January 3, 2017 at 8:38 PM #39812
Candidates for Vice President
February 9, 2017 at 8:26 PM #40816
The STC seems to be losing some steam in the past several years. A LinkedIn commenter recently remarked, “I believe every tech writer I know dropped out due to the fees going way up while the services that made the formerly modest dues worth paying are available for free from LinkedIn, Craig’s List, salary.com, etc… Some companies pay for their writers’ memberships and the expensive fees to enter the no-longer-prestigious annual awards.”
While I don’t agree with the sentiments, I would like to know how STC retains its value amongst competition from places like Write the Docs, whether you’ve done any formal assessments on membership satisfaction levels overall, whether the Chapter officers feel that National is supporting their goals, and how you would work to strengthen relations with individual chapters.
February 15, 2017 at 7:06 PM #40876
STC membership provides a lot of value, but as with any membership, whether it be with a society, organization, or even a health club, ultimately, each member takes away something different from the experience. I truly believe a big part of that value is what we, as individuals, contribute to that experience. Beyond basic membership perks, the rewards are even greater when we get involved in the communities, activities, content sharing, projects, and networking opportunities that interest us most. Encouraging that kind of volunteerism and community involvement are paramount to our growth, success, and future leadership as an organization.
To that end, I’d like to see STC invest more in its communities–they are the lifeblood of our organization and probably our strongest advocates for recruitment and promotion of our value. Community-sponsored projects, such as membership drives, contests, marketing campaigns, education offerings, and the like, would be one way to encourage local involvement that could potentially benefit Society membership as a whole. We should continue to be responsive to our member needs, through surveys and feedback we collect, while seeking new ways to empower and provide resources for communities, to help them respond to these needs on a local level.
February 15, 2017 at 5:38 PM #40872
Hi Rebecca – thanks for the question! You touch on a few very important issues that are going to be vital to STC’s future.
First, I agree with you in that I believe that STC still offers a strong value for the price. The website has an interesting breakdown of what you get for your membership dollar: https://www.stc.org/membership/benefits/. However, I think that we have not traditionally done a great job of advertising the Society’s value proposition – making sure our membership knows and can easily access all we have to offer. We need to keep improving that.
I also think that we can learn a lot from other organizations that serve the same demographic. We need to be nimble and make sure we are responsive to how our membership wants to experience STC. We have conducted membership surveys to determine what drives member satisfaction, and I believe another one is in the works. We have learned that our membership values networking, mentorship, education, and job opportunities. We have strong offerings in all these areas, but members often don’t know about these, or don’t know how to access them. We can also benefit from focusing these member values to make sure they are truly meeting the needs of the members (and appeal to new members).
I would like to see us all work to improve the consistency of the community experience. No matter what communities a member joins, there should be a consistent, baseline experience. I would like to see the communities work together with the Society to create a simple, lightweight community model that can be easily implemented. STC communities are driven almost exclusively by volunteers. We need to make it as easy as possible for those volunteers to assist their fellow members and help represent STC to its best advantage so that everyone can recognize and appreciate the value of membership.
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