Re: any suggestions?

Subject: Re: any suggestions?
From: Matthew Stern <MAStern -at- PLATSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 09:11:00 -0800


By now, you've probably received megabytes of e-mail messages saying
"NO! NO! NO!" to your "Top 10 Reasons Not to Become a Technical Writer."
speech idea. Here's an idea you can use instead.

A few years ago, I was asked to give a talk about how the documentation
department fits in with the rest of the company. I stressed several main

* Documentation is a company-wide effort. We depend on groups throughout
the company -- especially engineering, marketing, and support -- for
source information and manual reviews.

* Documentation is a crucial part of the product. Users depend on
documentation in order to use our product successfully. Good
documentation can improve customer satisfaction of the product as a

* Documentation affects the bottom line. Quality documentation increase
revenue because it can be used as a sales tool and encourages repeat
customers. It also reduces support costs and the likelihood of product

With these points, I stressed the value of our job as technical writers
and the importance of documentation while showing that we are part of
the team. After the speech, audience told me that they had a better
understanding of what we did and (more importantly) more respect for us
as professionals.

The lesson: Whenever we present ourselves to the rest of the company, we
should present ourselves as professionals who are tuned into overall
company goals -- not frustrated artistes nobody likes. We need to
respect ourselves before we can expect others to respect us.

Matthew Stern
Sr. Technical Writer
Platinum Software Corporation

E-mail: mastern -at- platsoft -dot- com

The opinions here are solely my own.

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