RE: Define technical communicator's job

Subject: RE: Define technical communicator's job
From: "Hemstreet, Deborah" <DHemstreet -at- kaydon -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 08:32:32 -0400

A definition for technical communication was offered:

"Develop and design instructional and informational tools needed to
assure safe, easy, proper and complete use of technical goods. Combines
multi-media knowledge and strong communication skills with technical
expertise to educate across the entire spectrum of users' abilities,
technical experience, and visual and auditory capabilities."

My first read of this definition was to think, who on earth wrote this?
Someone with an over inflated ego? On second thoughts, I think, it is
ONE definition of technical communication, but in trying to broaden the
scope, it is too limiting...

Firstly, way too long - if I want to define what I do, I hold up an
instruction manual and say, I write these, but for xxx people - and I
believe my stuff is better than average... But behind that there may
have been 50 presentations, a couple of movies, the on-line help, a
dozen PDFs, interactivity, too many meetings, and thousands of
communications by email, phone, etc, all to get the end product.... And
others write, write and write their hearts out.

I suggest:
This is what we DO
"Develop and design communicative materials (usually of a technical
nature) geared towards the needs of a specific audience. Such materials
may be print, audio, visual, or a combination thereof."

Probably needs to be better massaged... But this is less high-falutin...
And less likely to exclude people who do NOT educate (they advertise) or
do NOT use multi-media (paper, paper, paper...), or do not use paper
(digital - man, digital!), or who are in the process of developing paper
with 3D movies embedded (dream on...).



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