RE: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!

Subject: RE: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Nancy Allison" <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 11:49:29 -0400

Nancy Allison wondered out loud:

> I have been asked to put on a marketing writer's hat and
> write some stuff for the web site.
>
> I am a tech writer in my bones and want nothing more than to
> give people the information they need as concisely (not to
> say *tersely*) as possible. I'm all about figuring out doc
> structure, page structure, topic structure, sentence
> structure, with associated headings and keywords and
> formatting so people can find what they need and recognize
> when they've found it.
>
> Marketing is a related but definitely foreign language.
>
> I've been down this path once before and crashed into the
> prickerbushes much too soon.
>
> "It's too list-y,' grumbled my manager. "You've got a header,
> then a sentence-and-a-list, then a new header, then a
> sentence-and-a-list . . . that's not marketing writing."
>
> I kinda got what he meant. I used bulleted lists because, for
> busy users who are trying to get their work done, that's what
> makes info pop out. (Yes, I know, tables, too. You get my
> drift: Terse and pared to the bone and organized to make key
> topics obvious.)
>
> But marketing pieces, on the company web site, are trying to
> lure someone into a relationship with the product, right?
> They're more in seduction mode. Correct?
>
> Please don't get hung up on the listy bit -- I have some
> marketing pieces in front of me and I do see bulleted lists
> hither and yon, but they do also have more of a
> conversational feel. I think that's the difference.
>
> What advice would you give a tech writer who wants to do
> better this time? What's the difference, after all? When you
> put on your Marketing writer hat, how do you write differently?
>
> Any suggestions gratefully received.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


You were just writing in "personal" personable informal mode in your
post, above.

Do that. Start with what you (or your product manager) believes the
customer wants to achieve - and for which they might profitably make use
of your product/service.

Anything else we can help with?

:-)

- Kevin
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References:
Shazam! You're a marketing writer!: From: Nancy Allison

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