RE: Job Market: More Openings for Marcom than Tech-Writing?

Subject: RE: Job Market: More Openings for Marcom than Tech-Writing?
From: "Gordon Graham" <gordon -at- gordonandgordon -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 18:40:29 -0400

Bruce Byfield wrote...
But one thing I've noticed in the local (Vancouver, BC) job market: there
seems to be more of a market right now for marcom writing (new releases,
newsletters, product sheets) than for technical writing...

Has anyone else noticed the same in their area? If so, it might be a good
tip for all the job seekers on the list about how to position themselves in
order to survive their hard times.


In Montreal too, I've seen some fall-off in tech writing projects, but no
noticeable slackening of marcom assignments. Even if some development
projects are delayed, companies still have to get out there and sell what
they already have on the market.

I've been suggested to tech writers for *years* now that it is quite
realistic easy to make a full- or part-time transition to marcom writing, if
you want to. To me, a dash of marcom can be the spice that keeps a steady
diet of tech writing palatable. And can make a writer more versatile and
more marketable at times like this.

(Of course, there are those who accuse me of going over to the Dark Side of
the Force.)

But don't forget the fundamental difference. Most companies look at it like
this: tech writing is an AFTER-sales "cost", while marcom is a PRE-sales
"investment." Companies that will scrimp on documentation will sometimes
still spend lavishly on their marketing. After all, if you can't sell any
product, you don't need much documentation, do you? ;-)

Let's face facts: brochures, white papers, success stories, and a decent Web
site have more impact on most prospects than documentation, which they may
never even see until after they buy. This means that in marcom you often
have a bigger budget to play with, a chance to work with a *real* artist or
designer, and better production values in the finished pieces, which make
for more colourful samples in your portfolio.

Please don't get me wrong--I'm not arguing that glitzy brochures are more
important than good documentation. AFTER you buy, the snazzy sales pieces
are forgotten, and you have to deal with the product and its often woeful
documentation. In my workshops, I try to help tech writers learn how to
create marketing pieces with all the tremendous care and rigour they
normally apply to their docs.

I've never felt a big contradiction between the two different types of
documents that any successful company must prepare. Both should be honest
and clear and professional and accessible. Each has a different purpose. But
one person can assuredly do both.


Gordon Graham, partner
Gordon & Gordon
For a preview of our fall workshops,

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-62169 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-62169 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Bruce
Sent: September 27, 2001 4:58 PM
Subject: Job Market: More Openings for Marcom than Tech-Writing?

Any thoughts?


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Job Market: More Openings for Marcom than Tech-Writing?: From: Bruce Byfield

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