Spotlight on the Pacesetters: The Chicago Chapter

by Kevin Cuddihy on 19 February 2014

The deadline for communities to apply for the Pacesetter Award is Tuesday, 25 March. The Pacesetter Award recognizes the successful implementation of a single beneficial innovation that may be implemented by other STC communities, as opposed to the overall evaluation that takes place for the Community Achievement Award. We’re highlighting a few of the communities that received the Pacesetter Award last year with a Q&A with community leaders. (See previous posts about the Carolina Chapter and the New York Metro Chapter.)

The Chicago Chapter received their Pacesetter Award “for increasing member engagement through a comprehensive social media approach that allows open, on-going contributions; reinforces involvement in the community; and keeps focus on the STC Chicago community, its activities, and the profession.” Adam Evans talked with us about the chapter earned the award and what it meant to the community. See the STC website for more information about the Pacesetter Award, and then apply for your community today!

Can you expand a bit more on what your Pacesetter Award was for?

We created a social media campaign surrounding the Summit in Chicago that included many blog posts about Chicago leading up to the Summit, as well as a heavy social media presence at the Summit.

What gave you the idea?

Having attended Summits in new cities myself, I thought having info about the city sites, public transportation, etc., would be helpful.

What kind of work and/or planning was involved?

A lot, actually. I recruited volunteers to author over 40 blog posts. I then created a schedule in Google Docs and assigned topics. I followed up with the writers when their “due date” approached. Luckily, everyone was happy to participate, but it was a lot of up-front planning. Also, at the Summit, I constantly checked social media to see if STC Chicago could be of help.

How can other STC communities apply this idea to their community?

Any STC host community could easily implement this with a little planning ahead of time. Think of key sites and “good to know” items about your city and create a well-written, informal blog post about it. The key is to remember this isn’t a piece of technical documentation, per se, though many tech comm principles apply. It’s a friendly guide to your city and should be written as such.

Why do you think a community should apply for a Pacesetter Award?

If you’ve implemented a process or system that works well for you, apply for the Pacesetter Award! In my opinion, the Pacesetter Award isn’t only about being recognized for your innovation (though that’s certainly part of it!), it’s also about sharing your success with other chapters so they can emulate your success.

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