Titles: summary of responses

Subject: Titles: summary of responses
From: Sella Rush <SellaR -at- APPTECHSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 13:36:58 -0800

Last week I whined about having to pick a new title for myself--other then
Tech Writer--because my boss wants me to have more "prestige" when dealing
with clients. The reality is that he has a very narrow view of what a TW
does, and he recognises that lots of other people do too. So, while my
resume and tax forms will still say tech writer, my business cards will
call me something else (we haven't quite decided what yet).

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of responses I got, both public
and private. Most people figured out that the problem was not in my own
mind but rather foist on me by my boss. (Not that I don't see his
point--he's thinking of the "audience"!) Some responses were seriously
helpful, others were frivolous, many were both.

My personal favorite, suggested by Mike Starr (WriteStarr -at- aol -dot- com), is
"Minister of Propaganda." It has just the right amount of cynicism for me.
(I posted Mike's email with his OK--he's a reader but not a contributor to
our list. Post, Mike!) Others that fall in the frivolous category
include: Supreme Word Goddess (or God), Chief in Charge of Words and
Pictures (for those clients who need everything spelled out), Knowledge
Broker (which I think was seriously suggested to one TW by a collegue), and
Word Nerd.

Here are the serious suggestions. Thanks to everyone for all your input
and the laughs on the side. My boss likes "communications specialist" but
I'm bucking for just plain "writer" or "senior writer" (junior?
middling?). I'm posting these in case anyone sees a title they like
better than the one they have:

technical editor
technical communicator (this and the next one were the most popular)
information developer
information designer
publications officer
communications specialist
information specialist
information design specialist
information engineer
information resource specialist
technical author

Some people suggested adding words that might lend some clout to a title:

managing editor (Lou Grant connotations)
project manager/lead--technical communications
senior blah de blah
blah de blah manager

Sella Rush
Applied Technical Systems, Inc. (ATS)
Bremerton, Washington USA
Developers of the CCM Database

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