Re: Advertising in Manuals

Subject: Re: Advertising in Manuals
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 May 1996 07:00:54 PDT

>While I'm not overly fond of advertising, I believe something like this
>could actually add value to the books ("why print manuals, nobody reads
>them").

That doesn't make any sense at all. If no one reads the manuals,
any advertising in them is wasted. You'd be better off leaving the
entire manual blank, and just create a cover. In the eyes of a
manager who believes that no one reads the manuals, this would produce
the same result with an immense savings in labor.

I recommend an aggressive stance when people suggest this: chime in
that you've always wanted to measure the value of documentation, and
the complainer's product would be perfect for the no-documentation test
case. The company could refuse to do documentation for that product,
and compare lifetime sales and ROI against other, similar products
for which documentation was handled normally. Suggest that you both
go the the appropriate vice president and present this idea.

The complainer will backpedal at warp speed (especially if he has
real responsibility in the project) and will never, ever suggest
that his product documentation be scaled back again.

(Of course, if he calls your bluff, you can do the experiment. In
most industries, the documentation is crucial, and the experiment will
have to be terminated because upper management will demand that documentation
be created to save sales. If, however, it turns out that documentation is
not critical with that product line, you should go work someplace that
they need you.)

-- Robert
--
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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