Re: Marcom as TechCom

Subject: Re: Marcom as TechCom
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 21:33:05 -0800 (PST)

"R. Johnson" wrote

> Some technical documents could use an infusion of marcom,
> IMHO. Especially software manuals. In fact, I'd almost
> prefer knowing the benefits of a particular feature or
> function rather than instructions on how to use that
> feature or function. Tell me why I'd want to use it, don't
> tell me how to use it, since a well-designed interface
> obviates that kind of information anyway.
> I also think that this type of documentation would have a
> longer shelf-life and would encourage more people to
> actually read the docs. And benefits-based docs'd answer
> the question "how's it going to help me solve my problem,"
> rather than "why can't I do..."
> Any thoughts?

I agree with you completely. Many (not all) docs would benefit from some
marketing information, for the reasons you point out. However, this would
technical writers to expand their work beyond styles, fonts, and commas to look
at conceptual and business issues.

I have always approached user manuals this way. If you can explain to users
what the technology is and why it is beneficial - then explaining how to use it
gets a lot easier. Once the user is sold on the concepts, explaining how to use
it becomes practically incidental.

Basically, a good writer is equal parts:

Desktop Publisher
Technical Specialist (SME)
QA / support
Business exec

Each component adds to a writer's ability to explain a technology/product in
greater detail and with increased authority. Marcom, is really only one
component of that pie.

Now, some will argue against this and mostly their reasoning will boil down to
some kind of "compartmentalization" argument. That they shouldn't be expected
to learn anything and that every situation is different and therefore many
writers work in environments where ignorance is cherished.

Since I won't have time to reply to this thread - just visualize me sticking my
tongue out at them. :p

Andrew Plato

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Platinum - Watch CBS' NCAA March Madness, live on your desktop!

Order RoboHelp X3 and receive a $100 mail-in rebate, plus FREE
RoboScreenCapture, WebHelp Merge Module and iMarkupSoftware, for a total
giveaway value of $473! Order here:

Help celebrate TECHWR-L's 10th Anniversary starting this month!
Check out the contests at
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday TECHWR-L....

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: Tech Writer Wannabe Wants to Enhance Skills
Next by Author: Re: A panel discussion for the '04 STC conference about improving documentation ...
Previous by Thread: Re: Marcom as TechCom
Next by Thread: RE: Marcom as TechCom

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads