STC-SM wins an STC Pacesetter Award for Innovative Programming

Pacesetter Award BadgeSTC’s Community Pacesetter Award recognizes innovative and successful community initiatives—specifically, implementation of a single, beneficial innovation that may be used by other STC communities.

Our certificate will read:

“For your resourceful collaboration with local technical communication educators in presenting programs that supplement academic curricula and provide value to STC members.”

The award will be presented at the STC Summit in Orlando, Florida this May.

Continue reading “STC-SM wins an STC Pacesetter Award for Innovative Programming”

Networking at Punch Bowl Social Is Coming Up

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.

We will be meeting at Punch Bowl Social in Detroit. There is no entrance fee, but you will be responsible for your own food and drinks. When you arrive at the restaurant, ask the host to direct you to the STC-SM table. Continue reading “Networking at Punch Bowl Social Is Coming Up”

Program Recap: Clear and Simple With Speaker Ed Lanigan

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”

Recap: Networking Happy Hour in Livonia

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.

Relaxing after work at Doc’s Sports Bar in Livonia.

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!

Upcoming Program: Clear & Simple

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.

Please register by Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

When

  • Wednesday, March 21, 2018
  • 6:30 pm: Networking
  • 7 pm: Program

Continue reading “Upcoming Program: Clear & Simple”

Program Recap: Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety

We sat there frozen! What just happened?

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.

Photograph taken at February 15 program, Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety.
Bonnie Tew, speaking to STC-SM members and guests about public-speaking anxiety.

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Swagger UI and the Open API Specification

Have you ever been interested in learning more about APIs and API documentation? It’s one of the fastest growing areas of technical communication, and it’s quickly becoming a common job requirement. APIs, or application programming interfaces, are sets of functions and methods that allow you to interface to a program or service running on another computer. APIs have become increasingly prevalent, and more technical writers are needed to document the core functionality of these APIs. Continue reading “Swagger UI and the Open API Specification”

Meet Our New Vice President, Katherine Baeckeroot

Photo of Katherine Baeckeroot, Vice President
Katherine Baeckeroot, Vice President

We are thrilled to welcome Katherine Baeckeroot to the STC-SM executive council as our newly appointed vice president. She will take the helm as chapter president in the summer of 2019. We look forward to Katherine’s contributions as we continue to work together on goals that will provide value for our chapter members and the professional community. So you can get to know her a bit better, Katherine was kind enough to answer a few question for us. Please join us in welcoming our new VP! Continue reading “Meet Our New Vice President, Katherine Baeckeroot”