STC Israel Chapter's 2008-09 Technical Communications Competitions

The STC Israel Chapter's annual Competitions is getting underway! This is a chance to attain peer recognition for your high-quality work, and receive useful suggestions for you to apply to future efforts. The Competitions help establish professional standards for our work, and provide visibility for technical communicators among their companies and clients.  

The STC Israel Chapter's Competition committee is now accepting entries for the Online Communications and Technical Publications competitions.  The deadline for submitting entries is Tuesday, October 28, 2008.   Each entry will be judged by a team of at least three technical communication professionals, who grade the entries and write the evaluations. All entries receive one of the following grades, starting with the highest: Distinguished, Excellence, Merit, or No Award. Distinguished winners are eligible for entry in the International phase of the Competition which takes place in early 2009. In 2006-07, two teams from Kodak won our Chapter's first Distinguished awards, and one of those (Tamara Katz, Einat Rolnick, and Yaron Naor) received a Merit award at the International level.

As an additional benefit to winners and non-winners alike, the submitter will receive a copy of each judge’s evaluation document for the entry. Evaluations will be sent to the submitter within a few weeks after the conclusion of the judging.

To receive an entry form and additional information about the competitions, please send an e-mail request to David Schor at ]]>.

Svi Ben-Elya, a multiple award-winner and a long-serving judge, gave an excellent summary about the benefits of participating in the Competitions. Even though it was written in 2001, the reasons remain valid today:   "The competition, which is open to all, is an opportunity to gain the recognition that you deserve by having your work judged by fellow professionals. Regardless of whether you win an award, the experience and feedback is well worth the cost (enter amount of fee) and paperwork. Below are five reasons why you should enter.

1. Surprise: Very few companies expect to win awards or formal recognition for their documentation. If and when you win an award, others in your company are surprised to find out how good their documentation has become.

2. Recognition: Winning an award provides valuable recognition of the achievements of both you and your company. For your company, the award adds enhances its image as reliable and quality conscious company. The increased complexity of modern products has brought with it an awareness that utilization of product features depends on clear and accurate documentation. Winning an STC award helps assure customers that they will be able to maximize use of your products. For you, the award marks you as a top professional and increases the value placed on your contribution to the company. Even if you do not win an award, the fact that such awards do exist adds to the professional image of Tech Writers within the organization. Your willingness to hold your documents up to professional review is often

3. Feedback: This is the most compelling reason to enter a competition. At least three different Technical Writers systematically review your work and rate each aspect of the document. Many judges also add detailed comments and recommendations. When you act on feedback that you receive to improve your documents, no one asks or even cares how you got results (better documentation). What everyone does see is the added value that you bring to bear.

4. Professional Review: In most companies, the people managing Technical Writers come from another field of expertise and feel ill-equipped to evaluate them properly. Having your work judged by professionals helps management evaluate you as a professional. Regardless of whether you win an award, the act of entering your work into a competition is generally seen as a sign of professionalism. Judges remarks make it easier to define measurable targets for improving the quality of your work. These same remarks also make it easier for you to meet these targets.

5. Advancement: Last , but not least, all of the above help you advance. Raising expectations allows you to effectively change your job description to include additional responsibility. This in turn makes it easier for your boss to justify a raise or promotion. In the final analysis, the positive changes that you bring and the value placed on your professional abilities play a role in determining the outcome of salary reviews."

Thank you,

David Schor Competitions Manager STC Israel Chapter

Tel: 054 478 8253 ]]> ]]>