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Well spoke, Connie. It always had amazed me that an organization
that seemed to be so devoted to the furtherance of technical
communications was so unbelievably bad at it.
I remember when I signed up in, uh, 1986 or 1987 that I got a package
of stuff about the STC's 5-year plan. To this day, I can't tell you
what that plan was or if any of the goals were reached... because
they all seemed to be smoke and air. The feeling I have from
way-back-when is that I'd read the materials and they were along the
lines of "A call to arms! A rising swell! The music gets louder! A
dramatic crash of waves, followed by CYMBALS!!!!" <sigh> Things
didn't get noticeably better until just recently. In similar
fashion, there were dozens of other organizations that, if not the
same, had much in common with what the STC does and would've been
delighted to partner with the STC. Again, up until a few years ago,
such things were Just Not Done. Now we're doing things with other
organizations and have even been courting corporate sponsors and memberships.
I think the STC missed hundreds of great opportunities simply because
we couldn't market ourselves for sour bean soup. The technical term
for this is, uh, "Really Stupid." I regret that the organization
didn't market itself effectively when it could--indeed, when members
were screaming for someone to do it and there was money and
opportunity virtually lying on the ground waiting for us to walk over
and scoop it up. But I am pleased that we're doing it now and I'm
really pleased with the things that have been accomplished in the STC
in the last 2-3 years, but there's a long way to go yet, IMO. We're
back in start-up mode, really: having gotten rid of so many things
that just weren't effective, it's like working at a startup company
to put all the new things in place and get them working. It'll be
several more years before we really start seeing a rich harvest of
the things we're putting in place now, but I think we're doing things
right at last, to the betterment of the Society, the value to the
members, and to the profession. You might want to consider coming to
the Annual Conference in Philadelphia this May and seeing if things
have changed enough to be worth re-considering signing up. But if
not, there's always the year after that. :)
www.hedtke.com <-- website
Region 7 Director, STC
541-685-5000 (office landline)
john -at- hedtke -dot- com (primary email)
johnhedtke -at- aol -dot- com (secondary email)
At 11:40 AM 11/14/2007, Connie Giordano wrote:
>I too am a former STC member (but never a "senior" one) ...I did the local
>board member thing, tried to bring in programs other than Framemaker demos,
>submitted to local competitions and such. I found the calcified points of
>view and the pathetic need for ego-stroking to be a time vacuum that had no
>ROI (I make no claim that all of STC was like this, it was my experience,
>yours will vary). I cannot speak to recent changes in the organization
>since I dropped out 6 years ago (and others have already made very good
>points about the new directions that are being attempted), but I can admit
>surprise that a professional organization with this kind of longevity seems
>to know nothing about marketing, either the organization or the profession.
>I've been in the field for a long time, I post often, my job board resumes
>have all the appropriate tech comm key words, and I was a dues paying
>member. I've never gotten any kind of "we want you back" messages, nor have
>I ever seen any attempts to target me as a new member from other related
>organizations, social networking, subscriptions to publications... nothing.
>Why is it any surprise that membership as a whole has dropped off? There's
>no growth strategy and no effective plan in place to address it. But in fact
>I find that many professional groups like STC really do not understand
>strategy or effective business models, and by the time they figure it out,
>it's usually too late.
>STC would have value for me if it collaborated with other organizations in
>related areas, or in areas that need and use our expertise, or actually
>tried to serve the membership in a meaningful way... it's why I belong to
>ACM, KMPro, ASTD, UPA and IWA... I can make real business contacts and
>expand my repertoire to fields that are related. While there's lots of
>value in networking with peers and the leading lights of this field, I can
>get much of that from lists, conferences, and one-to-one contact. No
>recruiter has ever asked about membership in STC, but several have noted the
>others. I often direct recruiters to STC as a source for technical
>communications professionals, and most are genuinely surprised to find that
>there is a professional association.
>I haven't seen any arguments yet that lead me to change my decision not to
>return to STC... it's a good organization for many, but it just doesn't
>float my boat or address my particular aspirations.
>Connie P. Giordano
>The Right Words
>Communications & Information Design
>connie -at- therightwords -dot- com
>(704) 540-9985 (office)
>(704) 957-8450 (mobile)
>"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." - Walt Disney
>From: techwr-l-bounces+connie=therightwordz -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+connie=therightwordz -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
>Behalf Of Writers Book Mall
>Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:38 PM
>Subject: RE: Re-upping STC membership?
>After having achieved "senior" status years ago by
>dint of paying dues for a few years, I stopped
>renewing. For potential employers/clients who might
>conceivably be impressed by that sort of thing, I do
>list on my resume that I was a senior member back in
>whatever year it was. So far, no one has ever asked
>about what the STC or senior membership in it is.
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