RE: benefits of a publications manager?

Subject: RE: benefits of a publications manager?
From: "McKinney, Suzanne" <smckinney -at- microstrategy -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000 09:28:50 -0500

First of all, who is supervising the writers now? Does this person take care
of things like evaluating new tools (e.g., Frame, graphics) for the writers
to use? Who ensures that good standards are developed, maintained and
followed by the writers? Who mentors new writers to get them up to speed?
Who decides what training/conferences/books should be purchased for the
writers? Who hires new writers (from interviewing to deciding who's
qualified)? Who represents the writing group in management meetings? Also,
do the writers support each other, if needed, e.g., peer reviews of

If no one is doing these things, your company publications may be suffering.
It takes a manager to manage all of this. As you grow, you'll probably need
a manager as well as "leads" to oversee all the work. And, as you said,
there's no career path now for the writers.

Perhaps you can use these ideas to draft a proposal for this. I had to do
this at one company so they would understand the need and benefit.

Good luck! :)

-----Original Message-----
From: Stina Lane-Cummings [mailto:stina -at- real -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2000 9:45 PM
Subject: benefits of a publications manager?

I am trying to convince some people here that we need a full-fledged
publication/documentation/user education manager. This is hard, because
there aren't any problems right now. This is because the writers are
wonderfully self-managing and are being supervised by someone who leaves us
alone unless we ask for help. But there isn't a career ladder and people
don't get to work on fun projects. This isn't a problem--yet. But in my
opinion, it will be a problem if we add one more person or if anyone
decides to leave.

Without elaborating on the rest of the picture, the sticking points seem to

1. How is a publications manager different from any other manager?
2. What are the benefits of having a publications manager?

I'm having trouble articulating the wonderfulness of this position in a way
that would be convincing to upper management.

How would you convince upper management that giving a dedicated
publications manager to an existing group of writers is a good idea?

Stina Lane-Cummings

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