From the Hart: Blogging with Hillary Hart on STC’s Alumni Renewal Offer

I’m excited to announce a new effort from STC—the Alumni Renewal Offer to bring former members back into the fold. Before we email these alumni, however, I want to explain to our current members why we’re doing this.

As you know, we’ve lost members over the past few years. We greatly appreciate all of you who have stayed with us and worked hard to bring the Society to where it is today. We have made great strides in recovering from our financial trouble, and we have a lot to offer that wasn’t available to many of our former members: a certification program, more online education, a new website and social network, online publications, a free education archive, and more.

In addition to what we have to offer them, these alumni have a lot to offer STC and their profession as well. The more members we have and the more experience our members have, the more STC and the profession can continue to grow and improve. We want the expertise of these former members to help us continue to promote the profession.

We’re inviting our former members to come back, to see all the new benefits we have to offer, and to join again with a special rate for the rest of 2011. We’re also allowing them to renew at their previous seniority and to retain their total number of years of membership.

We’ll be emailing these alumni soon, but if you know a former member who you think would benefit from returning, please let them know to keep an eye out for our offer. Since many of these alumni may have a different email address than we have in our records, we’ll also have a banner up on the STC home page that explains the offer and invites participation. So please direct them to the STC website when the banner goes up. And if any of you have a question, please feel free to email our membership department.

The Board, the staff, and I remain committed to advancing the profession and improving the Society, and we thank you for the work you’ve all done and continue to do toward those goals.

4 thoughts on “From the Hart: Blogging with Hillary Hart on STC’s Alumni Renewal Offer”

  1. I’m all for inviting alumni to rejoin. But I have to share with you that it’s challenging to continue to be a member when “free” benefits keep going away. Especially when dues increase. So I think you’re up against a big challenge in trying to get alumni to reconsider joining once they’ve taken the plunge and made the tough decision to quit STC.

    I applaud STC for the improvements it’s made, and keeps making. But, frankly, I don’t personally get benefit from a certification program and online education that I can’t access unless I pay more. (I do thank you for making the education archive available for free.)

    I personally enjoyed receiving printed publications. So when that went away, that seemed to me like a lost benefit. Like one more lost benefit. One more tangible and lost benefit.

    And speaking of one more lost benefit: the reason this is bothering me especially so this week is because the salary survey came out recently… and it costs money! I must say, that one Really frustrated me. I consider the salary survey one of the major perks of membership. And having to pay for it, on top of the STC membership, chapter-affiliation membership, and SIG-affiliation membership dues is really really upsetting.

    I love STC because of the networking it provides, and the professional growth I continue to experience through my chapter and SIG activities. I’ve also been quite lucky to be able to attend some of the Summit meetings. But as far as understanding and tangibly relating to the benefits of STC, the entity at the top,… well, that just gets more and more lost on me. With every benefit that I now need to pay extra for.

    Just my two cents’ worth. I know I’m not the only member that feels this way; I’m glad I have a forum in which to voice it to those who might be able to do something about it.

  2. Before touting the “new and improved” STC to former members, I recommend a reality check with current members.

    “we have a lot to offer that wasn’t available to many of our former members: a certification program, more online education, a new website and social network, online publications, a free education archive, and more.”

    The new website leaves much to be desired for current members. Every time I attempt to sign into the new social network, I get so frustrated that a tiny vein on my forehead pops out. I give up and go tell the LinkedIn group whatever it was I wanted to say. I’ve heard tell of this “free education archive” but haven’t been able to use it because I can’t ever get signed into my account. (Which is a whole other saga I’m not going to elaborate on. Please see previous comment about the tiny vein on my forehead.)

    It doesn’t matter what you offer past members in “perks” or discounts or whatever. If things are so difficult to access and use that people abandon the task, it doesn’t matter what you offer them. They aren’t going to STAY members.

    Also, I am somewhat offended by the way the “Blog Rules” are worded. Plus, I’m wondering why there’s a 5 minute timer on editing/deleting posts? If there’s a huge “publisher’s remorse” problem…well…maybe it’s more of a “high level of frustration among members” problem.

    1. Hi Brook,

      We’d be happy to help you with the trouble you’re having with the website login. Have you contacted our webmaster, Chip Boyd, for assistance? His email address is chip(dot)boyd(at)stc(dot)org.

      The blog rules we’ve implemented are pretty standard fare for websites these days. We evaluated several other established online publications and their use of these sorts of rules before we implemented our own. The bottom line is that we want people to have the opportunity for respectful dialogue. In the event that an individual crosses the line and makes it uncomfortable for everyone else, we have an obligation to our members to remove the offending person’s comments or ability to post.

      As for the five-minute timer, this is a standard WordPress feature. Many blog software platforms do not allow post editing after the data is submitted. The timer feature provides a grace period where a commenter can fix a mistake or typo after they’ve published what they want to say.

  3. Hi there,

    I’ve received the following email. And since the Society is interested in having past members renew, you may be interested to know at least one person’s reason for not renewing:

    Although I have been a member of STC for many, many years, and was a former president of the [XYZ] chapter of STC, I cannot in good conscience rejoin an organization that charges its members $700-plus to attend conferences. This has been, for me, a major “show-stopper” and a huge disappointment. I don’t know who participates in STC these days, but it’s obviously not rank-and-file members of the “working class.”

    If-when STC decides to start charging its members reasonable fees for organizational activities, please let me know. I would be the first to rejoin and become active again.

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