Community to Community is a series of blog posts meant to share great ideas between STC’s chapters and SIGs. If your community is doing something you’d like to share with others, please email me and we’ll get it posted! Today’s post is by Gloria McConnell of our Phoenix Chapter, who writes about the community’s Technical Communication Week and offers advice on starting your own celebration.
Establishing a Technical Communication Week celebration can help boost your community’s profile and the perceived value of our work.
The intent of Technical Communication Week is to have a special time of year during which STC members and others not only celebrate the value of technical communication, but also raise the awareness of our profession, our professionalism, and the ethics and creativity we bring to our work. Both geographical and virtual communities can plan and celebrate a Technical Communication Week. Geographical communities can go a step further and obtain an official proclamation (by the state, county, or city) as a way to recognize and publicize the value of technical communicators.
In recent years, several states, including Arizona, have issued official proclamations of a Technical Communication Week (or Month). STC Phoenix has celebrated the week with special meetings, special recognitions, and communications.
Here is how you can establish your own community’s Technical Communication Week:
- Celebration time and scope: Decide whether you want to proclaim a day, week, or month, and whether you want a city, county, or state proclamation.
- Proclamation text: Decide what technical communication week means to your community. You may want to form a committee to discuss what you want on your proclamation. Most proclamations are formally worded, but some are not. Many government entities want a well-articulated reason for granting a proclamation. For an example, see the text used by the Phoenix chapter here.
- Specific instructions: Look online for the needed instructions:
- Cities: check the mayor’s website.
- Counties: check the county supervisor’s website.
- State: check the governor’s website.
For example, instructions for the State of Arizona are here.
- Submit request: Submit your request, following all instructions provided by the governmental agency, including its required timeline. In a few weeks, you should receive the proclamation.
- Celebrate: Once the proclamation has been issued, follow-up with the following types of actions:
- Send a press release to local news sources.
- Distribute copies of the proclamation to the communication departments of larger employers in your community (through your members or by mail).
- Distribute copies of the proclamation to local colleges and universities, to their technical communication programs, English Departments, and similar.
- Hold your community’s celebration!