The evening provides a great opportunity to learn more about cutting-edge work done in technical communication, connect and reconnect with other technical writers.

For many years, our Competitions Committee of the STC Carolina Chapter Awards Banquet, enjoys evaluating technical communication entries in delivery formats that we have not previously had the opportunity closely review (this is one of the biggest perks of being a judge). This year was no exception.  There was no clearer example of this than the entry awarded our Best of Show Winner: OpioidPrevention@Work – SAMSHA Microsite.

For those who are unfamiliar with microsites—I was one of you before this year’s competition—they are single websites or small groups of websites that support a parent site while still standing, often with their own URL. Microsites frequently raise awareness about a project or campaign led by the parent website’s organization.

At last month’s STC Carolina Chapter Awards Banquet, Jeff Novey, Shari Lambert, and Tayo Jolaoso, from RTI International, explained that this type of connection exists between the microsite they developed together for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Presentation (SAMSHA) organization, which has a Drug-Free Workplace Toolkit webpage that links to the microsite.  In their presentation, the Best of Show team from RTI International walked through the benefits of choosing a microsite as their delivery format:  the design and planning stage, the development process, the site’s aims and key features.

Asked to create an interactive guide to help employers “become actively involved in prevention efforts for opioid and other substance misuse efforts in the workplace,” the team built the microsite around four key topics related to substance misuse prevention:

  • Educate Yourself
  • Identify Issues
  • Prevent Misuse
  • Explore Resources

As the presenters explained (and our judges noticed), the microsite is highly interactive, efficient and user-friendly.  The content contains actionable tips and is limited to short chunks, categorized logically, and nested in collapsible sections that can be navigated in several ways. An appealing and uncluttered layout and appearance also contribute to an intuitive and enjoyable user experience.

For their hard work and the strong impression their project made on our judges, Jeff, Shari, and Tayo received their Best of Show certificates from Chapter President Guiseppe Getto. Cathy Sprankle, our Chapter Treasurer, acknowledged and discussed the other award winners. In addition to the Best of Show group from RTI International, four other teams were recognized for their efforts as distinguished, the highest recognition level awarded. Details about each of the other distinguished teams and projects are in the table at the end of the article. To learn more about all of the entries that received awards, please visit our Competition Winners webpage.

If you couldn’t make it, we hope you will plan to attend a future STC Carolina Chapter Awards Banquet. Every year it’s held in March at the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, NC. The evening provides a great opportunity to learn more about cutting-edge work done in technical communication, connect and reconnect with other technical writers and Chapter members, and of course, enjoy the quality fare served by Prestonwood.

We owe our thanks to all who helped make this event successful, including the teams of entrants for their hard work and interest in receiving feedback, judges who volunteered to evaluate and categorize each entry, Chapter members whose volunteered, our Chapter sponsors, and Prestonwood Country Club for continuing to provide great service as our host venue.


Bryce Arghiere

After several years as an STC Carolina Chapter member, Bryce joined the Chapter’s volunteer team this year as Programs Director. He has been in the Triangle area for five years and found the Chapter to be a consistent resource for personal and professional development