Tag Archives: Technical Writing

  • 11

Why I Value STC Rochester

Category:Infosec Communicator,Leadchange,STC,STC Rochester,Uncategorized Tags : 

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?

Enhanced by Zemanta

  • 4

Value Proposition or Vision Statement?

Category:Infosec Communicator,Leadchange,STC,STC Rochester,Summit,Uncategorized Tags : 

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

Category:Infosec Communicator,STC,STC Rochester,Summit Tags : 

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

Categories