Re: Sanity check

Subject: Re: Sanity check
From: Shmuel Ben-Artzi <sba -at- NETMEDIA -dot- NET -dot- IL>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 1996 22:10:59 +0200


There is a fundamental principle in responsible marketing which bears on the
point that you are making here. To the extent that technical communication
in some way supports a marketable product (and isn't that most often the
case), then the priciple applies. That principle is: "The sale does not stop
at the point at which payment is made; it must go beyond that".

One of the ways in which this must occur involves making the client feel
good about their purchase. The belief that they made a wise decision must be
reinforced *after* the sale. But this is not just the responsibility of the
salesman, or the marketing department, or customer service. The product
itself must support the post-sale effort.

Lets' say that the product is a piece of software. Then, besides a properly
working program, the client wants and deserves a well-designed user
interface, good tutorials, intuitive helps, and the list goes on. Since all
of this is within the province of the technical communicator, your thesis
would seem an absolutely sound one.

Is the TC portion of the work an island unto itself, or is it part of the
overall product? (Don't you just love rhetorical questions?) And must not
*every* part of the product work together to help convince the customer of
the wisdom of their purchase. After the fact. Don't just get them in and out
of the door. Keep them coming back.

Good point Dave. Very good point. It puts a whole new spin on the overall
responsiblity of the writer.

Shmuel Ben-Artzi
Netanya, Israel
sba -at- netmedia -dot- net -dot- il

At 12:04 26/8/96 -0600, you wrote:

>BUT (excuse me for shouting) it seems to me that important
>secondary purposes include things such comforting,
>encouraging; convincing the user that the software
>developer, the software, and the user are all members on a
>highly successful team.

>Effective writing will provide the user with the best
>information in the best configuration, but will also apply
>rhetorical tools toward establishing a lasting, friendly,
>and professional relationship with the user.

>To what extent do you consider this true? And (if you think
>this is true) what rhetorical tools to you apply and to what
>extent do you apply them?

>Dave Hailey

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