RE: When the term "Technical Writer" just doesn't cut it

Subject: RE: When the term "Technical Writer" just doesn't cut it
From: "Connie Giordano" <connie -at- therightwordz -dot- com>
To: "'Michael West'" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 14:11:34 -0500

Hi Michael,

You have hit it almost squarely, but I don't think of it as logistic as much
as holistic. I craft and deliver communications strategy, and whatever
supporting collateral is required to achieve the goals my clients have for
their organization. And right now that includes marketing collateral, email
marketing, website content, responses to RFPs, white papers, user manuals,
SDLC documentation and process analysis.

The tagline I've used for my business for nearly ten years is "the right
words for the right audience in the right medium"--so very close to how you
summarize it!
The one my clients tend to use is "hire her, she gets it." Back in the 90's
I heard and saw a lot of so-called experts advising writers to "specialize,
generalists don't have any career future." I'm so very glad I ignored that
advice.

Regards,

Connie "I'm finally incorporated" Giordano
The Right Words
Communications & Information Design

connie -at- therightwords -dot- com

http://www.therightwords.com
http://www.cowbellchallenge.org
http://www.mtb-UScup.com
 
(704) 540-9985 (office)
(704) 957-8450 (mobile)
 
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." - Walt Disney




-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+connie=therightwordz -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+connie=therightwordz -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Michael West
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 1:07 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: When the term "Technical Writer" just doesn't cut it

I was hired by an engineering firm to develop online help and training
material for in-house software. But soon the word got around in management
circles that there was a new guy in IT who was pretty good at putting words
and graphics together.

In the past couple of weeks:

. I've designed and produced a shareholders'
newsletter (requested by the CFO)

. I've helped create a slideshow for a professional
conference (requested by the CIO)

. I've done my "real work" -- developing online help
and training materials including audio-visual presentations.

. I've designed and produced an intranet IT services catalogue

Also, recently, I've travelled around to other offices delivering stand-up
training.

Of these projects, only the online Help and training materials required any
full-on "writing". The others involved information design, mainly, with a
bit of labelling and editing here and there.

I think I've finally got a handle on this. I think what we really do (many
of us, anyway) is a kind of logistical work; it's about delivering the right
technical information to the right place at the right time in the right
container.

So when someone asks me what I do, I usually stammer a bit before catching
myself and settling on something like "I work in IT". That's usually enough
to inspire someone to change the subject to the weather.

--
Mike West



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When the term "Technical Writer" just doesn't cut it: From: Michael West

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