Category Archives: STC Rochester

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Call for Proposals, Spectrum 2011 (April 1, 2011)

Spectrum 2011 – Building Better Solutions: A Skills Symposium
Rochester Chapter, Society for Technical Communication (STC)

Submittal deadline: December 17, 2010

You and your colleagues are invited to submit proposals for Spectrum 2011. Spectrum is the annual educational conference of the Rochester Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC).

STC is an international professional organization that seeks to promote education, communication, and shared resources among communications professionals such as instructional designers, writers, web designers, graphic artists, social media developers, and others who deal with technical information.

Who attends and speaks at Spectrum?

Spectrum is a regional professional conference and generally draws attendees from New York, Eastern Canada, and surrounding areas. Attendance in past years has normally ranged from 100-180 attendees. This year will be the chapter’s 52nd consecutive Spectrum conference, making it the longest running STC chapter conference. Speakers are selected from local presenters and speakers from around the country who have expertise in subject matter relevant to technical communications professionals, and pertinent to the conference theme.

When and where is Spectrum 2011?

This year’s conference will be held on April 1st at the Rochester Institute of Technology, in the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies (CIMS) located at 111 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5608.

For more information, visit the STC-Rochester website.

I’ve participated in this conference for a number of years and helped organize it last year. We consistently receive high marks from participants and have been told that the conference is every bit as valuable as the larger international conferences.

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  • 2

Writing the Next Chapter

Change is necessary but change is uncomfortable.

We should ignore the past. We should value the past. We should just do it. We should learn from past efforts. Do we dash forward, make our mistakes and sort things out as we go? Do we assess the path forward and move carefully down it? How strong should our sense of urgency be? How fast can and should we move forward? How do we mold individual desires into a shared vision?

We need to attract new members. We want to retain existing members. We have many senior members who have contributed faithfully to STC Rochester. We have new members who may not know our past but who are willing to pour themselves into redefining our organization and positioning ourselves for the future.

These are some of the issues we face as the council charged with stewarding the Rochester Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. We are a chapter with a long history of excellence. It’s time to write the next chapter.

I’m trying to find a path that allows us to retain the  distinctiveness of what has made us STC Rochester while moving to a model that is sustainable and will foster growth. Part of this path forward includes implementing a marketing strategy. We’ve received our marketing plan from Neil Hair’s RIT Marketing Concepts class. The plan identifies key opportunities and strategies for growth. We’ve set up a subgroup to study the plan and bring forward recommendations to our October council meeting.

Our kickoff meeting is September 21st. We’re inviting prospective members and want to be sure we can articulate why they should join STC. There is a good bit of angst surrounding this.

We need to remember to have fun.

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  • 11

Why I Value STC Rochester

If you’ve been following this blog over the last month (Thank you!), you know I’ve been writing about how our local STC chapter is redefining its value proposition and rethinking how we engage our membership and the community. This blog entry provides a personal view of how STC Rochester is valuable to ME.

Benefits–Why I’m in STC Rochester

  1. The opportunity to network globally with leading technical communications practitioners.
  2. The opportunity to network face-to-face with the local chapter.
  3. Engagement with high level and challenging thinkers in the technical communications profession helps me sharpen my own thinking. Iron sharpens iron.
  4. Opportunities for recognition through tech pubs competitions at local and international levels.
  5. The opportunity to be a change agent, to impact a close circle of fellow practitioners in a positive manner.
  6. The opportunity to help an organization reinvent itself to keep pace with a changing profession and society.
  7. The opportunity to use my skills and knowledge to mentor others and help them advance in the profession.
  8. The opportunity to forge friendships with a great group of people who face similar challenges.
  9. The opportunity to participate in regional and international conferences.
  10. The opportunity to learn.
  11. The joys and challenges of casting a shared vision.
  12. The opportunity to learn and practice servant leadership.

Cost–The flip side

  1. $240 in direct costs for international and chapter membership (subsidized by my employer)
  2. Another $80-100 for different meeting fees, tech comms publication entries, etc.
  3. One evening each month for our admin council
  4. One evening each month for meetings, programs, etc.
  5. One full day for Spectrum, our regional conference
  6. Ten-twenty hours to prepare a presentation at spectrum
  7. Many “spare” moments thinking about what we can achieve this year as a chapter. (I’m not sure if this is a cost or a benefit.)
  8. Countless hours at the keyboard communicating with chapter leadership and the chapter as a whole.

Your turn

Why are YOU active in your organization?

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