Technical and Marketing Communications

Subject: Technical and Marketing Communications
From: MSTSACX -at- GSUVM1 -dot- BITNET
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1993 18:49:10 EST

Comments from the recent discussions:

o The difference between technical and marketing communications is that
marketing communications persuades and technical communications need
to be technically accurate.

o Marketing communications are inherently untruthful.

o The perky tone of the Quicken manual indicates the influence of marketing

Where was it written that marketing communications is synonymous with liars,
that technical communication is the only branch of communication concerned
with accuracy, and that technical communication is inherently dull?

The primary difference between technical and marketing communications is
the PRIMARY intent of the information. If the information is primarily
intended for sales efforts, it's considered a marketing piece. If the
information is primarily intended for instructional or documentation
purposes, then it's technical communication.

Contrary to public opinion, most marketing communicators don't wake up
each day wondering how they can pull a fast one on the public today.
Most want to do a good job. And with truth in advertising laws, consumer
protection laws, and a litiginous public, most have many incentives to
write honestly, even if it's not in their blood. True, some companies
are unscrupulous and have published deceptive materials. Many of them
also get caught.

And since when were all the documents WE published technically accurate?
Let's be honest, folks, as much as we try, some of the information we
publish doesn't tell the whole story. How many of us oblige when asked
to whitewash a product defect? How many of us have published information,
only to learn afterwards that--through no fault of our own--it wasn't
accurate because the product changed?

If yof yo think all technical communication
One of the reasons that technical communicators are being drawn into
marketing communications is that few marketing writers have our ability
to describe high tech products in terms that prospective customers can
understand. Another reason that we are being drawn into the field is that
we come cheaper than the average marketing communicator. Our hourly
contract rate is a lot more attractive to corporations than that of
many marketing communicators.

Saul Carliner Ph.D. Student
Instructional Technology Geo. State Univ.
Note new userid----> mstsacx -at- gsuvm1 -dot- gsu -dot- edu 404/892-3945

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