STC Introduces the New Content Strategy SIG

The following is from the STC Office on 16 September 2009

The following information has been provided by SIG Manager Rahel Anne Bailie of the Content Strategy SIG. Please direct all questions to the SIG's leaders; contact information is at the bottom of the article.

The STC has a new Special Interest Group, the Content Strategy SIG. The momentum in the content strategy field of practice has been building during 2009, and a proliferation of communities has sprung up on the web. It seems that the business world has woken up to the conundrum of messiness of content, and realizes the need to get the situation under control. It could be that previous projects failed, or perhaps that there have been outside pressures to get their content fixed up. Whatever the impetus to adopt a content strategy, it is encouraging that there is an awareness building that content is a valuable corporate asset, and deserves to be managed with care.

The STC has responded quickly, providing its members with a valuable forum to build up the practice of content strategy. This will help members in several ways. Line staff can develop tactics to implement whatever strategy has been developed, or know that they can reasonably demand a strategy be developed and why, plus what the benefits are. Management can learn what benefits can be expected from a content strategy and figure out how to budget and plan for a strategy to be included. And content strategists can share the good, bad, and ugly of content strategies and work together to build a body of knowledge that can be used as a resource for each other and those who follow in their footsteps.

Interested STC members are invited to join this new SIG that promises to be vibrant, interesting, and useful. To add the Content Strategy SIG to your current membership, complete the Membership Upgrade Change Form (.pdf) and return it to STC, or simply check the SIG when you renew your membership.

Leaders are also looking for help with administering the SIG. Currently, the SIG Manager is Rahel Anne Bailie, and the Webmaster is Will Sansbury. Bailie states that an Assistant Manager and a Knowledge Base Manager would be appreciated and asks that members who have some time and want to be part of this exciting venture, please come forward.

What is "Content Strategy"? Who is a "Content Strategist"?

Read Ugur Akinci's excellent event review of Ginny Redish's presentation at today's STC WDC Competition Awards Celebration. Ginny's talk was titled "What is 'Content Strategy'? Who is a 'Content Strategist'?" Ugur's review is on his website, the Technical Communication Center.

Competition Awards Celebration: 7 Feb. 2009

photo of Ginny Redish
Keynote Speaker: Ginny Redish
Location: DACOR Bacon House, 1801 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006; Directions to the event (It is several blocks from the Farragut West Metro station (Blue/Orange line).) Keynote speaker: Janice (Ginny) Redish, Ph.D.) Keynote: “Content Strategist”—Why and How Technical Communicators are Naturals for this New Role.
$30 Judges, entrants, students, volunteers
$45 STC members
$55 Non-members
Attention: Registration for this event is now closed. If you have already registered but have not yet paid, go to to to make a secure online payment through our PayPal page using your credit card, debit card, bank account, or by paying money from a funded PayPal account. Or, you may send a check made out to STC Washington, DC Chapter to:
Steve Whitney
STC Washington DC Chapter
PO Box 11186
Takoma Park, MD 20913

Registration link:
Download a PDF of the event description and registration information.

You’re Invited

The STC Washington, DC Chapter Administrative Council and Competition Committee cordially invite you and your guests to the annual Competition Awards Celebration for the Technical Publications, Online Communication, and Technical Art competitions. Whether or not you participated in the competitions this year, come out and see the winning entries, meet the judges, cheer on the winners, and enjoy a delicious lunch. This is a perfect opportunity not only for networking but for getting your eyes and hands on the state of the art in technical communication. Documentation managers, bring your teams to encourage their competitive spirit. Maybe you’ll be encouraged to enter the competition next year!


Get the banquet flyer. (.pdf)


  • 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Tour of DACOR Bacon House (optional)
  • 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Banquet check-in, display of winning entries and networking
  • 11:35 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Lunch
  • 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Keynote
  • 12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Awards Program


The full meal includes a choice of Chicken Florentine or Eggplant Parmesan.

About the Banquet Keynote

Many companies are wakening up to the need to make their web sites coherent and consistent. They are seeing that the content is as critical to their "brand" and their success as the design and navigation. The days of everyone posting whatever they want to a corporate or agency web site are disappearing. The new buzzword is “content strategy.” The new role is “content strategist.” Ginny Redish muses with us about this new development and what it can mean for your career.

About the Keynote Speaker

Dr. Janice (Ginny) Redish is a user researcher and expert in usability, clear communication and documentation. She is an independent consultant and the principal founder and owner of Redish and Associates ( Ginny is the author of a number of books, including Letting Go of the Words, which won the Best of Show Award in the 2007/2008 WDC STC Technical Publications Competition and a Distinguished Award in the 2008 International STC Technical Publications Competition.

Ginny is an STC fellow and a longtime member of WDC. She co-founded the STC Usability & User Experience Community. She also belongs to the Usability Professionals’ Association, and several other professional societies, communities, and organizations.

Ginny is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the STC Ken Rainey Award for Excellence in Research (2008), the 2004 STC President’s Award, the first Outstanding Plain Language Leader in the Private Sector award (2006); the Goldsmith award (2001), and others.

Ginny is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and has a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Harvard University. See for more information about Ginny.

About DACOR Bacon House

DACOR Bacon House
DACOR Bacon House

The historic 1825 Federal-style mansion, Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired (DACOR) Bacon House) is an historic Federal-style mansion, furnished with period furniture. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The house was built in 1824-1825 by Tench Ringgold, a close friend of President James Monroe, and until 1831 U. S. Marshall for the District of Columbia. During the years 1831-1835 many noted figures including Chief Justice John Marshall, Associate Justices Joseph Story, William Johnson, Gabriel Duvall, Smith Thompson, John McLean and Henry Baldwin (all members of the Supreme Court), lived in DACOR Bacon House. In 1835 the house was bought by the former Governor of Maryland, Samuel Sprigg. Today DACOR House is the home of the Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired (DACOR) Bacon House Foundation, whose goal is to contribute to the development of mutual international understanding and the strengthening of ties between the people of the United States and other nations. Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired (DACOR) is an association of retired officers of the United States Foreign Service and of other foreign affairs agencies founded in 1952. Go to for more information about the DACOR Bacon House.