Re: Expanding a Company's Technical Writing Group

Subject: Re: Expanding a Company's Technical Writing Group
From: "H. Christopher Christner" <cchris -at- toptechwriter -dot- us>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 06 Dec 2005 16:15:49 -0500

Hi Jen,

Are you guys overworked? And are there high-profile projects that aren't
getting their docs on time because of it? Being swamped is always a good
excuse for justifying hiring new writers.

Is your tech support team happy with the user documentation or do they have
to spend too much time answering questions that should have been in the
docs? If things could be better, you can argue that adding more writers will
reduce customer calls coming in for support.

If you're not swamped with work and the docs are decent, why do you want to
expand? (By the way, the ratio you mention of 5,000 employees in a company
with only two tech writers isn't as important as how many products your
company markets and how much of the ongoing product development requires
writer time.)

Are there services you could provide if only you had more people? Does your
company have a MarCom staff? If not, would it be practical for your group to
expand to fill that role? Then your department would be responsible for
writing press releases, datasheets, and the like, which has a higher profile
(being sales related) than user docs.

I notice in your message you state: "In the past, I marketed our services by
standing up in front of directors and project managers and demonstrating
various Help systems and passing out information on the other types of
manuals and user guides that we can produce." That's a little ambiguous: do
you mean you were trying to sell the executives on new types of user docs
and they weren't interested or were you showing them what you currently do
and they were happy to leave it at that? The answer could provide a clue how
they'll respond to any new proposals.


Good luck,
Chris
___________________________________________
TopTechWriter.US
http://www.toptechwriter.us
Award-winning technical writing and illustration services.



On 12/6/05 2:51 PM, "Jennifer_Gidner -at- dom -dot- com" <Jennifer_Gidner -at- dom -dot- com>
wrote:

>
> Dear Techwhirlers,
>
> I've been a quiet voice on this list for 5 years now and I have a question
> that I haven't seen addressed very often, so I'm desperately hoping to pool
> your years of experience....
>
> I am the senior tech writer of our group (of two). :-) I work for a
> company of 5,000+ employees. Ratio sounds a bit off, doesn't it? Well, we
> just got a new boss and he wants to expand our group. He has asked me to
> "make him believe" - come up with a strategy to expand the group. He wants
> to know how it's done at other companies, how does he market us, do we
> provide real value, etc.
>
> I'm really at a loss on what to tell him. In the past, I marketed our
> services by standing up in front of directors and project managers and
> demonstrating various Help systems and passing out information on the other
> types of manuals and user guides that we can produce. That's pretty much
> all the experience I have with that....
>
> Anyway, your help would be GREATLY appreciated! I am available on or off
> list - I'm just looking forward to hearing your ideas!
>
> Thanks so much!
>
> Jen Gidner

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References:
Expanding a Company's Technical Writing Group: From: Jennifer_Gidner

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