Re: Naming a department

Subject: Re: Naming a department
From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 2010 09:00:55 -0800

Seems to me you need to name both departments.

I think most literate people more or less get the distinction between
"technical communications" / "technical publications" and "marketing

However, if the guy down the hall handles marcom, and you handle
technical communications but might eventually end up being responsible
for marcom, then why are you in different departments?

"Information design" should be reserved for the academic discipline
and specialists in that field. When I see it on a tech writer's
resume, I wonder whether that person was responsible for that
inappropriate usage. I got an incompetent new boss once who wanted to
change my job title, that was one of the reasons I quit a few days

Sure, as a senior technical writer I spend less than 10 percent of my
time writing, but that doesn't mean I need to change the job title and
confuse everybody.

On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 11:16 AM, Paul Goble <pgcommunication -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> One of our favorite debates here has been, "What should I call
> myself?" But we haven't recently discussed "What should I call my
> department?"
> I just began a job as the sole technical writer at a growing company,
> and I'd like to make a sign to hang over my door.
> I want a name that says "Come here for post-sales instructional and
> informational materials, usability consulting, and editing, but go
> down the hall to find the guy who writes brochures."  (Of course, the
> department may expand to include things like Marcom, so I'll listen to
> those options, too.)   The ideal name will be a single word which
> conveys, without explanation, the full spectrum of what an enlightened
> technical communicator does, while looking very impressive when
> printed on a resume :-).
> So far, I'm considering:
> -Documentation
> -Technical Publications
> -Technical Writing
> -Information Design
> -Communication
> What's your advice?

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Naming a department: From: Paul Goble

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