February Meeting Recap – Blue Venue

What Policies, Procedures, and SIGs Have to Offer Technical Communicators


Alexandra Engrand

By: Alexandra Engrand
Nominating Chair
Florida Chapter, STC

Dawnell Claessen is a senior policy analyst specializing in risk management and security compliance for the United States Department of Defense. At this year’s annual meeting, Dawnell gave a preview of her May Summit topics, “Policies & Procedures: Communicate the Future” and “STC Special Interest Groups (SIGs)—Discover, Explore, and Get your Foot in the (Virtual) Door,” which she will be presenting with two co-presenters, Emily Kowal and Ann Marie Queeney. Unfortunately, Kowal and Queeney could not attend the meeting.

Dawnell’s Summit presentation will focus on skills that future Policy Analysists, Procedure Writers, and Process Specialists will find most helpful. Attendees of Dawnell’s preview learned that the way policies and procedures have been done has not changed in a very long time, largely due to the legalities surrounding them, but as we move into a more technology-based age, this is slowly starting to change. Dawnell told her listeners a story that demonstrated how policies and procedures are evolving.

Dawnell’s place of work did not, at the time of the story, have a dress code. Instead of setting one themselves, the company asked its employees what they thought the dress code should be. A survey was set up using an internal social media channel for employees to leave their comments on. With a little help from the legal department, a dress code was set that everyone was happy with. This was a first for Dawnell. A policy left up to the employees to decide—especially employees who were not all part of the legal or human resources departments—was not something she had ever witnessed before, but is the perfect example to accompany her presentation, as it shows that policy and procedure-making are changing with the times.

The second half of Dawnell’s preview focused on STC’s many SIGs, each of which is “composed of STC members with common experiences and interests” who have chosen to share their knowledge with fellow STC members. Dawnell presented her listeners with a handout detailing some of the commonalities found amongst the SIGs, some of which include:

  • An online presence, typically including social media
  • Email listservs
  • Educational opportunities, such as webinars and classes
  • Targeted presentations at the Summit

Dawnell also included a list of STC’s SIGs with links to each, some of which include :

For the complete list, see STC’s Communities page.

Dawnell Claessen previews her Summit presentation for a member of FTC.
Photo by W.C. Weise

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