TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Value of Techwriters From:Marcia Coulter <notjust -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 31 May 1995 19:44:55 -0700
Herman Holtz <holtz -at- PALTECH -dot- COM> wrote:
>For all who have considered how to explain to a skeptic the value of
>tech writing and tech writers, may I suggest that we apply a bit of
>simple and most basic marketing principles to the problem: Those
>principles sould tell us immediately that no amount of logic will
>persuade, convert, or even influence a skeptic....What is required to
>do the job, ...is an emotional appeal.
Amen, brother. Let's hear it from the choir.
>In this case, I suggest explaining to that engineer that the true
>value of a technical writer is the sparing of that engineer's valuable
>time...That is a persuasive argument.
I use this tactic frequently -- and it works. Because I work under the
(1) part of my job is to educate of the engineer, and
(2) that the engineer's intentions are good,
I usually modify the pitch just a bit by delivering the following
"Users deserve, and we want to provide a high-quality product...A
product this good deserves the support of high quality doc...You
(the engineer) haven't got time to provide the high quality doc
portion of the project."
I may not deliver the message all in one breath. But it's a theme that
I repeat in all our interactions. And it works, partly by putting us
both on the same side.
notjust -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com