Re: First Technical Writer

Subject: Re: First Technical Writer
From: Mike Starr <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 15:21:10 -0600

Ah, I somehow missed that distinction when you said "My suggestion is to *start by* creating a company-specific style guide..." (emphasis mine).

However, even in the situation you described at your own company, I'd much rather agitate to get myself inserted into the review chain for those client-facing documents because I care enough about these sorts of things to want a hand in making sure they represent the company properly.

Do I think corporate style guides are a waste of time? Not at all... they're a great thing to have. But in the hands of those who aren't professional writers, they're not nearly as useful as having a skilled professional review and edit those client-facing documents.

Mike
--
Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Technical Illustrator
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
(262) 694-1028 - mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - http://www.writestarr.com

Chris Morton wrote:
> You missed my point, Mike. At the company where I work, I am the only
> techwriter and the only one who knows the king's English. Yet there are all
> sorts of folks who are preparing PowerPoint presentations, referential
> documentation and other pieces that are client-facing. Since they do not
> take advantage of me as a clearing house, THEY need a style guide!
>
> And I'm not proposing that Melissa compile this immediately as **priority
> one**, but rather that it be something she can compile over the next many
> months and present to interested parties at "the right time." She'll know
> when that is.
>
> Peace out,
>
>> CDhris
>
> On Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 12:10 PM, Mike Starr <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com> wrote:
>
>> I have to disagree with devoting time to immediately creating a
>> company-specific style guide. As the *only* technical writer, Melissa *is*
>> the style guide. What she needs to do is hit the ground running and show
>> them immediate real productivity. It's not in the company's immediate best
>> interests to create a style guide for a department of one.
>> --
>> Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
>> Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Technical Illustrator
>> Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
>> (262) 694-1028 - mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - http://www.writestarr.com
>>
>> Chris Morton wrote:
>>> Congrats, Melissa.
>>>
>>> My suggestion is to start by creating a company-specific style guide that
>>> addresses common errors you see in the current documentation (and any
>> stuff
>>> that is client-facing, e.g., marketing pieces). This (friendly) guide
>> could
>>> eventually be distributed on a wide scale when the timing and perceived
>>> reception are right (no one wants something shoved down their throat from
>>> the "know-it-all new kid"). The guidee might also incorporate usage of
>>> company collateral such as its logo, etc.
>>>
>>> Another way in which you could make an immediate mark is to create a
>>> corporate PowerPoint template for all to use. The Techwr-l archives also
>>> contain PPT presentation tips you could adopt and pass along to those who
>>> might make use of such info. If you can't find these and would like a
>> copy,
>>> send me a private e-mail and I'll forward a copy.
>>>
>>> Best of luck!
>>>
>>>> Chris
>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>>
>> Use Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word, or HTML and
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>>
>> Explore CAREER options and paths related to Technical Writing,
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>> get tips on FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATION best practices. Free at:
>> http://www.ModernAnalyst.com <http://www.modernanalyst.com/>
>>
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>>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Use Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word, or HTML and
> produce desktop, Web, or print deliverables. Just write (or import)
> and Doc-To-Help does the rest. Free trial: http://www.doctohelp.com
>
> Explore CAREER options and paths related to Technical Writing,
> learn to create SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS documents, and
> get tips on FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATION best practices. Free at:
> http://www.ModernAnalyst.com
>
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as mike -at- writestarr -dot- com -dot-
>
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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>
> To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
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> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
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>
> Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
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>
>
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Use Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word, or HTML and
produce desktop, Web, or print deliverables. Just write (or import)
and Doc-To-Help does the rest. Free trial: http://www.doctohelp.com

Explore CAREER options and paths related to Technical Writing,
learn to create SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS documents, and
get tips on FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATION best practices. Free at:
http://www.ModernAnalyst.com

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Follow-Ups:

References:
RE: First Technical Writer: From: Richard Melanson
RE: First Technical Writer: From: Keith Hood
Re: First Technical Writer: From: Chris Morton
Re: First Technical Writer: From: Mike Starr
Re: First Technical Writer: From: Chris Morton

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