Re: Marketing's Role

Subject: Re: Marketing's Role
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2000 04:41:51 -0800

Lisa Kemp <lnk -at- ontario -dot- com> wrote:

>What role does a Marketing Department typically have in
reviewing or
>creating the layout for documentation (including manuals,
>materials, letters, etc.)? I am particularly interested to know
if your
>Marketing Department reviews technical training materials.

I doubt there's a single answer to your question.

However, based on my experience at a dozen or more companies over
the past five years, at any given company, the answer depends on:

a.) Where technical writing is grouped. Are the writers
considered part of the technical section, marketing, or some
other department? if they're not part of marketing, then
marketing's role is usually limited.

b.) Whether the audience is end-users in general, or more
specialized, such as programmers or technical support. If the
audience is specialized, then marketing's role tends to be minor.

c.) Whether the writers have any competence in typography.
Typography is a specialized branch of graphic design. Typography
is concerned with readability and legibility, and you can't
always assume that graphic designers are fully aware of it. The
best of them are, but even otherwise competent designers (in my
experience) can often stand to learn more about typography. If
the writing department includes people who know their Frutigers
from their Twomblys, then they should try to have as much say
about the final design as marketing. Otherwise, usability issues
may not be fully addressed.

Bruce Byfield, Product Manager, Stormix Technologies
Vancouver, BC, Canada

"Oceania is at war with EastAsia. Oceania has always been at war
with EastAsia."
- George Orwell, "Nineteen Eighty-Four"

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