RE: Please send alcoholic beverages. . . quickly

Subject: RE: Please send alcoholic beverages. . . quickly
From: "Lisa Wright" <liwright -at- uswest -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 13:24:32 -0600

Megan Rock asked if her exposure to graphic design in college was unusual.

No, it's not--I had a similar education and the TechComm MS program at the
same school had a good emphasis on design.

But design isn't the only point of having marketing involved. In fact, it
may not even be the major point. Marketing has a business-oriented
perspective that those of us in the development trenches may not have. Lots
of writers (including myself) talk about being "user advocates." That's
great, and I think it's important. But the end users whose hands we're
wanting to hold are frequently not the ones who can actually spend the money
to purchase our products. Unless it's the product's first time out the door,
then documentation IS part of the marketing material. And it can be even
before that very first release. During the alpha and beta phases of our
first product release, the application has been evaluated on it's ability to
support the users in the field, meaning, does it have online help. I would
think documentation would be vital to the efforts of other industries as
well during test phases. How else are testers supposed to know what to do
with the Whoozits 2000 Super Deluxe?

Technical writers/communicators do not have a monopoly on the design and
writing markets. We are not the exclusive holders of all talent. And we
certainly do not have the one-and-only right perspective about _anything_.
One of our jobs is to help sell and then support our products so that we can
get paid. Marketing is part of the business environment because they
contribute to the success of a company. Our jobs should do the same. We can
and should learn from marketing just as we can from Tech Support. Being more
business savvy can help us better contribute to the company.

Now, all that said, Bonita's Marketing VP may have messed up reasons for
wanting to review and approve the documentation. But she had by-golly better
find out what he's trying to accomplish before she draws a line in the sand.
Because if she's viewed as a roadblock, they'll just go around her. And then
she really HAD better get her resume together.

Lisa Wright
Technical Writer

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