Category Archives: STC Rochester

  • 4

Value Proposition or Vision Statement?

Our STC Rochester Council is working with Neil Hair‘s Marketing Concepts class at the Rochester Institute of Technology to develop a marketing strategy as we seek to redefine our value proposition as an STC chapter. Some members of the council had a status meeting with the Marketing Concepts class team earlier this week. The team is analyzing similar organizations in our area (ASTD, ISPI, IEEE, etc.) to determine how we compare on key activities and services.

The Marketing Concepts team’s initial slide was:

Value proposition

STC is the best network for excellence in technical communications

In our discussion at council and in following correspondence, we’ve had an extended discussion of what constitutes a Value Proposition. Although there’s been some confusion, including “what is networking,” I think we’ve decided that this is more of a Vision Statement than a Value Proposition.

Value propositions can be expressed in different ways. One way of looking at them is

Value = BenefitsCost

When STC raised its dues for 2010 to $240 per year for International +  Chapter membership, membership renewals plummeted.  For many of the members, the perceived Benefits were outweighed by the Cost.

According to Rackham (stolen from wikipedia), a Value Proposition should include the following:

  • Capability – what it is you do and how you do it
  • Impact – what benefits or difference your capability will make
  • Proof – what evidence substantiates your impact
  • Cost – the cost (or risk) of your capability and impact

If our Value Proposition includes these elements, it’s obviously a bit more complicated. We would have different value propositions for members, employers in our community, etc.

What about Personas?

Usability practitioners use Personas to help programmers visualize the different users of the software they’re creating.  A Persona is a fictional person whose “attributes” are based on different types of users and the business processes for which they might use the software. (This is obviously highly simplified.)

Could we use the concept of a Persona to help develop and articulate value propositions? Would it make sense to start with testimonials of specific members? Can I articulate the Value Proposition of STC Rochester for myself?

Enhanced by Zemanta

  • 4

Determining our Value Proposition

All of us wear a number of hats. One of my hats is president of the Rochester Chapter of STC (Society for Technical Communication), a professional organization of ~70 members locally. STC has struggled in recent years, with membership declining from ~20,000 worldwide a couple of years ago to ~8000 members today. The decline has been due to a number of factors–questions of relevancy, maybe the bad economy, rising dues, aging membership, etc.

The decline in both local and international membership is causing us to reexamine who we are and what value we bring. In other words, what’s our value proposition?

Our STC Rochester leadership council is working on this issue. What value do we provide to our local members? What value do we provide to our community, especially to local employers?

A key input for redefining our value proposition is understanding who our membership is.

Technical communicators work in a number of fields. We’re not all technical writers. Some of us write marketing materials. Some of us design training. Some of us may be grant writers. Others may work in usability. As the business base in Rochester has changed from large manufacturing companies–Eastman Kodak, Xerox, Bausch and Lomb, AC-Delco, etc.–to a number of small companies, the number of straight “technical writer” jobs available has decreased significantly. In other words, our membership is heterogeneous and requires a wider breadth of programs/activities addressing their needs and interests.

This week we started defining goals for our chapter. We’ll see where that takes us.

Open Mike: Blogging with Mike Hughes

Enhanced by Zemanta