Volunteers Sought for Communications Task Force

At its June 8-10 meeting the SAA Council voted unanimously to establish a Communications Task Force that will provide the Council with a set of recommendations on practical ways to enhance SAA’s communications in the areas of audience, content, and tools. See the group’s description below for details. SAA Vice President/President-Elect Jackie Dooley seeks SAA members to serve on this task force. If you’re interested in serving, include in an email message directed to saahq@archivists.org your full name, title, institution, and experience within SAA (e.g., how many years a member, section and roundtable memberships, committee service), along with a brief statement of interest and qualifications (specifically related to your expertise in the topics outlined in the Purpose statement). Please use the subject line: Communications Task Force (Your Last Name). Deadline: July 9.

Communications Task Force

I. Purpose
In support of SAA Strategic Priority 1 Desired Outcome #3,  “SAA will make increasingly effective use of current and emerging technology to enhance communication with internal and external audiences and  stimulate collaboration among its constituents,” the Communications Task Force is charged with advising the SAA Council on practical ways to enhance SAA’s communications with a focus on three areas:  intended audiences, content/messages, and tools/channels.

II. Task Force Selection, Size, and Length of Term
Following an open call for participation, the SAA Vice President shall appoint five members, one of whom should be a Council member and all of whom should have expertise in the topics defined in the Purpose statement, and who should collectively include both newer and more experienced archivists.  At least one member should be drawn from the active membership of the now-disbanded Communications Technology Working Group. One member shall serve as chair. The length of term of members shall be one year from their appointment with a possible extension should the task force need more time or be re-constituted as a Working Group.

III. Reporting Procedures
The task force will provide an update on its progress prior to each Council meeting. A preliminary report and recommendations shall be delivered to the Council by the time of its spring 2013 meeting, with a final report and recommendations made by the time of the August 2013 Council meeting.

IV. Duties and Responsibilities
The task force will deliver to the Council a final report with recommendations as to which of SAA’s current communication venues and practices should be maintained, revised, or discontinued and why, and which (if any) new venues or practices should be implemented. In addition to other research and activities the task force deems necessary to meet its charge, the task force shall:

  • Become familiar with current SAA communication channels and how they are used, including In the Loop, Twitter stream, Facebook presence, website, Archival Outlook, email blasts, press releases, and LinkedIn presence.
  • Conduct a mini-environmental scan of similar organizations’ communications and uses of communication technology, seeking out effective and realistic models that might be incorporated into its recommendations.
  • Gather information from SAA component groups that have a social media presence about the use and effectiveness of their communication tools.
  • Become familiar with relevant SAA policy documents and reports, including, but not necessarily limited to, the Communication Technology Working Group final report, SAA’s Uniform Guidelines for SAA Websites and Online Communications, and the 2012 SAA Member Needs and Satisfaction Survey results.
  • Submit a final report with recommendations to the Council addressing at least the following questions relating to audiences, content, and technology:
    1. What audiences or stakeholders do SAA communications currently target?  Are there additional audiences that we need to reach?
    2. What types of content are pushed out to which audiences and by whom (SAA staff, member volunteers, etc.)? Is this a good match? Are there others who could or should participate?
    3. What technologies are used to target those audiences and by whom? Are these good matches?  
    4. What peer organizations might serve as good models as SAA seeks to enhance communication with internal and external audiences and  stimulate collaboration among its constituents? What are the qualities that make them successful?
    5. What are the most pressing changes to be made?
    6. What barriers exist to improving SAA’s communications? What can be done to mitigate them?
  • Provide a recommendation to the Council as to whether there is a need for a group such as this one to continue to act in an ongoing advisory role by transitioning into a Working Group.

V.  Meetings

The task force will accomplish its work primarily via email, conference call, Skype, Google+ hangout,  and perhaps an in-person meeting at the 2012 Annual Meeting.