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I wrote a lot of these prior to my retirement. You need to get in touch with the sales manager to find out what information he is looking for and that will help you gather and format it. You may need more than one paper, depending on the needs. For example, information to help respond to RFPs is different than sales literature.
Marketing collateral is a form of technical documentation and while the "product manager" should be able to write it up, the technical writing staff needs to also be involved.
Even if you're "young, self-taught, and not experienced in the big corporate environment" you can't use those excuses for not turning out accurate material to fit the company's needs. As I said....find out what the Sales Manager's needs are by asking him. I had a writer working for me one time that would email an SME, then wait, and wait, and wait for the response. I finally told him to go into the clean room and ask the question to the SME's face. When he did (in a polite way), he got the answers he needed. You need to do the same...or the technical writing group leader. You do have a lead writer don't you???? If you don't then someone needs to take the lead and be the point person for the group.
You can also look at how others have presented the materials your sales manager seeks. Check out your competition and make yours better.
Hope this helps. Going back on retirement.......
Al Geist-Geist Arts
Fine Art Photography
E-mail: al -at- geistarts -dot- com
Facebook: Geist Arts
Technical Writing, Help, Publication Management
"...I walked to work, quit my job, and kept walking. Better to be a pilgrim without a destination, I figured, than to cross the wrong threshold each day." (Sy Safransky)
From: techwr-l-bounces+al=geistarts -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+al=geistarts -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Julie Stickler
Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2019 2:29 PM
To: Joe Weinmunson
Cc: Technical Writing
Subject: Re: Dealing with a vague document request
Sounds like your sales manager is looking for a features list that they can
use for sales. And when comparing your product to a competitor. They
might even need it for the RFP (request for proposal) process. It doesn't
hurt to ask why they need the information, as it will help you figure out
what format to deliver it.
What they're asking for is more marketing collateral than product
documentation. Product Management should also be able to help write this
On Thu, May 23, 2019 at 1:11 PM Joe Weinmunson <litlfrog -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Our company is growing and we have a few people doing documentation now.
> However, all of us are some combination of 1) young, 2) self-taught, and/or
> 3) not experienced in a big corporate environment. That's causing some
> delay right now because we are not sure how to interpret the Sales
> Manager's request.
> "the knowledge lies with you [tech support, training, and documentation].
> Our issue is that only a couple of people here at the company actually know
> what these products do. Mae laid out some groundwork, but pulled much of
> the info from the existing website. What we need is a basic list of what
> these products do. What they can do. I understand this is a big task. this
> will end up being a living document as the program changes. Certainly
> changes have been made since the site was built and will continue to be
> made. So what we need is a list of what each product does."
> I am trying to figure out whether to format this as some sort of internal
> white paper, as fact sheets for each module of the software, or as
> something else. I know we'll get there eventually, but I'd appreciate any
> advice folks have in dealing with the request.
> Joe Weinmunson
> âWhat you read when you donât have to determines what you will be when you
> canât help it.â
> --Oscar Wilde
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