Re: Please send alcoholic beverages. . . quickly

Subject: Re: Please send alcoholic beverages. . . quickly
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 13:22:57 -0700 (PDT)

"Bonita White" wrote ...

> Some may remember my post from several weeks ago when I was told that
> the end user manual needed a "marketing spin." Well, I'm back.
> I have just been told that all documentation must be approved by
> MARKETING. Yes, you read correctly, 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.


Your VP is 100% correct and you should embrace this change.

Good marketing, like good documentation, is consistent across all media
available to customers. You don't have one message on the web site while
writing an entirely different message in the documentation. That looks sloppy.

How often do we complain in this very forum that marketing promises one thing,
but then changes their tone when you get the product. Well, part of the reason
for that is poor marketing. The marketing isn't in touch with the other parts
of the company, including technical documentation.

Furthermore, good documents should go beyond just telling readers how to use a
product. They should educate the reader and demonstrate why your product is
better. This includes a consistency of style and presentation across
documentation and marketing material.

Obviously the technical folks need to sign off on the technical side, but I see
no reason why your marketing people shouldn't have a say.

I do not blame your management for wanting marketing to approve your work.
Clearly the documentation was not taking into account how your product was
positioned in the marketplace.

I suggest you embrace this change. It is for the better.

Andrew Plato

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