TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Techwhirlers in Corporate Communications? From:"Geoff Hart (by way of \"Eric J. Ray\" <ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com>)" <ght -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA> Date:Wed, 17 Feb 1999 08:00:42 -0700
Jon Herrera is <<...currently interviewing for a tech writing
position that would be in the company's Corporate Communications
department. ... How is it different from working in an Engineering
department? What are the positive and negative aspects?>>
The biggest single difference is that your audience is entirely
different, and there are a whole host of legal, ethical, and
diplomatic issues you have to confront when you're doing that kind of
writing. Make a really big effort to ensure you understand the
specific legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues for your company's
operating context, and make sure you understand the new audience well
enough to understand how to write to them.
The second biggest difference is that Corporate Communications people
are even more alien forms of life than Engineers, particularly if
they include those who worship the dark side of the force (i.e., the
marketing group). <g> Compared with engineers, these people have
entirely different perceptions of what's important, and thus
different preoccupations; the office politics can be an awful lot
more convoluted and treacherous (among other things, because they're
closer to senior management than you used to be, and the Dilbert
principle begins to apply); and they dress equally funny and may
expect you to do the same. <g x 2> I've worked with a spectrum of
this sort of communicator, and though I've really enjoyed some of the
work and some of the people, I've also met more than my share of
cretins in the field. YMMV, and I hope it does.