Please send alcoholic beverages

Subject: Please send alcoholic beverages
From: David Orr <dorr -at- ORRNET -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L (E-mail)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 11:10:39 -0500

Bonita White is horrified that she might have to work with marketing people.
I would urge her to reconsider. My company has written documentation for
many companies for 17 years. Our experience says that documentation improves
when marketing people drive the project. Not only that, but the prestige,
power, and influence of the technical writer increases, and the writer's
access to customer input is enhanced. Marketing people are driving the
burgeoning trend toward usability testing of Web sites.

I detect a bit of queasiness about "spin" in Bonita's remarks. Most of the
spin is in the front matter where the features and benefits of the product
are discussed, and in terminology. Since this is essentially marketing
material anyway, it needs a marketing professional's input to be sure it
carries the same message as the sales and ad materials.

Marketing people also have input into organization of documents because they
have often done research to find out what customers perceive as value in the
product. This perception is often very different from that of the technical
person or tech writer working without customer feedback.

Bonita, if you argue against the marketing people's involvement, you may
find yourself being viewed as "old fashioned" or as inflexible to necessary
change.


M. David Orr
Orr & Associates Corporation
http://www.orrnet.com





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