Re: Grammar and rhetoric...

Subject: Re: Grammar and rhetoric...
From: BurkBrick -at- AOL -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 13:31:33 EDT

John Brinegar suggested we discuss:
>How can technical communicators learn to study their
>users' world of work so that they can deliver what the
>users actually need, instead
>of what they and the users imagine they need?

I'd be interested in any comments people have in this topic.

As a contractor, I'm usually far from the audience - I have to count on my
client's representation of them. No one has offered to send me out to meet
with their customers!

I'd like to find a better method than "well, we'll know if they don't like it
if they call and complain," but in both my full-time jobs and my contract
work I haven't been able to convince anyone to do it any other way. When I
pushed for audience analysis at my full-time positions, I was shuttled to the
salesmen, which was not particularly successful.

Has anyone had any luck with audience surveys or other forms of finding out
about the audience? How did you convince the powers-that-be to spend time
(and money) on them?

Thanks, John, for bringing up these topics. I think we tend to get caught up
in our day-to-day stuff, which is usually the grammar and syntactic parts of
the job, and lose sight of the big picture. Always nice to be reset once in a


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