From the Hart: STC and its Global Role in Advancing the Profession of TC

by Steve Skojec on 17 November 2011

Posted on behalf of STC President Hillary Hart

Over the next month, I’d like to update you on the strategic directions that the STC Board of Directors will emphasize for the Society in 2012. This week’s report is on our global presence.

In May 2011 the Global Audit Task Force presented a report with various recommendations on how STC can advance the TC field around the world. Using that report as a basis, the Board has been working with the Executive Director, the staff, and the Community Affairs Committee to determine various strategies for strengthening our international presence in 2012, given finite resources. Here are some of those initiatives:

  • Using our newly acquired Adobe Connect technology, we will be able to provide recordings of our live web seminars quickly so they will be available 24/7 for those not able to attend the live event. While there is no one specific time for live webinars that fits all time zones around the world, we are working with members in particular time zones to deliver targeted webinars for international members within those zones. We need just 7 registrants to hold a webinar in a given time zone. Interested groups should let Lloyd Tucker, Deputy Executive Director, know what topic you are interested in and your preferred time.
  • We will continue to deliver online certificate courses of interest to international members. Technical Communication 101 and 201 are our most popular courses for international attendees. TC 101 was offered twice in 2011 at times convenient for the Asian Pacific. The most recent offering of Technical Editing Fundamentals had 12 students from Dell India in the class. The Technical Communication Manager course is popular with international members as well. We expect to offer Managing Virtual Teams at a time convenient for international audiences in January 2012.
  • STC’s Executive Director, Kathryn Burton, and Board Vice-President, Alan Houser, were among the STC participants at the recent TCWorld conference in Wiesbaden, Germany. They participated in an international roundtable co-hosted by Japan Technical Communicators Association (JTCA) and tekom and attended by eight international technical communication associations. Among the issues considered was how to define the TC profession internationally, recognizing that job titles and expectations vary considerably.
  • STC is working with various standards groups, especially on defining ISO standards for TC.
  • STC is looking toward working with the participating associations who attended the TC roundtable to consider developing an internationally valid profession/industry survey. The survey would gather information globally about TC titles, number of Technical Communicators, position in company, department or industry (including government and academia), geographic location, and salary (taking into consideration exchange rates and average salaries in country).

The US government is making it increasingly difficult for U.S. associations to have international chapters. In spite of this we are undertaking these efforts for three primary reasons:

  1. We have an obligation to all our members everywhere to advance the profession.
  2. TC is increasingly a global enterprise.
  3. Communication and social-media technologies are making it increasingly possible to provide support networks for all members everywhere without going broke or running afoul of governmental regulations.

If you have additional ideas on how to harness MySTC or any of STC’s educational programs for use by international communities, or how to advance the profession globally, please get in touch:
hart@mail.utexas.edu
.

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