From the President

June 2023

Katie Haggath, smiling. She has long brown hair and is wearing a black top with red flowers on it.There’s a lot packed into this report! I’ve got an update on our journal, we’re calling for nominations for the next President, the salary survey is out, Dave Gash is coming to Christchurch and applications are open for the role of Business Manager. It has been a crazy eight weeks since the last newsletter, and I can’t fit everything into my ‘From the President’, so make sure you catch up on this month’s TechCommWire!

An update on the international journal

I have a couple of interesting tidbits to share with you this month about our as-yet-unnamed online international technical communication journal.

We’ve decided on Ghost as our hosting platform. We wanted an off-the-shelf solution that will take away any dependency on internal volunteer resource to launch and maintain. Ghost is a flexible, open-source publishing platform, specifically designed to publish content for members. This will allow us to keep the journal a member benefit, available only to members of TechCommNZ, ASTC and ISTC.

We are currently working on a pilot site which we hope to present to our respective organisations in October. For TechCommNZ, this will be at the AGM. We agreed that for the purpose of the pilot, we should be able to demonstrate a working example of a website focused on technical communication and with relevant articles.

If you have previously submitted an article to the TechCommWire, and don’t mind us using it in the pilot, please email or send me a message on Slack.

If you’d like to submit an article, send that through too!

Nominate the next President – open June to October

One of the things I appreciated most when I became President was that Meredith stayed on to teach me the ropes after stepping down – I didn’t feel like I was being dropped in the deep end.

That’s why we want to make the transition and handover as smooth as possible for our incoming President. We’ll be taking nominations for the President’s role from now until the AGM in October. We know this is a bit different to how we’ve done it in the past, but we’re excited that this will allow us to approach and mentor Presidential candidates before they take over.

You can nominate yourself or someone else in the organisation – you don’t have to be a board member already!

Can you:

  • manage the organisation at a high-level and coordinate its activities?
  • guide and assist in progressing our five-year strategy, in consultation with the board and TechCommNZ members?
  • support the members of the board in the work they are doing for TechCommNZ?
  • provide a casting vote in decision-making?
  • act as a spokesperson for TechCommNZ and the board?

Do you enjoy seeing people in our industry thrive and helping other tech communicators reach their potential?

Do you want to gain valuable management experience you can apply to your own career?

Does this sound like someone you know?

Send your nomination:

Nominate someone for TechCommNZ President

Could you be our next Business Manager?

The Business Manager is a paid part-time role as well as an important position on our board. As a member of the TechCommNZ board the Business Manager handles a number of tasks, which fall under the following general categories:

  • Management of TechCommNZ financial accounts via the TechCommNZ website and the Reckon Hosted financial system.
  • Management of membership records and annual subscriptions.
  • Filing of annual GST returns with the IRD.
  • Maintenance of TechCommNZ details on the Companies Office Incorporated Societies register.
  • Event logistics including:
    • Setting of budgets
    • Event registrations
    • Venue requirements.
  • Maintenance of TechCommNZ website including:
    • Setting up of event details
    • Emailing members about various events
    • Dealing with enquiries coming from people via the website.

The time required to perform the role varies throughout the year. This depends on what is happening, for example dealing with subscription renewals, organising events, general financial requirements, etc. Over the course of a year the time would, on average, be about 10 hours per week.

If you are interested in applying for the role of Business Manager, please contact with your CV and a short cover letter outlining why you’d like to apply.

Dave Gash is coming to New Zealand!

Dave will be giving two presentations at ASTC’s 2023 conference in Melbourne. But if you can’t travel to Australia to attend the conference, have no fear! Dave will be hopping across the ditch to give his presentations in Christchurch on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 October 2023.

UX designers generally don't like long pages of dense content and, to be fair, neither do we technical writers. So, how do we solve the problem?

Wickets and Other Sticky Stuff

As writers, most of our effort focuses, and rightfully so, on the user. But shouldn't we also consider those who come after us, who have to maintain that content?

FastThink: Creating Sustainable Content

Find out more about ASTC’s conference 2023

Other quick reminders

Don’t forget to enter the Plain Language Awards, and complete this year’s salary survey. We’ve put reminders and updates for both of these in this month’s News section.

Ngā mihi nui,

Stay warm and dry these cold winter months!