Guiseppe Getto, Mercer University, firstname.lastname@example.org Suzan Flanagan, Utah Valley University
THE BIG PICTUREThe role of content strategist is growing within Technical and Professional Communications (TPC) and intersects strongly with more established roles such as technical writer and technical editor. At the same time, it boasts skills and workflows all its own, including search engine optimization (SEO), content management, content modeling, and maintaining an editorial calendar. As with many emerging roles within TPC, it is now up to TPC researchers, educators, and practitioners to consider how we fit content strategy into our existing curricula and/or develop new curricula. That is the purpose of this special issue: to zero in on specific pedagogical approaches to the teaching of content strategy.
SPECIAL ISSUE DESCRIPTIONAs technical content becomes increasingly important to organizational outcomes within diverse industries, so too does the role of the technical communicator begin to shift to that of content strategist, or someone who primarily manages content across channels rather than developing technical documentation. Technical communicators are now sometimes responsible for such diverse roles as content management, content auditing, and even search engine optimization. At the same time, we are seeing remarkable growth in jobs devoted to these content-centric skills, with many TPC professionals transitioning directly into roles as content strategists. There are still a wide variety of workflows and skill sets within content strategy that we don’t have pedagogies for. If our students and trainees are to remain competitive for jobs in content strategy, then we need to develop sound pedagogical and training approaches to these skill sets and workflows.
THE INVITATIONWe invite article proposals from U.S. and international scholars and practitioners in academic and workplace contexts for original research papers, original contributions to technical communication theory, case studies, and tutorials. We are particularly seeking tutorials, or original research, from practitioners working in industry who have experience training their teams in one or more of the above skill sets and who have validated their training through evaluations, outcomes, or formal data analysis.
POSSIBLE TOPICS FOR THIS SPECIAL ISSUEThe guest editors invite proposals that address such as:
- Approaches to teaching or training in specific skills that are not historically a part of TPC, such as SEO, analytics, content modeling, or maintaining an editorial calendar
- Approaches to teaching or training in skills that are shared by many roles within TPC but that are also important for content strategy, such as audience analysis, localization, and structured authoring
- Approaches to teaching or training in entire assignments, modules, courses, or even course sequences in content strategy
- Approaches to (and ethics of) teaching and training in emerging technologies such as chatbots and AI-generated text
- Service-learning approaches to teaching and training in content strategy
- Community-based and social-justice-oriented approaches to teaching and training in content strategy
- Experiences practitioners have had training professionals in one or more areas of content strategy within professional organizations and associations
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?Submission Guidelines:
- Proposals should be no more than 400 words in length and sent as an email attachment in .docx format.
- All proposals should the following information:
- Submitter’s name
- Submitter’s affiliation
- Submitter’s email address
- A working title for the proposed article
- Type of proposed article: original research paper, original contribution to technical communication theory, case study, or tutorial
- Connection to CFP: how does the proposal align with the overall aims of this special issue?
- Specific topic as it relates to the teaching of content strategy: what specific aspect of content strategy would the proposed article discuss?
- Method of discussion: how would the proposed article go about addressing this specific topic (i.e., report of empirical research, report of new process, case study of organization, discussion of emerging technology, etc.)?
- Reader takeaway: what specific knowledge would a reader of the proposed article gain by reading it? Also: what would they be able to do (e.g., teach structured authoring) after reading the proposed article?
Production ScheduleThe schedule for the special issue is as follows:
- August 1, 2023– 400-word proposals due
- September 1, 2023 – Guest editors return proposal decisions to submitters
- January 15, 2024 – Draft manuscripts of accepted proposals due
- May 1, 2024 – Final manuscripts due
- August 1, 2024 – Publication date of special issue