RE: spec sheet

Subject: RE: spec sheet
From: Marguerite Krupp <mkrupp -at- cisco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 14:48:41 -0400

Mike asked how to approach condensing a rather sizeable document (about 150
into a specification sheet--one-page, double-sided, marketing tool for
prospective clients.

My advice, based on having had to do the same thing, is to think in terms of
three major areas: features, benefits, and specifications. The features
should be covered in the first couple of chapters of this book. The benefits
derive from the features (though there's not necessarily a 1:1
relationship); that is, for every feature, ask yourself, "Why on earth would
anyone need this? What good does it do the customer to have this feature?"
This is the tough part. You can have two separate lists, one for each title.
Then comes the easy part: the specifications. You have those somewhere in
the 150 page manual. Copy them. Also include contact information, company
logo, and the appropriate TM info in tiny, legalese type, as usual. If
possible, include a picture that shows what the product does. I don't mean
just a picture of hardware, but possibly some conceptualization (which is
about all you can do for software anyway). Maybe the intro material in the
manual has a nice figure or graph you can "repurpose" for this document.

Remember, too, that the only details you want to have in this document are
the specifications and contact info. Not that the rest is fluff, but you
aren't appealing to a detail-oriented audience here. Use headings and
bulleted lists to increase legibility. And remember that you can get more
info into the same space if you use a two- or three-column format instead of
a text column. A lot of marketing pieces use right-left justification. If
you do, be sure to give the result the "squint test" to ensure that it looks

That's about it. Oh, yes -- it does help if you read (or at least skim) the
150-pager before you begin. <G>



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