Should I Join the STC?

Ben Minson makes some interesting points about the role of the STC (Society for Technical Communication) and the value it offers to its members.

As an ‘outsider’ looking in, I have to confess to finding the STC a rather odd organization. A longer post is probably in order to discuss this.

Ben: “In recent months, the discussion usually comes down to value. In fact, the other night after our local chapter event, one of the members told me that she is the representative STC member for her team at work. Her employer is paying for her membership but no one else’s, and they want to know what they get back from STC for their money. They have every right to be asking that.”


This employer doesn’t see enough value in STC to pay for all of the employed technical communicators to belong.

Ben’s quotes Michael Hughes, First Vice President of STC who wrote a post about what it’s like leading STC during this difficult time, “We tend to keep a core of loyal members, but that has created a demographic problem: A lot of us are older and will be retiring in the coming decade. We are losing our “next generation” of STC members. The upshot is that decisions about how to grow the society are being made by those who often lack the perspective of what the target population wants.”

Is this true? Is the STC really at a crossroads? Moreover, do you feel you’re getting value for money?