January 2021 Leadership Webinars: Strategy Planning for STC Communities

Happy New Year

 

January is a time of renewal and setting goals for the next year, which means you couldn’t have a more appropriate time to plan your community’s strategy for this year. 

We’re offering two leadership webinars this month on this topic–one for chapters, and one for SIGs (COPs/COIs). Register today (see below) to take advantage of the guidance these can provide! (And remember, every webinar you register for counts towards the STC Leadership Incentive Program!)

Strategic Planning for Chapters

Join STC chapter leaders Alex Garcia, Debra Johnson, and MK (MaryKay) Grueneberg for an informative and lively conversation about strategy planning for STC chapters. The panelists will begin the program by providing a brief overview of the Florida and Chicago chapters’ processes as two examples of strategy planning. The remainder of the program will be dedicated to Q&A and info sharing among attendees and panelists. The program will be recorded.

Please note: While this program is focused on STC chapters, SIG leaders are welcome to attend.

Register for the Event

Attendees are welcome to send questions prior to the program to Ann Marie Queeney

See you at our first CAC program of the new year!

Panelist Bios

MK (MaryKay) Grueneberg

Photo of MK GruenebergMaryKay has been a professional technical communicator for 37 years. She is a writer and editor and has ten years of team management experience. She is a Certified Professional Technical Communicator and an STC Fellow. She is currently the Sponsorship Manager, Webinar Manager, and Competition Co-Manager for STC Chicago and the editor of the chapter’s newsletter, Byline. She has previously held the position of chapter secretary, nominating committee, web manager, program manager (many years), and has been chapter VP/president twice. 

MK is a Senior User Assistance Developer at SAP and is a remote employee working with multiple global teams. She has presented at LavaCon, Spectrum, Leadership Days at STC Summits, STC Chicago meetings, and various STC chapter meetings.

Alex Garcia
photo of Alex GarciaAlex Garcia is the current Vice-Chair of STC’s Community Affairs Committee, specializing in chapter outreach. Professionally, he has over 13 years’ experience documenting hardware systems in the aerospace and defense industry.

An STC member for 16 years, he has held just about every role in the STC Florida Chapter. As a student member, he was president of the Future Technical Communicators (FTC) organization at the University of Central Florida and served as co-manager of the student mentoring program. As a professional member, he served as the Jaffe Award Committee chair, editor of the Memo to Members chapter newsletter, chapter treasurer for two years, and then two terms as chapter president. For his leadership and dedication, the Society awarded him the Distinguished Service Award for Students (DSAS) in 2006 and the Distinguished Chapter Service Award (DCSA) in 2013 and 2015. Alex presented at the 53rd Annual STC Summit in Las Vegas in 2006 and the 65th Annual STC Summit in Orlando.  
 
Debra Johnson
photo of Debra JohnsonDebra Johnson is the current President of the STC Florida Chapter. A member since 2010, she has held multiple offices and roles in the chapter. In her service to STC, Debra served on the Society’s 65th Anniversary Summit Committee and attended five Summits. She has presented at Washlines, organized 26 monthly chapter programs, and joined with other key members of the chapter to transform the local chapter into an increasingly successful virtual chapter across Florida and other states.

Under her Presidency, the Chapter has earned Chapter of Distinction three times, Community of the Year twice, the Pacesetter Award twice, and the Platinum Community Achievement Award.  Debra mentors Tech Comm college students getting ready to graduate, developing a student member a year for the past seven years. For her leadership and dedication, the Society awarded her the Distinguished Chapter Service Award (DCSA) in 2018. She was awarded the Gloria Jaffe Outstanding Technical Communicator Vision Award in 2011. Debra has 26 years of professional experience across a wide range of industries and has led teams of Technical Communicators.

Strategy Planning for STC SIGs (COPs and COIs)
 

Join Ann Marie Queeney, CAC Chair and former SIG leader, for a webinar on strategy planning for  Special Interest Groups (COPs and COIs). The webinar will be held on January 27 from 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST. There will be time for Q&A and info sharing. The webinar will be recorded.

Register for this Event

Please note: While this program is focused on SIGs, chapter leaders are welcome to attend.

See you at the webinar!
 Presenter Bio
photo of Ann Marie QueeneyAnn Marie Queeney has held several SIG leadership positions and is happy to share her strategy planning experience. She serves as the Chair of the CAC (Communities Affairs Committee) and a 2020-2022 STC Board member. Her STC presentation experience includes several Summits and SIG webinars.  

Ann Marie has over 20 years technical communication experience in the medical device industry. She is the owner of A.M. Queeney, LLC where she focuses on procedures.

CAC Virtual Yoga/Relaxation Meet-Up – December 9, 6-7 PM EST

The CAC invites you to a special virtual meet-up on December 9, 6:00-7:00 PM EST. Lisa Perry, a professional yoga instructor, will guide attendees in several easy yoga exercises and a relaxation session. Lisa is generously donating her time. Participants should dress comfortably and have a carpet space or mat. They should also have a chair, couch or wall and extra blanket available to use during the session. The session will last 20 minutes.

