It seems like every third time I write a monthly column for Pegasus, quarterly reports get a mention — it's a funny coincidence, like the full moon at Rowany festival. Here's the thing about reports — they, more than anything else, are cited as a reason people don't want to hold offices in the SCA. “I'd love to be constable/marshal/chirurgeon, but I just hate writing reports.” If you think being an officer is about writing reports, you're doing it wrong.
I’m throwing out a challenge to all the current officers in Lochac (myself included) to change the way they describe their jobs — from “what do I do?” to “what am I trying to achieve?” It makes more difference than you might think. You might put your hand up to be Baronial Hospitaller, and think “what that person does is keep track of the hospit garb, and welcome newcomers.” Laudable enough, but not that inspiring. Now say “I'm the seneschal's deputy in charge of member attraction and retention. I am trying to increase the membership, with more people joining and fewer leaving.” That opens up an awful lot of avenues for projects; it gives you more sense of purpose; it gives you a measure for success.
Likewise chroniclers and webwrights — instead of thinking “I publish the journal and/or maintain the website,” if you think “I’m the communications officer — I’m trying to advertise the group to the world, and to keep the members up to date on events, and to create a lasting record of what we do,” then you open up a lot of opportunities. Would the Ettamogah Advertiser like a regular column from the SCA? Is our journal in Trove? Can we get some clickbait out there (six things you can do in armour – number three will amaze you!) What does “SEO” stand for? And you will have no trouble getting statistics to tell you if it’s working.
It took me very little time to realise that printing the warrants was going to be a long-term project, going through multiple iterations of progressively more authentic technique. Which might never happen (though I hope it does). So I decided to start by making the paper.
Space prevents me from talking about all the offices (Chirurgeons — the most lethal weapons in Lochac are ovens and ladders — how can you make our people safe?). Let me wrap this up by talking about reporting — what you do is put some words together. Whoop-de-do. What you are trying to achieve is the spread of your good ideas, to get suggestions on stuff you could try, and compare notes to see if your results are consistent with other areas. Our groups don't need officers so that there will be someone to write reports — our officers need reports to brag about their groups.
Yours in service,
Lord Nicodemus Novello