RE: Expanding a Company's Technical Writing Group

Subject: RE: Expanding a Company's Technical Writing Group
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: <Jennifer_Gidner -at- dom -dot- com>, "Ellen McDaniel" <ellen -at- vidiom -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 16:32:11 -0800

Well, my thinking is: how likely is it that your boss would double-check
what you say? If it's not likely, then call GE tech support and ask
someone something regarding the documentation. Like "are you provided
internal documentation that tells you error messages? Is it the same
stuff customers get?" and so forth.
Then form your own conclusions.

If you *really* want a big company's experience with tech support and
documentation, I can put you in touch with some people at Cisco.

As far as "proven" companies, go, I immediately think of this: The
Titanic was built by a proven company, the Ark was built by a loner.

Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Jennifer_Gidner -at- dom -dot- com
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 7:49 AM
To: Ellen McDaniel
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Expanding a Company's Technical Writing Group

Hi all,

Ellen made some very good points - I didn't really provide enough
information. I work for a big utility - several of you have mentioned a
marketing department - we don't have much there (still regulated).

As for tech support, we have one giant help desk (40+ people). These
folks answer calls about ALL company applications as well as all desktop
Calls aren't really tracked by application.

I've always stayed away from marketing writing, because honestly, I
stink at it. However, I'm really trying to come up with a good
marketing pitch at the moment and I'm finding it very hard to put
together concrete savings figures. I know we save money - all those
people that read the user guides and online Help would occasionally call
the help desk - but I've been asked to find out "how GE does it". "How
do they expand their TW group?, etc."

My boss is definitely not the pointy-haired variety (a really kind
person, actually), but he likes to do everything like the big "proven"
companies, and I'm guessing they all have more than 2 TWs. :)

But thanks to all of you for your many ideas and kind words!

If you happen to see yourself in this e-mail and have successfully (or
unsuccessfully) navigated these waters, I'm always interested in more
ideas. Thanks!


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