RE: What about Technical Writer vs Communicator?

Subject: RE: What about Technical Writer vs Communicator?
From: "Hemstreet, Deborah" <DHemstreet -at- kaydon -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 15:17:57 -0400

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:
"Most US managers tend to associate "communications" with
"Corporate Communications," the department that
generates press releases and all those weasely "Don't Panic!" messages

Well, as a "technical" "writer" I also care about the terminology. I am
one of those people who really don't care what most people think - if
the word is wrong, I won't use it. And if the person who is hiring me
has an incorrect perception of what I do, I try to educate them.

The real problem, I think, is that we are so worried about our jobs and
trying to defend what we do, that we don't do very much educating of
others as to what we do.

I too, have been introduced as a technical writer, but I usually try to
correct the person (gently) and let them know that I do a lot more.
Perhaps I am a stubborn idealist. I looked for a lot of jobs before I
landed this one. I also didn't get hired for positions I was more than
qualified to perform.

As I look back, I probably could have softened my approach and dumbed
myself down. I could have been less idealistic and NOT told the
marketing person that its hard to get motivated to write about a game
that is going to waste people's time and money. I communicated well and
did NOT get the job.


But when I was interviewed for this job, I saw that they needed far more
than a "writer" and sold myself as a technical communicator to meet
their needs. My current job title is "writer" because the HR department
does not know how to handle new titles... I don't care. The people I am
working for know and recognize what I do...

Something I would like to see STC do - is to have a more concerted
effort to EDUCATE the public and businesses as to the breadth and depth
of our profession. Get people used to hearing we are COMMUNICATORS...

I won't try to fight the whole world, but I will fight to keep my
standards high where I am...

Writer, to me, just does not say it all...



Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: What about Technical Writer vs Communicator?
Next by Author: RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken
Previous by Thread: Re: What about Technical Writer vs Communicator?
Next by Thread: Re: What about Technical Writer vs Communicator?

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

Sponsored Ads