Re: Need help please

Subject: Re: Need help please
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 13:09:38 -0800

Nancy Mignone wrote:

We are a new company, and I have a problem. My problem is the head of marketing, a VP.
This gentleman is very creative and intelligent. He also considers techncial writing as a subset of marketing.
For example, at the moment marketing is developing a white paper on software architecture. I've never worked in a shop where that documentation type is done by marketing.

If this VP has the technical background to write the white paper, I wouldn't worry too much. Despite the popular conception, some people in marketing are technically competent; it's uncommon, but not unheard of. I suggest waiting for the results before being concerned.

He considers that all white papers to be marketing's responsibility, with the content provided by marketing (him).
Look and feel, font colors and styles, bullet styles - all marketing. He insists on having input into and approval over everything that goes out publically, such as our Installation guide.
Are there any technical leads or department heads or field laborers like myself in TECHNICAL WRITING who can tell me what a reasonable division of work between technical writing and marketing might be?

Again, this isn't too unusual. Marketing is responsible for the public face of a company, after all. And if you're the first writer that the company has had or new to the job, then it's natural that he's going to be cautious. If you would like input or control over design, then you're going to have to prove your competence to him.

One place to start might be to meet with him and talk about your thoughts for design. If you can demonstrate your knowledge and get him thinking that your input is useful, he's more likely to consult with you, or to pass these matters over to you.

But, whatever you do, don't go in assuming that he's a control freak. He may be simply a cautious person who's doing his job.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

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Need help please: From: Nancy Mignone

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