TECHWHIRLING FOR CONSULTING ENGINEERS

Subject: TECHWHIRLING FOR CONSULTING ENGINEERS
From: Bob Morse <morse -at- GLOBALDIALOG -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 22:29:24 -0500

Anybody here do any tech-comm work for consulting engineering firms? I'm
an independent who's been doing mostly software docs for years, and am
tempted to probe eng firms as a new market, but don't know much about the
biz and would appreciate any insights. In particular:

1. What's the process? I know that most/all eng firms have some marketing
staff in house, but don't know how common it is for the mktg people to
play a role in editorial reviews of formal proposals, presentation scripts,
project reports, and other tech docs. Is there an industry standard or
"typical" scenario, or does it vary widely depending on the firm?
2. How much do eng firms (typically) even value editorial quality in their
tech docs? Is it even an issue/concern for them?
3. Does anyone know of any existing surveys that would shed some light on
clients/prospects' attitudes toward editorial quality of formal proposals,
project reports and other tech docs? (Any good ammo for my sales pitch,
to show 'em that writing quality DOES matter?)
4. I've heard (and experienced) that many sci/tech professionals who are
perfectly competent in their own specialties but decidedly weak in writing
(pervasive passive voice, run-ons, syntax monotony, wordiness and such)
tend to believe that their writing is just fine, thankyouverymuch. I'm
curious how skilled technical editors get past the ego obstacles? Or
don't they?
5. Any sense for whether some/many eng firms might be receptive to in-house
remedial composition workshops for their tech professionals? I'd think
that just two or three one-hour sessions and a couple of independent
exercises ("homework") could do a world of good, even if only to discuss
passive/active voice, wordiness, and a few usage notes. Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance. Private email and public postings both welcome and
eagerly awaited.


===================================================================
Bob Morse <morse -at- globaldialog -dot- com>, Badger SoftWerks, Mt. Horeb, WI
Badger SoftWerks ======> http://www.globaldialog.com/~morse/bsw.htm
InfoJunkies Anonymous => http://www.globaldialog.com/~morse/ija.htm

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