Survey of Former Members Launched

This week we launched a survey of 133 former STC members from the Washington, DC chapter to try and find out why they did not renew their membership this year. We asked the following questions:

  1. What was the primary reason you chose not to renew your STC membership this year?
    • Haven’t had time to complete the paperwork
    • Could not afford the dues
    • No longer practice technical communication
    • Dissatisfied with the STC Washington, DC Chapter
    • Dissatisfied with STC
    • Dissatisfied with the technical communication profession
    • Other (please specify)
  2. Select all of the reasons you chose not to renew this year (same choices as above)
  3. If dissatisfied with the STC Washington, DC Chapter, please explain
  4. If dissatisfied with STC, please explain
  5. If dissatisfied with the technical communication profession, please explain
  6. If you would prefer to discuss these issues over the telephone, please provide your name, phone number, and the best time to reach you.

A handful of email addresses came back as undeliverable but in the few days this survey has been open, we have only received 6 responses. One respondent wanted to talk on the phone and so I called her back today. Two people that received the survey invitation did not complete the survey because they were under the impression that they were still members. One could not complete the online renewal process because she needs a new password for stc.org. We are trying to help these members.

Not that 6 responses allows us to draw any definite conclusions, but the top reason why respondents did not renew is that their employer no longer pays their dues.

One respondent is dissatisfied with the Washington, DC chapter because the respondent felt that our seminars were only in Maryland and our social events only in Virginia. The respondent also does not like phone seminars and is overwhelmed with the emails.

In the 2007 chapter year, our events broke down as follows:

Networking/social events in…
DC: 1 (September)
VA: 1 (December)
MD: 1 (June)

Educational events in…
DC: 2 (January and April)
VA: 3 (October, March, and June)
MD: 2 (November and February)

I do not mean to minimize the legitimacy of the former member’s complaints. They are valid. I do, however, want to clarify that our events were spread out geographically as much as possible to accommodate our members.

If you would like to invite chapter members to an informal lunch, dinner, or just socializing near your home or work, various chapter volunteers can help you publicize it. Post your plan to http://stcwdc.org/mailman/listinfo/wdcb_chat_stcwdc.org by sending an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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Carolyn Kelley Klinger

I'm a technical communication consultant working primarily in the bioinformatics field and also designing and delivering training classes on 508 compliance for electronic documents. I have been involved with the STC Washington, DC - Baltimore chapter since 1994 and am an STC Fellow.