Re: Technical Wrinting VS. Technical Marketing

Subject: Re: Technical Wrinting VS. Technical Marketing
From: Len Olszewski <saslpo -at- UNX -dot- SAS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1993 10:26:11 -0500

Thomas Horton suggests writers are salespeople at heart:

> It is my personal belief that many technical writers are drawn into the
> marketing realm in one way or another. Even though many do not directly
> market
> products, many contribute to the marketing effort. What say we.

Looking at this from another perspective, I find that I use the
experiences and customer contact that the sales and marketing groups
have in order to refine my own working definitions of the audience for
my books. The sales and marketing reps have a very clear idea of the
things customers are asking for in products and the documents that
support them, since what we provide often spells the difference between
a sale and a "regret" letter.

Where I work, publications is a separate department. I work for pubs
people, not for the marketing managers. In fact, we have our own pubs
marketing group here. The sales and marketing folks have their own
writers. However, since I'm all in favor of selling more of our
software, leading to more sales for our (and my) books, I listen very
closely to marketing's version of what the customers really want.
Marketing is quite serious; they never deliberately mislead me.

If providing (or trying to provide) documentation that customers want
makes a contribution to the overall marketing effort, I plead guilty. At
the heart of things, in the private sector, this is the idea, right?

|Len Olszewski, Technical Writer |"Gee, Mr. Peabody..." |
|saslpo -at- unx -dot- sas -dot- com|Cary, NC, USA| -Sherman |
| Opinions this ludicrous are mine. Reasonable opinions will cost you.|

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