Re: How are Technical Writer's Perceived

Subject: Re: How are Technical Writer's Perceived
From: Joanne Grey <j_grey -at- writeangles -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 08:50:33 -0800

lestatvampire39 -at- hotmail -dot- com wrote:

> I am doing a paper on technical writers and require some input from
> our side of the fence. Basically, the angle is, how do we remove the
> negative preconceptions that others have about us?

I don't think that all SMEs have those preconceptions about us. At
least, I haven't found your statement to be true in my case.

Whenever I go into a new contract, I make sure that I find some way
to connect to at least a few of the SMEs. There is almost always
something that I can do to reassure the SMEs that I don't want to
waste their time or mine. I wait until I have *intelligent*
questions before asking for an interview, and I let them know that
to me, my job is to make their work look good. If necessary, I let
them know exactly what the benefits are of working *with* me, and
what strengths I bring to the table.

I find out whether an SME prefers email, phone, or human contact for
questions, what hours the SME is really busy on high-focus work and
doesn't like to be disturbed, and I try to use those as guidelines
when I deal with the SME. I also try to remember that these folks
are as busy as I am, so when they *can* spare me some time, I use it
well, and I thank them for it.

Usually this works, and I get the respect I deserve. Of course, I
have to respect what everyone else is doing, too.

Joanne Grey j_grey -at- writeangles -dot- com
Write Angles

He who is only just is cruel. Who on earth could live were all
judged justly? - Byron

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