Tech Pubs vs MarCom

Subject: Tech Pubs vs MarCom
From: Brad Whittington <brad -dot- techwriter -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009 10:46:55 -0500

I've also been amused, and sometimes annoyed, by the occasional email
perpetuating what seems to be a knee-jerk animus toward marketing.

In 2000 I got a job in marketing for a telecom test company. In 2006 I
transitioned to freelance technical writing. I have contracts with
various clients to produce documentation and marcom material. In a
typical week I will write online help, outline a white paper, attend
several product development status conference calls, edit a brochure,
attend a conference call to establish the audience and corporate
message for a solicited magazine article, etc.

In my experience, producing marketing material requires much more
mental effort, creativity and energy than producing documentation. I
can write documentaion for hours at a stretch with no problem. A pot
of coffee and some good background music and I can go for 10 or 12
hours. But producing a 400-word press release is amazingly draining
work. One hour of that and forget the coffee. I'm in need of a break
with a martini.

It may be that all this says is that my natural abilities tend toward
documentation, but regardless, marketing is not a pastime for the
braindead. It doesn't foster or reward nonsense any more than tech
pubs or engineering or customer service or accounting or any other
part of the organization.

Marketing requires a range of experience, knowledge and skill that is
neither intuitive nor simple. It's not an "anyone can do it" exercise.
And in current economic conditions, the value of a good marketing team
cannot be overstated.

I don't see the value in creating or perpetuating adversarial
attitudes between any groups, regardless of which department I'm in.
Can't we all just get along? (heh, heh)

Brad Whittington

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

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