value

By Alyssa Fox

Is your work on top of the world? Are you an explorer who charts new directions in technical communication? Is your work receiving the recognition it merits?

You can advance your career, impress your boss, and receive recognition for your work by entering the Society of Technical Communication (STC) Houston 2005-2006 Competition.

The STC annual competitions can map new territory for you and your company in recognition, reputation, and excellence. Enter now to expand your horizons by receiving feedback from other technical communication professionals. Feel great knowing that your work meets or exceeds the standards set by your peers. You can stretch your capabilities and learn new techniques and strategies to make your work groundbreaking. Show your manager, company, and potential employers how much value you add.

Entries are accepted in three categories: online communication, technical art, and technical publications. The judges present one Best of Show award for each of the three competitions. You can also win awards for Excellence or Merit. If your entry wins Distinguished Technical Communication or Best of Show, STC automatically promotes it to the STC International competition. Brace yourself for international recognition—your work could circumnavigate the globe!

STC Houston competition is open to anyone who publishes a technical communication worthy of recognition. You do not have to be a member of STC to enter, but there are a few rules. You can find all the entry details, online entry forms, and submission guidelines (including the fee schedule for members, nonmembers, and students) on the STC Houston Web site at http://www.stc-houston.org/competitions.html.

The deadline for all STC Houston chapter competition entries is September 13, 2005. Awards will be presented in February 2006. Mail entries to:

STC Houston
ATTN Competitions
PO Box 42051
Houston TX, 77242-2051

For more information, contact Alyssa Fox at 713-418-5334 or at alyssa.fox@netiq.com.

Administrative Council Meeting

The administrative council met on Saturday, July 23, 2005. The minutes from the June 14 and 25 meetings were approved, as were the Reconciliation Summary reports from March, April, May, and June. The strategic plan, future programs, and next year's budget were discussed. Several changes were approved for competitions, including: /p>

  • Four copies of each entry are required instead of three.
  • The submitter must have his or her name in the contributor field (if applicable). Only names in the contributor field will receive certificates.
  • Everyone who submits entries must use the online form. This requirement will be enforced this year.
  • Any additional certificates will cost $20 instead of $15.
  • The fees will be based on each contributor's membership. Previously, the fees were based on the membership status of the submitter only.
  • If the submitter chooses to use the company name instead of individual names, a $75 fee will be charged.

The next meeting of the administrative council will be held on August 16, 2005, at SYSCO Corporation, located at 1390 Enclave Parkway in Houston from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. For additional information, contact Cindy Pao at president@stc-houston.org.

Copyright © 2006 Houston Chapter, Society for Technical Communication
P.O. Box 42051, Houston, TX 77242-2051 | 713-706-3434
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