Re: Producing Books

Subject: Re: Producing Books
From: John Posada <john -at- TDANDW -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 17:11:19 -0500

> John,
> I'm reassured by the tone of your followup. Typically, I agree with
> what you have to say. I have to admit that I read your first post
> much the way Steve did. It seemed to contain advice for manipulating
> company hot buttons and using sales pitches to get the "I-wants"
> met. Solid business case was in there, but it certainly wasn't the
> idea that hit me between the eyes.

I think I see where the confusion is. I've done alot of marketing
communication and it was always done based on solid business
justifications. Therefore, I see marcom as a good thing to be able to
use whenever possible.

However, too many people have seen sleazy marcom and it has a bad rap.
Therefore, when they see me saying that you should build the
justification and present it with a marketing slant, it's taken as
">manipulating company hot buttons and using sales pitches to get the

It never dawned on me that presenting information my way was less than
up-and-up and in everyones best interest...ESPECIALLY THE
COMPANY...THAT'S THE POINT. I see the difference as two people proposing
the same thing, but phrased differently but both based on truth:

Tech way: We should buy this product because it won't crash when you
have a 30mb file of 300 pages and 100 screen shots." (unmentioned is the
fact that because of the size, it crashes 10 times per day and takes 30%
longer to produce...missing deadlines (doesn't every know this?)"

Marcom way: We should buy this product because it will allow us to
produce the document 30% faster, making us able to get to market faster
with happier customers."

Management doesn't care about the size, the number of screen shots or
the number of pages. They can understand and identify with faster to
market and happier customers...which is in everyone's best interest.
It's just seeing it from their eyes and giving them the information they
see as the priority needed to make business decisions.

> Steve's point seems to be at the opposite end of the spectrum:
> companies that won't (or are financially unable to) respond to solid
> business cases. Actually, like Steve, I work on a government
> contract (although in the US). While the government personnel
> recognize the legitimacy of some tool problems, the budget process
> really limits what they can do. They get forced into
> penny-wise/pound-foolish decisions and they don't like it. As a
> taxpayer, I understand the problems that the budget process is
> trying to prevent. So, we end up between a rock and a hard place.
> Case in point: I could no longer meet my deadlines with Word. I made
> a case for Framemaker. They tried to get it, but couldn't. Another
> office had an unopened copy of Pagemaker. They sent it to me. I can
> meet my deadline, now, but it's still not the best choice. But, as a
> business decision, I have to recognize the logic: No added cost and
> the job gets done.
> I would, however, still call this a good company to work for--a good
> company dealing with difficult constraints.
> Jill Burgchardt
> jburgcha -at- pestilence -dot- itc -dot- nrcs -dot- usda -dot- gov

John Posada, Technical Writer (and proud of the title)
The world's premier Internet fax service company: The FaxSav Global
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My opinions are mine, and neither you nor my company can take credit for

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