I’ve been working on Engineers Week projects here in Tucson for a while now and they’re starting to shape up. I’m officially the IEEE representative, and expect to be helping to staff the IEEE table at “Mall Day” on February 16th. We’ll have a Jacob’s Ladder – that’s the cool-looking tall tube thing you see in almost every Frankenstein laboratory where sparks run up the two vertical wires making all kinds of sparkly and crackly noises. VERY visual (though it really serves no other purpose). The kids love it! There will also be an Engineers Week banquet with a speaker and door prizes. All this is just our tiny local efforts as part of the larger, National Engineers Week (see www.eweek.org).
The funny thing is that one of the trade mags I get is also called eWeek (at www.eweek.COM), though as far as I can tell, it has nothing to do with Engineers Week. As part of my IEEE efforts, I’ve been doing a number of presentations on information security, emergency preparedness, and business continuity. eWeek the Magazine has recently had several articles on this topic, including a very interesting interview with Drew Martin, the CIO for Sony. He talks about the lessons learned during the wildfires in San Diego last fall. He summarizes by saying:
” When you try to draw up your business continuity plans, you deal with scenarios you think might occur. That’s an important process, but the fact is, you can’t predict how an emergency situation is going to unfold. In some respects, your time is better spent figuring out how you’re going to communicate and how you’re going to get good information to keep the business running.”
A more recent issue of eWeek has an article called “10 things you should know about business continuity.” Communications comes in right in the middle at number 6.
So what do these two things have in common besides similar web addresses? They’re both on my to-do list this month, and they both address the idea of bringing information to people who need it. And isn’t that what technical communication is all about?