Want to meet with technical communicators from various backgrounds or learn more about the STC community? Please join us Tuesday, April 24, 2018 from 6–8 PM for a networking event in Detroit! This event is open to students, technical communicators, or anyone interested in STC.
STC-SM chapter members, please vote for your council officers from now through May 31. Please check for an email from electionbuddy.com containing your link to this year’s ballot. If you don’t see it, check your junk mail and spam mailboxes. If you did not receive that email, please email our Nominations Committee chair, and she will look into it.
This is a reminder that it’s Chapter Council Election season. Voting for the 2018–2019 program year will take place May 15–31, 2018. That means nominations for Council positions are open for only a few more days.
If you’re thinking of nominating another chapter member (or yourself!) for an elected Council position, you have until the end of business on May 14 to send the nominee’s name and contact information to our Nominations Chair. Please note that candidates must be members of the STC Southeastern Michigan chapter.
On Wednesday, March 21, we met at Lawrence Technological University for our program Clear and Simple. Our speaker, Ed Lanigan, spoke on how clarifying information and presenting it in a simple way improves our ability to communicate with our readers and creates better customer experiences. Ed has more than 20 years of multi-industry experience focused on customer experience, service performance, and six-sigma continuous improvement, and we are very grateful to have had the opportunity to hear him speak.
This thought-provoking discussion detailed the process of implementing a company-wide strategy for designing and using standardized letter templates that not only improved internal processes by slimming down unnecessary communication but also improved the content of the letters by providing a set of guidelines for writers. With the use of a standardized template, employees in different sections of the company could customize communication to clients while maintaining company branding and ensuring that the information the reader needed to know was visible and well-designed. Continue reading “Program Recap: Clear and Simple With Speaker Ed Lanigan”
We got a note from NEOSTC, the Northeastern Ohio chapter, letting us know that they have posted their March newsletter, Lines & Letters. There are several interesting articles, including the President’s Column, which has a very nice list of reasons to join NEOSTC or any other local STC chapter when you join STC.
On February 27, 2018, STC-SM held a networking event at Doc’s Sports Bar in Livonia, MI. Six of us gathered after work for snacks, beverages, and great conversation. Four were members of the STC-SM chapter and two were non-members. As a friendly reminder, STC-SM welcomes everyone at our events. Membership is not a requirement, so please join us anytime.
During our networking session, we discussed our different careers in technical communications, along with the paths we traveled to become technical communicators. We also discussed the evolving skillsets employers require in a technical communicator, and traded tips about staying current as our profession evolves. Additional topics included technical communications programs at universities (undergraduate and graduate levels) and interview techniques and portfolio building. We wrapped up the evening by talking about ideas for future STC-SM program meetings and services that the STC-SM chapter can provide for technical communicators in our area.
It was truly an enjoyable evening. By the time we left, I personally felt more connected to fellow technical communicators, and to our community at large.
Please check our upcoming events, and come on out. We would love to see you soon!
Clear & Simple is a mindset—a way of doing business that keeps a focus on the customer in all the work we as communicators do. By using clear language and making simpler interactions, we can create experiences that are easy, useful, and enjoyable for users.
There are many facets of Clear & Simple, such as website usability, product design, marketing materials, payment and cost share, and more. Our speaker, Ed Lanigan from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), will focus his presentation on applying the Clear & Simple principles to customer letters. Considering BCBSM sends over 10 million letters a year, it’s an important aspect of their business.
Our speaker, Bonnie Tew, had just shaken her head, said “I am sorry, I just can’t do this…,” and walked out of the room. She had our full attention when she walked back in. She wanted to know if we had ever felt like that. Many of us nodded our heads in agreement.