STC’s 2009 election begins on 10 March 2009 and runs until 9 April 2009.
The following message was submitted by a candidate for office. You may review the candidates’ biographies, ask them questions, and view their responses to questions posed by other members on the Candidates’ Page of the STC website. Information on casting your ballot will be sent to you prior to the opening of the election.
By W.C. Weise
Candidate for Second Vice President, STC
For the past 4 years, I’ve had the privilege of serving as STC treasurer. During this dynamic time of transition, we’ve invested in skilled professional management but now face the harsh realities of a poor economy.
Meeting 5 challenges will determine whether STC will accomplish its strategic goals for the profession. STC must succeed at Relevance, Replenishment, Recognition, Resources, and Relationships and Combinations.
Ask yourself: can you afford not to be a member of STC?
The test of a professional society is how often you rely on it. An essential professional resource has a website you visit everyday, archives that provide rich on-demand information, publications that compel you to read something in every issue, networks that expand your thinking and respond with answers, and resources for future growth. It increases your value in the marketplace. And it is always steering you toward knowledge and opportunities. It becomes an Every Day Professional Resource. I want an STC that does these things.
Since 2006, the Board and Office have made great strides to increase STC’s professional value. A skilled staff has improved our education programs, publications, and society operations. We still need to improve how our members interact, mentor, and support each other. We need to continue improvements in the Annual Summit and bring you into regular contact with new standards, our role in guiding them, and the outcomes we’d like to see.
We need to elevate our members in the employment marketplace by identifying the trends, technologies, and education that will increase your value. We need to prove our case, and that means spending STC’s research dollars with respected economists who can measure the value we add to products. We need metrics that prove that we make a difference in the products people select and depend on.
The resources are coming into place that should allow STC to develop and expand a validated program library from which chapters and individuals can purchase downloadable programming suitable for meetings or podcasts so you can increase skills on demand. STC should be extraordinary at this – we’re a global educational nonprofit organization of communicators! And the ability to access this kind of career enrichment is one test of STC’s value.
We also need to improve STC’s value where you measure it most – in your pay. By helping the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics adopt a contemporary definition of what we do, STC can drive fair compensation for the expanded range of skills we represent in the U.S. and internationally.
We can no longer defer expanding our presence in schools or encouraging promising students who are considering a career in technical communication. I will encourage an active and growing partnership with universities to develop and communicate the Body of Knowledge and our understanding of the marketplace. We need to encourage curricula that are congruent with our view of the profession and the needs of future employers.
STC’s future growth and energy depend on meeting the needs of young communicators and the schools that motivate and educate them. Academic partnerships and student memberships must be priorities.
We struggle to concisely tell our employers about the difference we make for them because the range of our contributions is so vast.
By celebrating the achievements of STC members publicly, we do two things. We rejoice in the success of our colleagues and learn from them. We also demonstrate to business leaders and other professions what we do and what it looks like when it’s done well. A million dollars saved or won in any business represents our potential to perform at this level in all of them.
I fully believe that we make products and ideas more competitive in the marketplace. Through our hands, ideas become more persuasive, explanations clearer, help more usable, customers more satisfied, and products better.
The STC website doesn’t need job definitions. It needs testimonials, demonstrations, and celebrations that show what we did and continue to do everyday. I will celebrate your successes and publish them to the world.
As treasurer, I’ve helped manage STC as a business. The Board and the STC office have measurably improved their capacity to support society members and their communities. New investments are improving STC’s membership experience. Despite economic challenges, we will continue to increase the value of membership, particularly through development of targeted education products while we examine the potential of certification.
I will continue to work with our Executive Director to decrease the cost of governing the society. Face-to-face board meetings have been reduced from 3 to 2 per year, and the office has been relocated to achieve savings. In fairness, the hard work of finding new facilities has been done by the office staff, who continue to suggest best practices and to seek economies without impacting the services you need. We need to continue the benefits of this teamwork.
5. Relationships and Combinations
It helps to know that STC is not alone. Other organizations are feeling the pinch of tough economic times. We’re each rowing harder, yet we continue to stay in our lanes. Why?
Among groups that share our professional interests, we may find that we are a stronger organization and have the ability to enrich others through relationships yet to be discussed. We could combine a competition, perhaps, or share a conference elsewhere. We should be bold enough to consider merging a weaker association into STC if a mutual benefit can result. Perhaps one that already has experience with certification?
We have not done enough in this area, and it’s important for us to start.
And in Conclusion
I hope that my vision and concerns for STC are yours as well. I ask for your vote in this election, but let me encourage you to vote for any candidate who shares your views. STC needs your full participation if it is to best serve your needs.