of Orlando of Florida and beyond,
I am so pumped. My coworkers and I have been decorating our cubes like crazy for the upcoming holidays. Additionally, our chapter has been doing its own autumn cleaning to prepare for some huge changes.
Not sure what I mean, yet? Wishing I’d just dispense with the shameless teasers? Very well—check out this month’s President’s Corner article for all the details!
Also, this month’s meeting is a must-see. I consider our topic to be the most exciting yet, especially as an early-career technical communicator looking to expand my skillset. But even veteran tech comm folks will enjoy Emerging Trends in Tech Comm and How to Jumpstart Your Technical Skills, a presentation by UCF alumnus and cutting-edge technical writer John Paz.
Chair, Communications Committee
By: Alex Garcia
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC
Hello, and welcome to another edition of President’s Corner. Changes are happening within our chapter, and it is a very exciting time to be a member. As I alluded to last month, we have just finalized the merger between the Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC and the Suncoast Chapter STC. I know that the Suncoast chapter created a solid legacy during its existence, and we hope that the new chapter will continue to build on it. As of press time, our official name has not been approved by the STC International offices, but let me introduce, at least colloquially, The Florida Chapter STC. Headquartered and based in Orlando, the Florida Chapter STC will be made up of two regionally-geared Special Interest Groups: The Suncoast SIG (Tampa Bay-Sarasota-Charlotte) and the First Coast SIG (Jacksonville and Gainesville). Your Administrative Council will hold court in the Orlando area, and our physical chapter meetings will still emanate from this region. Since our chapter is transforming to an all-Florida-encompassing organization, a few “staffing announcements” are necessary:
As you can see, your new STC Florida Chapter, as we would like to call it, is strong and healthy. That saying, don’t forget to renew your membership and Save $30! For a limited time, Classic members can save $30 on membership! Enter STC2017 in the “Membership Promo Code” field on the last page of the online application to apply your discount. And, don’t forget to add the Orlando Central Florida Chapter (our current name) as your home chapter. https://www.stc.org/membership/.
Until next month.
By: R.D. Sharninghouse
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC
On Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 at the IHOP near UCF, the STC Orlando Central Florida Chapter held its monthly meeting. The topic was Global Content Strategy: Delivery is Critical to Success” presented by Scott Abel the Content Wrangler, Tim Steele, and Joe Gelb. This was a webinar originally broadcasted on September 21st, 2016.
The particular subjects discussed were the “importance of expectations, buying preferences, content consumption habits, culture, religion, and tradition when creating content” as pointed out in the description. The information was well detailed. Content is not only dependent on how it is structured, it is also dependent on its recipient. The “Customer Experience” (dealing with content) has become more important than product enhancement and employee training. And the amount of sources customers have for seeking information has also expanded; websites, mobile apps, customer service, and social media all have an impact on how customers interact with content.
To join the The Content Wrangler’s mailing list, go to: http://thecontentwrangler.com/vip-sign-up-form/
And check out their newest book, Language of Technical Communication: http://xmlpress.net/content-strategy/the-language-of-technical-communication/
By: Debra Johnson
Immediate Past President —
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC
Manager, Technical Communication —
SunGard Public Sector
At SunGard Public Sector, the Technical Communication group is re-thinking the role, function, and position of product knowledge in our overall support ecosystem.
Ultimately, we want to get to a place where we:
As I expressed in Part 1 of this series, our plan is to shift away from “a world of documents” to “a world of answers.”
It is our goal in TechComm to consistently deliver self-serve support that generates a memorable customer experience for all of the right reasons. We believe this philosophy will help enable customer engagement…and that can make a world of difference for all of us!
Since arriving SunGard Public Sector in Oct 2015, it has been my mission to improve and standardize our content and its workflow…and my team has been working hard doing just that… standardizing and focusing on increasing our productivity.
Most of our time is spent on trying to make a dent in the backlog of documentation, improving quality, our content infrastructure and processes, and implementing standardization across product lines. All of these things are great, and definitely help to reduce cost and optimize operations. However, at the end of the day, the value is mostly productivity value. Our customers are not aware and don’t always reap the benefits of these efforts.
For years now, in the content industry, Technical Communicators have talked about authoring tools, versioning, and content management systems. They talk about how to localize content and impose internal workflows for reviews and validation checks. These are the investments we have been focusing on at my company…and they do need to occur. They are good investments, but they reside on the left side of the wall.
My team’s goal going forward is to leverage all of these investments by bringing the benefits to customers; focusing on the customer value. We want our attention to be on the right part… the customer-facing part.
The way we see it, giving our customers better customer experience involves two main elements:
This is a challenging concept and unless carefully planned and strategized, can be contradicting.
On one hand — we want customers to find things and be able to leave as soon as possible…to use our products to their full potential …to become productive.
On the other hand — we want them to spend more time, learning, educating themselves, and possibly exploring other products that could benefit them.
We don’t want them to HAVE to spend this time with a sense of frustration, but instead, do it after they already have what they need and are now browsing with a feeling of exploration.
To answer and engage our customers, we need a certain set of functionalities.
At a high-level, we want or need to:
It takes Senior Leadership to understand, adopt, and support this philosophy.
It takes some new tools, additional resources, and removal of barriers.
It takes embracing a company-wide Customer Experience and Content Strategy that includes all content-producing areas as equal and important.
In TechComm, we provide value in what we produce and in what we can provide our customers.
We want to know what you think. Send us your thoughts and ideas as a content producer for your area to firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Content and Customer Experience
In Part 3 of our Content and Customer Experience series, we’ll talk about how we would like it to work… maybe explain our vision in Technical Communication to improve the customer experience by delivering product content anytime and anywhere, across all customer touchpoints. In essence, we want to maximize our business value – to help reduce support costs and to enhance the customer experience by making our customers happier and more loyal.
See you next month for Part 3… Easier to Find…Easier to Solve…Better experience