Re: Marketing's role

Subject: Re: Marketing's role
From: "Jennifer O Neill" <jennifer -dot- oneill -at- village -dot- uunet -dot- be>
To: "Techwr-l" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 20:23:29 +0100

I am a writer who works in Marketing. Prior to my current job I had always
been in R&D. In my company Marketing is responsible for documentation
standards and templates for manuals, and for a simple reason: localisation.
We are based in Europe and spend over 300,000 Euros (dollars) a year on
translation and rising. We publish in 12 languages. We've learnt the hard
way over the years : you plan from the begining for translation. R&D focuses
on the technology, Marketing on the customer/sales offices, so consequently
we are involved in the localisation of manuals and directly see how this
impacts on our manuals. One of my job functions is to help keep translation
costs and time to market for manuals as reasonable as possible for all the
languages, so I am consequently responsible for documentation standards and
templates. If the sales offices have problems with manuals, they phone us
not R&D.

Our style guide and templates have all been OK'd by the sales offices (and
thier tech supports) because they must review and modify the manuals for
the local markets. I admit I now write little from scratch. It's mainly
editing and DTP. I unfortunately do have to spend time redoing the DTP of
manuals done by engineers (engineers located all over the Europe and Africa
write our manuals and not always mother-tongue English) as they never
considered/knew about the impact of localisation. The sales offices (and
finance dept) are happier now with the manuals. I couldn't care less how
many spaces there are after a full stop (period) but do I get annoyed when I
see a picture with text in it or a manual that didn't use the templates and
style sheets designed to accomodate text expansion. Indeed I'm not sure I
could move back to a monolingual world. I like the world of Marketing.



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