Marketing reviews the manuals (was: Please send alcoholic beverag es)?

Subject: Marketing reviews the manuals (was: Please send alcoholic beverag es)?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "'Bonita White'" <bwhite -at- youcentric -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 11:59:04 -0400

Bonita White has just been told that <<...all documentation must be approved
by MARKETING... The new VP believes that he can best decide on matters of
layout, font and the like. He wants to make sure that the manual "conveys
the correct spin." Well, needless to say, I am horrified.>>

Don't jump to conclusions. While I tend to approach Marketing folk with
considerable skepticism, some of them really do know their stuff (like one
colleague who moved from techwhirling to Marketing) and not all of them make
changes just so they can say they had some input. So rather than going into
the meeting expecting the worst, put on your Polyanna face and send a clear
message that you want to work with Marketing, not fight them. Come prepared
with reasons for why you do things the way you do (emphasize readability and
easy access to information), and be prepared to bend on some of these
issues; for example, if Marketing considers Times too fussy for body text,
propose a variety of other serif fonts that would be more airy yet just as
easy to read. (Garamond is popular if you use at least 12 points; there are
plenty of others.) If you succeed in working together on this project,
you'll also have a good first step to an _ongoing_ working relationship that
may smooth your path in future struggles. (Don't forget, if you can earn
their grudging respect, they're likely to consult you in the future. If you
earn their enmity, then they're going to avoid you wherever possible.)

Of course, I also believe that Bill Gates really enjoys healthy competition
and that he's designed Windows for reliability and ease of use, so you
should also make plans in the event that my advice proves fruitless. <g>

<<As I type this message, I am gathering all of my statistics and

Wow! Talk about multitasking! <g>

<<If anyone has any books, articles, information that they have time to

I still consider Karen Schriver's "Dynamics in document design" to be the
gold standard in such things.

<<In the meantime, I drink Vodka.... usually with Cranberry juice>>

If vodka and orange is "a screwdriver", and vodka and prune juice is a
<shudder> "piledriver", then what the heck do you call a vodka and

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"When ideas fail, words come in very handy."--Goethe

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