Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 19 Feb 1997 to 20 Feb 1997

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 19 Feb 1997 to 20 Feb 1997
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 23:53:02 PST

Tom Alton writes:

>Of even more importance, though, is the fact that I don't know you. Why not?
>There's an STC chapter in town and I've been an officer for years.

Do you really think that the mere fact of ponying up cash and time
to the STC correlates with writing ability? Come on now -- I've
seen the STC's journals.

Me, I've never joined the STC. I've always worked with start-up companies
that don't have Tech Pubs departments, and of course no one in these
companies has ever even heard of the STC, let alone joined. Nor have
I found STC membership to correlate to anything in particular when
I've interviewed candidates.

So I never saw much point in joining. My clients are generally not
technical writers or writing managers. They're much more likely to
be a founder or a member of the first wave of non-founders of a
high-tech start-up company. Such people typically belong to no
professional organizations at all. Where would they find the time?

Start-up companies tend to be almost invisible during the first stages,
even when well-funded. Networking with people you know from prior
start-ups will land you many client leads, but there's something to
be said for random broadsides of resumes or other promotional material.
It's hard to custom-tailor one's material for a company that barely
exists, has never released a product, and has yet to issue its first
press release. Yet these companies see, with painful clarity, that
they have a burning need for documentation. They have to get the
word out about their product, and their product has to be a success
with its initial users.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, 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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