Re: Breaking up--hard to do? (marketing and tech writing)

Subject: Re: Breaking up--hard to do? (marketing and tech writing)
From: Eric Brown <eric_brown -at- SFU -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 10:02:55 -0800

Take note of my experience, for what it's worth:
My last employer (I'm freelance these days) went through the same proces
that you're going through. I was publications manager (i.e. managing
editor) with five writers and one-and-a-half illustrators. We created out
all the manuals and marketing materials -- the marketing and demo stuff was
often prepared by outside contractors with our input and my management.

In an effort to coordinate things, speed up throughput and ensure
consistency the company decided to do it all in-house. I was put in charge
of the marcom and a new pubs manager was hired to take care of manuals
only. I had a ball in the new position; learned lots of new stuff and
gained valuable experience. After a couple hundred manuals things had
gotten a bit stale...

The bad news came when the company experienced a downturn. As soon as the
financial #$% hit the wall, marcom became expendable (after all, it could
be subcontracted as it had been previously), while tech pubs were critical
to the product. The entire marcom team was sacked, while everyone in tech
pubs kept their jobs.

For me personally, things have ended up well: with the help of my severance
I could survive those first lean months as a freelancer. I now split my
writing between marketing and instructional materials, with a bit of
teaching thrown in. The experience I gained running the marcom team has won
me many contracts. From what I hear, my previous employer has continued its
downward spiral, but the technical writers seem to have kept their jobs.

Eric Brown
Marketing Communications
869 Drayton Street
North Vancouver BC V7L 2C2
(604) 980-6947 fax 980-6933
eric_brown -at- sfu -dot- ca

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