After the session, we will have time for conversation. After a stressful 2020, let’s end the year with relaxation and conversation with our STC community. See you there!

Register here.

Lisa Perry, owner of Yoga at the Farm, (now Yoga from Home Studios) is currently teaching online from home and hybrid classes from Valley Crest Farm in Lebanon, NJ. Lisa has taught yoga classes in the Hunterdon County area for 17 years.

Lisa’s instruction experience includes: group and individual classes for people with special needs and considerations, classes for students and staff in schools, programs with the county parks system, volunteering at nonprofit organizations and corporate training programs. Lisa also offers workshops in meditation, restorative yoga, singing bowls, therapeutics and yoga hikes.

For more about Lisa, check out Lisa’s Facebook page.

Time for some STC Autumn Fun! CAC Virtual Meet-Up – October 27

Come join the CAC and our host, CAC Director Jamye Sagan, on Tuesday, October 27 at 6:00 pm EDT for our first CAC Virtual Meet-Up of the 2020-2021 season!

This is just a fun way for us around the globe to gather together and chat. Let’s celebrate Halloween a bit early! Bring your favorite witches’ brew and wear something festive (work-friendly) for Halloween! 

Register for this free event 

Using Meetup with Your Community

If you are looking to expand the reach of your community’s activities, consider trying Meetup.com. Meetup is a website where members create profiles listing their interests. Based on their listed interests, various meetup groups are suggested. A Meetup Group is an organization that hosts get-together events on a certain topic. Meetup Groups range from backpacking clubs, to knitting circles, to technical communication groups. If your community creates a Meetup Group, you can potentially draw from a wider audience for your events.

Joining Meetup

Meetup requires that you create a profile. When you define your profile, you can add a photo of yourself, a bio, your location, and list of interests. All of that information is processed so Meetup can recommend groups in your local area, and in your area of interest. It is free to create a Meetup profile, but some groups may have dues if you join them. Consider creating both a personal profile for you and your interests, and a general profile for your community.

A meetup profile.
Your Meetup profile defines who and where you are, along with your interests.

Creating a Meetup Group

Once you have a profile for you or your community, you need to create a Meetup Group to host events. The group should match your STC community’s name so members can easily find it.

Meetup Group Settings
Your meetup group must contain useful information to help people find your group, and to personalize it.

You have a lot of control over how the group will appear in Meetup, ranging from colors to logos, and photo albums to leader titles. You can even enter a default welcome message that is automatically sent to new group members.

Meetup Group Topics
Your group can have up to 15 topics associated with it, to help draw new members.

One important aspect of your group is to define the thematic topics for it. These topics match the areas of interest you defined in your profile. If Meetup members have the same topics in their profile, then this group will be a recommended match for them. Topics to consider for an STC Meetup Group are:

  • Information Technology
  • Mobile Technology
  • Writing
  • Writing Workshops
  • Documentation
  • eLearning
  • Technology Professionals
  • Writers Group
  • Technical Writing
  • Instructional Design
  • Technical Communicators
  • API Documentation
  • DITA Documentation
  • Web-based Training
Sample Meetup Group
A sample meetup group.

Cost of Meetup.com

While having a Meetup profile is free, running a group is not free. The cost of running a group scales with the number of members in the group. In many cases, it is $10 a month for groups of less than 50 members. For more than 50 members, it is $15 a month. Meetup did not offer a nonprofit discount at the time of writing. With the higher rate, your group can have more administrators, however. To offset this cost, many Meetup groups require members to pay dues. That might not be a good model for an STC group, however, so if you create a meetup group, be prepared to pay for it, and budget accordingly. One option to offset the group cost is to get a sponsor that will help pay for it.

Using Meetup

Meetup offers meeting planning tools, much like Eventbrite. You can track meeting registrations through Meetup, and you can you charge and collect fees when people register. Alternatively, if you are already using Eventbrite to track your registrations, you can send people to that site to complete the registration process.

Schedule a Meetup
Creating a Meetup is as easy as filling out a form.

Conclusion

So is Meetup for your community? That depends on your community budget and the activities you are planning. If you are an active community with many events, and you are in an area where many STC-outsiders might be attracted to your group, it may be worth your while to create a meetup group, especially if your community has the budget for it. Track and see how many people register for an event because of the exposure on Meetup. If you find you are adding to your community as a result of Meetup, then it will be a good ROI for your group. If you are spending $180 a year on the group and have attracted no new attendees, you may want to reconsider using Meetup, especially if your community budget is small.

However, don’t let this deter you from creating a free Meetup profile and joining non-STC groups. You might just find new friends who share your hobby enthusiasm!

This blog was based on a webinar presented by Timothy Esposito and the STC Community Affairs Committee. You can see the slides for the webinar and a recording of the webinar in the links below.
adobe-connect-bwThe recording of the webinar is available now at http://stc.adobeconnect.com/p3wfkl0rfb0/

SlideShareSlides from the presentation are available at http://www.slideshare.net/tesposit/using-meetup-with-your-community

STCLogo-OnlyAlso see the Best Practice blog post written by Timothy Esposito http://www.cac-stc.org/using-meetup-with-your-community/