RE: Marketing view of documentation was Re: dispensing with documentation reviews

Subject: RE: Marketing view of documentation was Re: dispensing with documentation reviews
From: "Beth Agnew" <Beth -dot- Agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 14:37:49 -0700


We often must compromise on a project. The question is, to what extent can
we compromise without overstepping our personal values boundary. Rather than
being insulted by the adjective "marketing", I find it focuses on the look
and intent of the documentation, not the quality of its content. There may
indeed be solid marketing reasons for releasing a shallow, incomplete
version of documentation with an early release of a software product. In
that case, I call it "Beta" documentation to indicate it is accompanying
Beta software.

Production values (i.e., making it look professional) serve to assure
potential clients that the company is capable of issuing quality products.
While they might accept beta docs in a binder, a slick and spiffy manual
excerpt raises the perceived value of the product as well, and makes an
effective sales tool.

Note the words "excerpt" and "shallow" above. I would work hard at
convincing the marketing dept that it is better to send a small but complete
section, or high level look at a few tasks, than a manual with gaping holes
in it.
--Beth

Beth Agnew
Professor, Technical Communication
Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
Toronto, ON 416-491-5050 x3133
http://www.agnewcom.com


-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-118812 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-118812 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Ned
Bedinger
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 2:09 PM
<snip>
To them, the documentation, whether complete or not, would
fulfill their commitment to providing documentation along with a
test release of the software. If I had not understood the
special requirement for delivery of a good looking but incomplete
doc set PDQ, it would have seemed that Marketing had arrogated a
large portion of the tech writers' professional role, humiliating
us and our best efforts by shipping out a "pig with lipstick."

> The management had a marketing view of documentation ("make it
> look professional")



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References:
Marketing view of documentation was Re: dispensing with documentation reviews: From: Ned Bedinger

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