RE: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!

Subject: RE: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!
From: "Handy, David" <dhandy -at- Informatica -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 17:24:27 +0100

Nancy,
Two more cents on this :

I've worn tech writer and marketing writer hats simultaneously in a
couple of software startups. I'm really glad I had the chance. I learned
a lot about the businesses and their customers. I also found it a great
opportunity to ensure that the descriptions of the functionality in the
different types of doc were in alignment.

On a tangent, working on responses to RFIs with salespeople was a real
eye-opener into what customers were looking for and how we responded to
those needs - in specific cases, it helped the tech writer in me write
better installation and architecture docs. If your docs include a
troubleshooting or FAQ section, marketing and sales folk are a great
source of info on what matters to customers. Support folk also, natch.
Ultimately we're all on the same team, and we should be on the same page
regarding our products & services (which can be tricky in large
corporations).

As a tech writer, I don't think it's ultimately my job to describe the
features and functions of the software. Okay, yes it is, but that's a
means to an end - my goal is to help customers achieve their goals.
That's maybe stating the obvious, but I think it's at the heart of what
we do. When I'm tech writing, I'm not thinking "Here is what the very
important kaboodle feature does." I'm thinking, "I anticipate you'll
need to use the kaboodle feature sometime soon because you have a
zillion records to migrate - here's how you migrate those records." It
changes how I organize what I write. The marketeers start the whole
process: "Got a zillion records to migrate? Use Kaboodle!"

Hope this helps...
(It also helps if you have a good product! You can write elegant prose
about a good product.)

David
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References:
Shazam! You're a marketing writer!: From: Nancy Allison
RE: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!: From: Daniel Ng
RE: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!: From: Dan Goldstein
Re: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!: From: Milan Davidovic
RE: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!: From: Dan Goldstein
Re: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!: From: Milan Davidovic

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