The Gazette asked the following questions about communications on the SCA’s corporate level of its President, John Fulton (Duke John the Bearkiller). He wrote back with the following replies. The Gazette thanks him for his time addressing a topic that is near and dear to the Gazette as well as others in the SCA.
1. What is the best way to find out what happens in Board meetings? How can I access that information? Is there a way to know when it is available?
There are several ways to get information. “Like” the Official SCA Facebook page and/or subscribe to the Announcements List on the SCA website. This will get important information delivered directly to your email. Subscribing to Announcements is very easy to do. Go to the SCA website. In the upper right area of the opening page there is a red box. One of the options there is “Subscribe to the Announcements list”. You enter your email address and set a password for your account. You can set it to send you a digest or individual emails. You can also get access to approved Minutes by going to https://members.sca.org/apps/#SignIn. If you’re already a member and have your access ID and password, you can view Minutes there. Call the SCA Member office at (800) 789-7486 for help if you have difficulty logging in.
My office also puts out a Society President’s Report within three weeks or so after each regular Board meeting. Announcements handles telling everyone when it is available on the website. This is also announced on the Official SCA Facebook Page.
2. What are the goals of the Communications Committee? Do they have specific objectives and a timeline for them? Who is on the committee?
The goal of the Communications Committee is to assess communications issues within the administration portion of SCA Inc, create policies/procedures to address these issues, and provide relevant commentary on developing issues. The CC is currently comprised of the Society Communications Deputy, the President, the Society Social Media Deputy, the BoD Ombudsman and 2 members at large.
3. The Society has a Communications Officer and a Social Media Officer. What tasks do they perform? Do they have people who help them?
The role of the Society Communication’s Officer is to help analyze, summarize, write and distribute business communications for the administration of SCA Inc. The officer also monitors all forms of digital communications and tracks any issues that would be of interest to the business side of SCA Inc and communicates these issues to the appropriate officer. The office works in conjunction with the Society Social Media officer (in conjunction with the President and the Board) to ensure that a consistent corporate message is relayed in all communications channels.
The role of the Society Social Media Officer is to monitor all social media platforms that are approved by SCA Inc, and to apply appropriate policies and procedures to ensure communications are timely and consistent with corporate messaging. The position currently has at least one (1) Kingdom Social Media Deputy in each kingdom from whom he receives reports quarterly. Each quarter, the Society Social Media Officer will relay issues of note and provide statistics as to the utilization of all streams of digital social media. The office works in conjunction with the Society Communications Officer, the President, and the Board to ensure that a consistent corporate message is relayed in all social media channels.
4. Why did the Society decide to revamp the website? How will that help members learn about what is happening on the Society level?
The decision to revamp the website was in response to concerns expressed from both the general populace and from Society Officers. While all important announcements and information have always been made available through the current website, many of its features occasionally make that information difficult to access. So, in order to move the digital presence of SCA Inc. into the future and to provide good service to the members, the revamp was deemed necessary.
One of the goals set for the website is to provide a central place for communications including, but not limited to, items such as announcements, position openings, officer reports, etc. Without an upgrade of the site, timely communications are hindered. Additionally, to meet the needs of our mobile audience and to provide users with an excellent user interface and user experience, the new site will be mobile friendly
The website upgrade is planned to be live by the end of 2019.
5. Do you use volunteers to help with communications in roles that are ad hoc (as opposed to ongoing officer or committee roles)? What are they?
At this time, the use of volunteers on an AD HOC basis is dependent upon the issue at hand. If someone is needed for a specific task, volunteers with the required skill set are sought out and asked to help. We certainly appreciate and understand that everyone does not have time to participate in committees at times. Situations often require additional skills and knowledge that can only be garnered from AD HOC volunteers.
6. What kind of volunteers would be helpful to the Society? If someone has relevant experience, how do they volunteer?
Anyone who has an interest in volunteering should feel free to do so. It is not necessary to be a peer or a long time SCA member. The Society needs people, experience and viewpoints from all walks of life. Interested individuals should talk to local officers about opportunities in their home area; watch Announcements,the SCA website and Facebook page for open position postings; and definitely nominate themselves for the SCA’s Board of Directors. The good thing about being a Board nominee is that you do not have to wait for a job opening to have the Directors review your modern and SCA resumes. In fact, it is not uncommon after reviewing a person’s resume, for the Board to request individuals to serve on ad-hoc committees and in other roles.
7. The relationship between the Board and the membership has historically been challenging. Are there plans to try to work on improving that connection?
The Board meetings are open – members who can attend are certainly encouraged to do so. While a certain number of meetings are held in Milpitas (near the home office) as a cost saving measure, others are rotated around the Known World to provide as many people as possible a chance to attend. The schedule of meetings can be found on the SCA website; through Announcements and the SCA Facebook page; and is provided monthly through the Publications staff via the Inter-Kingdom Directory. While these are modern business meetings and do have modern-day requirements, sponsorship by local groups is always open for consideration. If groups are interested in hosting a Board meeting they should contact Renee in the Corporate Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
The membership is always welcome to contact the Board about topics important to them. The best way to do this is through email@example.com. This email is constantly monitored by the Directors. Just be sure to use a detailed subject line and avoid items that could cause an email to get caught in the spam filter, such as attachments.
Meet and Greets are casual get togethers held at events in which Board members or Society Officers are attending. There are usually three or four such meetings at events throughout the year. There are also meetings of Society Officers at events. All Meet and Greets are open to everyone. If anyone is interesting in hosting such a casual meeting please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. That is the email of the Executive Assistant to the Board who handles scheduling. The Board members emails addresses, and brief bios, can be found at https://www.sca.org/BOD/directors.html.
8. What other changes are being considered on the Society level to keep the membership informed about activities on the Society level?
Long-range plans include possibly streaming of Board meetings and the creation of a Blog site. There are obviously some logistics issues involved in these projects, so it may be a bit before these plans can come to fruition. In the interim, if anyone has suggestions or ideas about how the Board can better keep the membership up to date on important issues, they should certainly make their thoughts known by sending an email to email@example.com. Please use the caption “SCA-Board Information Update Suggestions” in the subject line and remember to avoid attachments or other items that could cause an email to be marked as junk or spam.